What brought you to your corner of Austria?
Another cliché. Way back in 1989 I met an Austrian whilst working on the Channel Islands and followed him to Obergurgl. Worked in a hotel alongside Gerry Friedle, better known as DJ Ötzi and and whilst trying to learn how to pronounce “pfiati” and “Oachkatzelschwoaf” fell in love with the Alps. After a couple of stints back and forth to the UK and a change of Austrian, from Styrian to Tyrolean, I somehow ended up in Seefeld, a beautiful village on a plateau and only a 20 minute drive from Innsbruck, and 33 years later have never looked back.
What tradition or custom is typical of your corner of Austria?
A lot of the customs and traditions here are most probably typical of most Austrian villages and are connected to religious dates. We have “Fasnacht” Carnival Time in February, which is normally celebrated with processions and presents a symbolic fight between Winter and Spring. I love “Palmsonntag” with small children running around with mini maypoles decorated with colourful ribbons and small pretzels. In June we have Summer Solstice and Herz Jesu, where the surrounding mountains are ablaze with symbols, mostly hearts and crosses and pretty amazing to see.
Autumn is “Almabtrieb” time where cows, goats and sheep are brought down from their summer holiday high up the mountains. This is also celebrated with a huge procession of mostly decorated cows making a lot of noise and blocking roads as they go. And wearing a Dirndl or Lederhosen to as many of these events as possible, is a must!
What would you recommend to a visitor who was visiting to see or do?
If you like outdoor sports, this is the place to be! Seefeld offers just about every kind of winter sport going, boasting nearly 240km of cross country tracks and has hosted Olympic games and most recently the 2019 Nordic Winter Championships. There’s sledging, snow tubing, ice skating and for the not so sporty miles and miles of beautiful forest paths. Summertime offers swimming in the local lake, the Wildsee, bike and hike trails to the Karwendel, mountain climbing and 2 fabulous golf courses.
The lifts at the Rosshütte Bergbahn are open in Winter and Summer and will take you up to the Seefelder Joch at 2060m with breathtaking views and an easy way to get a gipfel photo. There’s also a really cool play park for kids up there.
Definitely visit the Seekirchl, Seefeld’s namesake, which is a beautiful small chapel that was once surrounded by a lake. Or just relax in the public saunas at the Olympia Centre.
Where would you recommend to go to eat or drink?
Most definitely the restaurant I work at, Gasthof Hirschen in Leithen, just recently won a poll did on the best restaurants on the plateau. It’s a traditional down to earth Wirtshaus. I would also recommend the Dorfkrug in Mösern, a 2 minute drive or 20 minute walk from Seefeld.
For coffee and cake, Peintner in the pedestrian zone in the centre of Seefeld and if you’re just looking for a place to sit and people watch with an Aperol Spritz then the Platzhirsch, also in the centre. The outdoor tennis courts have a club house with terrace where you can have a drink and stare at my favourite mountain (the Hocheder) to your hearts content.
How can your corner of Austria be reached (by car or public transport)?
Seefeld is easily reachable by car travelling from the East or West on the A12 and then heading up the Zirler Berg on B177 or from Germany through Garmisch and Mittenwald. Alternatively the train line between Innsbruck and Munich runs through Seefeld and makes stops here almost hourly.
Does anyone famous come from your corner of Austria?
Anton (Toni) Seelos! An alpine world champion skier who invented the parallel turn in the 1930s. The ski jump in Seefeld is named after him. Can I just mention here that the Eddie the Eagle film was partly filmed in Seefeld 🙂
Want to tell us about your corner of Austria?
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