Holidays in Oberau

Walking, cycling, paragliding, museums and more… For a peaceful patch of the Tyrol, there’s lots to do on a summer holiday in Oberau and the Wildschönau valley

Oberau lies right in the heart of the Wildschönau valley, a region named for its wild beauty. Whoever came up with that moniker certainly wasn’t exaggerating and Oberau is certainly the ideal spot for a summer holiday in the mountains. This is a postcard-perfect picture of rolling hills and not-too-distant peaks – a promise to hikers who prefer more challenging trails. Walkers and cyclists aren’t the only people exploring the valley. Buses dip between the villages, including Niederau and Auffach, which have cable cars that extend explorations to the rugged mountaintops of the Kitzbühel Alps.

Holidays in the Wildschönau Valley

The Wildschönau valley makes accessing all those spectacular views easy. There are half-hour strolls along the sculpture-spotted St Francis’ Path to Niederau village and family-friendly riverside rambles along the dramatic Kundl Gorge. Adventurous hikers, don’t fear; you haven’t packed your poles for nothing. Summer lifts in the neighbouring villages of Niederau and Auffach open up longer paths to peaks. Clamber up to Gratlspitze, which has swapped a silver mining past for its status as one of the best sunset spots in the Wildschönau.

Enjoying life in the rural lane

Oberau rests between mountain pastures and wildflower meadows. It’s pretty much a one-road village, with a couple of lanes leading to bakeries and restaurants. The z’Bach Mountain Farm Museum offers some great insights into life in the Wildschönau – an easy stroll along the St. Frances Path. Looking for Wildschönau Cathedral? That’s the nickname for the grand baroque church of St Margaret’s; stick your head in to admire the painted ceilings and glittering altar.

Mountain hut welcomes

Wooden mountain huts dot the trails of the Wildschönau – and they’re all ready to welcome weary walkers. Achentalalm, which perches on the path between Oberau and Kragenjoch, is a local favourite, serving weekly specials like schmalznudeln doughnuts. Wherever you go, you’ll encounter a warm Tyrolean welcome and farm-fresh food… as well as the chance to try the heady Wildschönauer Krautinger schnapps, which is only made in the valley thanks to a 300-year-old royal decree.

Family holidays in Oberau: pools, peaks and parks

The open-air pool and slides of Mountain Pool Wildschönau sit on a scenic path between Oberau and Niederau. There’s room for diving boards, waterslides, playgrounds, gardens and a café – and all with lovely views of forested valley slopes. Drachental Family Park is a must-visit too. The Dragon Flitzer rollercoaster rockets riders down the valley, plus there’s a play lake, tubing track, trampolines, bike tracks, a mini golf course and a 5D cinema – and, of course, a large sun terrace where the grown-ups can observe with an ice cream in hand.

Why book a summer holiday in Oberau with Inghams?

At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of the Wildschönau’s best walking routes and activities at your own pace.

With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Oberau include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.

Added value

Free use of lifts in the Wildschönau Valley - with resort card

Free Guided Walks with resort card

24/7 support & tailored advice over the phone from our local resort team

All holidays include flights from the UK and transfers

Walking in and around Oberau

On an Inghams walking holiday, you have the freedom to explore the area at your own pace. Each day, a new adventure, with as much or as little walking as you like.

Why we love walking holidays in Oberau

Oberau is wonderful area for walkers with over 300 kilometres of marked hiking paths, from rambles through meadows and hillsides up to higher peaks and trails accessed by gondola. There is even the stunning Kundl Gorge which offers gentle and mostly shaded walking among stunning scenery. There are plenty of mountain alms dotted around the walks, including the ‘Käsealm’ above Niederau for fresh milk and cheese. For more adventurous walkers there are also longer trails and peaks to climb.

Guided walks

The Tourist Office runs a fantastic programme of five free guided walks each week, which are very popular and bookable directly with themselves.

Getting around Oberau

Oberau and the Wildschönau has a great network of public transport and lifts that make getting around the area really easy.

Lifts

There are two lifts in the Wildschönau Valley that you have access to free of charge with the included Wildschönau Card, which is given to you when you arrive.

  • Markbachjochbahn, Niederau (normally open from 9 May - 20 Oct)
  • Schatzbergbahn, Auffach (normally open from 30 May - 6 Oct)

Hiking bus

Villages are easily connected by an efficient bus service which transports walkers to all points around the valley. The Wildschönau hiking bus goes between Niederau, Oberau and Auffach. There is also a hiking bus between Roggenboden, Thierbach and the Schönanger Alm which is included in your Wildschönau Card.

Our favourite walks in and around Oberau

Markbachjoch to Norderberg Alm

  • Moderate walk
  • Expect to take around four hours

Take the gondola in Niederau to the top of the Markbachjoch and walk via Halsgatterl to the Rosskopf Peak. At the right time of year, purple and white crocuses cover the meadows and beautiful yellow globeflowers grow beside the mountain streams. Take a peek into the tiny Horler Stiege Chapel and the Käse Alm and a rest stop at the Norderberg Alm Hut, then it’s back to the gondola for the return trip.

Sonnberger Joch and Eisstein

  • Moderate walk
  • Expect to take around three hours

A gentle walk to Zauberwinkel in Oberau and then along the forest path to the demanding Eisstein ascent to enjoy the marvelous view into the Inn Valley. After a short break continue on towards the lovely farms of Leitschwend and Adelsberg and inspect the alpine flora along the way.

Schatzberg and Joel Spitze

  • Moderate walk
  • Expect to take around four hours

Take the cable car in Auffach to the top of the Schatzberg Mountain and start the walk at 1,903m to the Joel Spitze. Enjoy fantastic views on the way into the Alpbach and Inn Valleys. Make a stop on the Joel peak at 1,964m to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and take a snapshot of the view. Return to the Schatzberg via the Gern Alm and take a refreshment break at the end of the walk in the Schatzberg Alm.

Kragenjoch Mountain

  • Moderate walk
  • Expect to take around four hours

Take the Minz path from Oberau up to one of the loveliest viewpoints in the valley - the Boarstadl hut. A further 20 minutes uphill and you arrive at the Achental hut - you're certainly spoilt for choice with this walk. From here it’s just a short ascent to the wonderful Kragenjoch peak. Stop at the hut on the way back for a well-earned rest. The return journey takes you through beautiful blueberry fields and mountain moors back to Oberau.

Filzmoos Moor in Niederau

  • Easy walk
  • Expect to take around three hours

The Filzmoos Moor on the Niederau Bruggberg is a wide plateau which offers a fascinating insight into the alpine plant and animal life. Frogs, dragonflies, butterflies and song birds can be observed in this untouched biotope. The gentle walk takes you north to Stockeben through the fragrant pine forests full of bilberries. After about an hour and a half, you reach the moor at 1,000m altitude. Return via Klausen and back to Niederau.

Useful information and guidelines

Recommended equipment

Suitable walking shoes with good grip, appropriate clothing, rain jacket, sun cream, insect repellent, sun glasses, rucksack, at least a litre of water, a re-usable water bottle, a snack and cash. You may find walking poles useful. There are a few sports shops in the village for last minute hiking purchases, however we would advise to be prepared before you travel.

Walking maps

We recommend Mayr Map number 41, which has a scale of 1:30,000. The maps show the walking routes which are numbered and match the yellow signposts around the area. They will have a key which will help you understand the nature of the trail before you set out on your walk.

Walking guidelines

The mountains are a natural paradise, with lots to explore and discover. To help it stay that way, and remain an enjoyable and safe place for everyone, we recommend following our little list of do's and don'ts:

  • Plan your route well and don't overestimate yourself
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you're planning to walk and what time you're expecting to be back
  • Take all the recommended equipment
  • Make a note of emergency numbers:
    • Austrian Emergency Services: 112
    • Mountain Rescue: 140
  • Don't leave the marked trails or go onto a glacier without a guide
  • Let nature stay wild by not picking alpine flowers (it's illegal in some places) or getting close to/making contact with wild animals
  • Always leave gates as you found them
  • Leave no trace

Check out our Responsible Walking insider guide if you want more tips for your summer walking holiday.

Hotels in Oberau

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  • 59 rooms
tirolerhof-terrasse-garten.jpg

The traditional and homely Hotel Tirolerhof is in a quiet location in central Oberau with beautiful countryside views. The location's perfect for exploring, with plenty of walks starting nearby. You can dine al fresco in the garden on sunny evenings, and enjoy local dishes and live music.

Wildschönau Card - included for all guests

The Wildschönau Card is provided free of charge by your hotel upon arrival and gives you:

  • Free use of the lifts in the Wildschönau Valley:
    • Markbachjochbahn, Niederau (normally open from 9 May - 20 Oct)
    • Schatzbergbahn, Auffach (normally open from 30 May - 6 Oct)
  • Wildschönau hiking bus between Niederau, Oberau and Auffach
  • Hiking bus between Roggenboden, Thierbach and the Schönanger Alm
  • Free entrance to the outdoor swimming pool
  • Free use of tennis courts in Oberau
  • Free entrance to silver mine and museums
  • Free guided walks (Mon-Fri)
  • Free children’s activity programme (Mon-Fri, from around 8 Jul - 6 Sep)
  • Discounted rates on many other attractions

Subject to change.

Things to do in Oberau

Things to do in Oberau

Over 300km of marked walking trails

The Wildschönau valley is home to a vast range of marked walking trails and is perfect for Nordic walking too. Here you will find plenty of easy to moderate routes, and some longer, more challenging paths and trails can be discovered too.

Cycling and e-biking

Get a workout on with a mountain bike ride in the valley, or ease your way through the alpine pastures with the help of an electric bike. If you're up for a challenge, power your way along the two-valley circular tour from Oberau, over the Schatzberg mountain to Alpbach valley using the Schatzberg lift, covering a grand total of 36 kilometres.

Tennis

Use your Wildschönau card for free access to one of the three tennis courts (bookable locally in advance). Challenge your family or friends to a rally alongside the beautiful backdrop, with a coffee and cake reward at the end in the tennis café.

Herbs and spice garden

Make your way to the Salcherhof Farm, where Birgit Haas has created a spectacular 700 square metre herb garden above Auffach village. Here you will discover over 30 different herbs, with a small shop so you can purchase your very own, a lovely Austrian souvenir.

Silver mine

The silver mine near the village of Thierbach, showcases the Wildschönau's mining history with galleries and exhibitions of mining methods and insights into the strenuous lives of the miners. Included in your Wildschönau card, you can delve deeper into the traditional valley industry - watch the “Gems from Tirol’s mountains” show to see how important mining has been throughout the Tyrol region.

Kundl Gorge

Local legend says the Kundl Gorge was created by the teeth of a huge dragon - discover the clear waters and interesting rock formations of one of Austria's most beautiful gorges that connects the Wildschönau and Inn valleys. The 6.5-kilometre path meanders over bridges and easy-going gravel paths, with spots to rest along the way.

The Markbachjoch gondola

You could climb the 1,000-plus metres from Niederau village to the Markbachjoch mountain ridge… or you could jump aboard the gondola that takes you straight to the trails and huts up top. Here, walkers and cyclists weave between tiny chapels, lakeside sculptures and mountain huts, with the peaks of Feldalphorn and Rosskopf always in view. Keep an eye out for eagles above and marmots below… or perhaps that’s not an eagle - paragliders at the Wildschönau flying school also love to launch themselves from the plateaus here.

Sculpture Park

Located at the Mittermoosen reservoir are 30 modern art sculptures crafted by the metal artist Josef Feller. Easily accessible via the Markbachjoch cable car, you can unlock a world of picturesque photo spots and a beautiful panorama of the valley below. The mountain reflection on the reservoir water is truly breath-taking.

Farm to fork feasts

The farmers of Oberau have grazed their cows in the Wildschönau valley for centuries, bringing with them the soothing soundtrack of cowbells – and some delicious cuisine. Follow footpaths to dairy farms to stock up on herby krauter-schnitt cheese. Some farms also produce a heady schnapps called krautinger – a digestif and traditional cure-all distilled from white beets and made exclusively in this valley since the 18th century. To learn more about farming in this neck of the woods, take the St. Frances Path to the z’Bach Mountain Farm Museum to see how people eked out a living here in the 18th Century.

Standing since 1795, the Farming Museum has a mix of rooms and buildings displaying over 1,200 exhibits of the old Tirolean mountain farmers. On Thursdays from June to September, the museum really comes to life with the craft fair. You can watch live woodcarvers, basket weavers and flax spinners show off their traditional skills

Cheesemaking farm

Are you a cheese lover? Take a visit to the nearby village of Niederau for a tour of the fine cheeses from the high pastures. This is a fantastic insight into the production of one of Austria's most famous delicacies.

Brass band concerts

Being part of the Wildschönau valley, known locally as the valley of music, Oberau hosts its own brass band concert in the village centre from mid-June onwards. With over 50 men and women playing the atmosphere is incredible and it's a great opportunity to try some local Krautinger schnapps.

Family activities in Oberau

Family activities in Oberau

Drachental family park

Treat the children to a day at the theme park, alpine style. You can all have endless fun on the alpine coaster, bike trail, pump track, tubing jump, 5D cinema, adventure golf, jumping tower and other fun court and lake games.

Bergbadl outdoor pool in Oberau

Slip and slide your way down the flume, climb on the big green crocodile and splash in the heated open-air pool. For little ones who can't swim just yet, there is a fantastic playground with sandpit to enjoy. Best of all, entry is completely free with your Wildschönau card, meaning extra change spare for an ice cream.

Children's programme

From mid-July to early September children can take part in the daily activity programme run by the Tourist Office as part of the Wildschönau card inclusions. Spend a day in the forest, go on treasure hunts and visit local attractions, all while making holiday memories.

Kundl Gorge

Explore the natural beauty of the canyon from Kundl to Mühltal-Wildschönau on the family friendly walking trail. Cross footbridges, build rock towers on the riverbanks and marvel at the 200-metre-high rock faces on your little adventure. The gorge paths are even suitable for pushchairs, so the smallest of adventurers can join too.

Oberau excursions

Pre-book your excursions online or give us a call

Grossglockner from £54/36 per adult/child (full day)

This spectacular journey takes you over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, an incredible feat of engineering with stunning views. From the Franz-Josef's Höhe you'll see the Pasterze glacier and maybe catch a glimpse of 3,798-metre summit of the Grossglockner. Keep a look out for the wild marmots and Ibex too - they love the high alpine conditions. You can visit the free museums and exhibitions to learn about the National Park or enjoy a walk round the area and a tasty Austrian mountain meal.

Departs: Tuesdays

Salzburg from £42/26 per adult/child (full day)

Salzburg is a city full of culture, history and music. Visit Mozart’s birthplace, enjoy the view from the Hohensalzburg Fortress, or wander the famous Getreidegasse shopping street. Immerse yourself in history as you explore the medieval Old Town, discover museums and Baroque churches or visit the Salzburg Residenz Palace - the DomQuartier. There is an optional guided walking tour which is a great way to see more of the city (payable locally, approx. €12 per person).

Departs: Thursdays

Berchtesgaden from £48/30 per adult/child (full day)

There's a few options for you to choose from on this interesting trip to Berchtesgaden. Spend the day discovering the pretty Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden itself, or choose one of the optional extras that you can add on to your day (difference payable locally).

The most famous is the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest). Explore the historic building and surrounding area, with spectacular views on a clear day over the King's Lake. The house is famous for being Nazi-constructed and was used for government and social meetings by Hitler and the Nazi Party. Alternatively, head underground to see the Salt Mines. A network of tunnels and slides take you on an underground adventure discovering this once very important industry (optional add-ons are payable locally - Eagle's Nest approx. €30.80 per person, Salt Mines approx. €22.50 per person).

Departs: Fridays

Bookable Locally

Hidden Treasures from approx. €45/25 per adult/child

Discover some of the area's best kept secrets on this trip which combines three unique destinations. Our first 'treasure' is Kufstein, located on the banks of the River Inn. You'll have time to explore and admire this border town with its dominating Fortress. Next, you're off to the beautiful local Hechtsee lake, surrounded by forests and steeped in folklore. Our final destination is Rattenberg, rich in history and famous for Kisslinger glass - watch a glass-blowing demonstration and explore the picturesque streets of this tiny city.

Departs: Wednesdays

We act at all times as a selling agent for the suppliers. All excursions require minimum numbers to run and are subject to change. Some excursions may not be available to pre-book in low season but may be available to book locally subject to numbers. Prices will be confirmed at the time of booking. Please see our terms & conditions.

Good to know

Walking trails: 300km of walking trails

Terrain: Diverse terrain from Alpine meadows, forest trails and rolling hills with some steeper routes

Best time to go: end of May to end of September. It can get hot in July and August but heading up the lifts is a great way to cool off

Recommended for: Walkers of all abilities, families with kids, nature

Fly into: Innsbruck or Salzburg (approx. 2 hours)

Transfer time: approx. 1 hour 15 mins from Innsbruck or 2 hours 30 mins from Salzburg by coach

24/7 Support and advice: Over the phone from our local resort team

Resort card: Wildschönau card included

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