We've enjoyed winter hiking in Switzerland (Berner-Oberland) and the Val Gardena/Italian Dolomites, now we are thinking of trying Austria in February. The Pillersee Tal region of the Kitzbühel Alps looks great and advertises many kilometers of trails for all levels of skill. Does anyone on the board have familiarity? I am looking at a half-board package as it seems restaurants are non-existent. Or should we stay in Feiberbrunn? Thinking St. Jakob looks more quaint.
We spent 10 days in the PillerseeTal late January 2014. We were based at the Fiberbrunn Sporthotel Fontana http://www.sporthotel-fontana.at/en/ as part of a US cross country ski group.
Fiberbrunn is somewhat centrally located in the PillerseeTal, located at the confluence of two valleys with Hochfilzen at the high end of the eastern valley and St Jakob, St. Ulrich and Waidring on the western branch. We reached Fiberbrunn by regional train from Salzburg. No car needed. (We did take a taxi from the train station to the hotel.)
The PillerseeTal is served by a FREE local bus service that runs fairly frequently. We could take the local bus from our Fiberbrunn hotel to Hochfilzen, ski from Hochfilzen to St. Ulrich, then return to Fieberbrunn by bus, stopping at the Cafe Laurens & Lena http://www.cafe-laurens-lena.at at one end of Fieberbrunn for a coffee and kuchen before hopping back on the bus to our hotel at the other end of town. There are grocery stores (beer, snacks, baked goods etc) at both ends of Fieberbrunn, one a short walk from the Sporthotel.
Given that we were with a group, we were on the half board meal plan. The Sporthotel Fontana's breakfasts were big with a breakfast board selection and dinners were multi-course (with a salad bar starter). We could pretty much get by with a light midday snack.
The PillerseeTal grooms winter trails. The winter walking trails are packed firm such that walkers seem to just walk with hiking boots. No snowshoes needed. The cross country ski tracks are separate from the walking tracks. Some ski tracks are groomed for classic skiing only and some for skate skiing reducing user conflicts. The tourist information center had a nice map of "Cross-country skiing and winter walking".
Interactive map: http://maps.kitzalps.com/en/
Here's a link to a winter cross country trail map (similar to the paper copy that I got from the TI):
You can download a PDF of the walking tracks:
"Winterwanderwag" (green) are the walking tracks. "Loipe" are the cross country ski tracks.
The "beleuchtet" (yellow) tracks a lighted for night skiing.
Edgar, the fellow Oregonian (we'll be back some day!) thanks you! Fabulous info. I am excited to visit!
Snowing up at Crater Lake but only rain and leaves falling here on the valley floor.
Revisiting my PillerseeTal photo album brought back memories of a fresh snow, blue sky day of skiing the Hochfilzen tracks. We stopped at the Gasthof Wiesenseehof and enjoyed hot cocos sitting outside enjoying the snow covered landscape. http://www.wiesenseehof.at The Gesthof website's winter photos really do look as wonderful as depicted.
If the nature goes to sleep under a puffy blanket of crystal white
powder snow and the frost glistening on the trees in the bright
sunlight, then winter dreams come true. With us you can buckle up
right outside the front door, the cross-country skis and get on the
well-groomed trail network, which takes you for kilometers through the
impressive winter landscape. Or take a hike on one of the specially
rolled walks and can be the crunch of snow under your feet, enchant
the snow-covered meadows and forests. As a reward for the effort you
can enjoy a cozy place in our fireplace or enjoy, cuddly wrapped and
with a cup of hot chocolate, the radiant winter sun on our terrace.
Snow-forecast.com E-mail alert reports:
3 Day Forecast for Fieberbrunn at 1425m altitude Issued: 12 am Sun 22
Nov local time
Latest detailed forecast for Fieberbrunn may be newer - updates every
A moderate fall of snow, heaviest on Sat night. Temperatures will be
below freezing (max -5°C on Sat night, min -7°C on Sat night). Wind
will be generally light.