2023 - Cows Down Festival - Tyrolean Traditions
9 Day Tour
Every autumn throughout the Alps, the valleys begin to chime with the clang of cowbells. The traditional ‘Almabtrieb’ (literally meaning ‘driving down the mountain’) is one of the main highlights of the Tyrolean festival calendar and marks the closing of the high alpine pastures after a summer of grazing in the mountain meadows. Experience this time-honoured Tyrolean tradition in Reith im Alpbachtal as herds of cows, beautifully decorated in lavish floral headdresses, form a spectacular procession as the village takes on a colourful, carnival atmosphere. Combine this wonderful experience with the very essence of all things Alpine Austrian – crystal clear lakes, snowy mountain peaks, chocolate box villages and impossibly cute chalets bedecked with colourful flowers, not to mention Alpine boats, trains, funiculars and cable car – for a panoramic tour of Tyrolean highlights.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1 - After joining your holiday coach, travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais. Then continue via the auto-routes of France heading to Germany to the overnight stop. BB
Day 2 – The journey continues through Germany and then as the Alpine scenery unfolds, you cross the border into Austria and your hotel for your 6-night stay in Fügen. Welcome drink on arrival. DBB
Days 3 - 7 – At leisure in the Tyrol with FOUR included excursions. Hotel Bruno is in an elevated position with a slight incline down to the village centre (approx. 10 mins on foot). It is also conveniently situated for the Spieljochbahn cable car (approx. €23 pp return in 2022) with walking trails and a mountain restaurant at the top. There is a thermal baths and spa complex in the village (Erlebnistherme Zillertal - approx. €10.50 pp for 2 hours in 2022)
Saturday 23rd September 2023 – Join in the fun on this fantastic festive occasion as one of the largest Alpine cattle drives marks the start of autumn in Reith im Alpbachtal. The festivities include hand-made craft stalls and a lively famers’ market with plenty of opportunity to eat and drink local specialities as well as enjoy traditional Tyrolean folk music. Locals just love the opportunity to celebrate and to don their Lederhosen and pretty Dirndl dresses. The cows pass through the village on their way to their winter quarters from around 11.00.
Innsbruck for the Day
Enjoy a day in the charming capital of the Tyrol, Innsbruck, with its famous Little Golden Roof. ‘Alpine-urban’ Innsbruck is bursting with cultural treasures, traditional charm and cosmopolitan appeal. There will be an included guided city tour with admission to the Imperial Palace for a glimpse of the sumptuous ceremonial rooms as well as a trip on the Hungerburg funicular railway with its über-modern stations and then continue the ascent via cable car to Seegrube at 1905m. Expect spectacular views over the valley and the Alps.
Achen Lake Boat Trip & ‘Kaiserschmarrn’
A visit today to the largest Alpine lake in the Tyrol, Lake Achen (9km long and 1.3km wide). You will enjoy a boat cruise from Achenkirch (Scholastika) to Pertisau where there is free time to enjoy lunch in the lakeside resort or a stroll along the promenade. This afternoon head to nearby Stans for a demonstration of how to make Kaiserschmarren, a popular and traditional Austrian dessert – bite-sized sweet pancakes with raisins. Afterwards you can sample this Austrian delicacy and make sure you have the receipt so you can try it at home!
Mayrhofen, Zillertalbahn & Krimml Falls
Take a drive through the Zillertal (Ziller Valley) and enjoy classic, picture book Tyrol – fertile farmland, wooded slopes, snowy peaks and the racing Ziller River. A stop will be made at the breath-taking Krimml Falls, at 380m the highest waterfalls in Europe. Enjoy free time at the visitor centre or why not walk to the base of the falls (approx. 10 – 15 minutes relatively flat walk). Continue on over the panoramic Gerlos Alpine Pass, a spectacular scenic road offering amazing views, to the popular, year round resort of Mayrhofen. Here you will board the Zillertalbahn steam train to Kaltenbach with on board musician and a shot of schnapps to make the journey go with a swing!
Day 8 - Farewell to Austria today as you head northwards to the final overnight stop. Bed & breakfast.
Day 9 - After breakfast, travel back through France to Calais for the return to England.Back to top
Hotel Bruno, Fügen
This traditional Tyrolean style 4* hotel is family run and enjoys a quiet location on the edge of the forest in the village of Fügen in the heart of the Ziller Valley. Hotel Bruno is in an elevated position with a slight incline down to the village centre (approx. 10 mins on foot). It is also conveniently situated for the Spieljochbahn cable car (approx. €23 pp return in 2022) with walking trails and a mountain restaurant at the top.
Comfortable guestooms are brightly furnished and feature TV, hairdryer and en-suite with either bath or shower. Twin rooms are traditional Austrian twins (two mattresses on one bed frame).
You can enjoy fresh, local specialities in the restaurant and there is also a welcoming bar area. A small wellness area features sauna and steam
The comprises two interconnecting buildings and there are lifts to all floors. Tea and coffee after dinner is not included.