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Smuggler’s Trail

Here, every metre breathes histroy

The Gurgl hiking region is characterised by legendary and picturesque smuggler's trails.

In honour of the 200th anniversary of the Tyrolean struggle for freedom, the Timmelsjoch has become very interesting for athletic hobby historians. Every single metre of the path over Austria’s highest border crossing in the South Tyrolean Passeier Valley breathes history. Many patriots reached their physical limits here during World War II and took their last breath on the wayside against this dramatically beautiful background. The Gurgl hiking region is characterised by legendary and picturesque smugglers’ trails that were used in the Middle Ages by traders, smugglers and shepherds to bring cattle, wheat, tobacco and alcohol to the Ötztal Valley. One especially exciting smuggler’s trail, for example, runs over the Königsjoch (2,900 metres) down to an old South Tyrolean alm.

Hiking suggestion: Smuggler’s Trail Hike

Walking time: approx. 5 hours. From the Kreßbrunnen district of Obergurgl - walk behind the tennis courts at the foot of the Verwall hillside, slightly uphill northwards towards the Verwallbach bridge, or from the Festkoglbahn car park uphill to the junction of the alpine trail. The steep path leads over beautiful hillsides covered with alpine roses, running consistently uphill into the Königstal valley. Take the ascent through the Königstal past the former tollhouse to the Königsjoch. The weekly guided smuggler’s hike leads over the Königsjoch down into the Seebertal valley to a South Tyrolean high alpine alm. Take the taxi or bus over the Timmelsjoch to Obergurgl. Hikers on this trail should not be afraid of heights.

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