Explore the wild corners of Austria by ski and foot

Austria Saltzburg mountains

Salzburg, Austria in the winter

Maybe you live in a modern city like Dubai where everything might seem possible. Even skiing, since the Emirati city of Dubai boasts Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor skiing area. 

But skiing inside a large shopping arena is a bit like wandering around in an indoor jungle. There are no real animals or plants to thrill or surprise and the more we learn about ourselves, mental health and our immune systems’ well being when it comes to Covid, the more we learn how important it is to get outside and make some Vitamin D. And nature indoors is nothing close to the real thing: Eventually you will want to feel the wild wind on your cheeks and get out to the real outdoors to explore the corners of the earth

If you are a person of the desert and the Middle East sun, a holiday to the Arctic Circle like the Green Sheikh takes, or a skiing trip to the Austrian Alps in the winter is very exotic. Spend a week in a mountain chalet, and a week on the hills as you breath fresh mountain air, hike in the nature of Europe and enjoy the atmosphere that has been the home to healing spas enjoyed by millions over the centuries. 

For those of us who are able to afford it, a charter private jet can help relieve some of the fear of air travel. Carbon credits are still a thing, so look into offsetting your travel before you fly. After a week of skiing, there are plenty of more wild things to do in Austria, from cross-country ski exploration trips to hiking in the winter Alps when the regular tourists –– now more than ever –– are asleep at home. 

What to look for in a winter eco vacation?

After you have done skiing downhill, consider some cross-country ski adventures and fresh places to stay. While Austria is landlocked there is endless nature, like at Plansee in the Tirol mountains, which looks like a Norwegian fjord. Between the Zwiesel and Spießberg mountains the clear water in Plansee is very popular in the summer. But imagine what kind of fairytale you will encounter in the winter? Crystals on the lake in a partial state of frozen? Can this be real?

Olpererhütte bridge Austria

There is also a wonderful Alpine hike to an Alpine hut and a small suspension bridge up above Olpererhütte. Since the temperatures hover around zero C in the winter, hiking in Austria isn’t a tough sport, but an invigorating one that fills your lungs and spirit with clear, cold fresh air. 

Austria is home to plenty of eco-freaks (who build eco hotels and solar power companies) and people who believe in creating the perfect balance with nature. It’s not hard to find chalets made from pine wood cut only at a certain phase of the moon, and built without glue and nails. There are hot springs and sunbars in the winter, and hyperfresh local food made by hand and from traditions hundreds of years old. If you haven’t had enough, strap on your skis for all of this and ski around 

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