Innsbruck & the Alps - "Bisch a Tiroler, bisch a Mensch" goes the proud cry in Austria's Tirol. It means "If you're a Tyrolean, you're for real." The Tyroleans have good reason to feel special, cut off from the rest of Austria - and from the rest of Europe as well - by towering mountains on every side. This is truly a land apart, difficult to reach but well worth the effort. Its name, by the way, is spelled Tirol in German, and Tyrol in English.
Land Tirol's history goes back at least to the Copper Age, evidence of which exists in the 5,300-year-old body of Ötzi the Iceman, found buried in the ice in the Ötztal Alps southwest of Innsbruck and just yards inside Italy. First discovered in 1991 by two German tourists, Ötzi now resides in a museum in Bolzano.
Although Tyroleans may at times seem a wee bit provincial, as mountain folk often are, their capital of Innsbruck is anything but. Being smack in the center of the Tyrol and at the crossroads of major rail lines and highways, Innsbruck is the perfect base for exploring the best the Tyrol has to offer.
Innsbruck and the Alps can be used in two different ways, both as structured self-guided tours and as individual attractions chosen from drop-down lists.
This guide features 14 suggested one-day do-it-yourself tours both in and around Innsbruck and throughout the neighboring Alps in Austria and Germany, using Innsbruck as your base. All of these can be done by public transportation, or by car if you prefer.
Step-by-step instructions are given in the text and can be followed on the maps in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen, which enlarges to fill the screen when touched.
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