Summer PR News 2020

Austria holds steady as a beloved summer destination for many Brits, with over one million overnight stays during the warmer months in 2019. This year, new hiking and biking routes, summer festivals, sporting events and natural attraction reopenings make summer holidays in the Austrian provinces of SalzburgerLand and Tirol more enticing than ever . . .

Soaring peaks, immense glaciers, alpine meadows and splendid cities: SalzburgerLand is a seamless mix of cultural attractions, natural spectacles and incredible landscapes. The province’s capital, Salzburg, is a World Heritage City glittering with beautiful baroque architecture. It’s full of gardens, galleries and charming courtyards – and it was crowned by Lonely Planet as the top city to visit in 2020. This year, it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Salzburg Festival, which sees its streets come alive with theatre, opera and classical music. The summer is peppered with active events and family fun days, supported by a world class infrastructure of trails to be enjoyed on foot or two wheels, with themed forest routes, bike parks and mountain-top playgrounds galore. Guests can hike from alpine huts to world-class restaurants on one of nine Via Culinaria paths, swim in crystal lakes of drinking water quality, and complete a cross-border e-bike tour before relaxing in a stone pine sauna. Discover everything a SalzburgerLand summer has to offer, from Zell am See-Kaprun’s turquoise lakes and glaciers to the biker’s paradise of Saalfelden Leogang and St. Johann in Salzburg: the ultimate family holiday destination.

 

Zell am See-Kaprun is the meeting point of glacier, mountain and lake, promising active holidays like no other. It boasts 400km of hiking trails, 240km of bike paths, 36 golf greens and a plethora of water sports on Lake Zell: swimming, water skiing, sailing, surfing, kayaking, kiting and stand up paddle boarding. Visitors can conquer new heights with the ‘My First 3000m Peak’ programme on the Kitzsteinhorn, marvel at the Sigmund Thun Gorge on a walk towards Klammsee lake, or pause on the Schmittenhöhe for a vivifying yoga workshop. Families with children will master new two-wheel tricks at the e-motocross park, learn about hydropower at the monumental Kaprun High Mountain Reservoirs, trek with fluffy llamas, and play beach ball on the shores of lake Zell before summer snowball fights on the Kitzsteinhorn. This summer, serious sportsmen and women can sign up for the 110km Grossglockner Ultratrail in July, crossing three federal states, seven valleys, 14 glaciers and three mountains from 24th – 26th July. For foodies, the Festival of Alpine Cuisine takes place in September for the second time, promising regional delicacies, Alpine street food, bars and cooking demonstrations from some of Alps’ best chefs.

 

Saalfelden Leogang is known as the home of premium biking. This summer, it’s getting even bigger, joining with Saalbach Hinterglemm and Fieberbrunn to form the largest bike region in Austria. This new link up adds 70km of lines and trails over seven mountains and nine cable cars. Following a one million euro investment in 2019, Saalfelden Leogang introduces four new lines and a pump track this summer: the Antonius Trail and the Steinberg Line by Fox in the Bikepark Leogang, as well as an expanded Riders Playground, plus the Forsthof and Schwarzleo trails. The Bikepark will also host the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships from 4th – 6th September 2020, followed by the BIKE festival from 11th – 13th September. Amongst Saalfelden Leogang’s rugged limestone crags and gentle sloping meadows, hikers can enjoy long-distance, high-Alpine mountain routes, pausing at panoramic benches and forest swings. At the NaturKino at the top of the Asitz Mountain, they’re invited to recline on loungers and in hammocks, to take a moment to drink in nature’s beauty. Another way to find new heights in Saalfelden Leogang is by climbing: via ferrata, sport and Alpine are all available on the Steinberge mountains. Alternatively, speed through the sky with the Flying Fox XXL. This 1,600m long zipline at 143m above ground reaches speeds of 130km per hour.

 

St. Johann in Salzburg, surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful nature just 60km from the region’s capital, is family-friendly from top to toe. Play on giant trampolines and mini carts at the Alpendorf Cableway before ascending to the Geisterberg: a huge friendly-ghost-themed playground with all manner of water games, climbing towers and discovery stations. Climb the new Ghost Castle and marvel at the views before strolling along a panoramic path. Just a half-hour walk from the Ghost Mountain is the new reservoir lake on Sonntagskogel, where you can promenade along the waterside and relax with food from a mountain hut after a day of play. From 13th – 20th July, St. Johann in Salzburg hosts JoKiWo. This week is filled with a programme of children’s theatre, puppet shows and Märchenerzähler (fairytale storyteller) recitals. A real highlight is a performance of Peter and the Wolf by the esteemed Salzburg Philharmonic. New for summer 2020 is the Salzburger Sportwelt Card, which covers entrance to and discounts for a whole host of attractions. This includes the Liechtenstein Gorge, which reopens this summer and invites holidaymakers to visit the mighty waterfall in one of Europe’s longest, deepest and most impressive ravines.

  

Tirol, Austria’s third-largest province, is home to 500 mountain peaks and nature reserves so immense that they cover more than a quarter of its total land. So its superlative summer holiday offering does not come as a surprise. With 24,000km of marked hiking trails, 6,000km of mountain bike tracks with 230km of singletrack, 920km of cycle paths, 8,000 climbing routes, it’s practically impossible to run out of ways to have fun. From long distance days-long hikes to culinary rambles and sunrise treks, to the Alps’ longest mountain bike trail and a lift-assisted bike safari, there is something in this region for everyone. Families can look forward to wild swimming, mountain leisure parks, fortresses, castles and museums. Dip your toes in kitesurfing and paragliding one day, followed by golf and a visit to the Kufstein Wine Festival the next. Travel to Tirol and discover the fun to be had in destinations such as Kitzbühel, Kitzbüheler Alpen St. Johann in Tirol, St. Anton am Arlberg, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena and Innsbruck.

 

Last year, Kitzbühel became the first destination awarded with the European Hiking Quality Seal. Marked paths span for over 1,000km, leading hikers and trail runners through flowering alpine pastures to craggy mountain peaks. Road bikers tackle the devilishly tricky ascent to the Kitzbüheler Horn while leisure cyclists ride through the valleys below. Kitzbühel’s diverse cycle network includes 1,200km routes, with a further 800km of trails for mountain bikers. Golf is also popular, with four fantastic courses on site and 30 more within 100km. Kitzbühel’s pride in its status as home of the Hahnenkamm Race is evident in its 2020 summer programme, with the introduction of a new high-altitude children’s play area, the Sommererlebnis Streif, and the Hahnenkamm Bike Trail. To get even closer to the legendary race, visit during 22nd – 24th May, when guests can hike the notorious Streif with two legends of the alpine sporting world: Ski World Cup Winner Marco Büchel and famous mountaineer Peter Habeler. Other awesome events this summer include the Kitzbühel Triathlon, the Kitzbühel Golf Festival, the 72nd Cycling Tour of Austria and, for the first time, the Kitzbühel Cycling Marathon on 5th July. And to relax after days of exciting excursions: the KITZ Culinary Festival, the musical KITZ Summer Nights and August’s film festival.

 

The peerlessly picturesque Kitzbüheler Alpen St. Johann in Tirol reigns as the world’s most expansive interconnected e-bike region, also offering 200km of road bike routes and mountain bike trails. For climbers, the Kaisergebirge is a haven, with famous tours and summits including the Teufelskanzel, Ellmauer-Tor and Mauckspitze. Even higher-adrenaline activities include skydiving, paragliding, canyoning and rafting.  With over 200km of signposted hiking trails, you can choose a route to suit your preferences perfectly. Follow the Adlerweg (Eagle’s Trail) across the entire province, from St. Johann in Tirol on towards the Lech Valley, to really immerse yourself in the gorgeous countryside. Alternatively, the Koasa Trail winds past natural landmarks such as the Eifersbacher Waterfall and Grießbach Gorge. This region is also home to one of the most mouth-watering events in the Alps: the Dumpling Festival, where you can find the longest dumpling table in the world. The table is over 500m long and covered in almost 26,000 dumplings, so make sure to arrive with a hearty appetite! To work off those dumplings, sign up for the Cycle World Cup, throw some shapes at the region’s Musical Evening or revel with other visitors during the area’s Alpine Festival Weeks.

  

St. Anton am Arlberg has good news for those avoiding flying in 2020. You can now travel straight to this region’s centre thanks to the mountain village Railjet station, which runs seven direct connections from Vienna and Zurich each day. Once you’ve arrived, over 300km of walking routes await, with plenty of challenging trails for experts alongside educational, family-friendly options. One new addition for 2020 is the history-themed Bergbau Gand circular hiking trail. For (e-)bikers, there’s a range of new routes and charging stations, from the family-friendly Stanzertal to the gnarly 20km mountain bike route to the Heilbronner Hütte in Verwall. Alpinists looking for even more altitude can join a ‘Bike & Summit’ tour, or head to the 3,148m high Kuchenspitze peak, the Schnanner Klamm climbing garden, or the boulders and via ferrata routes. The region’s summer sporting events are second to none, with the unconventional Arlberg Adler triathlon, the Montafon Arlberg Marathon, the E-BIKE FEST, Arlberger Wadlbeisser obstacle course, international cycling criterion and ARLBERG Giro bike race, as well as the Arlberger Bike Marathon. There’s also the Mountain Yoga Festival, the St. Anton Film Festival, village festivals, the ‘Almabtrieb’ (homecoming of the cows) and September’s world-record-breaking Line Dance Festival. Guests are spoiled for choice.

  

The Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is an idyll for adventure seekers and active travellers. From the Red Bull X-Alps paragliding event in June and SAAC Climbing Camp in July, to the September SAAC Bike Camp, summers in this region are packed with world class sport experiences. But, of course, visitors can enjoy these activities all through the warmer months, with over 150 hiking and 160 south-facing climbing routes in addition to paragliding schools. There are over 100 signposted tours and freeride trails for cyclists, mountain-bikers and e-bikers, as well as the brand-new Skill Area Lermoos with a Velosolutions pumptrack. Families visiting the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena can abseil amongst waterfalls, learn rafting in the Loisach springs, have fun on the high ropes in Bichlbach’s leisure park, and fly down Lermoos’ water slides or the summer toboggan run in Biberwier. There are boat trips, petting zoos and educational hikes such as the Zugspitzi am Gaisbach water trail and Moosle’s Magic Forest to help children learn about Tirol’s mountain environment while having fun. One event not to miss is Mountains on Fire 2020. On 20th June, the annual lighting of the mountain bonfires takes place, with more than 10,000 fires setting the awe-inspiring Tirolean landscape aglow in this traditional celebration.

 

Innsbruck is a melting pot of alpine athleticism and urban cool. In few other places can you hike to mountain yoga in the morning, take a street art city tour and visit the Habsburg Walk in the afternoon, before dancing at an electro festival 2,000m above sea level as the sun sets. But in this young yet historic city, that’s life for the locals. From 1st May 2020, visitors staying in Innsbruck for two nights or more will enjoy free public transport throughout the area with the new Welcome Card. And it’s just as well, as there are plenty of events to visit, starting with the Alpine Trailrun Festival, the Innsbruckathlon, the Stubai Ultra Trail and the Xletix Tirol. In May, the International Golden Roof Challenge sees pole vault and long jump come to the city centre, before Crankworx takes over the Innsbruck Bikepark and the Austria Climbing Open 2020 the Innsbruck Climbing Centre in June. The hills are alive in 2020, with musical events such as Heart of Noise, the Bonanza Open Air Festival and Wetterleuchten (Summer Lightning) lined up for electro-fans. Those with more traditional tastes will revel in the joviality of Classics on the Mountain, the 26th Innsbruck Promenade Concerts, the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music and the Alpine Folk Music Competition.

  

Would you like further information about summer holidays in Austria, or to discuss a 2020 press trip? For queries, requests, and press trip enquiries, please contact:

Eleanor Moody, PR & Community Manager
eleanor.moody@austria.info