Often described as “wildly romantic” or “the valley of waterfalls”, the Stillup valley is a subsidiary valley of the Ziller Valley. Personally, I think a combination of these descriptions best portrays the beauty of this special place: “the wildly romantic valley of waterfalls”
The road from the reservoir to the Gasthof Stilluperhaus
The Stillup Valley lies to the southeast of Mayrhofen. A deep gorge leads to Gasthaus Lacknerbrunn where a valley, streaked with beautiful waterfalls, opens up before you. You can barely see the dam wall which is covered in green grass and so blends in seamlessly with its natural surroundings. At the end of the reservoir, a scenic path leads to the Gasthaus Stilluperhaus and then onwards to the Grüne Wand Hut and finally to the Kasseler Hut. For me, the highlight of the Stillup is the high waterfalls which surge over the steep cliffs and thunder down to the valley floor – a real natural spectacle.
Ascent to the Kasseler Hut
On this occasion, after my strenuous mountain bike tour of the Zillergrund, I decide to take a more relaxing mode of transport to the reservoir and catch the shuttle bus from the Europahaus in Mayrhofen to the Grüne Wand Hut. From here, I follow a beautiful path up the mountain to the Kasseler Hut. After about 2 hours of walking at a gentle pace, I reach my destination. A hearty pasta soup with sausages quietens my rumbling tummy as I take in the amazing mountain views. After a coffee, I start back towards the valley where I walk through lush green meadows to the Gasthof Stilluperhaus. Soft harp music played by the owner of the Gasthof, Herbert, fills my ears and I can’t resist stopping to listen. While I’m there it seems rude not to indulge in a delicious apple strudel with vanilla sauce!
Along the reservoir
I’m still feeling fit as a fiddle and so spontaneously decide to make my way back to Mayrhofen on foot. As I walk, I let my thoughts wander. I leave my everyday worries behind me and absorb myself in the pure nature around me. It’s a wonderful feeling, as if time is standing still. When I reach the reservoir, I walk to the river inflow and gaze at the crystal clear water. I paddle a bit and enjoy the views of the thundering waterfalls.
With a glacial wind behind me…
“…kalt steigt der Nebel aus die Gründ….” (“…the cold fog rises in the valley…”) This text from the song “Gipfelmelodie” by local musicians Erwin Aschenwald and the Mayrhofner comes into my head and I hum it as I walk. In fact, Erwin spent much of his childhood and youth living as a cattle herd in the Stillup valley and a special spot in front of the Stilluphaus, the Erwin-Aschenwald-Platzl, has been named after him. The sun slowly dips behind the steep mountains and I make my way home.
And so a really enjoyable day draws to a close, but I’m already eagerly looking forward to my next visit to the Stillup valley.