Seefeld: Tyrol′s Hiking & Mountaineering Capital
Once upon a time, Seefeld was a tranquil village in the Alpine county of Tyrol. No more: These days, Seefeld is quite a large community dominated by modern hotels that accommodate an extensive hiking-industry during the summer months and a smaller, yet still significant number of skiers during the winter season. By any means, Seefeld is among the top-destinations for hiking and mountaineering as visitors can easily tell from the sheer number of hotels and hostels.
In terms of sightseeing, the opportunities are rather limited. Explore the village by just walking around for a bit. With not doubt you will recognize the natural beauty of the alpine surroundings, this is what Seefeld and its surroundings are really famous for. If you really want to see old buildings, go to the Parish church, dedicated to St Oswald. According to a rather gruesome legend, a local man named after this saint once dishonoured communion by taking a wafer normally given only to priests.
As sort of a punishment, a crack in the ground opened and Oswald was swallowed up by the earth. The communion wafer he had illicitly taken was found on the church floor, soaked with the blood of Christ. It was preserved in a shrine now located in the adjacent Blutskapelle ("Blood Chapel"). The interiors of the church are worth a closer look, otherwise, move to the nearby Seekirche ("Lake Church"), a popular post-card motive. The small lake Wildsee invite visitors for a swim or hike around its shore.
Hiking rather than Sightseeing
There are a few old farmhouses preserved, mostly around the parish church. However, what you really want to do in Seefeld is hiking in the surroundings mountains. There are several routes that you can access directly from the village. Cable cars, hut-to-hut routes and several picturesque mountains nearby make Seefeld the perfect base for hiking excursions. Keep in mind that you will require proper shoes and other gear for safe mountaineering. Sun-blockers are also particularly important in high altitudes. Don′t make the mistake to go to Seefeld for two days of hiking just because you think it′s part of a proper Austria-trip.
Hiking in the Tyrolian Alps can be great fun and add memorable days to your trip, but it will also require some preparation and proper gear. This includes hiking maps - simply go to the local tourist information centre and ask for advice. Match the route with your skills and physical shape. There are plenty of peaks worth attacking; ask in particular for the Harmelkoch, the Seefelder Spitze and the Seefelder Joch. For specific huts, just choose them according to how far you want to go - most huts are pretty similar anyway (and sell equally expensive food).
Since hiking generally appeals to the not-so-young among the tourists, Seefeld has also invested a lot of attention to the establishment of other Alpine sports. Today, the village offers great infrastructure for paragliding, mountain biking, wild-water rafting, rock climbing and other sports. Packages usually come with a rental fee for the equipment and a guide. Prices match with the general level of Seefeld (meaning: it′s pricey).
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