MCoA - Tyrol My Corner of Austria

My Corner of Austria: Hayley Maguire in Oberndorf in Tirol (Bezirk Kitzbühel)

Having met a local while in Canada in 2014, Hayley and her fiancé returned to Oberndorf in 2020 after the first lockdown.

Hiking in the Wilder Kaiser
Ski Touring

What brought you to your corner of Austria?

Love. I met my fiancé (who is from Oberndorf) in Canada in 2014. We first moved to Austria in 2016, then we went over to the UK to live in 2018. In 2020, following the first lockdown, we decided to move back to Austria. It was a good decision and I feel very settled here.

What tradition or custom is typical for your corner of Austria?

There are quite of few so it’s hard to just pick one. There is a strong culture in Tyrol and locals are very proud of their heritage. We live next to Kitzbühel and we are surrounded by ski resorts, so winter sports and connecting with nature play a big part in the lifestyle here. As Joanne Newton and Fiona Zorzi have both mentioned there are more traditional customs like welcoming the cows in the autumn when they are moved back to the valleys from the mountain pastures (Almabtrieb). Or Feuerbrennen in the summer when the longest day of the year is celebrated with bonfires on the mountains.

What would you recommend to a visitor who was visiting to see and do?

Explore the mountains. Even if you don’t like skiing, you can still go snow shoeing or use the gondola and there is nothing better than having lunch with friends at a mountain hut on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the winter. The views are just amazing. Then in the summer there are countless hiking trails and lakes to enjoy. This part of Austria really is a nature playground and we are spoilt for choice with activities.

Where do you recommend for going to eat or having a drink?

For a traditional Tyrolean mountain hut experience, I have to recommend Stangalm. If you want a pub meal, then head to the Black Sheep, which is run by an Austrian and a New Zealander. The Black Sheep serves amazing pub food and craft beers and the place has a great atmosphere with a mixture of locals and foreigners as regular customers. For a more upscale experience, head to Hotel Post in neighbouring St. Johann and ask to sit in the Weinstüberl, or to Masianco, also in St. Johann.

How can your corner of Austria be reached (by car or public transport)?

My corner of Austria can be reached by car or train, but car is definitely the easiest form of transport here. If you are wanting to get here by train, the RailJet services stopping in Wörgl Hbf as the best to get, and from Wörgl, the REX 2 service (towards Kufstein) takes about 45 minutes to Oberndorf in Tirol.

Does anyone famous come from your corner of Austria?

Oberndorf’s most famous son is the artist and architect Alfons Walde. Unsurprisingly many of his paintings are of winter scenes, including a number featuring skiing. Some of his pictures are on display in the Museum Galerie in nearby Kitzbühel. German footballer and football manager, Franz “The Kaiser” Beckenbauer has also had a house in the village for many years.

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Hayley Maguire is a copywriter and journalist, based in Tirol. She works with agencies and independent businesses around the world, as well as regularly contributing to The Local Austria.

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