Try something new this summer in the open-air freedom of Austria’s SalzburgerLand (www.salzburgerland.com) where more than half the region is forested and almost 60 % of agricultural land is farmed organically. With 185 bathing lakes, cooling off is easy. To the traditional Alpine outdoor activities, add a few lesser known ones, all well-suited to social-distancing and enjoying nature and stunning scenery; fun for the family, with your partner or on your own.
- Mountain Skyvering in Obertauern www.obertauern.com: A mountain skyver - the Alpine riposte to a Brompton – is a lightweight scooter-bike hybrid neatly stored in a backpack. Take a leisurely hike in the Radstädter Tauern Mountains for the wonderful nature and panorama on the way up, followed by an exciting ride down by Skyver. Good brakes and suspension are assured, but no seat, pedals, chain or gears – Skyvers are for downhill only, using body weight and feet for carving and balance; available for hire in the village.
- Summer Tobogganning and Flying Fox in Saalfelden Leogang www.saalfelden-leogang.com: The Biberg track (open to 4th October) snakes its way down the mountain for 1.6km with jumps and hairpins; the 400m Kufengaudi track is a high-speed blast on the Asitz mountain - zooms with musical accompaniment (open to 13th September). Both runs offer stunning views of the Leogang’s Steinberg mountains. For another adrenalin-kick, the Flying Fox XXL, a 1600m zip-wire, reaches speeds of up to 130kph with a birdseye view from 140m above the valley floor. All 3 attractions are subject to weather conditions.
- Shinrin-Yoku in Gastein www.gastein.com: The venerable trees of the area’s Hohe Tauern mountains – especially on the Angertal, Böcksteiner Hohenweg and Bad Hofgastein’s waterfall paths - are idyllic for the health-enhancing, stress-busting pastime of forest bathing. Take time to soak up the magic of the forest, with no phone action or chat – just look, listen and let go: 15 minutes will reduce production of the stress hormone cortisol, a contributor to many ailments from heart issues to headaches and skin conditions. Enhance the body and soul’s new-found calm with a dip in one of Gastein’s natural, organically-cleaned thermal swimming lakes.
- Alpaca Trekking in Werfenweng www.werfenweng.eu: Lead the eco-village’s 2 adorable and friendly alpacas for a gentle walk along the 12km ‘spazierhimmel’ (sky walk): follow a series of trails alongside rivers and streams passing natural beauty spots – a great favourite with children. Werfenweng, in SalzburgerLand, flies the flag for ecotourism having adopted sustainable practices and a zero-carbon policy more than 20 years ago. Its Samo-card (€10 per person) provides all-sustainable transport free of charge (e-bikes/cars/scooters). Most food and produce is local and organic and visitors are given incentives to leave the car behind.
- SUP Yoga and Canyoning in Zell am See-Kaprun www.zellamsee-kaprun.com: Practice the Indian discipline of yoga balancing on the SUP as it floats on the glassy surface of Lake Zell. The sublime views and tranquil environment are conducive to meditation, mind-body harmony and spiritual well being. By contrast, a canyoning adventure through the gorges, waterfalls and giant rock pools will raise the pulse and put an excitingly different perspective on the local topography.
- Paddle Boarding or Climbing at Fuschlsee and Wolfgangsee Lakes www.fuschlesee.salzkammergut.at / www.wolfgangsee.salzkammergut.at: These beautiful lakes, located in the Salzburgerland area of the Salzkammergut (Austria’s Lake District) are blessed with water clean enough to drink and Fuschlsee is one of the most photographed in Europe. The flat surface is ideal for paddle boarding; good balance and an instructor also help! Climbing parks at Wolfgangsee, suitable for beginners to experts, come with lovely views all the way up and a refreshing swim once back down. A more gentle and equally breathtaking way to enjoy the marvellous scenery is a leisurely boat trip on the Wolfgangsee followed by a train ride to the top of the Schafberg. The charming steam-powered cog-railway has been carrying passengers since 1893.
Start or finish every visit in the city of Salzburg, a world leader in culture, heritage and fun (Mozart, Sound of Music and the Salzburg Fesitval; chocolate, cheese and lashings of cold beer).
Glorious Alpine meadows, forests, lakes and mountains …. the uplifting escape you need after lockdown is yours for the taking in SalzburgerLand www.salzburgerLand.com