During the second half of the 20th century, the highest parish village in Austria changed from a sleepy mountain village to a popular holiday destination. For a quite long time it was the passion for skiing that attracted guests to Upper Ötztal but summer has also become more attractive in recent years. The healthy high altitude location and the bracing Alpine climate rejuvenate body, mind and soul.
Deceleration is also the order of the day when it comes to hiking tours: as the trails start at almost 2000 m above sea level, they are often only a stone's throw to beautiful vantage points, rustic mountain huts and Alpine pasture inns. Ambitious mountaineers and hiking aficionados can choose from myriad challenging high Alpine crossings and glacier tours plus many more rewarding destinations.
On 27 May 1931, the Swiss stratosphere expert Auguste Piccard had to make an emergency landing on Gurgler Ferner glacier after he had set a new altitude record in his hot-air balloon and was the first person to be able to see the curvature of the earth. A memorial in the village center, the Piccardsaal event hall and the new Piccard Bridge at the foot of Gurgler Ferner glacier are named after the adventurer.