The Ötztal Alps, together with the Hohe Tauern, is one of the best known mountain destinations in Austria. The reason is this: the Ötztal is a spectacular high alpine region. This vast area of snow, ice and rock counts many trails. Many of them can be done by the average mountain hiker. Even many of the glacier crossings are not too difficult, although they obviously require the correct use of rope, ice ax and crampons.
The area forms the border between Italy and Austria. The Italian side is called Val Venoste. The weather is often fair, because the area is on the southern side of the Alps.
The center of this mountain region is the Ötztal proper. The main towns here, the best places to start your expedition, are Sölden and Vent. The valley to the west is called the Pitztal. This is as good a starting point for longer or shorter hikes. Here, Mittelberg and Imst and the places to search for. Mountain huts abound.
Among the many high mountains, the highest is the Wildspitze, 3774 m, the second highest mountain in Austria.
In 1991 two hikers found a body of a man, half buried into the ice. This man, it turned out, died 5300 years ago. The body had miraculously been preserved over the millennia. A great find, from which we can learn a lot about the earliest inhabitants of the continent. Ötzi, the iceman, is now on display in Bolzano, in his own museum.