Trailblazing Women in Austria:
Entrepreneurs and Holiday Experiences
From Nobel Peace Prize winner Bertha von Suttner, to inventor and 1940s Hollywood film star Hedy Lamarr, to human rights campaigner Ute Bock: pioneering Austrian women have been making waves for centuries. Now, we'd like to introduce you to two women making an impact on Austria's sustainability and hospitality scenes today.
Boutiquehotel Stadthalle, Vienna
Michaela Reitterer is the owner of Vienna’s Boutiquehotel Stadthalle: the world’s first urban hotel with a zero-energy balance. After acquiring the business in 2001, Michaela took on the task of renovating the entire hotel to increase ecological sustainability. To say she suceeded would be an understatement. She oversaw the installation of a solar energy plant, a photovoltaic plant, a ground-water heating pump and wind turbines – not to mention a rainwater collection system, LED lighting, upcycled interiors and a lavender roof home to a handful of bee colonies. A pioneer of eco-friendly accommodation, Michaela has received awards including the Austrian Climate Protection Prize and the Environmental Prize of the City of Vienna for her work. Find out more here . . .
Olperer Hut, Zillertal
Sustainable accommodation isn't hard to find in the Austrian mountains, but alpine huts led exclusively by women are seen with somewhat less frequency. That’s why, when single mum Katharina Daum took over the running of the Olperer Hut in the Zillertal Valley 25 years ago, she was met with some scepticism from a few of the local farmers. She took on the challenge armed “without any money and with nothing more than [her] old toolbox and a headlamp” – and a quarter of a century later, her hut is one the most successful and best loved in the country. From its fluffy Kaiserschmarren to the stunning views of the Tux Alps from the dining room’s panoramic window: Katharina’s drive and her talent as a mountain hut owner are evident in every element of a visit to the Olperer Hut. Find out more here . . .
Looking for holiday experiences led by women in Austria? Here are three organisations and activities across the provinces of Vorarlberg, SalzburgerLand and Tirol providing cultural insight and enriching activities with female travellers in mind.
Hittisau Women's Museum in Vorarlberg
Located in Austria's westernmost province Vorarlberg, the "Frauenmuseum Hittisau" is Austria's first and only women's museum. It documents and showcases women's cultural contributions and histories, aiming to raise awareness about gender roles and their malleability. The museum's temporary exhibitions shed light on feminist topics in the social, cultural, artistic, and architectural sphere, incorporating regional and international perspectives. Past and current exhibitions include Birth Culture, 100 Years of Women's Suffrage, and Women in the Alps. All guided tours are led by women of different ages and social backgrounds. Find out more . . .
Women's Trail in Zell am See-Kaprun
The Women’s Trail is a three-day event held exclusively for female runners in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand. It kicks off with the legendary night run, during which participants can get to know their fellow sportswomen while discovering this magnificent region of glaciers and forests by starlight. On Saturday and Sunday, runners chase the highs of the 13.4 km Panorama Trail as it snakes through the mountains, and try for new times on the 11.4km Lake Run. With workshops focused on trail running, wellness, yoga and relaxation taking place throughout the weekend, plus social events including a Grill & Chill and a gala dinner, there's plenty of opportunity to build on one's skills and meet new like-minded friends. Find out more here . . .
Women's Summer Festival in Ehrwald
The Women's Summer Festival is an extravaganza of outdoor sports. Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, bouldering, motor biking, stand-up paddling and more: for women who love active travel and adventure, there are few better ways to spend a long weekend. The stunning landscape of the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena forms the backdrop for the festival's activities, workshops and social events, as well as the expo area, in which participants are invited to demo the latest gear from leading outdoor companies. Experienced guides and coaches, specialising in skills from canyoning to sports photography, are on hand to provide advice for attendees of all abilities. Find out more here . . .