Activities in Austria

Outdoor Activities in Austria

Skiing

Austria Ski Resorts

Austria is absolutely a skiing paradise. Thousands of kilometers of perfectly prepared ski routes offer superb skiing conditions for every skier – no matter whether you look for an easy slope, allowing long and wide curves or a really difficult route that will let you rush down the hill leaving mists of fresh dust behind you.Those, who prefer freeride in deep snow or skiing on wild slopes with a local skiing guide will definetely not be disappointed. However, should your skills be insufficient on any stage of your skiing adventure, extremely well trained skiing instructors and mountain guides are there to help you. A perfect service – austrian skiing schools and austrian skiing instructors are well known for their great quality all around the world.

Even if the winter does not bring enough snow, the most modern and environment friendly snowing systems are able to prepare the routes and guarantee skiing in perfect conditions. However, every pleasure needs some innovation. Whoever gets bored with funcarving or freeride, they can easily try other recently trendy activities. Austrian ski resorts are extremely well equipped for this. Various vehicles, like snow scooters, snow bikes or so-called snowfox are easily accessible in most of the resorts. Snowboards, similar to skateboards are also very popular in recent years. Those, who prefer extreme sensations can try a ride down the slope in pontoon or rolling downhill in a big sphere. On the other hand, the old saying of skiers and extreme sports lovers is still up to date: “Whoever climbs up on the top of the mountain will finally get back to the valley.” True, but in Austria – with pleasure!

Ski Facts

Austria is the birthplace of the ‘Après-ski’, and after an exhilarating days skiing what better way to relax than with a warming glass of Gluhwein (See Food and Drink of Austria) in front of a roaring log fire. There are many ski resorts around Austria and as the mountain areas are already so inhabited with picturesque villages,the resorts are authentic Austrian villages with all the ameineties needed to make your winter break perfect. Most of the ski resorts offer free shuttle buses around the resort for ski-pass holders. You can improve your skills with experienced instructors, there is tuition available for all levels from beginers to experienced skiers just needing a little help with technique. For a days skiing off piste in the powdery soft snow, book an experienced ski guide available from most Austrian ski schools.

All the Austrian ski resorts have everything you need to enjoy your holiday in the snow, from skis, boots, poles, toboggans and snowboards for hire. While some resorts offer ski clothing for hire, this is not widespread and it is therefore better to have the appropriate clothing with you when you arrive.In some Austrian provinces (Salzburg State, Upper and Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia) young skiers till the age of 15 must wear a ski helmet while riding the slopes. In the Tyrol and Vorarlberg this is only a recommendation, although more and more people are now using helmets. Since most accidents  result  in serious head injuries it makes sense to protect your loved ones. Helmets can be hired from most ski resorts around Austria.

Markings for Ski Pistes:-
Pistes for beginners are marked in blue.
Pistes for intermediates are marked in red.
Pistes for advanced skiers are marked in black.

In most of the resorts you will find a local T.V. channel with up-todate information on the weather and skiing conditions.In Austria the ski season starts late November and lasts until April,  but of course this does depend on the weather.If you plan to drive to Austria, please note that four winter tyres or snow chains is mandatory from 1st November to 15th April. See Driving in Austria.

Tyrol  –   Innsbruck,

Innsbruck names itself as the Capital of the Alps, and it is the perfect venue for those wishing to combine a city holiday with beautiful, scenic mountain skiing. With only one ski pass you can ski in 9 different resorts with pistes to suit all levels of ability. Transport to and from the pistes is simple with a free ski bus sevice to all stops, and with almost 300 kilometres of pistes available, there is surely enough to keep even the most enthusiastic skier busy. Take a ride on the Nordkette funicular and in 20 minutes you will leave the city behind and be able to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across this wonderful Alpine region. Arlberg – The Ski Club Arlberg is recognised as one of the oldest and most influential ski clubs in the world. Its membershave collected 54 Olympic and world championship medals since the club was founded.It is also a sensational ski resort comprising five charming and uniquely different alpine villages with 84 cable cars and chairlifts providing access to 280 kilometres of marked  ski slopes and 180 kilometres of deep-snow runs. The villages in this region all offer first class skiing with wonderful apres-ski and gourmet cuisine. Each is unique and has its own charm. St.Anton. Lech. Zurs. St.Christoph.Stuben. Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis – With over 2000 hours of sunshine per year, this is the Tyrol’s sunniest ski resort.The resort is renowned as the best family ski resort in Austria, with many chil only zones and children’s activities, even those who are not ready for the slopes will find plenty to keep them occupied. Attractions include The Magic Carpet, the Dino Forest and the Fairy Tale Village. Children from 3 months will be lovingly cared for while parents can enjoy a break and a few hours skiing. The resort offers 190 kilometres of slpoes and there is also the opportunity to do a little bit of night-time skiing under the stars.

Vienna

Hohe Wand-Wiese – Vienna is the only Capital city in the world to hold a FIS World Cup Race (International Ski Federation), within its city borders. The piste is 400m long and has a slope incline of 25%, it is served by a t-bar lift. With snow cannons and floodlights, there is plenty of opportunity to do some night skiing. The season starts the day before christmas(23rd Dec) and last until March, depending on weather conditions.

Each region of Austria has many beautiful ski resorts and for further information on these

‘Click here’

* * * * * *

Walking

With its 40,000 km of well-maintained, waymarked trails, more than a thousand mountain huts, countless attractive villages, hospitable hotels, inns and restaurants, an integrated public transport system, and breathtaking scenery, Austria is one of Europe’s most walker-friendly countries. Of all the European countries blessed with sensational mountain scenery, Austria remains the walker’s favourite. There’s something about the combination of the  Austrian landscape and the austrian people that’s irresistible to walkers, from absolute beginners to seasoned veterans.

The paths that cross ridges and wind through valleys are beautifully maintained and well marked. There’s a network of inexpensive, welcoming Hütten or mountain inns that British walkers would love. And from April to October the tourist information centres give out walking maps, information, contact details for mountain guides and tips as though every other customer was a hiker in search of a good walk – which in the case of the Vorarlberg and Tirol regions of western Austria is not far from the truth.

The Pinzgau Ridgeway (German: Pinzgauer Spaziergang or Pinzgauer Höhenweg) is a roughly 25 kilometre long ridgeway in the Kitzbühel Alps in the Austrian federal state of Salzburg.

The ridgeway runs parallel to the Salzach valley at a height of around 2,000 metres along the crest that separates the high Alpine valley from the Glemmtal to the north. The entire route lies  in the region known as the Pinzgau. The mountain trail begins on the 1,965 m AA high Schmittenhöhe, the local mountain for the town of Zell am See, which can be reached by cable car.  From there it runs westwards over the Kettingtörl (1,780 m) to the Kettingkopf (1,865 m), south of which is the Pinzgau Hut (1,700 m), an important base for the Pinzgau Ridgeway. The  ridgeway continues, in places, along the crest itself, but mainly runs just below it on its southern side. Long climbs are rare, the path mainly lying between 1,800 m and2,000 m. En route  there are several refuge huts at crossings such as the 1,993 m high Klammscharte ridge or the 2,059 m high Klingertörl. A number of alpine huts (Almhütten) along the ridgeway offer  overnight accommodation. Several variations of the route enable summits to be ascended, such as those of the Maurerkogel (2,074 m), the Hochkogel (2,249 m), the  Bärensteigkopf   (2,225 m), the Manlitzkogel (2,247 m) or the Leitenkogel (2,015 m). The route then via over the 1,699 m high Bürgl Hutthrough the Mühlbach valley down to  Stuhlfelde  in the Salzach valley.

The Pinzgau Ridgeway is a relatively easy and well-signed hiking trail without any major technical difficulties; only some of the variations over the summits are more challenging. There are no major differences in height to be conquered; in all the route climbs some 500 metres if the cable car to the Schmittenhöhe is taken at the beginning. Although there are several options to tackle the route over several days, experienced hikers can complete it in just one day. Usually though, walkers stop overnight at the Pinzgau Hut or the Sonnbergalm. The Pinzgau Ridgeway is part of Route 02 A, a Austrian long-distance path.The particular attraction of this trail is its constant view of the highest summits ofAustria’s High Tauern and the valley of the River Salzach before them. In the western section the ridgeway has impressive views of the Zillertal Alps. The crest itself is part of the Kitzbühel Alps, whose gently, only rarely rocky slate summits, belong to the greywacke zone. The ridgeway may also be joined from the north from the Glemm valley and its western end can be accesed from the hamlet of Lengau in the municipality of Saalbach-Hinterglemm. If only half the route is walked, there is the option of ascending or descending on the cable car from Saalbach-Hinterglemm to the 2,096 m high Schattberg, about four kilometres north of the Hochkogel.

In addition, there are other connecting routes from the Glemmtal, such as the one via the Streitbergalm (1,350 m).To the south, in the Salzach valley are other short cuts, for example, to Niedernsill.The Pinzgau Ridgeway is part of the 02 A long-distance trail, a variation of the Central Alpine Way (Zentralalpenweg) from Hainburg an der Donau to Feldkirch. A section of this trail runs from the Pinzgau Ridgeway, crossing the Low and High Tauern as well as the Salzburg Slate Alps. To the west a trail continues from the Bürglhaus via the Thurn Pass (1,220 m) and the Zillertal Alps to the New Bamberg Hut.The Pinzgau Ridgeway is also part of the Arno Way (Arnoweg), a circular trail, that runs almost around the entire state of Salzburg. It is joined in the east by another trail that crosses the Dienten Mountains, to the west the trail follows the border with Tyrol as far as the Gerlos Pass, where it swings away to the south.

The Saalach Valley Ridgeway (German: Saalachtaler Höhenweg) is a a roughly five-hour long ridgeway trail in the Salzburg part of the  Kitzbühel Alps   between Leogang and Saalfelden. The way runs along the mountain chain that separates the valley of the Glemmtal in the south from the Leoganger Tal in the north. The marked trail runs from the Asitz Hut near the top station of the Asitzbahn (1,752 m) south of Leogang in a southwestern direction to the 1,914 m high Asitzkopf. It then continues over the 188 m  high  Schabergkogel  and the 1,853 m Geierkogel eastwards to the 1,875 m high Haiderbergkogel. Crossing the 1,764 m high Durchenkopf, the 1,616 m high Weikersbacherköpfl, the  1,541 m  high  Weikersbacher Kopf and the Biberg it carries on to the top station of the Huggenbergalm above Saalfelden. From here the journey to the valley may be made using the cable car or the sommerrodelbahn.A variation of the route starts at the summit station of the Kohlmaisbahn on the Kohlmaiskopf (1,794 m) above Saalbach and runs over the 1,910 m high Wildenkarkogel to the Asitzkopf. This variation takes about an hour longer and is more challenging.
For information on walking, guided tours and mountain trails around AustriaClick Here

The Arno Trail (German: Arnoweg) is an approximately 1200-km long-distance trail through the Austrian Alps. The highest point is atop the Sonnblick (3106 m.) near Bad Gastein, and in total the trail has over 57,000 m. of elevation gain. The highest elevations are in the western portion of the trail, in the Kalkberge, Pinzgauer Grasberge and Keesberge. The Arno Trail forms  a loop which passes through such towns as Salzburg, Neukirchen, Bad Gastein and Nußdorf. It runs predominantly through Austria, although two stages pass through Germany’s  Berchtesgaden  Alps and by the Königssee. The trail can be completed in just over 60 stages, many of which end at alpine huts run by the Austrian Alpine Club. It can be shortened by just under a week by crossing from Fuschl immediately to Salzburg in two stages and thus avoiding seven stages in the relatively low-lying foothills.

* * * * * *

Cycling

Website

Cycling is a great way to enjoy Austria. The scenery which you speed pass in a car can be enjoyed as it was intended and the country smell will tickle your nostrils, not the aromas from the many farms, but the scent of the local cooking coming from the chalet style houses as you cycle the roaming hills. Many drivers are cyclists themselves so give extra wide space as they pass, so not to scare the less advanced cyclists. There are of course many fresh water streams which can be drunk from, therefore giving you refreshment when needed, (even if it is every hundred yards). With endless amounts of roads for you to cycle along, decide what you want to see and do it, you wont be disapointed!

Look out for Euro Velo routes, some of which will combine some parts of Austria within the route.

What is Euro Velo?

EuroVelo, the European cycle route network, is a project of the European Cyclists’ Federation to develop 13 long-distance cycle routes crossing Europe. The total length is 60,000 km (37,282 mi), of which more than 44,000 km (27,340 mi) are in place.

The EuroVelo routes are similar, in length and conception, to Greenway projects such as the East Coast Greenway in the United States and the Trans-Canada Trail.

EuroVelo routes are intended for bicycle touring across the continent, though they are also used locally. The routes are made of both existing bike paths and roads together with proposed and planned cycle routes to connect them. All the routes are unfinished.

In September 2008 the European Union Committee for Transport and Tourism earmarked €300,000 to support EuroVelo.

For a route to be part of EuroVelo it must:

  • have no gradient above 6%
  • be wide enough for two cyclists
  • have an average of no more than 1,000 motorised vehicles a day
  • be sealed for 80% of its length
  • be open 365 days a year, have provision points every 30 km (19 mi), accommodation every 50 km (31 mi), and public transport every 150 km (93 mi)
Here are some of Austria’s many cycle routes with links to the official websites:-

Ennsradweg – length:- 930Kms
Starts off at Gasthofalm and the follows the river Enns to the Danube .
Ennsradweg   Official Website

 

Neusiedler See Radweg – length:- 133kms, 38kms which  are in Hungary.
You can join this route anywhere that suits you best as it is a circular route. Neusiedl am See has its own station and youth hostel so may provide a good starting point. This route is mainly on flat roads and is therefore an excellent choice for those with children. On route there are opportunities for bathing in the lake.

Neusiedler See Radwegg Official Website

 

Murradweg  – length –  365kms
Begining at Tamsweg and going on to Bad Radkersburg following the river Mur.

Murradweg Official Website
Drauradweg –  Length –  366kms
From Toblach in Italy to Marburg, along the river Drau.

Drauradweg  Official Website

 

Taurenradweg – Length –  280kms

(Krimml-Bruck-Salzburg-Bruck/Zell am See.) Starting at Europe’s highest waterfalls, the Krimml Falls, the route follows the River Salzach all the way to Salzburg or go along the Saalach route through Germany.

Taurenradweg  Official Website

Pinzgau  Official Website

Innradweg – length –  517Kms
Start from St.Moritz in Switzerland. Going through the Engadin, Tyrol, Bavaria and Upper Austria.
Finishing at  Passau on the Danube

Innradweg  Official Website

Donauradweg – Length –  365Kms
An easy and flat cycle route, following the River Danube through memorable cities such as Passau,  Linz, Melk, St.Polten, Tulln, Vienna and then on to Bratislava.
Donauradweg  Official Website

Salzkammergut Radweg –  Length –  345kms
This a a leisurely cycle trail taking in some of Austria’s most beautiful scenery. The route passes through three of Austria’s provinces – Upper Austria, Salzburg and Styria.
Salzkammergut Radweg  Official Website

For more information on the above or other cycle routes contact ‘Cycle Tours in Austria’ (Radtouren in Österreich)  Official Website

* * * * * *

Advertise on this page, Please Contact Us

Please Send in your Comments and photos “Here

Related Links:

Leave a Reply


Login

Reviews

USA Tour 2012

An RV Tour of some of the National and State Parks in the USA 26th April – 15th June 2012 Sent in by Joan & Malcolm, UK The beginning of the tour was late at night when we arrived at the hotel in Portland, Oregon. Our taxi driver warned us not to walk out in […]