Walking rambling and discovering the Austrian Alps

 Map of the mountain region above Kaprun, with reservoirs and photo of Zell am See and the Kitzsteinhorn

What ever your ability as a walker, hiker or stroller you will not be disappointed when it comes to Austria. In the Kaprun and Zell am See there is a plethora of walks for all ranges and abilities. There are a number of different routes between Zell am See and Kaprun.

Throughout Austria footpaths are excellently signposted and marked, and in the Europa Ski area it is no different.

A beautiful but simple walk / cycle and not so challenging is around the lake at Zell am See it is mostly flat, with one or two slight inclines, there are places to stop and take in the views or perhaps have a drink partway through your walk, the views are ever changing, and at around 7 miles / 11 kilometres a gentle stroll of some in around two - three hours. The Euro Alps website gives a brief description of the walk, along with two accompanying maps! and photographs showing some of the sights.

Via the attached link there is an excellent article describing some of the joys and tribulations of walking in the area, along with descriptions of walks and supporting photographs, worth a look?

For the more adventurous and fitter ones amongst us who would like to take on the challenges of higher level walks, you need to be aware of your ability, and their in a distinct difference when walking at altitude and the weather can suddenly change in a matter of minutes so it is vitally important that you have the right equipment and training. You wouldn't go wrong in acquiring a copy of Cecil W Davies book of "Mountain Walking in Austria" attached to the link are a number of other books and maps which may be of interest to you?

Another option to consider is buying a Kitzsteinhorn "Hike and Swim" ticket, so that you can perhaps hike on the mountain during the morning having use of the lifts, they even do guided walks,where you can see the alpine flora and fauna as you go. The map above shows some possible routes for the experienced alpine walker, and it also shows the lift locations. Then later in the day you can choose have use of the skimming pool in the Optimum Centre Kaprun ( planned to shut by October 2010, when Tauern Spa Kaprun opens ) where you can swim indoors, outside, have a sauna, and chill and relax. (that is if you can chill in a sauna!). Or alternatively at Zell am See where there is a indoor public pool ( use of sauna extra). Subject to the time of the year there is also lakeside bathing Zell am See renowned for its clean drinking water quality.

A new spa complex, Tauern Spa World  is planned for Kaprun, to open in November 2010, and work is under way in a superb location, near to Kaprun's village centre, click on the link for more details.

Finally I would like to recommend the walk which follows the river south up from Kaprun, there is the Sigmund thun Klamm it is basically a beautiful walk up a ravine on a constructed elevated platform and path, the words don't do justice to the majesty of the place. Have a look at the link, map below and make sure that you look at some of the other photographs, you will not be disappointed?

View  fro the  mountains  above  Kaprun  with  Zell  am  See  in the  distance 

a new route has opened for biker's / hikers  the top of the  Maiskogel  ski lift and the first lift stage up to the Kitzsteinhorn, bikes can now go on the lifts.

By the start of the walk at the start of  Sigmund thun Klamm gorge there is an interesting indoor display area, and free!, run by the hydro electrical company explaining how the complex of dams, and tunnels controls the run off of water from 7 valleys preventing flooding, creating electricity, storage facilities for drinking water, and a great tourist attraction.

I will close there if anybody else would like to recommend a walk in the Kaprun and Zell am See area, I would very much welcome your contribution.

Cheers Derek.

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