Thrilling proposals in Tyrol

574 three-thousand-metre peaks, over 80 ski resorts and more than 3,000 kilometres of pistes – this is what ski enthusiasts can expect in Tyrol. But Tyrol can also be different. Winter in the Tyrolean Alps also offers daring bathing in frozen lakes or swimming in underground rivers that shape the belly of the glacier, rafting and SUP in frozen tunnels, ice skating, curling and snowkiting and ice climbing. Always in harmony with a unique nature and with magnificent winter landscapes as a backdrop to be admired 7 days a week.

Austria – Bathing in the frozen lakes and the natural lake at the Hintertux Glacier
Thrilling: the new trend is swimming in freezing cold lakes, which are practically covered in ice. Ice bathing is not only a breathtaking experience (in every sense, including the literal), but for some it is also a meditative experience. Because of the cold, you can concentrate better on yourself. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was already an advocate of ice swimming in the 18th century, without yet knowing that it was also possible to do so on a glacier, specifically in the natural glacial lake on the Hintertux Glacier. It is an official training area for the world’s best ice swimmers. But holiday guests can also dive in. If they wish. All you need to do is be sporty, be in good physical health and be crazy and reckless. The glacier has many surprises in store for those who want to experience a real adrenaline rush. The ice is the protagonist: just to get a feel for the glacial atmosphere, you can experience the walk through the ice caves and grottos. Enveloped in the freshness of this itinerary where the sky is beyond the ice cap, you can touch the mighty walls that the cold has shaped. An hour’s walk through narrow and wide passages designed by the ice to appreciate this masterpiece of nature.
Another unusual suggestion is to visit the glacier caves while sitting in a dinghy or, less comfortably, standing on an SUP in perfect balance to avoid falling into the very cold water. The underground river that flows through some of the tunnels seems tailor-made for family-friendly rafting. SUP enthusiasts can try their hand at guiding the board through the glacier tunnels.
But it doesn’t end there. For those who want to brave the polar temperatures and challenge themselves to a truly unusual feat, there is the frozen river swim: the water temperature is just above zero, you swim for a few minutes in the ice tunnels and the sensation is to feel at one with the immense glacier. You are immersed in its belly, at a depth of 30 metres, in an atmosphere reminiscent of science fiction films. The stalactites, the frozen waterfalls, the colour and transparency of the water in its solid and liquid form.

Ice skating in the snow-covered mountains and cross-country skiing on the lake
Nine beautiful Tyrolean open-air lakes with mountains as a backdrop are the most beautiful natural ice skating rinks: on the Piburger See in the Ötztal, the two-kilometre-long track is one of the most scenic. And then there is the 3,007-metre-high Acherkogel in the Stubai Alps, which is chillingly beautiful and cold.
At one kilometre long and 750 metres wide, the Haldensee in the idyllic Tannheimer Tal is the only lake in the Tyrol that can also be crossed on cross-country skis. When the winter is cold and the ice is thick enough, the 150,000-square-metre Schwarzsee near Kitzbühel becomes a huge practice run.

Snowkiting on lakes: wind and snow
When the wind blows, snowkiting on frozen lakes is the ultimate sport. While the frozen surface of a lake has the advantage of offering beginners a lot of free space with no obstacles, professionals can enjoy themselves on the snowy slopes.

Ice climbing
In summer, mighty waterfalls cascade down the glaciers in the valleys of the Tyrol. It is hard to believe that these can freeze over in winter. Frozen waterfalls, ice columns, cones, glacier walls: ice climbing enthusiasts can’t get enough of the cold beauty of these natural phenomena. An icy pleasure. Crampons, ice axes, ice screws, the right clothing and a guide are the elements needed to practice this sport.

Curling: a Nordic sport
Curling requires concentration and precision. Like bowls, you have to hit a small target. The sport has a long tradition and is a lot of fun. In Seefeld, beginners can take part in a free training course; in Kitzbühel, the Reither Eisschützenklub also offers its newly built facility for guests to try their hand at the sport. When playing in the evening, it is traditional to warm up with mulled wine or hot chocolate with family or friends after the game.

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