Brixental Valley, Tyrol
The Brixental is a valley in the Austrian province of Tyrol. It is situated at the south-east of the Inntal, the main valley that runs through Tyrol, and is approximately 30 kilometres long. Inntal and Brixental meet at the industrial town of Wörgl. From 1312 until the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Brixental was part of Salzburg. Until today, it is at least spiritually part of Salzburg: The diocese still includes the former Tyrolean possessions. The river that runs through the Brixental is called Brixentaler Ache; it runs into the mountains around Kitzbühel.
The Bixental belongs to the district of Kitzbühel and much like this town, the Brixental is also well-known for its excellent skiing facilities and slopes. During the summer season, the Brixental offers good opportunities for hiking and all the Alpine delights foreign tourists could possibly ask for - combined with the asset that it is within fairly easy reach from Salzburg for those who want to combine a few days in Tyrol with a tour through other parts of Austria.
However, do not look for too much authenticity - it left Tyrol at some point in the 1960ies and has not returned. The valley defines also the course of a railway, the Salzburg-Tiroler-Bahn that was opened in 1875. The landscape of the Brixental is not as harsh as many other Tyrolean valleys; the surrounding mountains are relatively gentle and often forested.
Mountains & Skiing Areas of the Brixental
There are two mountains that are almost 2,000 metres high: The Hohe Salve, an important landmark of 1,828 metres; and the Gampenkogel with 1,957 metres. The main town of the Brixental is Hopfgarten, an important skiing town. At Hopfgarten, the Brixental makes a 70 degree curve. Other important places - especially with respect to tourism - are Kirchberg (where I spent my first vacation at the tender age of four) and Brixen im Thale. The part of the Brixental that is further away from the Inntal is getting more narrow, but remains easily accessible via the major road of the valley.
Between Westendorf and Hopfgarten, the Brixentaler Ache passes a tight gorge; the main road follows the course of the river, whereas the railway makes a wide curve around the gorge. In case you like gorges and hiking through them, note also the gorge at the village Itter. There are several side-valleys branching off the Brixental: The
Nasenbachtal, the Luechertal and the Bruggtal; the Schönbachtal at
Hopfgarten, the Kelchsauer Ache and the Windauer Ache; and the
Spertental at Kirchberg, ultimately leading to Kitzbühel.
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