Mountain Huts in the Seefeld Area
There are more than 2000 mountain pastures in the Tyrol, employing more than 3000 people and looking after half the cows in the province.
Even though the Seefeld plateau isn't a big farming area compared to other parts of the Tyrol, there are still a fair few mountain pastures and the associated mountain huts in the surrounding ranges.
In days gone by, mountain huts used to be solely about looking after the animals on the pastures. But these days an important part of the economic sums has to do with the passing trade from walkers and mountain bikers.
The largest areas of pastures are in the Gaistal near the Leutasch valley and over in the Karwendel mountains to the east of Seefeld and Scharnitz.
But a visitor can find huts dotted around the lower forests and meadows as well - some of the best-known and loved can be reached on easy trails from the villages.
Eating and Drinking at the Mountain Huts
The standard of "cuisine" varies from hut to hut, but as a massive generalisation, the huts closest to the villages tend to be a little bit more like a village restaurant, while those higher up in the mountains will have a more limited and traditional menu and maybe a more restrictred choice of beverages (no 'double whipped lattes' in some of them!).
You can sometimes find dishes which have been made from their own production and try some local milk (and buttermilk).
It is possible to stay overnight at many of the mountain huts. Quite a few have websites where it is possible to book in advance and all have telephones. Members of the German and Austrian Alpine Clubs quite often receive reduced rates.
The larger huts will tend to have more luxurious accommodation (we are probably talking youth hostel equivalent) while the smaller ones may still have the traditional shared dormitories or even the notorious mattress rooms.
It is always a good idea to book ahead, especially in high season, and especially if the hut is in an out-of-the-way location. The hut charges generally include a hearty breakfast and an even heartier evening meal is usually available at an extra cost.