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Finkenberg is a mountain town in the Tuxer Valley (German: Tuxertal) in Tyrol, Austria. The town is best known for its Tux cattle, an endangered breed of domesticated cattle, and also for the Harakiri which is the steepest groomed ski piste in Austria with a gradient of 78%.

Understand[edit]

1 Tourist Office (Informationsbüro Finkenberg), Dorf 140 (bus stop Finkenberg Dorf), toll-free: +43 5287 8506, fax: +43 5287 8508, . M-F 09:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00; Sa 09:00-12:00. General tourist information, maps, and accommodation. Free.

Climate[edit]

Finkenberg
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
See the Finkenberg forecast at NOAA
Imperial conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Finkenberg has an Alpine climate, so winters tend to be cool and temperatures in summer rarely exceed 25°. Most of the annual precipitation falls during the summer months. From late fall to spring, precipitation falls as rain in the valleys and often as snow on the mountain tops, which makes skiing possible from December until April. Because of global warming, the snow season has been getting shorter however, and snow quality for winter sports deteriorates rapidly by the end of March. Although the ski resort itself will remain open, lower pistes will be closed progressively if there is insufficient snow.

For winter sports, the best time to visit Finkenberg is from December to February. During these months, accommodation is substantially more expensive in and around Finkenberg (sometimes doubling prices for a hotel room), so if you're not visiting for the snow then try to avoid these months if at all possible.

Get in[edit]

See also: Tuxer Valley

By plane[edit]

The closest airport is 1 Innsbruck Airport Innsbruck Airport on Wikipedia (INN IATA) which is about 45 km away from Finkenberg, however, terrain limitations require a massive detour so the overall travel distance is closer to 80 km. From the airport, take bus  F  (for Flughafen) towards the city centre and transfer at the 2 main station Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof on Wikipedia onto the Austrian Rail Network. Take any train that stops in Jenbach, there transfer to the Zillertalbahn (Ziller Valley Railway).

The next closest international airport hub is 3 Munich Airport (MUC IATA) in Germany, which is ca. 170 km to the north. There are good train connections from Munich Airport to Jenbach, usually with a transfer in Kufstein.

By train[edit]

There is no rail infrastructure in the Tuxer Valley, the closest station is 4 Mayrhofen station at the end of the Ziller Valley, which is served by the Zillertalbahn. The scenic Zillertalbahn connects to the national rail network at Jenbach, where transits are possible between Zillertalbahn, Lower Inn Valley Railway, and Achenseebahn at 5 Jenbach station Jenbach railway station on Wikipedia. There are no direct trains to Mayrhofen from Innsbruck, you must transit at Jenbach.

From Mayrhofen station, it's a 4.5 km walk to the town centre of Finkenberg. Alternatively, take the bus.

By bus[edit]

From Mayrhofen station, take bus  4104  direction Hintertux and get off at Finkenberg. Travel time from Mayrhofen is ca. 8 minutes.

By car[edit]

Traveling to Finkenberg by car is not recommended because of the limited parking amenities in town. Rather leave your car in Mayrhofen and take the bus from there. Snow chains are mandatory when entering the Tuxer Valley in winter, so you'll need them to reach Finkenberg. Expect to be fined heavily if you ignore the signs, get stuck in snow or ice on the L6, and block traffic in the entire valley.

Get around[edit]

Although the town centre of Finkenberg is rather small and easily walkable, the administrative territory is vast and stretches to the Italian border. The mountain ridge between Finkenberg and Italy is dotted with peaks over 3,000 m, including the 2 Hochfeiler Gran at 3,500 m. Unless you're a skilled mountaineer with expert equipment and protection from the freezing cold, the furthest you can get is the Schlegeisspeicher, which is ca. 17 km from the Finkenberg town centre. Don't underestimate the journey though, it's a climb of 700 m so a mountain bike is recommended.

In the winter season, from 19.12.2020 – 18.04.2021, there is a ski bus (the Green Line) between Mayrhofen and Hintertux which stops in Finkenberg, and is the easiest way to get around.

See[edit]

The Hochstegen bridge
  • 1 Hochstegen bridge (Straßenbrücke Hochstegen). 24/7. A spectacular 19th century wooden bridge over the Zemmbach canyon. Free. Straßenbrücke Hochstegen (Q37773987) on Wikidata
The Devil's Bridge over the Tux gorge
  • 2 Devil's Bridge (Teufelsbrücke), bus stop Finkenberg Teufelsbrücke. 24/7. Wooden bridge built in 1876 over the 70 m deep Tux gorge. Free.
  • 3 [dead link] Mineral and Crystal Museum (Mineralien- und Kristallmuseum), Persal 204 (bus stop Finkenberg Almbahnen), +43 5285 62089. Guided tours by appointment only.
  • 4 St. Leonhard church (Katholische Pfarrkirche hl. Leonhard), L6. Catholic parish church with characteristic bell tower and spire, dated 1721. Free. (Q38064837) on Wikidata
  • 5 Jesus' Heart chapel (Herz-Jesu-Kapelle). Historic chapel at the entrance of the Tuxer Valley, historically built as a shrine of worship where travelers could pray for prosperity. Nowadays it's rarely open to visitors, but since it's on the L6, everyone who travels into the Tuxer Valley will pass it. Free. (Q37769943) on Wikidata
Descent inside the Schlegeis dam
  • 6 Schlegeis Reservoir. There are guided tours in the dam from June to October. A 2 km² reservoir held back by a spectacular 130 m-tall dam. The water runs through a 7.8 km-long tunnel to a 3 power station to generate hydroelectricity, which drives the ski lifts on the Hintertux glacier. Schlegeisspeicher (Q21875827) on Wikidata
  • 7 Maria Himmelfahrt church, Dornauberg (bus stop Ginzling Naturparkhaus). Parish church of Ginzling. Free.
  • 8 Granatkapelle am Penken. A modern timber chapel in a unique garnet shape, overlooking a small mountain lake. Free.

Do[edit]

Climbing the Schlegeis dam wall
  • 1 Schlegeis 131. A 200 m-high climbing experience, with 1,260 attachment points, at the highest point of the dam. There are 2 routes, one for beginners and one for intermediate climbers, neither of which are for the faint of heart.
  • 2 [dead link] Outdoor swimming pool (Erlebnisfreibad), Persal 216, +43 5285 64590, . 29/05 - 9/09 from 09:00 - 19:00. Large open air swimming pool, only open in summer when temperatures exceed 20°. Adults €6, children €3.

Winter sports[edit]

See also: Tuxer Valley
The Harakiri, the steepest groomed slope in Austria.

Being next to the 3 Penken (2,095 m), Finkenberg is a great destination for winter sports in winter, as it links with the lift and piste infrastructure of Mayrhofen and the nearby peaks 4 Rastkogel, and 5 ​​Eggalm. The most prominent feature of this ski resort is the 6 Harakiri, with an inclination of 78% the steepest groomed piste of Austria. The Harakiri is quite infamous for its difficulty, its inclination causes snow to slide down almost instantly, and the piste is often icy. The Knorren lift offers a good view on the piste, as well as unfortunate skiers tumbling down.

Name Tel. Altitude Sym CableCar.png / Sym SkiLift.png / Sym DragLift.png Sym Skil-L.png / Sym Ski-M.png / Sym Ski-S.png
Penken/Rastkogel/Eggalm +43 528562277 630-2500 m 38 Lifts: 9 / 15 / 14 124 km Pistes: 31 / 66 / 27

The entry point is the 7 Finkenberger Almbahn, a high capacity gondola lift. The Green Line ski bus stops here. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket office directly.

Finkenberg no longer has an official valley run, because the lack of snow in the valley even during winter months as a result of global warming made the maintenance of a groomed valley run unsustainable. The former valley run no longer appears on official trail maps but still exists, some refer to it as an (ungroomed) ski route. When there is sufficient snow in the valley, it's a great way to avoid queuing for the gondola lift in the evening. Its 8 starting point is just behind the new Katzenmoos lift. The valley run follows paths and roads through the forest, and ends up back at the Finkenberger Almbahn. This video shows how to get onto the unmarked trail. It is an easy trail, even for those without experience in deep snow.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 SPAR, Persal 226, toll-free: +43 5285 62072, . M-F 0800-18:00, Sa 09:00-14:00. Small and relatively expensive supermarket selling food, convenience items, and travel necessities.

Eat[edit]

Zillertaler Krapfen, as served at Helmut's Fischerhütte
  • 8 Helmut's Fischerhütte, Dornauberg 120. On the shore of the Schlegeis lake, serving authentic Tyrolean cuisine. One of the best places to enjoy Zillertaler Krapfen.

Drink[edit]

Fresh mountain water! There are numerous springs where you can fill up a water bottle with clear mountain water for free, such as at the 1 well of Ginzling.

Sleep[edit]

The Berliner Hütte
  • 2 Berliner Hütte, Zemmgrund 282, +43 676 7051473, . Alpine hotel aimed at hikers, can accommodate reasonably large groups up to 75 people. Reservation in advance required. Accessibility dependent on weather conditions. €28.

Go next[edit]

  • Tux — ski resort that gave the valley its name
  • Hintertux — last town in the valley at the base of the Frozen Wall
Routes through Finkenberg
HintertuxTux  W Tyrolean bus route 4104 diagram.svg E  Mayrhofen


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