Summer visit to Gerlos in Austrian Alps

10 years
1 year

In 2009 we spent five days in beautiful village of Gerlos in Austrian Alps, which is very close to the Krimml Wasserfall (waterfall) one of the most beautiful natural wonders. This was the first time that we wanted to spend summer vacation in mountains. Until then, seaside was our regular decision. Decision was made due to my memories as a child spending few days on same location with my uncle, and I never forgot it. Other members of my family were happy to explore new destinations.

Nobody regretted this decision. Beautiful nature opens all your senses and we will surely come again.

We came with our car, so we were able to visit many thing in close vicinity. We made a day visit to Liechtenstein, to the Swarovski Crystal World (Swarovski Krstallwelten) near Wattens (Innsbruck), and traveled with Zillertal steam train.

We've made reservation for accommodation in Gerlos through The price was reasonable for a small apartment for three + small 1-year old child. From there we were able to visit many nice places around the Gerlos with our own car.

DAY 1 (Gerlos ):

When entering Gerlos for the first time you will be surprised by the number of cows laying on and around the main road. All visitors wait for this large animals to move themselves from the road without hurry. When you turn your had around you will see hundreds of cows walking around and ringing their bells. You should be prepared to hear this sound for all of your staying here. The village itself is under the dam that creates lake Speicher Durlaßboden, so that we felt at first a little bit uneasy being some 20-30 meters under the lake level. The village is full of skiers over the winter, but there are also lot of tourists during the summer. nature lovers can be found on every corner. Most of houses are made of wood, and they were full of flowers. Our first impressions didn't changed over the time, so we were sure that we made good decision.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't so nice on the first day, so we had some light rain, but we were able to walk around the village during the few pauses between raining and dining in the one of the village restaurants. 

Our apartment was just on the other end of the village, toward Zell am Ziller, hosts were very nice people, and our apartment had all the equipment that we expected to have to spend few days here, including small kitchen and living room. 

DAY 2 (Gerlos Dam, Zell am Ziller, Jenbach):

During the morning we spent some time around Gerlos, and went to road on top of the dam to see the lake Speicher Durlaßboden. The weather was still nice, but later it started to rain. We decided to go to Zell am Ziller, and to take the old Steam Train to the nearby station of Jenbach and back again. Experience was wonderful, since there se an open wagon when you can go and stay outside during the travel and feel how it was in old days with fume and sparks flying around. Since it was quite cold outside we hat to make often visit to closed wagons to warm a little bit. The nature all around us was refreshed due to rain. 

When we reached Jenbach we walked around a little bit and spent some time buying few souvenirs in a small shop on the station. One of them was a little wooden train with letters as a wagon that form our child names. We gladly remember to this beautiful experience whenever we see those trains in our house. In todays world of luxury cars and airplanes, it was quite an experience to take a ride with the old train that is powered by actual steam locomotive for both us and our kids. Recommended!

DAY 3 (Vaduz, Liechtenstein ):

Rain finally stopped but it was still too wet to walk around the nature. So we decided to make a car trip to Vaduz, Liechtenstein. This is not something we planned before, and it is not so close to Gerlos, but when you go to a trip like this, you must be ready for changing weather and you must be prepared to be flexible. It took us couple of hours to reach Vaduz, and we had to cross over the border, since Liechtenstein has agreement with Switzerland to protect their borders, and they are not part of the Schengen area. Since we had installed DVD players in our car, our kids didn't make much troubles traveling, because they were occupied with their own stuff.

When we finally arrived, there was lot of sun for a little change, and it proved that our decision was correct. There wasn't much tourists there, so our kids could freely wonder around the town. There are lot of restaurants, souvenir shops and modern artistic setups which contributes to the variety of colors in this little town/country. We made a beautiful one-day trip and returned content to our apartment in Gerlos.

DAY 4 (Gerlos, Cable Car):

At last came a beautiful sunny day which we spent on the mountains above Gerlos. The Cable Car ride was quite short in minutes, but long enough for people that don't like them (like me). And up there on the mountain - a new world. It's quite difficult to say what it looks to have beautiful view from there to the lake down in the valley and whole village of Gerlos. And the small lake in the mountain where you can see sky reflection - unbelievable. Weather was above all expectations. Walking paths are in good shape so that eve my husband who was carrying our 2-year old son on his back moved very easily. Mountain carrybag for kids is nice innovation, particularly when someone else is carrying your kid smiley.

Since I was pregnant during this travel with our third child, and my husband was carrying our son on his back, we had to move on the track with relatively modest speed, but that hasn't inhibited walking around the mountain. On the shore of the small lake we relaxed for some time where all our life troubles seemed so far away. In the evening we walked around the Gerlos and came back to our apartment.

DAY 5 (Krimml Waterfall, Water Wonder World):

When we initially planned our visit to Gerlos, we really wanted to visit Krimml Waterfall (or Krimml Wasserfall in German). It takes few hours to climb from around 1000m to around 1500m, especially if you are carrying small child on your back. But, believe me - it's really worth it.

Before starting our ascend we have visited Water Wonder World (or Wasser Wunder Welt in German), an exhibition and adventure that is everything about the water. It is situated just on the other side of the road of the main entrance to the Krimml Waterfall. There is lot to be seen, and lot of fun for our kids. But beware, you may get a little wet.

The weather was beautiful, kids were very cheerful, and we were quite determined to climb to the top, and then a little more further. There were couple of times during our ascent that my husband and daughter wanted to go back, but curiosity and my appeals keep them climbing. In the lower part of waterfall there were lot of tourists, but in the higher areas the number diminished drastically. It took us more then three hours to climb. An then - we reached the top of the waterfall, but it took another one hour walking to our final destination.

But, when we arrived, green valley with river weaving through green grass, with cows laying here and there, and two wooden houses selling exquisite domestic food and fresh milk returned smiles to our faces. Those pictures we won't forget. We eat home apple strudels and drank fresh milk and returned back after spending couple of hours relaxing there.

DAY 6 (Innsbruck Position #3 on map, Swarovski Crystal World Position #5 on map):

Since I don't ski I never went to any of the ski centers before. So this was a great opportunity to visit Innsbruck and well known ski-jumping site Bergisel, one of the New Year four ski jumping sites. The town itself is beautiful. It's full of life, beautifully arranged and lot of things to see. We decided that we will surely return once in the future and spend couple of days in Innsbruck itself. Bergisel ski jumping site is experience on it's own, even in summer. There were actually ski jumpers training during our visit on a plastic base. Who ever though that you can do ski jumping without the snow? From the top of the tower you can see beautiful view of graveyard beneath. We couldn't resist to think of it that if you overjump that you will finish in graveyard, because it is in right direction. Our kids were extremely happy with this visit.

In he end, while driving back to Gerlos, we made a stop in Watens where Svarowski factory is located, where they have a large visitors and exhibition center called Swarovski Crystal World (or Svarowski Kristallwelten in German), what was most appealing to women side of our family. The exhibition is nice, but yes - it is an artistic exhibition that you can like or maybe not. Nevertheless at the exit you have the largest Swarovski shop in the world that probably anyone can find something for itself.

DAY 7 (Going home):

It is usually said that everything nice ends swiftly. This vacation was above all of our expectations. All my family members were extremely satisfied. But, I personally, like to come back home no matter what. Listen to Blackmore's Night song "Home Again" and you could understand that feeling.


Morning in Gerlos
Gerlos Lake
Friendly cows walking around
Article Type: 
In-Person Impressions


This is a topic which is close to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?

By Delila (not verified)

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