The Leutasch Valley is an unbeatable location for an active outdoor winter vacation. With 150 miles of ski trails to explore, walking and rodeling (sledding) routes, cozy mountain restaurants serving warm apple strudel, jingling sleigh rides through the woods at dusk, and good company at dinner all make for a wonderful winter getaway. This tranquil winter setting of classic Tyrolean farmhouses, rich forests and beautiful alpine scenery blanketed with snow is an idyllic location for a cross-country ski vacation. Beginners will be very content with the long open stretches of flat terrain, intermediates will enjoy the nearby gentle hills, and experts will find plenty of challenge, including the nearby 25-kilometer Olympic Loop.
Situated just northwest of Innsbruck on the German-Bavarian border, the beautiful Austrian village of Obern in the Leutasch Valley will be our base for this 8-day tour. The Leutasch Valley, surrounded by the beautiful Wetterstein and Karwendal Mountains and dominated by Hohe Munde of the Mieminger range, is one of the premier cross-country ski areas in all of Europe. Host to cross-country ski events for both the ’56 and ’76 Winter Olympic Games, the valley now embraces miles and miles of groomed and tracked trails for both skating and classic skiing.
Whether we ski down through the fairy-tale-like woods and meadows of the Gaistal Valley, along the broad and pastoral Leutascher Ache, or through the Hochmoos hills to the Olympic resort town of Seefeld, you will be stunned by the mountain scenery and the endless skiing opportunities. Located along the trails are cafes and restaurants where you can relax, watch the others skiers go by, have a strudel and an excellent cup of coffee, or a cup of gluewein, a warm, spiced wine popular with the Austrians!
The Leutaschtal is unique in that it is primarily for cross-country skiing. With only one ski lift for downhill skiers, the valley remains rural, peaceful and quiet.
At the end of the day we will return to the hotel, located near the ski trail. This 4-star hotel offers all the amenities to ensure a great trip. After a day of skiing, relaxing in the pool, sauna or solarium can thaw out chilled bones and soothe sore muscles. The hotel makes each guest feel welcome and offers genuine hospitality in a relaxed, friendly manner that makes it hard to leave at the end of our stay.
Day 1: Independent travel to the hotel in Leutasch, about 30 minutes by train or taxi from the Innsbruck Airport. Welcome dinner.
One morning during the week there will be an opportunity for a short clinic or mini lesson. Each evening we will discuss options for the next day. We will offer a morning and an afternoon guided ski, or an all-day route where we stop for lunch at a restaurant or enjoy a picnic along the trail. There are numerous ski loops in and around the area. Those listed below are just a few of the many options. We may ski as a group, or you may choose to ski on your own, meeting for lunch. It is often possible to use the bus to shorten your ski and return to the hotel, or stop at one of the many outdoor decks and take in the view!
Day 2: For those who are renting ski equipment, we begin skiing from the nearby village of Weidach. Heading northeast from Weidach, we follow the stream of Leutascher Ache as it meanders its way through the Unterleutasch. Passing through broad snow-covered fields guarded by mural-decorated farmhouses, then edging the valley through rich woodlands, we finally emerge at Gasthof Zur Brucke for lunch. Here we can enjoy a hot bowl of Goulash soup or plate of Bavarian dumplings. We then cross to the other side of the valley and loop back through the fields to the hotel.
Day 3: Leaving the hotel and heading back in the direction of Weidach, we will be skiing through the hamlets of the Leutasch Valley; Klamm, Obern, Kirkplatzl, and Plaik. In the afternoon, we can explore the woods of the Bichlwald trail as we ski near the base of the towering Hohe Munde (8,800′), which dominates this end of the valley.
Day 4: Free/Rest day. This is an opportunity to rest sore muscles, venture into Innsbruck, or ski!
Day 5: A more challenging ski will take us up the Gaistal Valley to the Gaistal Alm (conditions permitting). Though an uphill climb on the way there, the return is quite easy, as we glide back downhill to our hotel.
Day 6: Today we will head in the direction of Seefeld, skiing through Moos, Muggenmoos, Wildmoos, and the rich forests of the Hochmoos. Moos is German for moss; it is what kept the Leutasch Valley from being as developed as the valley near Seefeld, which had better farmland and more grazing area for cows. After stopping for lunch at the Wildmoosalm restaurant, we can return to Leutasch by way of the Lottensee, or wind our way down into Seefeld to explore its cobblestone streets, window shop, or stop for an afternoon cake and coffee break at one of its many cafés. Then we’ll transfer back to Obern by bus.
Day 7: Skiing the Katzenloch Loipe (cross-country ski trail), which brings us out to the high plateau above the Inn Valley, this run takes us though open meadows, by lively cafés and through the forests, back to the open valley of Obern.
Day 8: The trip will end at the hotel on the morning of the last day.
Non-Skiers or for a Day off: As well as excellent skiing for all abilities, there is a huge network of packed, easy and moderate walking trails. These trails often run parallel to the ski runs, as well as winding though the woods. They, too, are well marked. Stones and sawdust are laid down for traction. For best results, we have found that walkers use walking sticks and special ice traction cleats worn over boots. These special cleats can be purchased in the village. Note, though, that the walking options will not always be guided.
Yoga – New for 2016: Each morning and evening we will offer some light yoga. All abilities are welcome to join. Missy Hatch, our wonderful yoga instructor, keeps the yoga fun.
Note: Not all options will be guided or offered due to weather, time or ability. The options and descriptions above are not a complete representation of the area; they merely help to describe what this great area has to offer. Again, the area is expertly groomed and marked and participants, regardless of ability, will be able to fully enjoy the valley.
Weather Note: The weather can be very fickle. Though we always have enough snow to ski on most all of the trails, please be prepared for some walking if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate and/or for a change in the daily itinerary.
Singles: If you wish to have your own room there is a single supplement charge of $500. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, there will be a forced single charge of $250.
All accommodations with private bath, all buffet breakfasts, hearty afternoon snack served at the hotel, all dinners, buses and trains included in guided ski options, ski pass, ski map, guides, great skiing, great memories!
Air fare, transfer to or from the hotel on the first and last days, ski rentals and equipment, race fees, if any, lunches (other than what is served at the hotel), optional/individual transfers or excursions, items not on set dinner menu, beverages, insurance, tips to leaders/guides, items of a personal nature.
Ski rentals are available and easily arranged. The additional cost is about $20 – $25 per day.
This is a hotel-based trip. You are welcome to bring your own skis. Even though you will only need to carry a small day pack during the day, we recommend that you keep your luggage to a size that you can easily manage yourself, especially if you intend to bring skis.
Accommodations and Facilities
For this trip, we will be staying at a very comfortable hotel located in the center of the Leutasch Valley in a hamlet called Kirkplatzal. The hotel is right on the entry point to several ski trails.The rooms are double occupancy with private baths. In the hotel, there is a small lounge area, a bar and a pleasant dining room. There is a sauna and indoor pool. Breakfast buffet, afternoon snack and dinners are served at the hotel.
We recommend you fly directly into Innsbruck, which is only 30 minutes by train or taxi from the hotel in Leutasch. Munich is another choice for an arrival and departure city. This airport is about 3 hours away by train. There are also airport shuttles that run from the Munich and Innsbruck airports to Leutasch. Before buying your ticket, please call us for more detailed travel information.
Who would like this trip?
This is one of our favorite trips. It’s a great trip for those looking for an active but relaxing European winter vacation. The Leutasch valley is an almost fairy-tale-like setting with broad, open, snow-covered fields dotted with small hamlets and old-world chalets. The area offers a variety of activities that appeal to wide range of ages and abilities, including cross country skiing, winter walking, sledding, and downhill skiing.
What makes this trip different
The mountain resort areas of Seefeld and Leutasch offer an amazingly extensive network of cross-country ski, winter walker and rodel (sled) trails. The Alps take on a whole different feel in the winter, when the mountains and villages are blanketed in snow. Taking part in an active European-style winter vacation is wonderfully exhilarating yet peaceful, and well worth experiencing.
Independent travel to our hotel in Leutasch. We will meet as a group at 6:30 pm at the hotel on Day 1.
The trip will end with breakfast at the hotel on the last day.
For a more detailed itinerary and travel information, or to register, please call.
Any hiking trip in the mountains requires a certain amount of effort and proper fitness training will enhance your enjoyment. In the mountains, time and elevation gain or loss as opposed to distance, tend to be the determining factors when defining hiking grades or level of difficulty. We have done our best to grade our trips consistently, please contact us for further clarification. We are happy to offer names of past participants.
Easy: Hike 3 to 4 hours daily carrying a day pack on generally gentle terrain. Distances from 4 to 8 miles. Elevation gain and loss 500' to 1,500'.
Moderate: Hike an average of 4 to 5 hours daily on varied terrain. Distances from 5 to 9 miles. Elevation gains and losses generally 1,500' to 2,500' or about 2 hours.
Strenuous: Hike 5 to 7 hours daily on varied terrain, with consistent ascents and descents of 2 to 3 or more hours generally 2,500' - 3,500'. Distances from 6 to 11 miles. There are some sections that include steep uphill and downhills.
Strenuous Plus: 5 to 8 hours partly on rocky, challenging terrain with consistent steep ascents and descents of 2 to 3 or more hours generally 3,000'-5,000'. Distances from 6 to 15 miles. Though each day is not strenuous plus there are some sections that may include rough terrain and open and exposed trails.