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Europe > Central Europe > Austria > Tyrol > Paznaun Valley > Galtür

Galtür

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Galtür is an Alpine village in Tyrol, Austria, at the end of the Paznaun Valley.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

Galtür's early history started in the 11th century, with explorers from Vorarlberg crossing the mountain pass of the Silvretta massif and settling at the rear of the Paznaun Valley. Althoug the terrain and soil of the valley isn't particularly suited to agriculture, cultivation of livestock and derived products like cheese quickly began to flourish. Mule and horse cart tracks traversing the Silvretta mountain pass at altitudes between 2500 m and 2800 m, indicating a lively trade.

Lack of natural resources and flatland to build upon forced Galtür to remain small throughout the following centuries. The struggling village saw destruction during the Thirty Years War, with many houses and its church burned down or looted.

The 19th century brought improvement, when a road was constructed through the Paznaun Valley, connecting Galtür with the Upper Inn Vally (Oberinntal). At the time, Galtür was considered very poor and only consisted of a handful of houses, a small church, and an inn. It was only after the first hotel was built with the advent of tourism that the valley became more prosperous, benefiting Galtür's economy.

Memorial for the victims of the 1999 avalanche.

Galtür was struck by disaster in 1999, when a massive avalanche descended upon the village. A 50 m high wall of snow and ice engulfed Galtür in less than a minute. The avalanche reached estimated speeds of nearly 300 km/h, destroying everything in its path. It left Galtür devastated, but miraculously, only 31 didn't survive. The avalanche invoked a strong international reaction, particularly from surrounding Alpine countries, and many of the massive avalanche walls that surround Galtür today were build in the aftermath of the tragedy. Modern Galtür has almost completely recovered, and it is now best known internationally as a ski resort.

Orientation[edit]

Galtür is at the rear or the Paznaun Valley near the Silvretta glacier and Vorarlberg. Since 1953 there is a paved mountain pass connecting Galtür to Montafon in Vorarlberg.

Climate[edit]

Galtür
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
50
 
 
−1
−8
 
 
 
46
 
 
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46
 
 
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−5
 
 
 
59
 
 
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11
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99
 
 
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14
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9
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75
 
 
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0
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
See the Galtür forecast at Climate-Data.org
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
2
 
 
30
18
 
 
 
1.8
 
 
32
18
 
 
 
1.8
 
 
36
23
 
 
 
2.3
 
 
43
28
 
 
 
3.7
 
 
52
36
 
 
 
3.9
 
 
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41
 
 
 
4.8
 
 
63
45
 
 
 
5
 
 
61
45
 
 
 
3.6
 
 
57
41
 
 
 
2.5
 
 
48
34
 
 
 
3
 
 
37
27
 
 
 
2.1
 
 
32
19
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Galtür enjoys an Alpine climate, with cold winters and cool summers. Most of the precipitation falls in summer as rain, but a significant portion also falls as snow during winter months — much to the enjoyment of skiers and winter sports fans alike.

Get in[edit]

Since Galtür does not have a train station, it can only be reached over the road. Fortunately, bus 260 connects Galtür once or twice per hour (depending on time of day) with the other towns and villages in the Paznaun Valley, all the way to Landeck. Take the train to 1 Landeck-Zams station, and take bus 260 on platform C right across the station entrance. The journey to Galtür takes ca. 70 minutes and doesn't require transfers, making it convenient when carrying luggage such as skis. A ticket costs €8.40 (as of February 2019) when purchased in advance online. Get off at 2 Galtür Dorfplatz.

Get around[edit]

Galtür is very small and can easily be explored by foot. To reach the ski lifts, take bus 260 from Galtür and get off at 1 Wirl/Birkhahnbahn. The 5 minute journey costs €2.90, at a frequency of 4 buses per hour.

See[edit]

The Alpinarium
  • 1 Alpinarium, Hauptstrasse 29c, +43 5443 20000, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Alpine museum documenting the history of Galtür with substantial attention to the 1999 avalanche and its consequences. Features an indoor climbing wall and a roof deck with 360° panoramic view. Alpinarium (Q61762656) on Wikidata
The Parish Church in winter
  • 2 Parish Church (Pfarrkirche), Egg 37 (centre of town), +43 5443 8236, . Church from the 14th century, consecrated in 1383. It underwent numerous expansions, renovations and reconstructions, and was almost entirely rebuilt between 1622 to 1624 after a fire destroyed much of the interior. The church evolved from a Baroque style in 1779 to a Rococo style in 1967 when the Baroque vestibule was demolished. Its characteristic interior is defined by the gilded Rococo stucco, and the arched windows that break the flat wall structure. The ceiling paintings in medallions and side cartridges are of the hand of Johann Wörle, and added during the 1777 renovations. There are further decorations of local artists such as sculptor Johann Lander, painter Andreas Miller, and carvings famously made in the workshop of Josef Georg Witwer. The organ was only added in 1867 and designed by Franz Weber. In the surrounding cemetery, several black iron crosses date from the end of the 18th century. Free. Pfarr- und Wallfahrtskirche Mariä Geburt (Galtür) (Q19902993) on Wikidata de:Pfarrkirche_Galtür on Wikipedia
St. Martin Chapel in Tschafein
  • 3 St. Martin Chapel, Tschafein. Chapel in the Tschafein hamlet. The hall building with a timber roof and recessed stained-glass chancel and timber belfry was built in 1678. It has been damaged numerous times by floods, but rebuilt every time. Worth a stop when passing through Tschafein. (Q38085308) on Wikidata
  • 4 Gugger Mill (Gugger Mühle), Galtür 54. Historic water mill on the Jambach, powered by melting snow from the Jamtalferner glacier down the Jambach Valley. Can be visited on request. Gugger Mill (Q61762669) on Wikidata

Do[edit]

  • 1 Sports and Culture Centre (Sport- und Kulturzentrum), Gampele 67, +43 5443 8275, . 12:00-18:00 daily. Sports centre with indoor swimming pool, tennis, squash, and bowling courts. If visibility is too poor for skiing or the rain is pouring down, then a day pass is a worthy alternative. Adults €8.50, children €5.50, elderly €7. Combiticket with Alpinarium is €11.

Winter sports[edit]

Galtür is very popular as a ski resort in the middle of the Silvretta mountain range, with most of its slopes open to skiers from early December to mid April, 08:45 - 16:00. With a total slope length of 43 km and high snow reliability, Galtür draws winter sports enthusiasts from all over Europe, although not very tailored towards beginners with mostly intermediate level and difficult slopes. For advanced skiers, there are an additional 6 km of marked but not groomed ski routes to explore. A day ticket costs €41.50 for adults, and €24.50 for children. The 2 access points are the 2 Birkhahnbahn and the 3 Alpkogelbahn.

Name Tel. Altitude Sym CableCar.png / Sym SkiLift.png / Sym DragLift.png Sym Skil-L.png / Sym Ski-M.png / Sym Ski-S.png
Silvapark +43 50 990 200 1600-2300 m 10 Lifts: 2 / 2 / 6 43 km Pistes: 6 / 25 / 12

Buy[edit]

  • 1 MPREIS, Unterrain 77, +43 50 3219 28711. M-F 07:30-19:00, Sa 07:30-18:00, Su 14:00-19:00. Convenience store carrying most of what travellers need: food, drinks, toilet paper, toiletry items, etc. MPreis (Q873491) on Wikidata de:MPreis on Wikipedia
  • 2 Intersport Wolfart, Galtür 43, +43 5443 8295, . M-Sa 08:00-18:00, Su 08:30-12:00, 15:00-18:00. Sports store specialized in sale and rental of ski equipment and related safety gear (spine harnesses, helmets, etc.). Intersport (Q666888) on Wikidata Intersport on Wikipedia
  • 3 Sport Walter, Dorfplatz 41, +43 5443 8242, . M-Sa 08:30-12:30, 14:00-18:00; Su 08:30-12:00, 15:00-18:00. Rental of winter sports equipment.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Cafe Restaurant Günther, Galtür 19b, +43 5443 8395. Tu-Su 11:00 - 22:00. Restaurant serving traditional Tyrolean food, with some of the best Apfelstrudels to be found in the Alps. Their Kaiserschmarrn and Käsestrudels are equally recommendable. Budget friendly and great atmosphere.
  • 2 Tiroler Stube, Hauptplatz 46, +43 5443 8223, . Th-Tu 11:30 - 21:00. Traditional Tyrolean restaurant in the centre of Galtür, aimed at an upscale clientele. Often busy and no reservations possible, so make sure to be there early.
  • 3 Bierkessel, Hauptstrasse 20, +43 4354 438214, . Steakhouse specializing in comfort food for skiers returning from an exhausting day on the slopes. Not cheap, but great value for money and good service.
  • 4 Restaurant Auszeit, Galtür 43b, +43 680 4421859. Tu-Su 11:00-21:00. A small cafe-restaurant ran by Sebastian and Magdalena, focusing on quality rather than quality when it comes to food variety. Traditionally decorated stube, but serving a good mix of traditional and contemporary food.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Menta Alm, Menta alm 65, +43 6644657645, . A farm with stube in the Jambach Valley, half way between Galtür and the Jambachhütte. Serves cold and hot drinks, and selling artisan products such as honey, basil pesto, jam, etc.

Sleep[edit]

The iconic Jamtalhütte.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • 1 Ischgl — one of the largest ski resorts in the Alps, with a young tourist demographic.
  • 2 Kappl — picturesque Alpine village and ski resort to the north-east.
  • 3 See — first town in the Paznaun Valley with impressive architectural heritage.
  • 4 Landeck — transport hub in the Upper Inn Valley, famous for its 1 Castle.
  • 5 St. Anton — one of the oldest and best ski resorts the Alps.
  • 6 SamnaunSwiss town that can be reached from Galtür by ski through Ischgl.
  • 2 Dreiländerspitze (3197 m) — peak at the southernmost point where Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Switzerland meet, ca. 2.5 hours hike from the Jamtalhütte.
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