Virgen in Osttirol (Austria)

Hiking in the Austrian Alps - September 2003

In September 2003 I have been with my sister and her boy-friend in the Austrian Alps, in the region, which could be called the core of the Alps in Austria. Großglockner and Großvenediger are the two highest peaks of the country and the landscape with snow, glaciers and steep valleys is impressive.

Virgen in Osttirol

The town Virgen in Osttirol is located in a steep valley at an altitude of about 1150 m. Even it is hard to see on the image made from above, you have to climb around 100m from the little river at the lowest point of the valley, to the church. I have been for the third time in this village, for the fourth time in this part of Austria. I like it very much since tourism and skiing are still limited. The moutains around are ideal places for hiking and you meet kind people, who like nature and still greet you, if you cross their way – something which is not always the case at other places governed by mass tourism.
Virgen village in the Virgen valley
The market place at Virgen has been improved a lot during the last decade from 1993 until 2003. Click here for larger pop-up

In particular tourism brought money to the little village of about 2000 inhabitants. During the recent 10 years, the market place has been completely rebuilt, the parking spots have been replaced by an underground garage, the tourist office is new, in the little library you cannot only borrow games or books but also music and surf in the Internet.

Webcam of Virgen: Please click here

However, some of the farms with stables and cattle are still located in the centre and personally I stayed this year with a farmer in a big house next to the church, cows and pigs in the stable next to the entrance.

The picture on the left shows the farm house "Messnerhof", where I stayed. Flowers on the balcony are wide spread in this region and make the wooden houses beautiful.

The climate
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Minimum (blue) and maximum (red) temperatures in Virgen are shown above in °C for the year 2002. 2003 was unusually hot in Europe and not representative. The climate is typical for the southern side of the main chain of the Austrian Alps, called "Hohe Tauern". While the parts in the North usually get more rain, the south is more sunny and little warmer. Often the high mountain peaks are in clouds but the rain does not make it to the southern side and goes down in the valleys in the North.