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The Hidden Gem of the Austrian Alps Tux Austria

Tux, Austira is a 365 days a year vacation paradise located in the Austrian Alps. Little known outside of Europe, it is one of the newest and most diverse nature and sport resort areas in Europe. With year round glacier skiing at over 10,000 feet, and hundreds of miles of marked hiking trails, Tux appeals to almost any nature and sport lover.Tux is a municipality consisting of five villages, Tux-Vorderlanersbach, Tux-Lanersbach, Juns, Madseit, and Hintertux, which stretches 5 miles through the Zillertal (Ziller Valley) and dead ends in the Hintertux Glacier.

The villages of Tux start out at a height of 4,260 feet and peak at the top of the Hintertux Glacier at 10,660 feet.Tux is best known for its skiing, and the belongs to the Ski and Glacier World 3000 which includes the Hintertux Glacier, Eggalm, Rastkogel, Finkenberg, and Mayrhofen. This conglomerate of ski areas has over 140 miles of trails, served by 62 lifts capable of moving around 107,000 people per hour! This is all available under a unified lift ticket which costs around $30 a day.In Tux itself, the center of skiing is the village of Hintertux, situated at 4,920 feet above sea level directly at the bottom of the Hintertux Glacier. It is the home of the gondolas which take you to the top, and thus the base station for skiing and all other glacier activities. Hintertux, like the other Tux villages, is built in the traditional Tiroler style and has numerous hotels, some located just feet from the gondolas, ski-shops, and a few bars and a disco.

The Hintertux Glacier itself is 10,660 feet above sea level at the peak and has over 53 miles of trails and 21 lifts. In winter, you can ski down to 4,920 meters, giving you over a half hour of ski time if you ski at a moderate pace. In summer however, only the top third of the mountain is open to skiing, allowing you to ski down to 6,900 feet. In addition to the miles of groomed trails, Hintertux also allows and encourages off piste skiing. In winter, as in summer, there is a good amount of powder, often waist deep, and a literally endless supply of off piste opportunities. For those less experienced with the glacier, there are guides available who can accompany and guide you when skiing off piste to help you avoid crevices and dangerous areas.

The lifts bringing you to the peak of the Hintertux Glacier are a series of three high speed 6-16 person gondolas. They make the journey from 4,920 feet to 10,660 feet in about 25 minutes and are capable of moving 35,000 people per hour, thus almost completely eliminating wait times even during the most crowded times of the year. Once on the glacier itself, there are numerous chair lifts and t-lifts which are responsible for moving you from one section to another, or taking you back to the top.

In addition to skiing, Tux offers numerous other activities so that even a non skier won't get bored. Activities such as hiking in and around the glacier, paragliding, and spelunking are available year round. Additionally, in winter, you can ice skate, sleigh ride, sled, and cross country ski. In summer, you can mountain bike, swim, and climb. For all of these activities, there are local guides available.Hiking in Hintertux is an experience you will never forget.

Whether you go in summer or winter, spring or fall, there are over 155 miles of hiking trails to try out, 24 of which are maintained in winter. In winter, as in summer, one can hike to the top of the glacier, and enjoy a break at one of the many lakes or restaurants, or take the gondola to the top, and hike down.For those looking for peace and quiet, Tux is the place to go.

You can relax in the thermal baths located in Hintertux, or enjoy one of the numerous spa hotels. In fact, one of the most attractive qualities of Tux is its relative isolation and lack of main-line tourism. Because Tux is relatively new and located over 10 miles from the nearest Autobahn, it doesn't get the same volume of traffic that the big name resorts like Kitzbühel and Solden do. In fact, in contrast to the big name resorts, the majority of visitors to Hintertux are Europeans, not Americans or British! This, in and of itself, makes Hintertux attractive, as it provides American tourists with a true European experience.

But don't worry, the people in Hintertux speak good English!.Another factor which makes Tux so attractive is its friendliness to families. There are numerous activities offered year round for children of all ages. For example, in winter, children can go to ski school, or in summer attend the Kraxel-Maxel outdoor camp!.Overall, Tux, Austria is a sport resort area with enough different options to please any one.

Those looking for peace and quiet will enjoy Tux as much as those looking for a nerve wracking extreme sport experience!.

.Corey Hannum is the president of European Adventure Travel, a provider of guided luxury adventure travel tours in Europe. He is a certified paramedic, and has bachelors' degree in German. In addition, he is a dedicated skier and sports enthusiast.

By: Corey Hannum



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