7 Best Things To Do In The Austrian Alps (When It’s Not Winter)
From ziplining through the mountains to eating literally ALL THE STRUDEL, here's the ultimate guide to the Austrian alps in the summer...
For many, the mere mention of the Alps conjours images of black runs, log fires, and apres-ski parties filled with jager troughs.
Shovel-melt the world-class ski runs away, and we’re happy to report that there are more than enough reasons to visit the region in the non-winter-time.
From adrenaline-fuelling extreme sports to zen-bolstering holistic retreats, and some of the world’s most jaw-dropping scenery, Austria really does have it all.
Here are seven reasons to visit sans skis…
Embrace your inner eco-hippie
If it’s one the thing the Alps has in abundance, it’s nature. Retina-meltingly gorgeous, ‘want to give up your normal life to live in a shack in the woods’-spectacular vistas that will immediately soothe your soul and cleanse your weary smog-filled lungs.
So it makes sense to stay in a hotel with eco-living at its very core. Case in point, the Forsthofalm Hotel - a stunningly constructed, sustainable, timber-heavy getaway nestled into the heart of the cliffside.
At 1,050m high, the ride up the mountain is worth the admission fee alone. Bed in to one of its 56 wood-covered suites though, and you’ll soon understand the hotel’s mantra of bringing the outside in.
Throw in a bewilderingly bendy in-house instructor who’s all too keen to get you yoga-ing at the crack of dawn, a tasty restaurant that offers surprisingly delicious Vegan alternatives at every mealtime, a spa where every treatment is centred around five unique moods to tailor to your every need (Brain, Energy, Love, Muscle and Soul may sound like Captain Planet powers, but their individual ethos’ and all-natural oils equal instant relaxation), and steam and sauna rooms guaranteed to get the toxins a-flowing, and it’s the perfect intro to Healthy Living, with none of the annoying calorie-counting or guilt-shaming.
Oh, and did we mention they have a rooftop pool overlooking the mountains? ‘Cos they do, and it’s nuts.
You can still get your party on
That isn’t to say it’s all quinoa-snorting and ohm marathons, however. Not only does Leogang have a hearty ski-town beer-friendly vibe, but hotels like Forsthofalm are Alps-olutely (sorry) focused on guaranteeing the area has a party-pulse all year round.
Live your finest Julie Andrews life
Get rid of all those pesky Nazis hunting Julie Andrews around the mountainside, and The Sound of Music is basically the ultimate cinematic holiday inspo.
While the skirt is optional, you can’t head to the Austrian alps without twirling around on a mountain-top, trilling out a camp broadway classic.
It helps that everywhere you turn offers an Insta-worthy view that ensures absolutely #nofilter is needed.
It’s an adrenaline-fan’s wet dream
While the alps offer an array of heart-pumping activities all-year-round, there’s simply no better spring/summer/autumnal spot than Leogang’s multi-activity adventure park, which offers fun for all ages, including…
An enormous bike park for mountain biking fans, which is as incredible to shred through as it is to spectate (just watching the daredevils zoom and trick their way down the mountain’s 10 routes will make your heart race).
A hilariously scream-worthy zipline that allows you to soar through the mountains. Flying face-first down the Flying Fox XXL’s 1600m steel rope slide, at a height of 143 metres, through the forest is one of life’s most grin-inducing activities.
Gondola lifts that transport you up to 1758m high, above the clouds and into the mountains (and a lot, lot more).
Make a new cow bestie
There are cows everywhere.
And we mean EVERYWHERE.
You genuinely can’t throw a stick for hitting some snuffling, grazing, mooing bovine (not that we would ever advocate stick-on-cow violence).
Lying down on the grass/in your room with the door open, listening to nothing but the cicadas burble away, and the gentle tingle of the cow bells is an effortlessly relaxing backdrop in which to chill out.
Hike the mountains
Just because you can’t ski down them, doesn’t mean the mountains are just there for pretty selfie backdrops.
The more calf-mad amongst you will want to hike from the bottom - but for the lazier (read: saner), it’s a simple case of zipping up to the top of the mountain on a gondola lift, and then moseying on down through forest paths at your own pace - with some of the world’s most beautiful views guaranteed.
Gorge on strudel et al
When in Rome (well, Leogang), it’s near mandatory that you chow down on the region’s local delicacies.
Thankfully, Austria boasts some delicious NOM - from wiener schnitzel to mountains of apple strudel and buckets of goulash, you’re guaranteed a good feed all-year round.