Why is it worth to go to Austrian Alps?

 Austrian Alps cover 2/3 surface of Austria. It is a very big area which you can discover every time you come here. Alps are popular holiday destination, although it is easy to find quiet here. Seasonality of Alps intensyfies the number of tourists in winter, but in summer they are also eagerly visited. Lower prices in summer season and nature coming to life after winter attract like ma magnesium. In many regions special promotions are introduced to attract potential clients. Such discounts have for example museums, swimming pools, hot springs, bobsled etc. … In alpine valleg there is no problem to find accommodation. You can use one of the many apartamenets, hotels or cheap accommodation – thus it is not surprising that people consider holiday in Austrian Alps as very pleasant. Typical alpine climate – that is snowy winter and warm, but not hot summer make it worth to go there in every season and rejoyce over hypoalergic regions. It is also worth to add that Austrian people are hospitable and friendly. In Austria bikers will also find a place for themselves as there are many special bike routes prepared for them.

What characterizes good ski slope?

 Ski slope must be well matched to skiers skills. The system of ski slopes includes three colours: blue-red-black, beginning from the easiest to the most difficult. When estimating each route the configuration of the terrain, buildings and afforestration are taken into account. These colours are used in most of the European countries. For beginners routes marked with blue colour are advised. For people who feel very confident on skis black routes are prepared. Still you should remember that badly chosen route may not only be problematic but also it is a threat for other skiers on the slope. After qualifying into on the above groups you should look for a resort with a ski lift, medical point and a place where you can rest after such exhausting effort. It is important that the slope has a synthetic snowing system – because in the recent years different weather anomalies have happend. Temperature above zero and lack of snow happen in the middle of season, thus take care of preparations so that our holiday will be good.

What you should avoid in the mountains?

Mountain trips are a perfect way to spend your free time in an active way. But especially trips to high mountains corry with them the risk of losing health or life, what you should realise when planning a trip. The worst advisor in the mountains is bravery and inability to estimate your possibilities. In mountains you should avoid attempts of showing of and trying to prove your friends and family what are you capable of. The best is not to bite off more than you can chew – choose a route which you can both logistically and conditionally make. Alkohol and other intoxicating substances are mot good advisers. When you are under influence you have different view of reality and you are not capable of estamating your possibilities in a clear way. This often leads to accidents and dangerous situations in mountains. What should also avoid is going to mountains without proper equipment and proper clothes. Flip-slops, shorts and long skirts are not suitable for a mountain trip! You should prepare comfortable, inflexible shoes that are above ankle, several layers of clothes and head protection in the shape of a bandama or hat. In your backpack should be map, compass, first aid kit, thermal insulation blanket, torch. Do not forget about a bottle of water and energetic snacks. And remember – the best advisor in the mountains is moderation!

What is worth seeing in the vicinity?

Styria is the second biggest union country in Austria, but probably it is the most beautiful and the most picturesque. It is so because of its landscapes, which consists of forests, meadows and viniards, that surpass into Salzburg Alps in the west. In the north there is the land of Salzkammergut, which mainly cosists of mountains and beautiful lakes. The biggest city in Styria, its capital and the biggest city in Austria is Gratz, a city located by the river Mura. The most popular attractions of this city is the St. Giles Cathedral and marvelous renovated Old City which was put into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999, Castle Hill and neorenaissance, spectacular baroque Palais Attems. Worldwide known musical festival and devoted to awangard art festival called „Styria's Autumn” are organized in Gratz. In Styria it is also worth going to Mariazell, one of the most important Maria's sanctuaries in Europe, pay a visit in the biggest heritage park in Austria in Stübing or in charming, second city in Styria if it comes to size - Leoben. In the southern part of this region you can also visit numerous viniards and in its west part – thermal springs and magnificient ski resorts, adjusted both to beginners and advanced skiers.

How to prepare for a skiing trip?

For a skiing trip you should prepare both your equpment and yourself physically. If it comes to preparing your equpment it is absolutely necessary and without adequate equpment going on a slope is just impossible, but very surprising is the fact, that ski fans often forget about pshysical preparations. Such negligence always ends with painful muscle ailments, and in the worst case with a serious injury, including breaking the ligamnents or hurting your spine. Because of this, you have to start your training several weeks before going into mountains. Most of all it should include the lower parts of the spine and also stomach muscles and the lower parts of your legs. The training do not have to be intensive or complicated, it is enough to be active regularly. You can run, ride a bike (also stationy bike), run up and down the stairs, do crunches, sit-ups, jump from crouch or jump from small hight. All exercise should be proceeded with a warm-up. Preparing your equipment is obvious: suitable termoactive clothes, good skiing jacket or overalls, skis and ski poles, ski boots, gloves, sunglasses or googles, helmet and a face cream with UV filter. Unfortunately in the case of preparing your equipment people often forget about suitable bindings. From all the equipment they have the biggest impact on safe skiing, especially on safe falling. Bindings must be fitted to both the style of skier and to his or her weight, otherwise they may constitute another risk factor. Because of this, their purchase, instalment and suitable regulation should be carried with advice of a specialist.

How often the weather changes in Alps ?

It is very difficult to give a straightforward answer to that question because of the alpine climate. Alpine climate - apart from low temperatures and high precipitations - can be mostly characterised with big changeabilty but it is caused not olny by its typically mountain character. Alps are on the border of four very big climate formations that unfluence each other. From the west comes quite warm and humid Atlantic air. From the east come continental masses of air which are cold in winter and warm in summer. From the south hot masses of air come from the Mediterranean Sea. And from the north – cold, polar air. The coming masses of air create numerous fronts, which cause weather changes and interesting climate phenomena. One of these is thermal inversion. When thick fog collects in the alpine valleys in the upper parts of mountains it is warmer than below the fog. As far as the alpine climate is rather stable – what may be confirmed by the crowds on the mountain slopes – then the weather in summer may be very changeable. It is the best to gather information every day from the weather forecasts.

What sport can you do in Alps in summer?

In summer in Alps you can do uncountable number of sports. From the most popular, ones which you need a special sport infrastructure (football, basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, squash), to ones for which you need high mountains. First of all riding a bike, either on the road or in the mountains, because in each alpine country there is a huge number of well-kept bike paths and lanes and also of bike equipment rental. If mountains, then of couse there is alpinism, climbing, trekking or very popular nowadays via ferrata, that is climbing using specially protected steel railing, harnesses. You should also not forget about very popular running. In Alps you can also do horse riding, play golf or do paragliding. You should also not forget about a wide choice of extreme sports like bungee jumping or wingsuit and water sports such like canoeing or rafting. In the recent times more and morre popular are speleology and cave diving. Thanks to so rich offer both tourist and sport Alps are becoming the best choice not only for winter but also for summer holiday.

Is it worth to go to mountains ?

The answer may be only one – of couse it is worth. On of the factors that decide about the holiday destination is the magnificient, uncontaminated with the industry nature – there are only few things that affect your health so good as fresh and clean mountain air. You should also not forget about remedial hot springs which you often can find in many mountain holiday resorts. It is believed that a mountain trip is an ideal solution for everyone who values active rest more than lying on a beach, especially in winter when the ski resorts are open. It is true in general, but it is also worth remembering that mountain are also good for relaxing sunbaths because of their high altitude – a holiday in mountains are connected not only with mountain trekking but also with rest. Thus there practically no counterindications to spend your free time in regions that are located on high altitude. People who are healthy and active will be delighted to spend their time trekking in the mountains. Older or ill people will may have the possibility to spend their time on the fresh air or to derive from the interesting cultural offer which was prepared with the tourist in mind. 

What hiking paths are the best for families with children?

If you decide to spend the holiday in the mountains with children, you must pay special attention to planning the trip. You do not go on the trip alone and you carry full responsibility for the health and life of your children in the mountains. First rule is as follows: the younger the child, the shorter the trips and easier trips we choose. You must take into consideration the possibility of easy and fast return to a mountain shelter in the case of an emergency. The older the child is, the more you can go away from the popular routes. Staying in a new place it is worth to find out from the local people or mountain rescue which routes will be the good for children at their age and go there. Remember to look before you leap. You cannot strain your children, especially when it is your first mountain trip and you do not really know what are their possibilities (and what are your possibilities after a maternity leave). It is worth to be aware that part of the routes is available even for parents with prams, and therefore you do not have to resign from the mountain trip because of the child's age. Some extreme fragments are even not available for children, what is written on the information boards on the route.

 

What are the most common mountain accidents and what should you avoid ?

One of the most common accidents that happen in the mountains, are without doubt all kinds of bones, jonits, musle and inside organs injuries that are caused by tripping and falling down of the foot from a rock on a mountain trail. There are many causes of such things. The most common is badly fitted footwear or icy path. Other causes are simple carelessness, bad health of tourist or crowds on the path that forces less experienced moutanin trekkers to walk recklessly, what often ends with an accident. Injuries can also be cause with falling rock, accidentaly knocked off by tourist who are higher. Surprisingly often happen faints – tourists from unknown reasons forget that when you go into the moountains it is good to be in quite good physical condition, especially when it comes to the circulatory system. Accidents which usually end tragic for their participants are avalanches, falling rocks and lightening stikes. The cause of most of the accidents in mountains is recklessness and this is the thing you should avoid the most. It is enough to obey several commonly known rules of mountain trekking in order to avoid our pleasant trip turning into a bitter or tragic escapade. 

When there are the best skiing conditions?

It is assumed that the best month to go skiing in the Alps is March, altough on the southern slopes, especially in the warmer Dolomites, it is assumed that the best are January and February. In the Austrian Alps March is the month in which the snow cover – especially in the higher parts – is both the biggest and the most firm in the season. On the slopes the traffic is less than at the turn of the year, but also many of the runs are prepared both for advanced and beginning skiers. The temperature of the snow cover varies between -10 to 0°C and the temparature of the air is often several degrees higher. What is more, in March it sometimes snows lightly, what is definitely the best snow for not so experienced skiers. Alpine weather in March is quite stable and on the best slopes, mainly because of the location and hight above the sea level, sudden changes of weather happen rarely. Visibility is there very good, and thick fogs, especially in the higher parts of mountain, happen quite rarely. You also should not forget that in the warmer months the cover of the snow melts little earlier, thanks to what you can arrive at the slope even in the morning.

 

What characterises the local cuisine of Styria?

Styria's cuisine just like the whole Austrian cuisine is both simple and eclectic. It is here that the Mediterranean, Hungarian and Balkan flavours have melted into a very interesting cooking mosaic, in which spicy, flavoured with pepper meats coexist with light white or red wine. One of the most popular Styria's dishes is pork soup with vegetables, juniper and pepper. Dishes from the local fish and beef are also popular, mainly due to the very clean environment in this part of Austria. Altough the two biggest delicacies honored with the European Union's geographical award are local horseradish and pumpkin oil. In Styira people grate horseradish directly onto the dish or a sandwitch witch cold meat or vegetables. From Styria's pumpin seeds worldwide famous cold pressed dark oil is made which has an interesting nut smell. It is very healthy and quite expensive, but it is worth eating a dish containig it. In Styria it is quite easy, because pumpkin oil is often added to many dishes here, especially to all the vegetable salads, soups, dishes with pasta and beans and also to scrambled eggs. You can also make a cream soup from pumpkin, with wine and mixed vegetables. Styria's apples also have a very good esteem as well as must made from them. Styria's wine also is very good, mostly because of the quite mild climate. You should also not forget about the prices of each products, because they are one of the cheapest in the whole Austria.