Austria’s West: mountains, lakes and outdoor fun
When thinking about travelling to Austria from the Middle East, a flight to Vienna might come to your mind first. However, around half of all travelers from the Middle East to Austria choose to fly via Munich.
The second big gateway to Austria: Munich
There is a very simple reason for this: Many of Austria’s most popular destinations are located close to Munich and can easily be reached by train or car. A trip from Munich to Salzburg City, Innsbruck, Kitzbühel or Seefeld takes only 1 ½ hours and to Zell am See-Kaprun, the Gastein Valley or the Ötz Valley only 2 ½ hours.
SalzburgerLand: Mountains and water
Salzburg Province, also known as ‘SalzburgerLand’, is famous for its abundance of natural beauty. In this part of Austria holiday makers find the highest mountain ranges, the clearest lakes, the biggest natural parks and the highest waterfalls of the country. The Hohe Tauern National Park is the biggest national park of the Alps and boasts the following attractions:
The Großglockner High Alpine Road: The most famous alpine road leads you into the heart of the national park and passes by Austria’s tallest mountain top and its biggest glacier. Visitors will have a unique driving and nature experience on 48 kilometres of high alpine road with 36 bends and an ascent up to 2,504 metres altitude!
The Waterfalls of Krimml: They are the highest waterfalls in Europe and the fifth highest in the world. The water crashes down more than 380 metres and cascades over three terraces on its journey down the mountain.
- Gastein Valley: Located on the border of the national park, this valley features Europe’s most modern recreation and waterpark. There, five million litres of warm mineral water bubble up from inside the mountains each day. Thus, the Gastein Valley offers a unique combination of breathtaking panoramic views and water adventure. In addition to being big fun, the water is also very healthy thanks to its mineral content.
Kitzsteinhorn Glacier – the highlight of every visit to Zell am See-Kaprun
At 3,029 metres, the Kitzsteinhorn summit station is the highest point in the Salzburg Province and surely the pinnacle of any Alpine experience. It is comfortably and quickly accessible by the cable car, which takes just a few minutes to whisk you from the lakeside lido of Lake Zell to the glacier summit. There, you'll find snow so fine that skiing is even possible throughout summer. For non-skiers, the Ice Arena offers fun for the whole family with snow slides, child-friendly lifts and a snow beach with deckchairs to relax in. A spectacular panorama platform offers fantastic eye-level views across to the Grossglockner, Austria's highest mountain, and the other 3,000m peaks of the Hohe Tauern National Park. Those who prefer to stay inside can enjoy breathtaking and unlimited views in the Cinema 3000, where spectacular moods of nature are captured in seemingly boundless panoramic images. The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier has become one of the most popular attractions for visitors from the Middle East in particular and is easily accessible to anyone travelling in or near Salzburg Province.
Four seasons of snow in the Ötz Valley
There are many more glaciers to be visited throughout Austria. Most of them are located in the province of Tirol, only one hour from Munich, and the most impressive for that authentic and overwhelming Tirol glacier experience is the Ötz Valley. Set against a backdrop of 250 mountain peaks that all climb above 3,000 metres, spectacular and panoramic views are obviously guaranteed and many visitors are often surprised to discover that this amazing landscape can be reached in one hour from Tirol’s capital, Innsbruck, and two and a half hours from Munich.
The most popular holiday destination in the valley is Sölden, which is host to the Rettenbach Glacier and the Tiefenbach Glacier. They can be reached by the 15 kilometre-long Panoramic Glacier Road which, at 2,800m, is one of the highest mountain roads in the Eastern Alps. Once you get to the glaciers, you can opt to go skiing – also an option during the summer months – or just to take in the stunning views and experience some snow and ice in unforgettable surroundings.
The biggest outdoor adventure park in Europe: Area 47
It helps to not be afraid of heights when you visit Area 47, an outdoor adventure and water park that opened in the Ötz Valley in 2010. Covering an area of 700,000 square feet, Area 47 offers fun and adventure for the whole family: the water area has a swimming lake, a thrilling water slide park, a diving platform and many more attractions; in the climbing area, real daredevils can clamber and balance 27 metres above the ground on the high rope course, or test their physical limits on Austria’s highest climbing wall. There are also a couple of choices for an exciting descent: either ride more than 350 metres down the "Flying Fox" or swing your way to the ground on the "Mega Swing”.