A friendly mountain town nestled in the Kitzbüheler Alps, holidays to St Johann mean you're perfectly placed for exploring the wider Tyrol area.
St Johann itself is a real town with real people - laid back and with loads of personality. Spend your time wandering around the shops, relaxing with a coffee at one of the numerous street cafés, or sampling beers directly from the source at the Huber Brau Brewery. The town is perfect for those who are on their first trip to the Austrian Alps, as an ideal location in the heart of west Austria makes it a great base to explore - you can jump on the train and be in Innsbruck, Salzburg or Munich in just a few hours.
Walkers have over 200km of routes to choose from between the Wilder Kaiser Mountains and the Kitzbüheler Horn alone, ranging from easy strolls to full day treks. The Harschbichl gondola will whisk you up above the clouds so you can explore even further by foot, or just enjoy the views at the top. It’s also really easy to get to the local villages of Oberndorf and Kirchdorf by bus - and cosmopolitan Kitzbühel is just an eight-minute train ride away.
Out and about
• Mountain lifts
• Cycle routes
• Indoor pool
• Outdoor pool
• Tennis courts
• Wildlife spotting
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Things to See and Do in St Johann in Tyrol
There are no bathing lakes in St Johann itself, but just to the west of the town is Badesee Going - an emerald-toned pool of water at the foot of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, fed by natural sources from the peaks.
Natural swimming lake
Recently voted the most beautiful natural swimming lake in Tyrol, it owes its title to the clear green water, photogenic location and assortment of activities on offer - like the huge beach volleyball court, which is the largest in western Austria.
The water reaches a mild 24°C, ideal for swimming in the warmer summer months. Kids will love the 100m open-air slide and the extra wide XXL slide. There’s even a spot for tiny tots to splash around safely in the non-swimmers area, as well as an adventure playground complete with pirate ship.
The weekly farmers' market offers local and regional products, like meats, breads, mountain cheeses, schnapps, honey, herbs and crafts. This is an ideal opportunity to pick up some bargain souvenirs.
There are a few clothes stores, sports shops and a cosmetic pharmacy selling premium beauty products and perfumes. There are also specialist stores worth paying a visit to - especially the small, independent chocolate shop just off the main square next to the Tabac.
Pick up an ice cream from one of the cafés in the square, and spend a quiet evening strolling along the river that flows through the middle of town.
Pop by Cubo, just past the train tracks. There's a beautiful sky lounge at the top, serving delicious cocktails with a side of spectacular mountain views.
Coffee culture is big in the Kitzbühel Alps. So in St Johann you’ll find lots of hidden cafés and bistros offering delicious hot drinks and cakes. One of the favourites is Oma’s Häferlcafé, or ‘grandma’s big milky coffee’, which is served in a traditional Austrian mug.
Grab a slice from Villa Masianco
Just by the level crossing is Villa Masianco, a pizzeria with very generous portions that also serves delicious burgers, pasta, salads and other dishes. They also do takeaway, so you can sit down by the river on a sunny day.
Beer with a view at Huber Brau Brewery
The tower of the Huber Brau Brewery has a restaurant at its top level. As well as hearty Tyrolean fare, the restaurant has an observation balcony where you can enjoy the views of the Wilder Kaiser with a locally brewed beer.
Spoilt for choice at Café Bar Eggers
A short walk away on the Hauptplatz is Café Bar Eggers, a modern but cosy bistro with outdoor seating - ideal for people watching. They have a varied menu, from sandwiches to salads and pastas, and cocktails to coffees. There's also free Wi-Fi, so you can share your snaps with your friends.
Sample strudel at Grander Schupf
A favourite among the locals is the Grander Schupf, which is an uphill walk from the resort. Reasonable prices, good strudel and a quaint, comfortable atmosphere make this Austrian chalet an ideal place to stop for a hot drink, lunch or even dinner.
Take relaxing walks through the village, where the paths are gentle and the town centre is pedestrianised between 10am and 6pm.
Situated near the Huber Brau Brewery is St Johann’s train station. You can access Kitzbühel in 8 minutes, as well as Zell am See in 45 minutes, with trains running every half an hour. Trains also run to Innsbruck and Salzburg, departing every 2 hours.
If you're not looking to go as far, you can always catch a bus from the main station next to the train station. The buses stop at nearby Ellmau (25 minutes), Scheffau (30 minutes) and Söll (40 minutes) and run every half an hour Monday to Friday, every 2 hours on a Saturday, and every 3 hours on a Sunday.
You can catch the Harschbichl gondola up the mountain for some gentle walks and beautiful views. The gondala operates from mid-May to mid-October and is open every day between 9am and 4.30pm.
Whether you’re after a relaxed stroll or a chance to really stretch your legs, you’re sure to find something suitable along St Johann’s 210km of trails. Casual walkers can spend long summer days ambling through the village, along riverside paths and through Alpine meadows. If you want to explore a bit further, you can venture to nearby Kitzbühel to jump on the Kitzbühelerhorn gondola, for access to plenty of footpaths and marked trails – with stunning views. The one and a half hour walk to the Eifersbacher waterfalls is well worth it for the photo opportunity alone.
Catch the gondola to the top of Harschbichl Mountain and head up towards the Kitzbüheler Horn, following the steep path through alpine meadows. Wind past farm pastures and the lovely little chapel to the peak of the Horn, where spectacular views await you – and your camera. From there, the trail leads downhill along a narrow ridge and back to the gondola terminal.
Get stuck into nature and take this trail into an impressive ravine, following the winding river between steep rocky walls, and making your way across the suspension bridge, four metres above the riverbed. Step carefully along wooden boardwalks, cross a second bridge, and marvel at the cascading waterfall – all before reaching a peaceful sandy area, perfect for a lunch stop. This is a beautiful route, but not one for the casual strollers.
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