- Tour Details
- Optional Tours
- Departure Date
Day 1 Innsbruck After breakfast, we take the short drive along Inn valley to the Tyrolean capital, Innsbruck, for a guided tour of this delightful city. An important trading centre since Celtic times, then capital of a Dukedom before being incorporated in the Habsburg Empire, today your eyes can feast on the historic architecture. There is the famous Golden Roof, the magnificent baroque St Jakob's cathedral and the former Imperial Palace, once home of Empress Maria Theresa, the Stadtturm belfry tower with its excellent views across the city and Schloss Ambras, the Renaissance castle and palace. Today Innsbruck is delightful - wander its medieval streets, absorb the genteel ambience or just listen to the talented street musicians before we return to Seefeld mid-afternoon.
Day 2 Bolzano The Tyrol was first documented as a Province in 1271 and history still has a key role in today's as we take the historic Roman "Via Claudia Augusta", flirting with the Swiss border. The route overflows with astonishing Alpine scenery – rolling hills, studded with apple orchards, majestic snow-capped peaks, roaring rivers, shimmering lakes, and the occasional village – a kaleidoscope of the perfect Alpine landscape. The Südtirol (South Tirol) was always a frontier region, regarded by the Romans as the start of "The North" and by German and French Emperors as start of "The South" and because this key mountain trade route traversed their lands, the Tyroleans became rich on tolls and taxes, eventually becoming incorporated in the mighty Austro- Hungarian Empire.
Day 3 Oetztaler Glacier Road Today we drive up the ever narrowing Oetztal valley to the high mountain resort of Soelden, enjoying ever more scenic views. Despite being almost 5000 feet high, this remote village is dwarfed by surrounding giant snow-capped mountains. Our spectacular drive continues up the Oetztaler Glacier Road into the heart of the mountains for stunning views of glaciers and peaks, ice and snow covered throughout the summer. Breathe deeply for several minutes - the rarefied air deep in your lungs has an almost medicinal quality! Keep your eyes peeled for the mountain wildlife here, including eagles and those delightful indigenous rodents, marmots - hugely entertaining bundles of fur with a spine tingling whistle. It was near here that Oetzi the Iceman met his fate all those millennia ago, the victim of a Bronze Age arrow, why he was attacked, we shall never know.