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16 août 2016

Family summer holidays in Pettneu

What you are about to discover seems at first sight to be a simple holiday in the mountains, but stay tuned and read on. This is the closest to « family holiday » heaven you can get.

If you have kids (I have 3) and the simple thought of dragging them on a very hot summer day to a very crowded beach including all the accessories haunts you. Plus not being able to rest as you have to make cameleon-like eye movements to keep them all in sight, then you might re-think your summer holidays for a few years and consider spending your well deserved holidays in the mountains.

In this article I will give you a few ideas on what a holiday with kids in the mountains could look like.

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2 years ago our son was 1 year old and we had chosen to drive down to Tuscany for our yearly summer holidays. Driving all the way down 1500 km in one time seemed a bit too much, so we googled half way and searched maps and ended up in the tiny village of « Pettneu am Arlberg » in Austria. Hmmm? ! What to do ? But actually, yes, there was a hotel and even more than one in that village. Googling a bit more, we saw that Pettneu is the next village to St. Anton am Arlberg (Tirol), famous ski resort.

Ok, so we booked the hotel for 3 days before continuing our travel to Tuscany… and here’s why since then we go back every year!

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The hotel is called Gridlon and although I am not fond of making publicity for an hotel, I wanted to share my secret with you.

It is a family hotel where you and your kids are going to feel at home.  Just a few words: a room with a view, breakfast, lunch and dinner  included – prepared by the owner Mr. Lieglein, chef who has been trained in France by star chefs – a wellness area, an outside and an inside pool… to name only a few of the facilities.

There are numerous ways to spend your days, by going out to wander, cycle or climb up the mountain or simply stay at the hotel and enjoy the sun next to the swimming pool. For us, the challenge is to keep the kids busy and keep their energy under control. So having them run, walk, climb and swim is the perfect plan to allow us parents  a quiet dinner as they stay with a babysitter in the room.

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Once a week, breakfast (and I mean the complete breakfast buffet) is served at 1600 m high in the mountain. But you need to deserve it and so the guided tour starts at 8.30 am at the hotel and ends with a wonderful breakfast and a breathtaking view.

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If you want to change your holiday routine and discover Tirol, here  a few tips for half or full-day trips: St. Anton, Landeck, Innsbruck and Bregenz.

The closest is St. Anton at 7.5 km from Pettneu, it is a very nice and easy walk of 2.5 to 3 hours through the villages.  In St. Anton you can take the gondola to go up to Valluga at 2804 m and have a spectacular view. From Galzig which is at 2184 m you can walk down back to the village of St. Anton, but be careful this is not a walk that is accessible with a stroller.

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Landeck is the closest city to Pettneu (20 minutes drive), not much to see there, except for the castle where they have a nice and informative tour especially for kids.

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Innsbruck is an hour drive from Pettneu. It is a beautiful city, worth seeing, it is ideal for a day trip. We walked around the old city center and enjoyed some shopping… mainly at the famous chocolate stores!

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This year we discovered Bregenz, the city by the lake of Constance which is surrounded by  Germany, Switzerland and Austria. We took the train from St. Anton and had a boat tour on the lake. This is a very nice day trip especially for the kids as they enjoyed the boat, the hamburgers and the icecream with a view on the lake. Bregenz is also famous for it’s « Festspiele » which is an Opera festival hosting a different famous Opera every year. The stage is built on the water for an unforgettable experience.

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For those of you who are still hesitating and believing that beach is mandatory for summer holidays, believe me: I was thinking the same before discovering another type of holidays that charmed me ;-).

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Fabienne
Fabienne

Luxembourg native, living in Brussels & combining logistics of three kids and a full time job!

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