Summer activities for all, in the Austrian Tirol

Last updated on 14.05.2018

Home to 24,000 km of marked hiking paths, 5,600 km of designated mountain bike tracks, 230 km of singletrack trails, numerous natural pools and magnificent mountains, the Austrian Tirol offers an incredible summer escape for all. Families can explore the great outdoors and try new activities, keen hikers and bikers can discover the many different routes designed to suit all abilities, those after a spot of culture will be enchanted by the vibrant streets of Innsbruck and travellers wanting to make the most of nature can book themselves into one of the many bio hotels…

Families can enjoy all the activities in the Wildschönau
Home to 300 km of walking routes, dozens of mountain huts, outdoor pools and bike trails, the region is ideal for active families. Make use of the Wildschönau Family Card, which gives families free use of the three cable cars, the open-air pool, tennis courts and other fun activities. Visit the beautiful Kundl Gorge in Niederau, from which numerous family-friendly hikes can be enjoyed. Check out the crazy golf course at Hotel Sonnschein, try horse riding from Hotel Wastlhof and watch the elegant deer in Foisching Park. Journey to Oberau to join in with the craft fair at Z’Bach Farming Museum, where children can make their own honey candles or bake their own bread every Thursday. After learning some new skills, families can head to the open-air pool in Oberau, which has a play pool with a giant slide, a fun pool with an inflatable crocodile, a paddling pool with a giant pink elephant plus a playground with a sandpit, trampoline and climbing frame. A Wildschönau Family Card is included when booking accommodation in Wildschönau. A week’s stay, at family-friendly Landhotel Tirolerhof, during the summer holidays in 2018, costs from €402 / £354 pp (for a family of four) including half-board accommodation, use of the indoor pool, a free hiking map and the Wildschönau Family Card.
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Mountain bikers should head to the beautiful Tiroler Zugspitz Arena
For keen cyclists after challenging trails, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena has plenty, 4,330 km to be precise. Located at the border of Austria and Germany, and comprising seven beautiful villages, there is a wide variety of downhill, high-altitude summits and winding paths to explore. An approved bike area since 2017 – after a rigorous assessment by TUV and ISO – the region has been designed with bikes in mind and has specialist hotels, more than 20 pre-prepared tours plus top rentals and services available. Those after a truly hair-raising descent should head to Lermoos (one of the seven villages) and check out the freeride scene consisting of jumps, ramps, curves and dirt tracks. Try the Forest Two route, which sees riders plunge down a 3.3 km course (with 392 metres vertical difference) while trying to avoid the various obstacles. Alternatively, put the pedal to the metal on the three-day Zugspitz Loop Tour, which provides access to more than 5,000 metres vertical and 200 kilometres of trails. A six-day summer lift pass costs from €60 per adult and from €20 per child (age 6-15).
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Hikers can explore the renowned Eagle Walk
Symbolising an eagle spreading its wings when looking at a map, the 413 kilometre hiking trail, aptly named the Eagle Walk, spans the whole length of the country, from east to west. The route is broken up into 33 stages, with a total elevation gain of 31,000 metres, accommodating a variety of skill levels and preferences. From gentle walks across gorgeous landscapes to strenuous treks for enthusiasts, each section offers unparalleled opportunities to explore, experience and connect with nature. For spectacular views, many seasoned hikers choose to trek the 22nd, 23rd and 24th stages, from the Memminger Hut to St. Christoph am Arlberg. The three stages are 37 km in length and follow challenging black trails and takes three to four days to complete, staying at cosy huts on route. Make the most of the rolling Alpine meadows, the snow-capped mountains and sweeping views down the valley. Pause at Ulmer Hut, which provides a perfect rest stop, before continuing down into St. Christoph am Arlberg and celebrating the finish. Prices for the huts are on demand, but most include dinner and breakfast.  
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Culture enthusiasts should check out Innsbruck
Innsbruck, the capital of the Alps, offers a wonderful combination of alpine, urban and imperial features. The young and vibrant city is home to 130,000 residents and 30,000 students. The fascinating historic city centre, where The Golden Roof has been a landmark for centuries, features museums and churches alongside modern streets housing shops, cafés, bars and the sleek Nordkettenbahn cable car station (designed by star architect Zaha Hadid). Described as an open-air mall, discover the many different stores and eateries throughout Innsbruck. Find stylish shops selling the latest fashionable clothes created by a multitude of designers, including local Bernd Mühlmann, to more traditional products sold in a myriad of buildings nestled in the colourful city. Plus, there are many other highlights available, including the sparkling Swarovski Kristallwelten, the dramatic Bergisel ski jump and the spectacular imperial palace, Hofburg. Tuck into a slice of moreish Sachertorte at Café Sacher and work out what to do that day… A three-night stay, at 5* Grand Hotel Europa, in 2018, costs from €300 pp (two sharing) including breakfast and access to the indoor swimming pool.
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Snow sports fans can still ski, or snowboard, on the Hintertux Glacier
Less than 90 minutes from Innsbruck Airport, Austria’s only year-round ski resort offers winter-sports enthusiasts groomed and snow-sure conditions for 365 days. A range of modern lifts whisk skiers and snowboarders from the centre of Hintertux (1,500 m) to the top of the glacier (3,250 m), where 18 km of slopes can be explored. Throughout the summer months, approximately 10 lifts remain open to ensure the corduroy runs are easily accessible. The pistes are suitable for all levels of skier, and those wanting to fit in extra turns should head to the Tuxer Fernhaus, where two kilometres of uninterrupted carving awaits. After an exhilarating day on the glacier, head back to the centre of Hintertux for a well-deserved pint of Weissbeer. A week’s stay, at Hotel Gletscher & Spa Neuhintertux, situated at the foot of Hintertux Glacier, in 2018, costs from €609 pp (two sharing) on a half-board basis.
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Environmentally-friendly travellers should stay at Bio Hotel Grafenast in Pillberg
Escape from the humdrum of daily life and completely relax at Bio Hotel Grafenast in Pillberg. On arrival, guests will be surrounded by soothing music, inspiring art and ample amounts of freedom to explore. After a day of discovering the spectacular Karwendel region, either by foot or on bike, return to Grafenast and sample the delicious ‘slow food’, most of which has come straight from the hotel’s herb garden, plus try cheese made from the local goats and cows. In the evening, make the most of the intriguing forest sauna, here, guests can book themselves in for a facial or reflex massage and make the most of the solar-heated pool and hammam. Alternatively, enjoy a spot of meditation, sign up to a bread-baking course and learn to live at-one with nature. Free from electrosmog (the invisible electromagnetic radiation resulting from the use of wireless technology and mains electricity) prepare to completely switch off from the outside world. A three-night introductory stay, costs from €354 pp and includes all-inclusive accommodation, entry to the forest sauna, prosecco on arrival, a €25 voucher to use for a treatment at the spa and a detailed activity programme. Guests must arrive on Monday, Tuesday or Sunday between 15 July 2018 and 17 August 2018 to enjoy the three-night introductory stay.
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