The Hills Are Alive: Austrian Festivals To Plan A Visit Around
Austrian festivals provide excellent opportunities to celebrate the Tyrolean Alps landscape.
Roll out your mat at a yoga festival, eat cheese dumplings at an alpine inn, and join shepherds and cattle drivers to adorn cows in ribbons and flowers before sending the animals back to the valley.
These are the country’s best celebrations to plan a visit around this year.
Lech Village Festival, Lech Zurs
Lech is just one of five villages of the Arlberg, where much of modern skiing began. Although best known for its snow-white pistes and craggy mountain peaks, summer in the small mountain village is every bit as alluring. Those wanting to learn more about Lech should attend Lecher Dorffest on July 13, which celebrates the town that dates back to the 14th century.
St Antoner Dorffest, St. Anton am Arlberg
Tyrolean gastronomy, art and handmade goods will be on display during the St Antoner Dorffest on July 20-21 in pretty alpine village St. Anton am Arlberg. After browsing the stalls, head to the fragrant mountain meadows where you can enjoy idyllic hikes. At night, The village lights up as local clubs and groups showcase traditional Tyrolian dance and music.
The White Ring, Trailchallenge
The Arlberg is known for its ‘White Ring’, the wonderful ski slopes painted white over winter. But in summer, the mountains are defined by the ‘Green Ring’, spaghetti’d with trails that active types like to traverse on foot. While you can go at them on your own, mountain runners, biking enthusiasts and trail runners sign up for the White Ring – Trailchallenge, held on August 17. The festival traces the White Ring for 25 km with an ascent of 2300 metres.
Mountain Yoga Festival, St. Anton
Meditation set to the soundtrack of a murmuring mountain streams, sun salutations on an outdoor terrace overlooking St Anton and guided herb hikes around the Alps makes the Mountain Yoga Festival, which runs September 5-8, a must for active types. Discover the mountains around the Arlberg region in between vinyasas along hiking paths that cover 350km.
Lech Literature Festival, Lech am Arlberg
Prose, poetry and panoramas. This is the trifecta that makes the Lecher Literaturtage festival such a resounding success. The alpine landscape has long inspired poetry and prose and on September 7-8, the mountain village will again invite budding writers, poets and slammers to celebrate various literary forms.
Return of the Cattle, Lechtal Valley
Around 100,000 cattle graze on the mountains around the Arlberg and Kaiser Mountains, Karwendel and Lienz Dolomites over summer. Local people celebrate their homecoming in style, adorning the cattle in headdresses, garlands of flowers and ribbons. Gather with shepherds and cattle drivers in a large beer tent in the Lechtal Valley following the festival on September 21. It’s known as Almabtrieb in German.
(Lead image: Mountain Yoga Festival / Austrian Tourism)
Published 02 April, 2019