Austria: The Hohe Tauern National Park and the Town of Kaprun
The ski resort situated in northeastern edge of the park above the Kaprun town is the most popular one. It is a popular winter resort but it bikers, skiers, and tourists love it as well. You can use local cable car to get to higher altitude where you can enjoy an adrenaline ride downhill. Bikers can ride one of three slopes of differen difficulties. Geisstein and Wüstlau trails are designed for experienced riders. The easiest of trails is Bachler designed for beginners. Here you also need a mountain bike (most because of canals crossing the trail). Also, you need to mind tourists who walk around here as well. A pleasantly leaned road stretches from the cable car station. It is for casual mountain bikers. The road winds across the land and offers vistas over Klammsee lake, steep mountains on the other side, Kaprun and Zell am See.
Some may enjoy dams of Wasserfallboden and Mooserboden situated very close to the park itself. These are large dams built for generatic electricity. The dams are open on particular periods during seasons. Moreover, you need to travel by local bus line and special cable car for you won't be able to reach the dams in your own car.
Should you have some time to spare, I recommend a walk by Klammsee, a small lake you can easily make a walk around at. Also, you can take a swim but water is not particularly warm. Moreover, there is Sigmund-Thun-Klamm, a 320-meter long gorge right below the lake. Through there, water from the lake flows out. The gorge is open from 9 to 17 hours, it costs 4.40 €. The ticket office is situated on the lower end of the gorge by the hydroelectric power plant's exhibition. The trail ends by the northern shore of Klammsee lake. Another recommendation would be the bike trail spanning between Kaprun and Zell am See. The asphalt in Kaprun is very smooth and suitable for roller skates. People who love historic landmarks should visit medieval castle at Kaprun. Next to the castle, there is the small church of St Jacob. Once you grow tired of all activities and walks, try Kaprun Tauern SPA, a modern spa situated directly in the town of Kaprun (the second largest compound of its kind in Austria).
If you are tired of skiing, riding a bike, and hiking, perhaps you would be intrigued by driving a car or motorbike up along Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse which offers the vista over Grossglockner mountain (3 798 m). Grossglockner mountain is of a bell shape (its shape inspired its name). The mountain belongs to the Glockner mountains which in turn belongs to the Hohe Tauern mountain range. The road up to the observation point on the top of this giant begins in Ferleiten village. From here you can get on the 30 km long road which is open from May to end October. You can either drive there in a car (around 40 €), a motorbike (around 30 €) or on a bicycle (5 €). Personally, you rode here off the time it's open (bikers usually do this) and I highly recommend it. Riding on a bicycle and sharing the road with car traffic must be very unpleasant experience, especially considering the number of bend.
Text and photos: Martina Brožková
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