- This article is about the Austrian region. For the Italian part of Tyrol, see South Tyrol.
Tyrol is one of the Lande (states) of Austria, in the heart of the Alps. It consists of North and East Tyrol, separated by a strip of Salzburg and Italy. North Tyrol consists of eight districts; East Tyrol of just one, Lienz. The historical region extends into modern Italy.
|Innsbruck Stadt (Innsbruck, Igls)|
The regional capital.
|Innsbruck Land (Hall in Tirol, Völs, Wattens, Zirl)|
The district comprises a part of the Inn valley, the North Tyrolean parts of the Wipptal valley and its tributary valleys Stubaital, Sellraintal, Gschnitztal, and Wattental, as well as the Seefelder Plateau. The district is dominated by alpine areas, including the mountain ranges of the Stubai Alps in the south-west, Tux Alps in the south-east, and Wetterstein Mountains and Karwendel in the north.
|Imst (Imst; Pitztal, Ötztal)|
The district comprises a part of the upper Inn valley, with its tributary valleys Ötztal, Pitztal, and Gurgltal, and the Mieming Plateau. The area is dominated by high alpine mountains including the Wildspitze of 3,768 m (12,362 ft), the highest in North Tyrol. Mountain ranges include the Stubai Alps, Ötztal Alps, and Mieminger Mountains. The district includes the Timmelsjoch pass to South Tyrol in Italy, the highest pass of Tyrol.
|Kitzbühel (Kitzbühel, Fieberbrunn, Hopfgarten im Brixental, St. Johann in Tirol)|
|Kufstein (Kufstein, Alpbach, Brixlegg, Wörgl; Ellmau)|
The district comprises the lower part of the Inn valley as far as the Bavarian border, the Alpbach valley, the Brandenberg valley, Wildschönau and Thiersee. Mountain ranges within the district include the Brandenberg Alps, Kitzbühel Alps, and the Kaisergebirge. The largest lakes are the Reintal lakes, Thiersee, Hechtsee, Hintersteiner See and Walchsee.
|Landeck (Landeck, St. Anton, Galtür, Ischgl, Kappl, See; Kaunertal, St. Christoph)|
The uppermost part of the Inn valley and its tributary valleys Kaunertal, Stanzer Tal, and Paznaun. Mountain ranges in the district include parts of the Ötztal Alps, the Samnaun Alps, parts of the Verwall Alps and the Lechtal Alps, and the Arlberg area.
|Schwaz (Schwaz, Achenkirch, Jenbach, Maurach, Mayrhofen, Pertisau, Steinberg am Rofan; Eng)|
The district comprises a part of the lower Inn valley, the complete Zillertal valley with its tributary valleys and the Achental valley with the Achensee. Mountain ranges within the district include the Tux Alps, Zillertal Alps, Kitzbühel Alps, the Karwendel and the Rofan.
The district comprises the valleys of the Lech, the Tannheimer Tal, and the so-called Zwischentoren between Reutte and Fern Pass. Mountain ranges in the district include parts of the Lechtal Alps, Wetterstein Mountains, Allgäu Alps and Tannheim Mountains. Prominent lakes include Plansee, Heiterwanger See, Haldensee, and Vilsalpsee.
|Lienz (Lienz, Kals; Hohe Tauern National Park)|
East Tyrol, the eastern exclave of Austrian Tyrol, separated from the northern part by a strip of Salzburg and Italy.
These subregions are the administrative districts, which don't really correspond to tourist or travel regions. As most roads follow the valley and passes between them, the natural regions are valleys (German: tal). The Lower Inn Valley is large and covers much of central Tyrol.
Innsbruck Land and Innsbruck Stadt
- 1 Innsbruck — the state capital
- 2 Igls
- 3 Hall in Tirol
- 4 Völs
- 5 Wattens — home of the Swarovski Crystal Company
- 6 Zirl
- 8 Kitzbühel – a medieval town; famous and exclusive ski resort
- 9 Fieberbrunn
- 10 Hopfgarten im Brixental
- 11 St. Johann in Tirol
- 12 Kufstein — last Austrian town in the Inn valley near the German border
- 13 Alpbach
- 14 Brixlegg
- 15 Wörgl
- 16 Landeck
- 17 St. Anton – in Stanzer Valley
- 18 Galtür – in Paznaun Valley
- 19 Ischgl – in Paznaun Valley
- 20 Kappl – in Paznaun Valley
- 21 See – in Paznaun Valley
- 23 Schwaz
- 24 Achenkirch – The largest town in the Achen Valley and popular ski resort in winter with extensive ski infrastructure. It sits at the border with Bavaria.
- 25 Jenbach
- 26 Maurach – In the Achen valley
- 27 Mayrhofen
- 28 Pertisau – In the Achen valley
- 29 Steinberg am Rofan – A small town deep in the Rofan mountain range
Innsbruck Land and Innsbruck Stadt:
- 8 Hohe Tauern National Park – at 1,834 km2 (708 sq mi) the largest nature reserve in the Alps, including the Grossglockner and Grossvenediger massifs.
North Tyrol borders the German state of Bavaria to the north, Vorarlberg to the west, the Swiss canton Graubünden to the south-west, Salzburg to the east. South Tyrol is in Italy, part of Trentino-Alto Adige.
Like its sister provinces of Bavaria in Germany and Salzburgerland in Austria, Tyrol is the very definition of the Germanic Alpine stereotype. Full of romantic lakes and castles and beer-drinking lederhosen-clad locals playing oom-pa-pa music and marching in bands, the place can seem a bit of a fairy tale to the visitor at times. Innsbruck is the only real "bigger" city, with the rest a beautiful natural panorama. The roads get clogged with tourists in the summer and winter months.
As in nearly all of Austria, Austro-Bavarian is the main everyday spoken language of Tyrol (except in Reutte district where it is Alemannic). The Tyrolean dialect is even often tricky to understand for residents of eastern Austria (including Vienna) let alone from northern Germany. But, as in all of Austria, standard (Austrian) German is the official language used in all official publications and schools, so the vast majority speaks it, and in Innsbruck basically everyone is fluent. English is spoken by most educated middle aged and young people, and Italian is also quite prevalent due to the proximity of the South Tyrolian border and a small immigrant community in Innsbruck.
The main entry point by air is the 1 Innsbruck International Airport (INN IATA) which has scheduled flights to Vienna Airport, Frankfurt Airport, London, Amsterdam Schiphol, Graz, Nice, Hannover, Stavanger, Alghero, Gothenburg and Olbia. EasyJet also offers weekly low cost direct flights from Bristol on Fridays. Schedules may differ in winter.
2 Munich Airport (MUC IATA), 2.5 hours away by road transport, is another alternative. There are vans that will meet you at Munich Airport and take you directly to your lodging in or around Innsbruck for the price of a comparable train ticket.
Considering the topography rail connections are impressive and a highly scenic and relaxing way to see the Tyrol. Trains also connect the "three Tyrols" via rail and tunnels.
Skiing into Tyrol is very easy from Switzerland when crossing the Silvretta above Samnaun. The mountain ridge is the border between Switzerland and Austria, and multiple lifts take skiers to the ridge from either side. Descending the mountain on one side leads back to Switzerland, the other side leads into Tyrol. There is no border checkpoint for obvious practical reasons and because both countries are members of the Schengen treaty, but skiers with a keen eye for detail may notice a ceremonial border guard who "patrols" the border on skis!
The alpine geography creates obvious chokepoints for both road and rail traffic and during busy times there may be restrictions on driving with visitors using local roads having to prove they are indeed visiting local accommodation and not transiting the country. Many road and rail tunnels have already been built, but the politically contentious situation is likely to remain difficult until the opening of the Brenner Base Tunnel which will hopefully divert a significant share of transiting freight transport from road to rail. If you can arrange a rail based troop to your destination, do so for the sake of your own sanity.
- 1 Achenseebahn (Achensee Railway), Jenbach, Tyrol (Near Jenbach train station). Ride Europe's oldest steam-operated cog railway which opened in 1889.
- Tiroler Speck - a juniper-flavored ham
- Bolzano/Bozen — capital of South Tyrol
- Brenner Pass and Timmelsjoch are scenic ways of getting into Italy.