Downhill skier Schnalstal South Tyrol, Italy

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Tyrol is as pure alpine as Austria gets, with mountains that make you want to yodel out loud and patchwork pastures chiming with cowbells. After the first proper dump of snow in winter, it's a Christmas-card scene, with snow-frosted forests and skiers whizzing down some of the finest slopes in Europe. Summer is lower key: hiking trails thread high to peaks and mountain huts, while folk music gets steins swinging down in the valleys.


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