Villgraten Mountains

They are named after the East Tyrolean Villgraten Valley south of the main Alpine ridge in Austria and can be reached via Lienz. The Villgraten Valley itself only counts 2,000 inhabitants and is characterized by mountain farming clinging to centuries-old traditions with sustainable management.

With picturesque mountain lakes and diverse alpine flora, it is one of the most pristine natural and cultural landscape in the European Alps.

The omnipresent untouched nature attracts nature lovers who seek silence. There is nothing built in and spoilt with cable cars here.

In winter, the Villgraten mountains are the place of choice for mountain-romantic, solitary snowshoe hikes.

Nature Highlights

  • Dobbiaco Pfannhorn and Marchkinkele – unique views of the opposite Sesto Dolomites and the 3 Peaks – Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Alpinist Ludwig Purtscheller wrote as early as 1900 of a “high belvedere of the first rank”
  • Remote high mountain valley Winkeltal

Cultural Highlights

  • Wegelate sawmill – awarded the Europa Nostra Prize in 1999 as the last remaining still functioning Venetian mill in Austria
  • Gsieser Törl – until the 1970s a smuggler crossing from the South Tyrolean Gsieser Valley (Italy) to the East Tyrolean Defereggen Valley (Austria)
  • Concerts by the Villgrater Musicbanda Franui, which combines classical motifs by Schubert and Mahler with rural brass music to create an unmistakable orchestral sound
  • Mountaineering village Innervillgraten
  • Pilgrimage site Kalkstein at the head of the valley

Culinary highlights

  • Regional organic cuisine at award-winning level in Villgraten Valley
  • Rauchkofel – Single Malt Whisky
  • Red Tower – Alpine Dry Gin

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