BERGERALM CHALETS IN WIPPTAL, TYROL
Wintertime in Tyrol isn't only about having fun on the ski slopes. It also has a quieter, gentler side. One good example of this is Wipptal, around 20 kilometers south of Innsbruck next to the Brenner. The region captivates with its authenticity and its virtually endless possibilities amid untouched nature. No wonder, then, that it was listed as one of GEO magazine's "Top 10 Travel Destinations" in 2017. We at ALPS are delighted that, since the winter of 2019/20, we have been able to offer our guests very special accommodations in the form of the Bergeralm Chalets, nestled in the heart of this Tyrolean treasure and within walking distance of the Bergeralm ski area.
TYROLEAN TRADITIONS DURING ADVENT
So, as we said: Tyrol does have its quieter side. Though perhaps not quite as quiet on the 5th and 6th of December. That's when, in Wipptal and elsewhere, the Krampuses, "Kramperl" or "Tuifl" make their way through local communities together with Saint Nick. With loud bells and roars, shaggy fur coats and hand-carved (and - to be honest - rather scary) masks, these wild characters drive away the evil spirits. When they are done, the Tiroler Oberland finally becomes completely quiet and peaceful again.
Wipptal cherishes its ancient folk customs and traditions. During the run-up to Christmas, in addition to the customary Christmas cookies, they also bake so-called "Tiroler Zelten", a fruit bread with nuts. The Nativity scene is brought out from the attic or cellar and set up. Incidentally, you will find a really interesting exhibition of Nativity scenes at the Tyrol Museum of Folk Art, located at the Hofkirche in Innsbruck. And since we are on the topic of Innsbruck: An Advent visit to the Christmas market in the Tyrolean provincial capital, Innsbruck, is also an absolute must!
The Innsbruck Christmas market is one of the most attractive you will find anywhere, both in Austria and abroad. A great place to find nice handmade souvenirs and special gifts for the big day ahead – and with the view of the Nordkette peaks right there before your eyes, that mug of hot mulled wine tastes twice as good. In the Old City beneath the "Golden Roof", on Maria-Theresien Strasse, on the market square at the foot of a 14 meters-high (!) Christmas tree decorated with 170,500 (!!) Swarowski crystals, on the Bergisel or at the Hungerburg, from where you are treated to an enormous view of the Tyrolean capital.
Back at the Christmas market, you are certain to find the right incense burner for the next Tyrolean tradition, "Rachn Gian". The purpose of this ancient custom is to cleanse the air and protect people and animals from evil and calamity. Most families burn incense throughout their homes on Christmas Eve, one of the four most important nights known as the "Raunächte". The incense is burned on a small incense burner which is carried through each of the rooms, after which the room is sprinkled with holy water. The whole family participates in the ritual - to avoid any possibility of harm whatsoever.