vineri, 1 ianuarie 2010

Seefeld-ski resort

Seefeld is a village in the Tirol state of Austria and is located 17 km northwest of Innsbruck. It is a popular destination for walking holidays in the summer, and winter sports in winter.
The picturesque village of Seefeld, Tirol is a popular tourist destination in summer as well as winter.


The village is situated on a south-facing plateau north of the River Inn. It is on the watershed between the Inn and the Isar. The plateau (which also has villages such as Leutasch and Mösern) is bordered by a steep drop off to the Inn valley to the south, the Wetterstein and Mieminger mountain ranges to the west, and the Karwendel mountain range to the east. To the north, the valley continues through the towns of Scharnitz and Mittenwald into Germany.


Seefeld is popular with walkers because of its plateau location; there are many attractive walks which don't depend on climbing up and down mountains. However, the walks into the mountains are beautiful too, especially since the Karwendel is a huge nature reserve. Recommended walks include down through the Schlossbachklamm to Hochzirl (then the train back), and from the cable car stations down into the Eppzirlertal (if you're fairly fit). There are possibilities for multi-day walks through the Karwendel towards the Achensee.


Seefeld is an important centre for cross-country skiing. The Nordic events at both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics were hosted at Seefeld. The 1985 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships also took place here. World Cup competitions have been located here a number of times.

The alpine skiing area is small and appropriate for beginners. There are two separate small areas which are not connected except by a ski bus or taxis. The terrain itself is quite good and there is good access to other facilities (walks, shops and the Olympia swimming complex).
Seefeld from the Reither Spitze mountain. The three-pointed nature of the plateau is clearly visible. The valley to the left, next to the Wildsee lake, continues towards Innsbruck. (The leftmost edge of the photograph is more-or-less the watershed between the Inn, left/southwards and the Isar, right/northwards). The smaller valley also heading left goes towards Mösern. The Seekirchl (onion domed church) can be seen. The hill between the two is the Pfarrhügel; above it is the Gschwandkopf ski area (one of the pistes can be seen descending towards the Seekirchl). The right-hand edge of the photo shows the valley continuing northwards towards Scharnitz and, ultimately, Germany. Other visible features include the golf academy (a larger golf course is not visible in the woods) and rolling hills heading towards the Leutasch valley. These wooded hills are one of the things that makes the area more varied than a typical valley-bottom mountain resort.


It has two main mountain areas (for walking or skiing) - one is the round hill "Gschwandtkopf" and the other is a series of mountains (known incorrectly as "Roßhütte" after the large mountain restaurant half-way up). These mountains dominate the Seefeld plateau - from left/north to right/south, they are the Seefelderjoch, Seefelderspitze, Härmelekopf and Reitherspitze.


Notable other landmarks include the Seekirchl, a small, onion-domed church, and the Pfarrhügel, an extension of the Gschwandtkopf into the town centre forming a small attractive hill. There's also a lake called the Wildsee.

The village has existed as a farming village for centuries. Tourism began in the early 20th century, but has only grown to its present size since the mid-1970s.

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