Flowers hang from balconies of houses and hofs - traditional farm houses - making Summer a special and colourful time in the Austrian Alps!
High Alpine meadows blooming with flowers and cows with bells dangling around their necks is just another highlight of the German speaking Alps. Traditional food such as mountain cheeses, cured ham (Speck), sausages (Wurst), pretzels can all be washed down by a typical Alpine beer. In fact there are over over 40 different types of beer and some 4000 different brands.
With time honoured traditions and events such as the Summer Solstace (mountain fires and torches), church fairs and colourful cattle drives all of which are cherished traditions. During these festivals brassed bands play “umpah” music, rifle companies parade around in all their plumage, locals dress in their National and Regional costumes - lederhosen for the men and dirndl for the women - are all hallmarks of these events.
Arlberg - Austria
The Arlberg is a mountain range covering the states of Tirol and Vorarlberg in Western Austria. It is the home to infamous ski villages of Lech and St. Anton to name just a few. In Winter the Arlberg is covered in a blanket of white with the area receiving a great deal of snow. In the Summer the melting snow flows into two classic Alpine rivers - The Rosanna on the Tirolean side and the Lech on the Vorarlberg side. The Arlberg is at its best in late Spring and early Summer.
Upper Inn Valley - Austria and Switzerland
The Inn is the biggest volume of river in the Alps and has been the training ground for many Himalayan kayaking pioneers, past and present! What is great about the Inn is that there are sections of river for every type of kayak, be it touring to beginner whitewater, there is an abundance of class III for the intermediate kayaker and enough sections for the experienced river runner to stay entertained.
In Switzerland the area is known as the Engadin, which translated from the language of Romansch means “Garden of the Inn” and is one of the most picturesque and photographic areas of the Upper Inn Valley. Once the river reaches the village of S-chanf the open meadows give way to deep gorges with steep walls and the river starts to take on a rather eild look and path all the way to the Austrian border!
As the Inn arrived in Austria it goes through its final deep gorge - the Finstermuenz. Further downstream the Inn has picked up a lot of volume from all the side creeks making the next 3 sections a river runner and play-boater’s dream. From the city of Landeck there are 3 major rivers flowing into the Inn - the Sanna, Pitzbach and Oetz making the last whitewater section of the Inn a volume that cannot be matched anywhere else in Europe!
View Arlberg and Upper Inn Valley in a larger map
St Anton am Arlberg
Located on the far west boundary of the state of Tirol. St Anton is renowned for its steep slopes, abundance of snow and skiing. All over the world ski and snowboard magazines have published photos of St Anton draped in a blanket of white. In the summer the village is a lot quieter and has a more laid back feeling and with all the snow that fell in Winter makes the Rosanna River a great place to kayak no matter what your skill or technique level is. If you like the mountains and the adventure of being in the outdoors then St Anton also offers, walking trails, trekking routes, climbing, biking. There are also places to relax, with restaurants and cafe’s all serving traditional meals and drinks. Finally the air is pure, the views are spectacular and the Arlberg welcome is second to none.