Ready to boil over?
Cool down on a hike by the water.
Too many appointments and expectations, too little time? Day-to-day life is often quite demanding. So you don’t boil over: Gorge and river hikes cool down overheated emotions on hot summer days.
Along flood plains, under shady trees, or on high ground at crystal-clear mountain lakes: Summer vacation is for explorers large and small, for bundles of energy, for those seeking peace and quiet, and for nature lovers, for anyone who wants to keep on moving even at the height of summer.
Is it time to cool down? Then let’s get started!
Walk along the water
The longest continuous gorge in Austria features crystal-clear water, romantic footbridges, steep rocks, and ravines and is a unique natural recreation area! An ideal place to hike for people of all ages, the Raab Gorge is home to breathtaking flora and fauna.
The Feistritz flows through Stubenberg Gorge, which is located in the community of the same name and on the Feistritz Valley Bike Trail. One of the most ecologically important nature areas in Styria, it is protected by Natura 2000.
On hot summer days, the cool and humid ravine forest in Nature Park Pöllau Valley will refresh you. Observe fire salamanders in the gorge and yellow-bellied toads in ponds. A number of different bird species and diverse flora can also be seen!
Cool off before you overheat this summer at Heiligengeist Gorge near Leutschach. There is definitely a shady place with your name on it! Discover historic mills and small waterfalls throughout the gorge until it ends at the Austrian and Slovene border.
Deutschlandsberg Gorge, which is traversed by the Lafnitz, is an insider tip on hot summer days! Enter the gorge directly by the JUFA Hotel and follow it up to Deutschlandsberg Fortress. It has been a European protected area since April 2006.
Nature and Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen
Are you looking for wild water, wild mountains, and wild canyons? Then look no further than Nature and UNESCO Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen in the Gesäuse region, which is full of rushing waters. In Wasserloch Gorge, Noth Gorge or Kraus Cave, refreshment on hot summer days is guaranteed!
Dr. Vogelgesang Gorge
One of the longest rocky gorges accessible on foot, this incredibly wild and romantic gorge in Spital am Pyhrn is 3 km long, has 500 steps, and is situated at an altitude of 330 m. The entire family will marvel at the wild waterfalls and impressive light and sound effects!
Lake Alm and Alm River
The protected landscape area around Lake Alm and along the banks of the Alm is truly a treat: the rocky massif of the Totes Gebirge range, the brightly colored forest, and refreshing crystal-clear waters. An experience for the entire family!
Deep canyons and narrow paths along the water fascinate visitors of all ages. Austria’s Grand Canyon is located in Nature Park Ötscher-Tormäuer. Waterfalls like Lassingfall, Mirafall und Schleierfall get all the attention. There’s no chance of being bored here!
Directly on the Czech border, Thayatal National Park is home to the river of the same name and a paradise of untouched nature! Discover one of the last valley landscapes of Central Europe. Enjoy unique views of the naturally formed bends in the river from the surrounding hills!
Discover how glaciers and the Kaprun Ache River have formed and shaped this 320-meter-long gorge over thousands of years. Descend up to 32 meters down into an incredible natural experience that takes you on wooden boardwalks, across numerous bridges, along narrow rock faces, and above thundering waters.
The 4 km long Liechtenstein Gorge is one of the deepest canyons in Europe and features dramatic cliffs that rise up to 400 meters high. Attractions like the new Helix circular stairway and a 50 m high waterfall are particularly impressive.
Very special canyon hikes in an area of pure natural beauty are waiting for you in the Gitsch Valley! The steep, towering rock faces and spectacular stairways are unparalleled but also harbor dangers—leave any fear of heights at home and watch your step!
Gschnitz Valley and Gschnitz Mill Village
Take the Gossy and Gschnitzy Water themed trail or the waterfall path past the spectacular and soothing Sandes Waterfall or visit the mill village itself with its water-powered grain mill. The entire family will feel refreshed after their vacation in Gschnitz Valley!
Üble Schlucht Gorge
Shimmering turquoise mountain water, a thundering waterfall at the end of the gorge, rock formations, and impressive light and color effects make for a unique experience in one of the most beautiful gorges in Vorarlberg!
Crystal clear and cold
The summit of Mount Preber is reflected in a dark bog lake located at 1514 m, where any overheated emotions will certainly cool down. With highlights like an exciting moor educational trail around the lake, the traditional Preber Shoot, and Trogleiteneck (referred to as a gold shaft in old tales), boredom is not allowed!
Surrounded by the Upper Austrian Kalkalpen mountains, Lake Gleinker is one of the warmest mountain lakes in Austria with summer temperatures up to 25 degrees. Besides swimming, you can also rent a boat and explore the farthest reaches of the water. For those who like to be active, the lake is the ideal starting point for a large number of hikes!
Nestled into the surrounding mountains, emerald green Lake Leopoldstein is a real regional treasure. The sight of the crystal-clear waters and the restorative mountain air can best be enjoyed on extended walks around the lake or on a boat ride. If you are particularly courageous, jump into the 20-degree waters from the natural beach.
The only natural lake for swimming in Lower Austria is located in the mountain climbing village of the same name at the foot of imposing mountains that command your respect. You and your family are invited to enjoy the sun, take a plunge into the cool waters, or go for a ride on a paddle boat during the day. In the evening, the lake is home to culture with concerts and festivals on the legendary floating stage.
The entire family likes swimming in Lake Planner—despite its altitude of about 1800 m. A visit to the idyllic tarn is especially refreshing after long hikes! It is a short walk from Planneralm to the lake, which has comfortable spots for rest and relaxation.