Among the many noteworthy activities and destinations in the picturesque state of Tyrol in Western Austria, the rushing gorge known as Zammer Lochputz in Zams is a great choice for nature lovers and travelers with children to entertain.
Often overlooked by guidebooks and tour packages, the nature walk that proceeds from one of the oldest water power plants in Tyrol (it was opened in the early 1920s), past an abandoned smithy that has inspired local legends, across a suspension bridge offering breathtaking views and up to the mouth of a mountain cave resounding with evocative bells and roars (it’s no wonder that locals have long referred to a mythical bull that calls the area home). The sheer volume of water rushing through this gorge is astonishing (hundreds of gallons per second) and the resulting geologic features are a sight to be seen.
Once approachable only on foot, or by a series of horse-drawn carriages and fixed ropes, the so-called “Mystic Gorge of Tyrol” features majestically illuminated nighttime walks, winter excursions, and daily hikes and tours from early summer to late autumn.
Before approaching the gorge, avail yourself of a narrated, multimedia show in the old tower (or Römerturm) in Zams, that details the history of the power station and the surrounding area.
Admission to the area is nominal, with discounts for seniors, students and young children. Guided tours are available for small groups for approximately $30. The hours of operation vary with the seasons. Helmets are mandatory and can be rented. A number of hotels in the area specialize in family-friendly accommodations, which offer rooms with “child-proof” sockets and appliances, playrooms, changing stations, babysitting services and special children’s menus.