The Sun Rises on a New Year:
Three of Austria's Best Sunrise Experiences
The early morning is a special time, when the world is quiet but for birdsong, and one can take a moment for themselves. Austria is a country brimming with beautiful natural viewpoints, many of which can be accessed on foot or by cable car before the dawn breaks, meaning that the sights out over mountain peaks and peaceful meadows can be appreciated at their most beautiful: as they're hit by the light of the sun's first golden rays. From rewarding early-morning summit hikes, to delicious breakfasts enjoyed while overlooking the land and sipping champagne, here are three sunrise experiences in Austria for when we can travel again.
Sunrise hike on the Serles
The majestic Serles mountain sits between the Stubai Valley and the Wipptal Valley, reaching a height of 2,700m above sea level, with its summit known as the 'high altar' of Tirol. Starting at the Maria Waldrast Abbey - one of Tirol's oldest pilgrimage sites - the hike takes around three hours, following a steep path passing over gravel fields and through hushed pine forests. It's not the easiest route to the top, so early-rising hikers can get excited for a challenge that, once conquered, will reward them with breathtaking views of Innsbruck, the Inn Valley, the Karwendel Mountains, the Stubai Alps and the Tux Alps as they're bathed in light.
Read more about the Serles sunrise hike here . . .
Champagne and breakfast with a view in Kitzbühel
Looking for a more relaxing way to begin the day? During summer, visitors to Kitzbühel and the surrounding areas can sign up for the Horngipfel breakfast experience. After ascending the Kitzbüheler Horn mountain with the cable car shortly after 4am, it's a gentle walk to the summit, at which one enjoys breathtaking views of the sun rising over stunning panoramic vistas of the Loferer Steinberge mountain range. Champagne and fresh juice are on offer for attendees to enjoy, with live music from traditional woodwind instruments in the background. Once day has broken, it's time for breakfast at the Horngipfel-Haus, where a hearty meal of pastries, scrambled eggs, tea and coffee sets one up for the rest of the day.
Read more about the Horngipfel Breakfast here . . .
Experience the Dachstein glacier at dawn
Glaciers are places of outstanding natural beauty at all times - but when the sun first rises above the surrounding mountain peaks and its first rays are sent skittering across the ice and snow: now that's a sight to see. Such breathtaking first light views can be enjoyed during summer at Styria's Dachstein Glacier. This natural gem sits at 2,700m above sea level, from whence one can see out over the peaks of Austria's mountains to the Czech Republic and Slovenia. With the Sunrise Breakfast Dachstein offer, which includes the price of ascent and descent, visitors can marvel at the golden dawn views and enjoy a buffet breakfast at the glacier restaurant, before checking out the glacier's plentiful attractions such as the Stairway to Nothingness, Suspension Bridge, Sky Walk and Ice Palace - all while the world below is still waking up.
Read more about the Sunrise Breakfast Dachstein here . . .