Stubaital, Tyrol: Skiing Ressort & Hiking Paradise
The Stubaital is a valley in Tyrol (Tirol) and internationally famous for its skiing opportunities - most importantly in and around Neustift im Stubaital, one of Austria′s busiest skiing towns. The Stubaital occupies a central location in the Stubaier Alpen, a mountain range, and like most valleys, it has a river in the middle; in this specific case, the river Ruetz. The Stubaital is approximately 30 kilometres long and runs in a south-western direction, branching off from the Inntal (the main valley of Tyrol) at the town of Schönberg.
The main community in the Stubaital is not Neustift, but Fulpmes - itself a rather popular skiing and hiking resort. In total, the Stubaital is divided up between five communities: Schönberg Mieders, Telfs, Fulpmes and Neustift. The settlement structure of the Stubaital depends on where you are: Following the course of the valley from its beginning down to Fulpmes, villages can be found at the flanks of the mountains on both sides of the river. Beyond Fulpmes, these flanks spread out at the base of the valley, where the rest of the villages are located.
At Neustift, a side-valley branches off, the so-called Pinnistal. Further down the Stubaital (but still in Neustift, at the hamlet of Milders), the Stubaital branches out in two "wings", the Unterbergtal and the Oberbergtal. At the end of the Unterbergtal, you will find the Stubaier Gletscher, a glacier particularly popular among skiers. For more information on glacial skiing, please see my article on "Summer Skiing on Austrian Glaciers".
Hiking, Skiing & Sightseeing in the Stubaital Valley
The highest mountain of the Stubaier Alpen is the Zuckerhütl ("Little Sugarhead"), quite a dominant appearance in the Stubaital. The Zuckerhütl has famously appeared on one of the first photographs that were published in the photo gallery here on TourMyCountry.com, annno domini 2006. The Zuckerhütl is 3,505 metres high, a rather attractive mountain and popular among hikers and mountaineers. Another popular hiking destination is Grawa waterfall; you will find it approximately 3.5 kilometres south of the village Ranalt. At Fulpmes, you will find a river power plant - that much about attractions.
If you have a look at the official website of the Stubaital (see below), you might get the impression that the Stubaital is the best valley in all of Austria. Beware: The Tyrolean tourism mafia is the most ruthless in all of Austria - that much about superlatives - and the Stubaital is just another valley with good infrastructure and great scenery. The two things the valley is really good at is to provide for highly enjoyable and easily accessible skiing during the winter season and hiking in the summer. Speaking of hiking: Note the "Stubaier Höhenweg", a hiking path that follows the course of almost the entire valley.
Getting from the Stubaital to the Inntal with various attractions is easy, both by public means of transport and even more so by car. Attractions there include the monastery of Stams, Imst, Innsbruck and Seefeld. Much of central Tyrol, essentially. A bit further down the Inntal Valley, you will get to Hall and Schwaz in Tirol.
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