... This place exists and can be found in the Austrian Alps. It takes you 20 minutes from there to the Italian border, about 45 minutes to the German border and another 2 hours to the Swiss one. You can also fly in to the international airport there. It is in about the centre of Europe in Austria and is called Innsbruck.
When it comes to winter sport, you are surrounded by several skiing areas there, which you can easily reach by public transport. The small, but very nice ski area, where you are right above the city, is called "Nordkette". The word literally translates into "north chain" and, guess what, is to the north of the city. You can take a funicular railway right from the city centre (beside the congress building, easy to find, as the stations are designed, just like the ski jump in the city, by Zaha Hadid) to reach the cable car to get to the top of the mountain. The "Seegrube" restaurant at the first stop is on 1905 metres above sea level.
Not just the view over the city to the Wipptal (which leads to Italy), or the glacier of Stubai are special there, but also a unique sport, which only
exists here and is called Figln. (Title image) It is only known here, because you need special conditions for it: A
lot of snow, the landscape directly directed towards south, steep sloaps to get some speed. So you might wonder now: Speed for what? When skiing is almost
impossible, because of the soft snow, which you have a special German word for (Firn), a very short sort of ski is taken to glide down. The second part of the
word figln contains the gliding. The ski has no edges and no surface. It is made of sheet metal and originally you would use them with stable mountaineering
schoes. (A great alternative is a soft snowboard boot) They are convinent, as you can simply walk over grass parts, or brown parts, where the snow is already
Simultaneously you can also use your mountainbike in spring and visit one of the traditional alps, or do some hiking. With your mountain bike it is also possible to take the cable car up the Seegrube in summer to safe the tiring ride up. From there you find a steep downhill trail. VERY challenging!
If you miss the snow in June, don't worry: The skiing (and snowboarding) areas containing a glacier, are also open in summer. (Stubaier Gletscher, Zillertaler Gletscher, Pitztaler Gletscher, Kaunertaler Gletscher) The snow melts down much more in the afternoon, so the morning is the better time to snowboard in summer. If you do not like the very soft summer snow, and when the sloaps close down early, you can go swimming in the afternoon.
At the same time there are sailing and diving courses on a lake, called Achensee. For swimming, you find several small lakes, like Lansersee, Baggersee, Seefeldersee, Piburgersee, Hintersteinersee, or you take one of the public baths. A nice one is the one in Völs because of the view.
If you like the element water, I suggest something more exciting, though: Canyoning, or river rafting. A great spot for conyoning is an hour from the city, in the valley called Ötztal. You basically climb through a gorge. Sometimes you glide along the rocks, using them as natural slides, to end up in the fresh water, or simply jump from a waterfall into a natural pool. That really is a wonderful refreshment on a hot summer day. Additionally it is adventurous and great fun.
Don't forget climbing, when you are in Tyrol (the Austrian country with the capital Innsbruck). There are really beautiful trails, also for beginners. Some are equipped with a steal rope, on which you can secure yourself with climbing equippment. (Possible to rent from the Alpenverein Innsbruck) These trails are categorised, so you also find some for beginners. The ones secured are called "Klettersteig". The easiest is marked with A, and the most diffucult one is E. If it is generally an easy one, with one small part, which is very difficult, the whole trail is categorised with E, as you can not pass the whole rocks without passing that small part. Just like ski sloaps are categorised. It is also adviced to use stable mountaineering boots.
All that hasen't given you enough adrenalin yet?:
You can do exciting bungy jumping from the bridge, which once was the highest in Europe and therefore is called Europabrücke. It is 10 minutes from the city and you jump into a deep ravine called Sillschlucht.
Gliders find an awsome and challenging area there too: The mountain winds make it possible to stay up in the air for hours. The landscape you see from the air offers different views.
For the motor lovers, there is also the possibility to charter Cessnas, or Pipers in a club or a motor flying school.
We don't want to forget the paragliding, hang-gliding, which you can do easily, because there are many cable cars you can take to go up the mountains. Parachuting can be started from the airport too.
A contrast to that, of course, is golf: There are 2 beautiful grounds: One in Igls, a borough of the city and another one in Rinn, which is only 10 minutes from Innsbruck. The difference to other golf grounds simply is, that the sites are surrounded by trees and are very quiet courses.
Horse back riding shouldn't be forgotten either. There are beautiful paths especially through the forests.
But back to winter time:
Cross-country skiing trails are numorous; I suggest Seefeld for that, though. You can take a train to get there, or take your car, which gets you there within about 30 minutes.
Snow shoeing makes especially sense, if you have a quiet place and therefore I recommend the Sellraintal for that. (About 30-45 minutes, depending where you go within that valley)
Links to find the places:
Skiing in summer:
Conyoning, river rafting, ...:
Flying in Innsbruck:
General info about Tirol & Innsbruck:
Write a comment