Molly, Tom, Barb and I spent a week in a chalet at the Ropferhof Guesthouse in the Tirol region of Austria. The property is set next to a large network of hiking trails and consists of a chalet, large guesthouse and the Ropferstub’m restaurant which sit high above the Inn Valley, overlooking Alpine peaks . The owners, Isabella and Remy, were beyond accommodating, friendly and provided exceptional hospitality. And their Ropferstub’m restaurant serves delicious Tirolean specialties like spinach dumplings, lamb and potato roasts, smoked meats and doughy desserts. We also drank Austrian wine – by far our favorite wine in Europe – as recommended by Roman, our delightful waiter and new friend.
The chalet, itself, has a gorgeous interior with several rooms and a full kitchen. After spending our days hiking or exploring Tirol, we spent our evenings in the chalet: cooking dinner, playing lots of quadruple solitaire and reading on the deck.
Scattered across the hilltops are an endless stream of guesthouses and restaurants that will welcome in hikers for the day or people looking for a longer retreat and the Ropferhof Guesthouse follows a similar model (though it has by far the best food!) Often, in the mornings we’d see a stream of hikers set off from the trails behind the restaurant only to return by noon for a big hearty lunch and tall beer. Or we’d see families arrive for a weekend in the guesthouse, coming for the excellent food and evening hikes with their kids. Since we’re used to the state parks and conservation areas of California it’s a little odd to be hiking in the middle of nowhere and suddenly come across a big restaurant in the woods. But then you realize just how many people are out and about actually using these trails and experiencing these mountains and its heartwarming to sit amongst the mountain crowds, enjoying a big beer after a morning of hiking.