The word 'excursion' seems to be coming back into favor in our days. Is it perhaps a return to the beautiful and simple, the 'little happiness'? Goethe had already described 200 years ago in his 'Erinnerungen' a concentration on the closer surroundings:
"Do you want to wander on and on? Look, the good lies so close. Only learn to grasp happiness. For happiness is always there."
I've been cultivating a kind of 'self-restraint' when it comes to travel for years. During my excursions and explorations in Tyrol, I keep discovering beauties in our immediate surroundings of which I have hardly been aware and which I have even summarized in a book. On my excursions, inns have a special significance as refreshment stops.
The 'historical' excursion inns in the heart of Tyrol
I would therefore like to recommend some almost 'historic' inns near Innsbruck. Most of them are located on small, comfortable hiking routes, nestled in wonderful landscapes, and are a real delight for hikers. Nowadays, real excursion inns can usually be recognized by the fact that they have a children's playground.
It is also the regional delicacies that distinguish these houses. And these, in turn, are served on mostly expansive terraces with fantastic distant views. And those who appreciate eating coffee and cake in a wonderful landscape are also very welcome in these houses.
If I now present seven excursion inns, it is a very personal selection according to my taste. There are many more such houses, but to list them would lead to 'infinity'. I would like to thank the Innsbruck City Archives, which provided me with old photos from its - one may say sensational - collection and whose website is not for nothing one of the best sites of this kind in Austria.
Gasthof Eichhof in Natters, the excursion classic
I'll start with an excursion inn that, for me, is so rightly reminiscent of a once highly praised word: the summer resort. Not only the architecture of the "Waldgasthof zur Eiche" in Natters has been little changed. The hospitality of the Stöger host family is also legendary. No wonder, the house belongs nevertheless for more than 100 years to the fixed inventory of those inns, in which the alpine life-style is practiced.
Having cake and coffee here after a hike is one of the little pleasures of life that make it worth living. The fact that there is no WLAN in the Eichhof is for me a wonderful proof that the Stöger family is serious about peace and deceleration
Country hotel inn Eichhof, Fam. Stöger, Eichhof 4, 6161 Natters
Daily from 13:30 to 18:00. Attention: no lunch kitchen!
Hiking suggestion: the Andreas-Hofer-Weg
The rake yard should actually be called 'deer yard
It's hard to believe: this extremely popular excursion destination for the people of Innsbruck was first mentioned in a document in 1363. The building, which is now more than 640 years old, was once a Habsburg hunting lodge. Who also had a deer breeding here. And it is the deer that give the farm its name. Because in Tyrolean dialect, deer is pronounced as 'Reach'. The 'Reachenhof' then became the Rechenhof over the centuries.
It is not surprising that Emperor Maximilian I, the last knight, feasted and certainly enjoyed himself at the Rechenhof. As a passionate hunter, it was an ideal base camp for him. The fact that hikers can reach the Rechenhof today in a relaxed and easy way is thanks to the Hungerburgbahn: the connection to the Rechenhof via the Rosnerweg is almost ideal.
It is the ambience that is carefully cultivated by the Speckbacher host family. One is committed to tradition here, which makes the Rechenhof one of Innsbruck's famous excursion inns. This farm has also hardly changed its appearance, which makes it attractive especially in our days.
Rechenhof, Rechenhofweg 100, A-6020 Innsbruck
Tel: +43/(0)512/26 25 13
Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Otherwise open from 10:00 to 18:00 or by appointment.
Hiking suggestion: Starting from Hungerburg on the Rosnerweg to Rechenhof.
The Rauschbrunnen, an 'eagle's nest
Situated at an altitude of 1,060 meters above sea level, the Gasthof Rauschbrunnen may well be called a 'hospitable high seat'. From here, the view of the provincial capital lying deep below the farm is unique. Surrounded by green alpine meadows, Patscherkofel, Serles and the Kalkkögel seem close enough to touch. The large terrace and children's playground encourage lingering.
The name does not come from the fact that a lot of alcohol has always been consumed here. It was named after the only spring far and wide, which also 'roared'.
The Rauschbrunnen is known and loved for its varied snack specialties and the typical Tyrolean alpine dishes. The ingredients come from the hosts' own agricultural production
The Alpengasthof Rauschbrunnen is one of the most popular destinations for the people of Innsbruck and is open all year round (except December, January and February). It is easily accessible from the city via various hiking trails. Directly from the city center (starting at Marktplatz), for example, in a good one and a half to two hours, and from Gasthaus Planötzenhof with free parking in about an hour. The path leads past the Höttinger Bild, a small mountain chapel that also serves as a pilgrimage site.
Gasthof Rauschbrunnen, Berchtoldshofweg 55, 6020 Innsbruck
Phone: +43 6802254811
Open daily except Tuesday from 9:00-18:00 except in bad weather. (Inquiries under above telephone number).
The Planötzenhof: in truth a real Ansitz
Actually, this excursion inn should be called a 'Ansitz'. Because you sit on a steeply sloping mountain edge. And this provides an incredibly beautiful view of Innsbruck.
The Planötzenhof is famous for its winter garden. Having dined here once is certainly one of those pleasures that visitors to Innsbruck should not miss. The fact that the Heis family runs their own farm with great dedication and enthusiasm is of course also reflected in the food on offer. Therefore, products from their own farm can be found in the menu in the form of delicacies.
The Planötzenhof is always a refreshment stop for me. Either coming from a hike, which had led over the Höttinger picture or after an ascent from the city, around the Planötzenhof I simply do not come 'around'.
The same thing happened to a photographer in 1935. He recorded his hike with his camera, his tour can be read on the website of the Innsbruck City Archives https://innsbruck-erinnert.at/ein-herbstspaziergang-rund-um-den-planoetzenhof/
The Planötzenhof can also be reached by public transport: take the bus to the Sadrach stop and from there it's a 20-minute walk to the farm.
Planötzenhof, Family Heis, Planötzenhofstraße 30, A-6020 Innsbruck
Phone: + 43 (0)512 274017
Open from Thursday to Sunday from 12:00-20:00. Sundays warm kitchen only to 19:00 your.
Closed Monday to Wednesday.
Hiking tip: From the city via Hötting. The Planötzenhof is virtually 'signposted'
The Vogelhütte Lans, a family playground
In the relatively short time of its existence, this excursion inn has caught up with the classics of Innsbruck's excursion inns. Located right next to the Lans golf course, the Vogelhütte snack station in Lans is a very popular destination, especially for families. Perhaps also because the inn can even be reached by public transport. On the one hand, namely with the Innsbruck streetcar line 6, the 'Waldstraßenbahn'. The stop 'Mühlsee' is in the immediate vicinity of the Vogelhütte
Actually, the Vogelhütte is a huge children's playground, which parents can overlook from an expansive terrace. And also the 'catering' here is quasi 'child-friendly': homemade cakes and the tasty, self-rolled dumplings belong here to the 'basic supply', so to speak.
Snack station Vogelhütte, Sparbeggweg 53, 6072 Lans
Mail: georgfrick .firstname.lastname@example.org,
Opening hours in winter: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-16:00, summer: Tuesday-Sunday 11:00-18:00. on holidays always open
Hiking tip: The Vogelhütte circular hike
The Grünwalderhof: High nobility of the excursion inns
The Grünwalderhof is one of those inns that were of particular importance centuries ago. Already in 1550 a 'Wirt am Grünwald' was mentioned here. The farm lies on an ancient road connection, namely the old salt road from Hall in the direction of Brenner. The fact that it is still owned by the Princes of Thurn and Taxis indicates its former importance. After Emperor Maximilian I commissioned the Taxis family to transport the imperial courier mail, postal and horse changing stations were needed. The Grünwalderhof was such a station. It is logical that passengers and service personnel ate here.
Anyone who has ever sat on the terrace of the Grünwalderhof in our days will not only rave about the unique view of the Stubai Valley and especially the Stubai Valley Glacier and the majestically towering Serlesspitze. The award as 'Tiroler Wirtshaus' indicates those regional dishes that are served here in the finest quality.
The Schweinsbratl and Milchkalbl come from Neustift in the Stubaital, as does the Marend, which consists of bacon, gray cheese and farmhouse bread. Cheese and butter are from the Schlicker Alm.
The Grünwalderhof can be reached luxuriously from Innsbruck by bus. Because the bus station is virtually in front of the inn door.
Grünwalderhof Ribis catering trade GmbH, Roman road 1, A - 6082 Patsch
Tel: +43 512 377304
Hiking tip: To Igls with the J-bus, from the village center in the direction of Goldbichl and Grünwalderhof
The Gramarthof - Ice Age at a high level
Two things stand for me for the Höttinger district 'Gramart': there is the wonderful folk music group 'Gramartmusig', which has introduced the name of this small hamlet into the music world. By the way, you should not miss a performance of these excellent musicians. And then there's the Gramarthof of the Anselmi family, which shines with a very special specialty: the homemade ice cream specialties made from regional products.
The advantage for ice cream lovers: this excursion inn is virtually directly connected to the Hungerburg. And therefore as an excursion for seniors just as attractive as for families. The Hungerburg can be reached by bus or by the Hungerburgbahn. On the beautiful walking paths you can reach the Gramarthof from the Hungerburg within a short time and without much physical effort.
On the spacious terrace you can not only enjoy the 'Anselmi ice cream'. This excursion inn is also known for its "Backhendlabende" on Fridays and the homemade dumplings and Schlutzkrapfen.
Needless to say, the children's playground of the Gramartboden is a small adventure playground where children feel very comfortable as my colleague Elisabeth Siegl writes
Gramarthof, Gramartstraße 117 , 6020 Innsbruck
Kitchen open from Wednesday to Saturday: 11:00 to 20:00. On Sunday from 11:00 - 18:00.
Monday and Tuesday: day off
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A volunteer at the "Schule der Alm" alpine farming school, cultural pilgrim, Tyrol aficionado and Innsbruck fan.