Almost every year we take a winterbreak and go to a ski destination. Not to ski, but to enjoy the snowy landscapes. But this time we had a bit of bad luck; Yuri got a fever and couldn’t do anything. Paul and I decided to go for short walks in the area separately. One of us stayed with Yuri and the other one explored the surroundings. After lunch we switched, and the other one followed the same route. This way we made 4 beautiful winter walks near Götzens in Austria, before Yuri felt better and could go out and explore a bit with us. Mind you, we didn’t follow specific tours, but made up our own, following signs, to the surrounding towns. In the following text I describe the 4 winter walks in Götzens we undertook.
The first of the 4 winter walks in Götzens is in the town of Götzens itself. Götzens is a beautiful village in the Alps, in the shadow of Innsbrück. The first day Paul and I both went for a sunny walk through the town of Götzens. It’s a small town with, besides a ski-lift, not much to do. But there are beautiful houses with wood and paintings.
I love walking, especially when the sun is shining and I see snow covered mountains all around me. The town is surrounded by them. The small town has a church, chapel, ski-lift and several hotels.
This wasn’t a long walk, paved road all the way. No snow on the sidewalks, so an easy walk. Only a bit of height difference, except the path up the mountain, but all moderate.
2.Panoramaweg Götzens-Neu Götzens/Mutters
For the second of the winter walks in Götzens , we wet up the mountain. This walking path takes you through forest with open clearings. That day we had a sky covered with clouds, but the view was still pretty. The panoramas contained the mountains on the other side of the valley and the villages in the valley.
It was fun and kind of relaxing walking in the fresh mountain air. Although it’s a workout you have a good feeling about yourself afterwards.
A good walk with excellent views and even a few nanda’s and goats along the way (behind the fence) from a farmer. We followed the panoramaweg from the start of the ski-lift to Neu-Götzens and then to Mutters. We didn’t leave the panoramaweg to go into the villages. We just turned around after an hour and walked the same way back. All in all we both walked 2,5 hours back and forth from the hotel. The panoramaweg is a gravel path and on several places there was still snow, glazed frost or melted snow which had turned mushy.
We had our snowboots on which made the walking easy. At some spots the snow was still high and my boots went in deep.
Almost everywhere along the path there were electricity lines in view, but only hindering when taking pictures.
The third of the winter walks in Götzens was on the same mountain as the second walk, but in the other direction. This day we had a clear blue sky, which is perfect for any walk, but especially in the mountains. On Tuesday we had followed the panoramaweg towards Mutters, this day we went the other way and followed the signs Birgitz and Axams. The beginning of the path followed the stations of the Cross. The beginning of the path goes up and provides views of the town of Götzens with snowcapped mountains in the background. The path then runs through a forest, partly next to a wall. When leaving the forest, cleared land offers beautiful panoramas on Birgitz, Axams and the mountains surrounding the valley. Again electricity cables in view, which makes shooting killer photo’s hard, since they block the cute villages and snow covered mountains.
The panoramaweg was much longer, but when reaching Axams we decided to go down into town and walk back to the hotel through Axams and Birgitz. All three villages have beautiful craftmanship houses. The chalets are adorned with crafted wood and paintings. The towns are picturesque, not just from above, looking down from the mountains, but also while walking through them. To see the cottages with colorful shutters and small towers is a feast for the eye. I couldn’t get enough of it. Every town had a beautiful white church with a grey or red roof.
The walk took us 2 hours, starting and ending at our hotel. There was not a lot of snow on the panoramaweg, only a few spots. There was no snow at all on the pavement in the towns. There were height differences all along our route, but it was all in all still moderate. On a sidenote we walked the route without Yuri, but the pavement through the towns followed the main road, on which the trucks and most of the traffic drives. It would have been scary to me if Yuri had walked next to me.
In conclusion it was a joy to walk in the mountains with the sun shining in your face, looking at the snowcapped mountains and fields and walking through the villages watching the workmanshiphomes.
Although we walked almost the same route, Paul’s was the most beautiful, since the whole forest was covered in snow. This is the last of the winter walks in Götzens we undertook, this time we went down the mountain.
Völs is in a valley that lies lower than the valley Götzens is in. The waldweg winds down the mountain through the forest. There are some mountain panorama’s surrounding the valley.
It had snowed the evening and night before Paul took his walk. He had blue sky with some clouds. I had a clouded grey sky, and the snow hadn’t fallen yet.
Paul took the longer route since he didn’t turn around before the village of Völs. He visited the town as well and had some coffee at a bakery there.
The whole path back and forth takes approximately 1,5 till 2 hours. It’s a hardened path, partly sand and gravel. The beginning is a concrete small road. The route was downhill the whole way to Völs, back is only uphill. It’s not steep, it’s just a winding road.
I hope this blog has shown you that even when you don’t ski, you can still enjoy Austria in winter!
Further for more information about Gotzens, check the website of the city of Innsbruck . Gotzens is close to Innsbruck.
If being in the snow is to cold for you, and you want some sun than check out this blog about the Dordogne in France.