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This valley town on Austria’s German border is a gold mine for wellness, outdoor activities and delicious local produce, providing an ideal catch-them-all getaway for time-poor urbanites looking to escape the city sprawl.
It’s known throughout Austria as “the pearl of the Tirol”, is just a train ride from Munich and has a nature/ culture equilibrium similar to that of its larger siblings, Innsbruck and Salzburg. This year, Kufstein is on our radar as an off-the-beaten track Austrian city we want to get to know.
If this meandering valley town is a pearl, consider the encircling Kaiser Mountains its meaty oyster, offering a slew of outdoor activities coupled with a wholesome dining scene. From the mountains themselves, dotted with hikers in summer and traversed by skiers in winter, to the medieval city centre which is scored by the sparkling River Inn, Kufstein has retained a nostalgic charm, making it an attractive getaway for urbanites looking to escape the daily grind.
It’s a place where those with enough get-up-and-go can feast on an endless buffet of mountain-top vistas; where natural beauty is distilled into meditative freshwater spas, food is laced with hillside herbs (Kufsteinerland has the highest density of organic farms in the Unterland), and the “Heldenorgel” – the largest free-standing organ in the world – ricochets off the surrounding peaks at midday, everyday.
To really probe Kufstein’s crannies, including the eight gorgeous satellite villages dotted across the surrounding valley, we suggest grabbing an e-bike or asking your hotel concierge for a Kufsteinerland card – an unlimited access pass to Kufstein’s public transport network which will also get you in to some of the valley’s main draws. Otherwise, zip across altitudes by cable car or go on foot.
This crescent-shaped hotel is an architectural marvel that blends into the hills surrounding Kufstein. A spa hotel with a focus on health, guests can sign themselves up to one of the hotel’s expertly devised programmes covering anything from mental health to muscle pain or detoxing. Alternatively, head into the hills for a spot of mountain biking or snowshoeing depending on the season. Don’t worry about arranging your own equipment or plotting routes: the hotel staff are clued up on the best trails and will kit you out with the requisite gear and information.
- +43 5332 20800
- Go to Website
Heading into the hills? This mountain lodge is undoubtedly the area’s best-placed base camp for adrenaline-pumping hikes with screensaver-esque vistas. Inside, walls are lined with Austrian timber panels and hung with vintage ski paraphernalia, while wood-fired ceramic stoves keep weary skiers toasty during the winter.
- +43 664 3559094
- Go to Website
Run by the Fahringer family, these recently outfitted apartments serve homely hospitality with modern panache. Appartement Viktoria is the largest of the bunch, sleeping up to four and equipped with a sauna heated by infrared lamps (better for your health, apparently), as well as a steam room which uses water drawn straight from the mountain. Viktoria has a loyal following in Kufstein, in large part due to her cookery school which sits just beneath the apartments. Her restaurant, The Gourmet Tavern Tiroler Hof, is just a flight of stairs away and well worth checking out.
- +43 5372 62331
- Go to Website
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