Did you know that East Tyrol shares its border with Italy? East Tyrol on the Austrian side and South Tyrol (Italy) on the Italian side share the Villgratner Mountains as well as the Deferegger Alps, a part of the East Alps.
Therefore both countries share this wonderful region rich with nature and excursion possibilities. Exactly on the border between Austria and Italy lies the valley of Defereggental that forms at the passing known as “ Stallersattel”. Defereggental is situated on the west side of East Tyrol.
The Deferegger Valley between Stallersattel and Lienz is with 60km one of the largest in Austria. It is also one of the most unpopulated.
A real hidden gem can be found at the Stallersattel. Here in the high alpine region lies the Obersee Lake nestled between fields and mountains. Its crystal clear water is an attraction in summer for hikers enjoying a refreshing rest at the lake’s edge.
It’s also worth visiting Stallersattel in winter. The touring skiers, cross country skiers and winter hikers come here to experience the untouched fresh snow and scenic winter wonderland. There is a 10km cross country track that circles the lake – perfect for cross country skiers. An old traditional mountain restaurant called the Oberseehütte is open for snacks and refreshments from the middle of May to end of October.
To get to Stallersattel, drive from Lienz direction Matrei approximately 15 minutes to a town called Huben.
From there turn left into Defereggental. Stallersattel is at the end of the valley.
An exhibition in St. Jakob, one of the three districts in Defereggental, devotes itself to a very special tree, the pine tree which grows extremely well in this high alpine region. This special pine tree only grows at an altitude between 1,300m and 2,800m despite extreme temperatures of up to minus 40 degrees Celsius.
The wood from the trees is used in many forms especially for furniture. In earlier times the mountain huts were made from pine. The pine sap is also used to produce a high percent alcoholic drink which you should definitely try! The National Park can be reached in 40 minutes drive from Lienz and is open from 8am – 6pm.
Would you like to own an original piece of handwork “made in Defereggental”? Then a visit to the town of Hopfgarten should not be missed. Unique and artistic handwork produced from local materials can be purchased and are ideal to take home as a small gift for your loved ones.
Don’t forget to check out the other regions of East Tyrol including Hochpustertal, the Lienzer Dolomite region and the Hohe Tauern National Park region.