Strolling through the central strasse in the picturesque town of Alpbach, it's easy to see why it's widely considered the most beautiful in the Austrian region of Tirol.
Each side of the road is flanked by timber-clad chalets built in the traditional Tirolean style; there are luscious green spruce trees stretching into the sky; and a smattering of more than a hundred working farmhouses leaning into the steep valley slopes in the distance. Far removed from the glitz of France's Alpine resorts and only a 40-minute drive from the popular destination of Innsbruck, Alpbach is a traditional Austrian gem preserved for the 21st century.
Don't be fooled by its sleepy facade – there's plenty of action to keep you entertained, especially for those with a taste for the great outdoors.
Under the watchful gaze of the 1,899m Gratlspitz mountain, Alpbach village sits at the base of a long valley of the same name with an almost innumerable amount of hiking and walking trails (more than 900km worth of combined routes) to enjoy.
Travel into the surrounding Alpbachtal area and you'll find plenty of surprises worthy of your attention, too. The Alpbachtaler Lauser-Sauser is a two-seater alpine roller coaster that starts at an altitude of 1,845 m next to the Wiedersbergerhorn gondola lift top station and whizzes down 134 vertical metres of jumps and twists, reaching speeds of up to 42kmph in the process. There are also plenty of bathing lakes, including the stunning Zireiner See, which are the perfect place for families to relax in the summer sun.
And if you're after something really special, take the Wiedersbergershorn gondola and hike to the summit, where you can watch the sun rise over the Alps.
Making the most of the Alpbach Valley:
For more information, visit alpbachtal.at