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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe

Winter Activities beyond the Ski Slopes

Updated on 07.12.2015 in Recommendations

Ort: Pertisau
Ort: Pertisau

When winter’s first snowflakes begin to blanket the ground in Tirol, it’s the start of a joyous season for skiers and snowboarders. However, they’re not the only outdoor adventurers who eagerly await the winter months — Tirol’s winter wonderland is filled with fun things to do, like horse-drawn sleigh rides, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing and much more:

Winter Walking & Snowshoeing
Trade in your summer hiking boots for snowshoes and experience staggering views and lofty peaks in the winter. If you think the mountains looks impressive during the summer, just imagine those sheer rock faces under a blanket of snow. I love hitting the backcountry trails that lead to fluffy-snow-covered valleys and peaceful stands of evergreen trees, where the only sounds you hear are chirping birds and your own heartbeat. Here’s our Top Ten Winter Walk Tour Suggestions in Tirol.

Take time to relax indoors, too. Tirol has top-notch spas throughout the country, like the Aqua Dome in Längenfeld or the Aigner Bad in East Tirol. Indulge in relaxing treatments, surrounded by unparalleled beauty in the salt grotto at Pillersee Family Land in St. Jakob im Haus (Pillerseetal). Your little ones will have the time of their lives at their indoor trampoline, bouncy castle and climbing structures. Moreover, after a long day of playing in the snow, nothing warms the body like a hot, steamy sanctuary of a sauna bath.

Ice Skating and Curling
Ice skating offers endless fun for kids young and old. If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be an Olympic slider on the ice, the Olympic Bobsleigh Run in Igls is the place to start. One of the many unique things to do in Tirol, ice curling at the natural ice skating rink in Ischgl provides a great opportunity to make cherished vacation memories—a fun alternative to après for a night out :-)

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides and Horseback Riding
Warm, snuggle-ready blankets, crisp, winter air and the rhythmic stride of strapping horses are hallmarks of Tirol sleigh rides. Whether you’re headed here to go for a spin with your sweetie, bond with gal pals or frolic with the family, sleigh rides in Tirol are much more than circling around a track; they’re fodder for vacation-defining moments and stories to share back home.
My personal recommendation: For an unforgettable activity, take a cosy horse-drawn sleigh ride at Sennhütte Falzthurn, just a short jaunt from Pertisau am Achensee (pictured below). Or, consider a winter horseback riding lesson in Paznaun Valley.

Trip Ideas
Tirol has trip ideas to keep you busy all day long: Stroll around the charming towns of Rattenberg, Hall in Tirol or Tirol’s capital Innsbruck (breathtaking city views from Nordkette Range included). Visit the outstanding museum at Ambras Castle, the Ski and Local Heritage Museum in St. Anton am Arlberg or the Alpinarium in Galtür. Browse the stunning glassware collection at Riedel Glass Manufacture. Or pay a visit to a water park, such as the Wave Water World in Wörgl or Stubay in Telfes. With a variety of indoor pools to choose from, it’s easy to spend all day soaking, followed by what might be the best sleep of your life. For brave ones, highline 179, the record-breaking suspension footbridge near Reutte is open during the winter months. There are plenty of ways to make the most of wintertime in and around Tirol, and all are listed in the Tirol Travel Guide App.

If shopping is your crew’s forte, don’t miss out on visiting a farmers’ market and specialist shops selling crafts produced by local artists. Whether you’re in the market for unique souvenirs or gifts, Eckard’s shopping guide delivers.

Wildlife Viewing
The winter solstice renders the ideal conditions for exploring wintry, often untouched backcountry terrain, where it tends to be quiet and wildlife sightings are likely. Friendly guides are ready to lead you through Hohe Tauern National Park’s wildlife-friendly areas.

A sled, tube or toboggan can mean hours of endless fun for adults and kids alike—and with well-lit runs across Tirol, you can sled into the night. Or, take a break from the slopes for a day or for an afternoon and trek up and down a sledding run.

Want more? Get ideas for planning a winter getaway at your destination’s Tourist Information Office. Each resort offers tons of activities including weekly programming. Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis and Ischgl offer guided winter walks and ski touring. Or, take to the skies with a tandem paraglide. Tirol’s spectacular scenery looks even better from a bird’s eye view.

Scenic Kitzbühel Alps Region offers varied winter programming off the slopes, too, including escorted winter walks, horse-drawn sleigh rides, nights out dancing, and much more …

As you see, wintertime in Tirol is not only synonymous with downhill skiing. In fact, there are countless ways to enjoy our mountains. The calmness of winter can sooth anyone. Do you have more winter ideas?

Whether it’s a lesser-known destination or a random trailside attraction, nature lover Eva Thöni will be there with her camera in tow, eager to share her greatest mountain moments with you.

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