Pfunderer Valley & Valser Vallley
Pfunderer Valley and Valser Valley
Touristic side valleys of the lower Puster Valley
Two beautiful sunny valleys, the Valser Valley and the Pfunderer Valley, extend northwards from Mühlbach at the entrance of the Puster Valley. While the Gitschberg ski area in the Pfunderer Valley is responsible for the enormous growth in tourism in recent years, the Valser Valley, however, has remained rather quiet and unchanged. A merger of the two ski areas of Gitschberg and Jochtal-Vals could also be the starting point for modern apartment complexes and hotels replacing the traditional farms.
The village of Mühlbach, directly at the juncture between the lower Puster Valley and the Eisack Valley, is the historic administrative centre of the entire Puster Valley and its side valleys. The Kandlburg castle and several beautiful stately homes in the centre of Mühlbach still bear witness to its historical significance. The Gothic parish church, with its medieval frescoes inside, is also worth seeing. The Mühlbacher Klause, the old frontier fortress of the valley, can be visited every Thursday with a guide. A few kilometres south of Mühlbach there is the small town of Rodeneck, under another powerful castle. It is perched on a cliff above the town and contains beautiful frescoes from the 13th century. These frescoes show the 12 adventures of the knight Iwein from King Arthur’s Round Table and are among the earliest examples of secular painting in the Alps.
Attractions in the Valser Valley and the Pfunderer Valley
The village of Meransen is located on a sunny terrace directly between Pfunderer Valley and Valser Valley. This beautiful rural village in a prime location has, despite steadily increasing tourism, preserved its original character. During winter season in particular you can see many skiers during the day on the slopes of the Gitschberg ski area. Despite its inconspicuousness one of the highlights of the entire region is the parish church. While from the outside you can admire but its location and a beautiful fresco of St. Christopher, inside you will find one of the most beautiful rococo rooms in all of Tyrol. The ivory-white sculptures, as well as the many beautiful frescoes, altar paintings and stucco decorations are a wonderful sight.
The two parish churches in Untervintl are also worth visiting. The older of the two churches is still in Romanesque style and contains some frescoes by Leonhard of Brixen. The upper Pfunderer Valley is mainly characterised by numerous old farms and small hamlets which provide good insight into the traditional lifestyle of the farmers in the valley.