Coolcation in Austria: how to stay fresh this summer
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11.06.2024 Austria Austrian Alps   14
Coolcation in Austria: how to stay fresh this summer

With temperatures breaking records across Europe every summer in recent years, more and more holidaymakers are looking for alternative destinations to beat the heat. This new trend, coined by publications such as CN Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler or The Independent, is leading to a noticeable change in vacation planning, with travelers increasingly swapping the Southern beaches for mountains, rivers and alpine lakes during the height of summer.

Luckily, summer holidays in Austria are delightfully refreshing. Let's show you what "Coolcation" can look like.


Although the concept of Coolcationing - or "Sommerfrische" in our jargon - has become a key concept The vacation trend isn't technically new. In fact, the Brothers Grimm were fans too! Famous storytellers of the late 18th century defined "Sommerfriesche" as the art of getting away from the bustling city and immersing yourself in a space with a comfortable temperature to recharge and relax, as a delightful change of scenery to cool the body and mind, heal and relieve stress.

This welcome escape from everyday life, often combined with active adventures in nature, can still be found today, for example, trading the office for relaxation in the summer breeze.


To cool off the body, Austria offers a wide range of mountain and lake activities, allowing you to maintain comfortable temperatures even in the height of summer. Thanks to the high and central location of the Alpine regions such as Paznaun-Ischgl, St. Johann in Tirol or Kitzbuhel, Vacationers can enjoy the sun without overheating while moving. Hiking through the cool mountain air, riding a gravel bike and then diving into one of Austria's many lakes to cool off again is what summer holidays in Austria are all about. Guests can enjoy swimming, sailing, stand-up paddling or even fishing if they're so inclined.

Although Austria technically doesn't have beaches or oceans, its many lakes more than make up for it by offering... As a bonus, stunning nature. For example, Lake Achensee in Tyrol, carved by glaciers in the Alps more than 20,000 years ago, is a popular surfing and diving spot. The Zell am See-Kaprun region, a perfect combination of lake, mountains and glacier, further enhances the cooling experience. Swim in Lake Zell, cool off in the snow or both - this region is simply made for an unforgettable summer! Likewise, the Zillertal is home to 85 glaciers, making it possible to enjoy icy activities even in the height of summer. The region is also home to the high-mountain nature park of the Zillertal Alps and Europe's highest playground.


But it's not just that to be active and fill your days with movement and adventure: summer holidays are also a great opportunity to cool your mind. City life comes with a lot of stress, from honking car horns to constant phone calls. Mindful activity or simply spending time outdoors is known to improve mental health and overall happiness. Travelers will find unspoilt nature throughout Austria, but especially in the mountain regions. The Krimml Falls in the Hohe Tauern National Park are renowned as Europe's tallest waterfalls, and their spray offers welcome freshness on a hot day. In the Schladming-Dachstein region, holidaymakers can recharge their batteries among lush green valleys, sunbathe in the grass and admire the colorful flowers on the mountain slopes. Mindful activities such as kayaking on calm lakes, leisurely hikes or even bird watching are widely available.


Finally , cooling is not limited to rural areas. Austria's cities also offer plenty of opportunities to cool off and stay cool during the height of summer. Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck or Graz have beautiful green spaces and gardens offering plenty of shade for picnics and sightseeing, and rooftop terraces and outdoor swimming pools are widely available. In Innsbruck, a cable car takes guests up the Nordkette mountain range directly from the city center, and there are beautiful vineyards just outside the city in Graz. While in Salzburg, take a walk along Mönchsberg overlooking the city. And in Vienna, guests can head to the city beach on the Danube, or even go sailing or boating on the Alte Donau, just a short metro ride from the city center.


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