fanatics, there’s the all-new 400- mile Tirol Mountain Bike Safari, which those staying in Alpbach can experience via a more manageable 20-mile stretch to Niederau. Then again, if the thought

of battling red-faced against steep mountain roads makes clients shiver as much as it does me, suggest an e-bike; visitors can hire them in Alpbach (from Conny’s Sport for €22 per day or €12 for a half day, or from Romantikhotel Böglerhof). Or if they don’t fancy going

it alone, Aktivbiking offers a free cycling tour from Gasthof Hornboden to the hamlet of Inneralpbach, at 3pm every Tuesday in summer. With a motor behind me I

felt like a Tour de France-esque pro – until I switched it off and was swiftly disappointed – and it certainly made things easier as we cycled up past hilly pastures so green they looked like they must have been Photoshopped. For real thrill-seekers though, suggest the Laubwerk bike


The moor walk was a charming stroll in forests filled with orchids, wild herbs and tiny strawberries


Thomson Lakes & Mountains

offers 12 summer resorts in the

Tirol, including the resort of Alpbach in the Alpbach Valley and Niederau in the Wildschönau Valley. A week

at the four-star Hotel Alphof starts from £509 based on two sharing, including flights

from Gatwick and resort transfers. thomsonlakes.

trail, an 800-metre free-ride descent that drops 150 metres in elevation as it traverses the village’s dramatic, verdant scenery. Or suggest one of several other adventure activities in the area. White-water rafting, kayaking and canyoning are all possible around Brandenberg with Sport Ossi, or for a more serene affair there’s paragliding from €95.

It’s not all about soaring heights and breathtaking landscapes though. Dairy farms open in summer, including Schönanger Alm in Wildschönau, where you can sample award-winning cheeses and learn how they are made. I came back armed with enough to last me through to the next century (tours are free with the sightseeing card or €3 otherwise). Nearby there’s the Steinerhof farm, where Schnapps made from turnips has been produced since 1840, and tastes every bit as bizarre and overpowering as it sounds. For clients with a sweeter

tooth, recommend wine tasting at the 500-year-old cellar in the Böglerhof hotel back in Alpbach. It’s also home to an excellent restaurant serving fresh lake fish and traditional dishes in a historic,

wood-furnished room that dates back to the 14th century. The Tirol isn’t short on good

food options more generally, with the likes of schnitzel, groestl and kaiserschmarrn (shredded, doughy pancake doused in apple sauce) appearing on just about every menu around. And with clear skies, warm sun and stunning views to accompany them, the food – like the region itself – is just as good in summer as it is in winter, if not better.

Tried &Tested HOTEL ALPHOF

Designed like a wooden farmhouse, the four-star Hotel Alphof takes you to the heart of the traditional Tirol with a cosy fireside bar, atmospheric restaurant and spacious rooms filled with unique Tirolean character. The terrace offers spectacular views over the surrounding mountains, and the spa and pool provide an ideal spot in which to relax at the end of an active day.

TOP: Hiking and cycling around


RIGHT: Cheese- making on a dairy farm

21 July 2016 43

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