A trip to Virgen & Lienz, Osttirol

Osttirol is a region in the Alps of Austria. It is a worth seeing place, even if it's pretty far away from Vienna or other bigger cities. We went there for a weekend trip to see Lienz, Virgen and Matrei during the Christmas season. Eventhough the Winter of 2011 is pretty much without snow so far, Osttirol was white and I managed to go skiing and cross-country skiing

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How to get there

We went to Virgen in Osttirol (East Tyrol) by car. It takes about five hours for the 500km distance from Vienna. There are highways nearby, but inside the region of East Tyrol you'll only find country roads. By train about five and a half from Vienna, depending on the connection.

Virgen & Virgental

We arrived at night and had a amazing full-moon scenery.

Full moon in Virgen

Moon light shadows

The sun rises behind the mountains, another a new day is dawning.


Matrei is a village with a population of approx. 5000 inhabitants. We did a little walk and visited the Christmas market of this town.


On our way back to Vienna we had a stop over in Lienz for about an hour. It's a lovely and calm city.

(Rathaus) Town hall of Lienz

Grand Hotel Lienz (Five Star Hotel)

Antoniuskirchl at Lienzer Hauptplatz

Here are some shots of the Lienzer Adventmarkt

Make sure to eat during "normal" times. We had the problem to find a restaurant that had an open kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. Kitchen closes usually at 2pm and opens again around 5pm or 6pm.


Austrians love to ski they say. I have to admit it's true. I took my ski with me and was happy to ski again. Tirol is one of the best places to go skiing in Winter. If you don't have your own equipment, you can rent it. Most of the rental places are located next to the ski-lifts.

Having a break on the Alm

Virgental from the ski-resort

Where to stay

We rented a private room on one of the "Urlaub am Bauernhof" offers (Holiday at the farm). The room was great and had all the comforts of a normal hotel room. The people were very friendly and helpful. Doing "Urlaub am Bauernhof" or "Privatzimmer" is most propably one of the best options for four good reasons: It's a unique expierence, it's cheap, it's natural and last but not least you support the local popukation.

Klampererhof in Virgen, Osttirol

A traditional house with comforts of today

You will find a lot of hotels, they are all great for sure, but frankly speaking arn't all hotels worldwide look the same?


If you manage to get there, do it! The people are very friendly and helpful. If you can't speak German, you should manage to get around by speaking English (Notice: Older Generations may have troubles speaking English!). There aren't masses of tourists, by that, Osttirol preserved it's national and unique appearance.

Consider a relatively long overall travel time to get there, this is why I recommend at least three days to stay there.

In Winter go skiing, hiking or cross-country skiing.
In Summer time take your mountain bike with you or go hiking in the National Park "Hohe Tauern".


© Copyright 2004-2017 - Dominik Amon