There’s a secret spot in Innsbruck you won’t find in the guidebooks. In fact, you probably won’t find it at all unless you know where it is. It’s called the Sill Gorge (or Sillschlucht in German) and it’s a local favourite on a hot summer’s day. Why? The scenery is beautiful, you can cool off in the water, and it’s so peaceful you’ll forget there’s a city just a short walk away.
If you’re planning a trip to the Sill Gorge, here are seven things you shouldn’t miss.
1) The Entrance
The Sill Gorge is actually located really close to the city, but finding the entrance and how to get into the Sillschlucht can be a little tricky. The path starts at the Tirol Panorama museum, next to the Bergisel ski jump. You can walk up to the Tirol Panorama or take the Sightseer bus, depending on how lazy you’re feeling.
Don’t be tempted by the museum (or not this time at least, it’s definitely worth a visit another time!), but walk straight through to the forest at the back of the car park. Once you see the Panoramarunde sign, you’re on the right path for the Sill Gorge.
2) The Epic Views
Follow that path up through the trees, and fifteen minutes later you’ll come to the Drachenfelsen viewing platform.
This dramatic construction juts out of the rock and gives you amazing views of the gorge and the city in the distance. You can see from the Nordkette mountains in the north right round to the mighty Serles in the south. And don’t worry if the platform feels a bit bouncy, it is meant to be!
3) The Iron Bridge
Selfies complete and it’s time to head down to the gorge itself. Follow the path down through the forest, and go left at the T-junction. The path gets a little narrower, and eventually you’ll come out at a beautiful old iron bridge. You’ve reached paradise.
Stand in the sun on the bridge and admire the view over the water and of the Bergisel ski jump towering above you. But don’t cross the bridge yet, or you’d be missing out on the best bit of the Sill Gorge.
4) The Beach
Instead, carry on down the riverbank. Follow the path round the bend and there you have it: Innsbruck’s own private beach. This is why people love the Sill Gorge. Find a flattish rock (or string up your hammock) and simply enjoy the beautiful nature all around.
There’s even a couple of spots deep enough for swimming. The water is oh so cold but oh so good on a hot sunny day.
Be sensible if you do go for a dip though: at middle water levels and above the river flows faster than you might think, and becomes a favourite for local whitewater kayakers. Some spots have hidden dangers like trees stuck underwater, and a couple of larger rapids lurk around blind corners…
5) The Waterfall
Head back to the bridge and this time cross over it and turn left. The riverbank on this side is very cute, and nothing is cuter than this waterfall.
If you want a challenge, there’s a steep path up the left side of the waterfall that comes out in Vill, a small village close to Igls. You will probably want to change out of your flip flops though.
6) The Dripping Wall
A bit further along is the dripping wall. We guess there is a lake at the top of the rock which drips slowly down into the gorge. In winter, the dripping wall freezes and turns into an amazing frozen waterfall.
7) This Important Sign
And finally, you should not miss this important sign, reminding everyone to take their waste home with them. They even provide bags, how kind!