The beautiful Schmirn Valley flows from the east of St. Jodok and is fully part of the commune of Schmirn, situated in the immediate vicinity of neighbouring valley of Vals.
The extended municipality also includes a part of St. Jodok that is home to some 900 people. The Schmirn Valley is surrounded by the mountain scenery of the Tux Alps with the distinctive Olperer to the south-east. Together with St. Jodok and the Vals Valley, the Schmirn Valley has since 2012 belonged to the elite group of Austrian mountaineering villages.
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The name Schmirn derives from "vallis smurne" - first mentioned in the records in the 13th century. Schmirn was however first settled back in prehistoric times, to a time when Illyrian herds were already droving their cattle over the Tuxer Joch, the entrance to the modern-day Ziller Valley. Until 1926, Hintertux in the Ziller Valley was part of the Schmirn municipality, and for many centuries the dead were carried over the Tuxer Joch for burial in the cemetery in Mauern in Steinach.
The hamlet of Toldern is home to the “Obere Schnattermühle”, the only surviving mill with a horizontal water wheel in North Tyrol, and a lovingly designed Alpine herb garden. Comfortable benches invite you to linger and, if you ask at the Gasthof Olpererblick (restaurant), you can also take a look at the mill from the inside. From the mill, a wooden footbridge leads to the 1,000-m2 herb garden with over 100 different kinds of herb. A unique experience for all the senses.
A little way above Schmirn, in the district of Wildlahner, there lies, somewhat concealed in the woods, a beautiful clearing with the pilgrimage church known as “Maria hilf in der kalten Herberge”. According to legend, the Holy Mother of God and the baby Jesus appeared there to a shepherd boy, and a brick church was built sometime later to commemorate the visitation. On the 13th of each month from May to October, evening pilgrimages take place from Schmirn to the church.
Schmirn is one of the Mountaineering Villages of the Austrian Alpine Association and has a lot to offer in both summer and winter - from easy walks, for instance to the Kalte Herberge or the Kaserer Winkl, up to high Alpine tours to the Olperer, there is something for every fitness level.
Ski tours are especially popular in the winter, since snow cover is considered guaranteed in the area, and there are many opportunities for the solitary storming of peaks along with pristine slopes of powder snow. What’s more, with two perfectly groomed classic cross-country ski runs, some romantic winter hiking trails and a natural toboggan run, there are no obstacles to winter fun.
Schmirn is a municipality with 866 inhabitants in the district of Innsbruck Land in Tyrol. The municipality is in the judicial district of Innsbruck.