Lienz (673 meters) is the centre of East Tyrol
The city of Lienz does not live only from tourism. It hosts only 3.500 tourists per 13.000 inhabitants during the winter season. It is an authentic small town of preserved architecture (a church from the 13th century and a Franciscan monastery from the 15th century), where, thanks to the pleasant and cordial Tyrolean atmosphere, the sorrow from your heart after a few days there will disappear entirely and you will forget all about the gayness of your city life because here, one lives peacefully and enjoys life.
The ideal choice for families
Besides, Lienz is an ideal choice for families where not everyone skis, because due to its rich city offer, no one will be bored if they do not spend their days on the white slopes. In the center of the town, in the pedestrian zone, there are numerous boutiques, delicatessens, as well as specialized shops where you can spend hours browsing through the offer of jewelry and watches, perfumes, technical goods, sports equipment, while on the outskirts of the town there are large supermarkets.
Lienz also has a rich cultural offer – it offers a tour of the city and its sights. The sights include the 13th century Bruck Castle, museums, theatre performances, and exhibitions.
The town surroundings are also interesting. To the northwest, on the way towards the Felbertauern tunnel, the Hohe Tauern National Park is located, as well as the nearby quality ski resort Matrei. To the southwest, Italy is only a half an hour drive away along the Drau valley, which gives one an option of additional shopping or skiing. Lastly, in the north, the highest peak in Austria rises – the Grossglockner. As the local population persistently refuses to build a highway through the valley towards Italy, the true winter atmosphere of the preserved nature has been retained.
The idyllic appearance of the town
It is definitely worth a while to make a stop at Lienz – what most tourists who pass by the town on their way to major Italian ski resorts never do. Although it is not so attractive ski-wise, the rich cultural offer and the diligent efforts of the locals to preserve the idyllic appearance of the town, attract more and more visitors every year.
There are two main ski resorts nearby
Zettersfeld with its highest peak Schoberköpfl (2.278 meters) and Hochstein (2.057 meters). Although Zettersfeld is higher than Hochstein, it is actually warmer there because it is located on the sunny side of the mountain and has the highest number of sunny days in Austria. It is perfect for those who want to enjoy the sun, but due to higher winter temperatures, there might be problems with snow for those determined to ski daily.
The trails are of easier level than those on Hochstein that found their way on to the list of World Cup trails. The downhill ski race for women is held in Hochstein in December. Because of its northwest orientation, the trails are in the shade in the afternoon. The mountain offers perfect trails for advanced skiers that offer skiing from as high as 2.000 meters down to the town of Lienz, which is located on 668 meters above sea level. Of course, one can find ski schools and two shops that rent ski equipment on both mountains.
Après-ski is more like going clubbing. With the exception of a few inns near the cable cars, those in the town centre, rather than offering a ski atmosphere, base their gourmet offer solely on Tyrolean cuisine and specialties.
In the area alongside the Drau River, numerous cross-country skiing competitions are held, and the largest one is the Dolomitenlauf held every third weekend in January with up to 3.000 participating athletes. An Ice Festival on Lake Tristacher See is organized mid-January and during the winter, if temperatures allow it, the main town square becomes decorated with ice sculptures.
There is a total of 110 kilometres of trails for cross-country skiing, of which 100 kilometres are classified as low-level difficulty, so if one decides to take on this sport, or is just curious and wants to try it out, this is the right place to be.
Sunset excursions are offered every week where hiking begins in the Hohe Tauern National Park and hikers are accompanied by one of the rangers. On Fridays, ski races are held for all guests on the mountain, after which guests can enjoy the party for the winners. Families and children on the blue trail can find a saucer that is ideal for beginners and that makes the first days in the snow easier. There is also a fun area for children with lots of bends, waves, and jumps nearby.
The offer of other sports facilities is extremely rich: skating, swimming pool (with outdoor pool in the middle of snow and ice), parachutes, kite flying, and horseback riding. Lienz is also known for sledding, so you can find several very good toboggan trails in the area. One of them is 7.5 km long and ends in the main town square. It is lit and, in case of lack of snow, it is maintained by the use of the artificial one. Cafe Oh-Er features a bowling alley, pool table, and darts.
A novelty is the Terrassenskilauf Lienz whose gastronomy offers a special local dish and many different events daily. Skiers on the terraces of the restaurant can indulge in regional specialties, a relaxing atmosphere, true hospitality, and a stunning panorama of the Lienz Dolomites.
Tel. 0043 4852 63975