Having Fun off the Slopes in Austria

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-01-2018

We all need to get away, especially in winter. For many of us the places calling winter ‘summer’ are out of reach and minus temperatures north and east of British shores don’t whisper promises of reinvigoration, even if the flights are really cheap.

So, how do you turn winter – a Brit’s least favourite proposition – into something to remember?

Think of Austria and the romance of Vienna, the thrill of Innsbruck, cake, coffee and a history many prefer not to mention all spring to mind. It’s also a country that has built much of its lifestyle around winter. Skiing is a permanent fixture in the national DNA, with many other winter activities running a close second. But booking an Austria Ski Chalet doesn’t mean you have to go skiing.

Sledging

I grew up in Scotland surrounded by hills and snow for six months of the year. Any spare time we had was spent sledging down the hills and dragging our sleighs back up. Ours was an exclusive run. Imagine my delight when I spend a winter travelling around Austria and find sledge runs in every town. Yes, every town. And some are several kilometres long. My favourite is in Galsterberg. It’s open at night and runs for almost 5 km.

Snow Shoeing

It’s quite a romantic name for taking a walk in the snow. It’s romantic because you actually get snow shoes to strap to your feet as you traverse the (in some places) mountainous terrain. Actually, if you prefer a gentle walk, there are a range of walks to suit all appetites in the many resorts across Austria.

There are moonlit walks that usually take you through a forest at night; guided walks if you are interested in animal tracking and the local flora and fauna and there are full-blown walking holidays that will take you up mountains and down valleys, past lakes and stopping off at some log cabins along the way.

Ice Climbing

The majority of the country is mountainous, so skiing and climbing are the obvious pastimes. Add ice to the equation and you have ice climbing. It’s the slightly more technical cousin of rock climbing and not for those who shy away from a challenge. The majority of resorts will have a local climbing hall offering introductory courses that go through the equipment and safety procedures.

There is also an excellent Apres Ski scene in Austria if you want to party. If you don’t, you’ll also find many quiet resorts for ski chalet breaks.

 

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