News from ZillerSeasons

Judy's hiking secrets

All paths lead to yourself

If you have ever wanted to know the significance of the wonderful room names - Stillup, Zillergrund, Olperer - in DasPosthotel, our hiking guide is the person to ask. She knows where the most beautiful alpine pastures in the Zillertal are located, and she knows the mountains like the back of her hand simply because they are her home.

When the merry month of May comes around, it means the hiking month of May for me. As the snow moves up the mountain peaks, I follow it until it disappears. I hike together with the guests of the ZillerSeasons until into October. Every month, there are new impressions; the mountains are alive too. I know the mountains well, because the Zillertal is where I was born, and the mountains are my home. There is so much to discover on hikes: the many herbs, ferns, and the interaction of the weather and vibrant colors. When we head through the forests, we don’t simply listen to the trees – they rustle, swoosh, gently blow, whisper, murmur, or buzz. Experiencing nature on a hike is as diverse as the sounds that the forest makes.

A reward could perhaps be a snack at a hut. I like to visit Thomas in his small hut at the Karlalm. He makes his own bread, and if you have ever tried his alpine cheese and bacon, you will never want to leave the Zillertal. Sepp stays at the hill farm all summer. He is already 80 years old, but he is as closely connected to the farm as he was in his youth.

At the Bodenalm, there are many alpine cows that dreamily graze on the lush mountainside. Sometimes we eat the so-called “Melchermuas” here, which is a simple dish that has added a bit of sweetness to the hard life of the farmers for centuries… especially when the Melchermuas is served with extra lingonberry jam. Awaiting us hikers at the end of the hiking season is rutting season at the Finkau. Deer have a majestic demeanor; they are graceful and powerful at the same time. Their sonorous sounds permeate the landscape and create an archaic atmosphere as if time were suspended.

People often ask which month is my favorite and I always answer: every month! In May, nature awakens from its winter sleep, and the trees sprout. Vigor returns to the landscape, and we take a piece of it with us when we go on a hike. In June, everything blooms. In July, the high-altitude trails are accessible, and the huts invite everyone to stop by. August offers the first colors of autumn. Who needs an Indian summer with its many colors when you could have a Zillertal summer with just as many colors? Then comes the traditional cattle drive and wonderfully atmospheric late summer days. In the meantime, October has temperatures that are ideal for hikers. My hikes are always announced in the “Wochenpost” at DasPosthotel. You can register until the evening before. I can also adapt the hikes to the weather in case the weather changes. If it gets too dark, we can simply stop at a small schnapps distillery, where you can taste Zillertal schnapps including masterwort, pine, fruit, and nut schnapps.

With my hikes through the Zillertal, guests can discover the most refreshing places of power off the beaten path. Leave the hours of studying hiking maps to someone else; I am a reliable guide and am happy to share my knowledge about the history of the Zillertal, the culture, and the food. We feel nature and grasp it in more ways than one. Hiking is also twofold: finding yourself and finding one another.

All you need is a little fitness, good hiking shoes, and hiking clothes as well as sun protection and water bottles. Hiking poles can be borrowed at the hotel. Then you can head out on your adventure!

Judy Giacomelli

Her name is well-known in the mountains of the Zillertal. She grew up in Mayrhofen and has lived in Zell am Ziller for 8 years. Her hikes are fun and educational. Judy provides tips such as proper breathing, better balance, and strengthened muscle tension. The mountain is the ideal opportunity to discover new paths to yourself.