In villages throughout Alpine Europe, a very special tradition takes place at the end of summer each year. This is the Almabtrieb, the bringing down of cattle from high in the mountains to their village quarters after a summer of grazing in flower-filled alpine meadows. The animals are decked out in magnificent headdresses decorated with garlands of greenery, meadow flowers and ribbons, plus heavy leather collars complete with a clanging cow bell to ward off evil demons on the way. The procession makes its way down the mountain and through the streets before the animals are sorted and reunited with their owners, then their safe return home is celebrated in lively village festivals enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, with music, dancing and perhaps the odd stein of beer or two!
Our holiday to the Austrian Tyrol allows you to take part in the celebrations as they happen, and a full itinerary of escorted excursions for a true Tyrolean experience.