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.
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.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
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.
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 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 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 . The 5 minute journey costs €2.90, at a frequency of 4 buses per hour.
- 1 Alpinarium, Hauptstrasse 29c, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 2 Parish Church (Pfarrkirche), Egg 37 (centre of town), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 1 Sports and Culture Centre (Sport- und Kulturzentrum), Gampele 67, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
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 / / / / Silvapark +43 50 990 200 1600-2300 m 10 Lifts: 2 / 2 / 6 43 km Pistes: 6 / 25 / 12
- 1 MPREIS, Unterrain 77, ☏ . 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.
- 2 Intersport Wolfart, Galtür 43, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.).
- 3 Sport Walter, Dorfplatz 41, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 08:30-12:30, 14:00-18:00; Su 08:30-12:00, 15:00-18:00. Rental of winter sports equipment.
- 1 Cafe Restaurant Günther, Galtür 19b, ☏ . 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, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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, ☏ . 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.
- 1 Menta Alm, Menta alm 65, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 1 Jamtalhütte, Gottlieb Lorenz (ca. 15 km south of Galtür village), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Founded in 1882 by the German Alpine Club as gathering point for ski tours, the Jamtalhütte remains one of the most iconic places to spend the night in the area. It was used between 1939 and 1945 by the German border guards, then occupied by the Allies, and until 1962 it was only reachable on skis in winter. Surrounded by glaciers at an altitude of 2165 m, at the end of the Jamtal valley, rest and relaxation are guaranteed here, as are starry night skies! €28.
- 2 Alpenhotel Tirol, Galtür 68, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00-22:00, check-out: 07:30-11:00. €206.
- 3 Appartements St. Gerold, Gampele 63, ☏ .
- 4 Berggasthof Piz Buin, Silvretta - Bielerhöhe, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. On the border between Galtür and Vorarlberg, with its own ski slopes.
- 5 Hotel Luggi, Winkl 23e, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Decently priced hotel next to the Alpinarium.
- 6 Hotel Garni Bel-Ami, Wirl 6b, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Fairly relaxed ski hotel with its own sauna next to the Alpkogelbahn.
- 7 Apart Garni Gorfenspitze, Galtür 17a, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Apartements for rent.
- 8 Alpinhotel Monte, Gampele 64, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Contemporary hotel with renovated dining facilities and its own spa, around the corner of the Cultural Centre.
- 1 Post Office (Postambt), Galtür 39, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 08:00-12:00, 13:00-17:30, F 08:00-11:30. Send mail and post cards.
- 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 Samnaun — Swiss 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.