Slovenia: Europe’s exemplar of alpine custodianship

To me, Slovenia has always punched above its weight as an alpine nation. It can of course be argued that the modern day border that wraps around a territory occupied by 2 million inhabits has within it quite by chance some of the most dramatic mountainscapes of Europe, but it isn't necessarily what you have…

Big money threatens to homogenize distinct alpine regions

Undeveloped land within the Austrian Tirol, in particular along the Inn Valley and where it is more tableland than vertiginous peaks, is in great demand and under growing pressure - in equal measure. There is little doubt that the region's popularity as a tourism destination and the location of second homes for wealthy Austrians, and…

Obergurgl memories: Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Stepping back in time from my previous post, the turn of the millennium is when my relationship with alpine Austria firmly took root. For decades, my family had already established individual connections with the Alps but aside from a visit as a young child to Salzburgerland's St. Wolfgang these experiences were never shared together and…

Kitzbuhel: Hiking from the Hahnenkamm

Frustrated at the first time of asking by extremely poor visibility I hoped that my next attempt to ascend the iconic Hahnenkamm and spend a day walking from the top station of its eponymous cableway, would bear greater fruit. I was indeed second time lucky, at least from a meteorological perspective. Home to the most…

Kitzb├╝hel: Shopping, Skiing, Hiking. In that order.

The allure of Kitzb├╝hel to the well-heeled is there for all to see. A short survey of the main street immediately highlights the Tirolean town's slavish devotion to luxury brands, and how those sashaying along its pristine thoroughfares are tacitly judged by their own attention, or lack of, to high-end couture and jewellery. For a…

The North-South Divide that Dictates Accessing Slovenia and Austria from the UK

The addition of an easyJet-operated Manchester-Innsbruck route commencing in December is a boost for winter-sports aficionados but by belatedly replacing the presence at Ringway and the Tyrolean capital of the now defunct Monarch Airlines, the Luton-based airline is simply filling a considerable void rather than in real-terms representing a net-gain of services between the two…