The mountains are for life, not just for Christmas
Come rain or shine, thick powdery white snow or glorious sunshine, our alpinechic hotels in Austria offer a luxurious retreat away from the noise and drama of everyday life. Boasting dreamlike mountaintop locations and world-class landscapes, these hotels are not just a great place to enjoy snowsports in the winter months but are also the perfect skiing destinations in summer, too.
If you’ve ever watched The Sound of Music, you’ll have some idea of the lush green landscapes and fantastic outdoor lifestyle in Austria. If that is the sort of scene that makes up your dream holiday then you’re in luck, as we have selected three of our most beautiful Austrian hotels where you can spend the summer hiking, biking and just enjoying the picturesque landscapes of skiing destinations in summer.
Hotel 12 in the south of the country is one of the most enchanting skiing destinations in summer. Surrounded by jagged mountains and dazzling views thanks to its high-up location, the plethora of activities on offer here in the warmer months are a great example of the many ways that skiing destinations in summer are thoroughly enjoyable.
The land around the hotel is dotted with cows during the summer months, making for some brilliant photos and fulfilling all sorts of picture-postcard stereotypes. The location is ideal for outdoor sports, and if you fancy something of the heart-stopping variety, you’re in luck. There are many paragliding schools in the area with highly skilled instructors – they offer tandem dives, too, making it slightly less scary!
The Austrian landscapes are also beautiful just to take a walk and enjoy this untamed, unspoilt view of nature in tranquil surroundings. With more than 100 kilometres of hiking trails surrounding the hotel, you can enjoy a short or long hike through the vast landscapes or just take a quiet stroll and enjoy a picnic when you fancy a rest. The area also features many mountain biking trails, which makes for a great family day out. Just pop your bike on the chairlift (the hotel has three bikes available for hire) and ascend into the skies, and then make your way back down the mountain at your own pace.
Hotel 12 looks out over three stunning lakes at Felaak, Worther or Ossiacher, making it an ideal base from which to enjoy a day out boating and see the mountains from another viewpoint. There are numerous cultural activities in the area, too, such as some magnificent castles with guided tours, the Ossiach monastery and the Dobratsch Nature Park. Austria is one of the most magical skiing destinations in summer, perfect for enjoying the bright, beautiful and colourful land once the snow has melted away.
Health and wellness
Another fantastic Alpine destination is the Hotel Goldener Berg in Oberlech. As skiing areas are typically covered in acre after acre of unspoiled land, this is another location that is ideal for mountain biking and hiking in the summer months, plus there are some great golf courses. The Goldener Berg — a hotel that offers tranquility and style in equal measure — also highlights another aspect of skiing destinations in summer; the après-ski. And we’re not talking about drinking cocktails and dancing until the sun comes up, we’re thinking pure and total indulgence and relaxation, for which you need not even leave the hotel’s confines. The gorgeous Alpin Spa includes Finnish saunas, steam baths and an outdoor Jacuzzi while its special summer menu offers a range of health and beauty therapies. Treatments make the most of the surrounding natural beauty, lush meadows and towering mountains, using granite, hay and mountain marigold, as well as larch wood and fresh, clear spring water. There’s also a full range of massage treatments, particularly those aimed at soothing sore feet after days spent navigating the mountains.
There is very much a focus on body and soul at the Goldener Berg, with their Existence Path program offering many ways to soothe the senses, balancing the mind and body. Holistic programs are tailor-made and centred around the area most relevant for you, whether that is encouraging detox, diet, relaxation or a good night’s sleep. There’s also plenty of advice and encouragement towards healthy eating and yoga practise, making the entire experience a – very enjoyable – lesson in health and wellness.
If that all sounds very tempting, but there’s just no time to indulge (i.e. you’re on holiday with the kids), then don’t despair – the hotel has you covered. This is an ideal destination for children; the childcare staff options means you can either leave your offspring in the capable hands of the staff or have a day out with the whole family. Amongst the fun-filled activities available, kids can enjoy crazy golf, cow milking (there’s the stereotypes being fulfilled again), river rafting, fishing, mini golf and rock climbing. There are also plenty of great family days out within easy reach, including the Cheese route in Bregenzerwald where you can visit the dairy farmers, merchants and craftspeople behind the local cheese business.
Over in the Schafberg Mountains, the Hotel Cortisen Am See is one of the best skiing destinations in summer in a unique chic location that offers another authentic slice of the Austrian lifestyle. Its peaceful location on the banks of the lake is enhanced by its policy to not allow children under the age of 12. There is a definite encouragement to relax and enjoy the spirit of the place – of which there is plenty! With its own private jetty and beach, you can spend all day relaxing in a deck chair with a good book (there’s an excellent library), perhaps taking a break to go swimming or diving in the lake’s fresh waters. Should you desire a more active pastime, the on-site sailing and surfing school allows anyone to become a whizz on the water, perhaps via wakeboard, slalom ski or motor boat. You can even hire your own boat and spend the day(s) sail lazing around the lake, enjoying a lovingly-packed picnic basket provided by the hotel.
While kids may not be allowed, perhaps you can indulge one of your childhood fantasies by taking the hotel’s Harley Davidson for a spin and showing the cool kids how it’s done. There are plenty of places to visit in the surrounding area or you can just cruise and let the wind whip through your hair. Many of us might prefer a more traditional version of the bike, and the hotel provides complimentary bicycles so that you can just hop on board and go exploring. The emphasis here is on fun and relaxation, with a tennis court, horse riding and even hot air ballooning rounding off the activity roster.