Posted in:

The Coolest Canyons in Austria

© by Arnold Weisz

The Austrian Alps are not only snow-capped peaks but also deep canyons and narrow gorges. Many of the coolest canyons in Austria offer spectacular adventures in some real wild nature.

Most of the canyons and gorges in Austria are maintained by public or private conservation organisations, and you pay an entrance fee. This covers the maintenance and conservation projects in the area. Many of the canyons are suitable hikes for the whole family, and only a few are best hiked by seasoned hikers.

We collected a few impressions from some of the canyons we visited around Austria and in South Tyrol.

Kesselfallklamm (Styria)

The small river Rötschbach cascades down several waterfalls, rushes over rapids and flows through pools, making its way through the gorge. The highest waterfall cascades down in several steps before it culminates 38 meters below the cliff. This is just one of the highlights as we hike on more than 50 walkways and bridges, that make it possible to experience the natural spectacle up close. Where the Rötschbach ripples quietly at the top of the gorge, the trail branches off to the right. Steep ascent leads you first to huge rock formations, through the so-called stone gate, before the trail leads past a cave back down to the valley. After a total of about 2.7 kilometres and 1.5 hours walking time, we are back at the start by Sandwirt restaurant. If you are ok with water temperatures of 15-18 °C in the summer, bring bathing clothes for a refreshing dip in one of the shallow pools in the canyon.

For more info: Graz Tourism

  • Kesselfallklamm, Styria, Austria
    kessefallklamm1
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Kesselfallklamm, Styria, Austria
    kesselfallklamm3
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Kesselfallklamm, Styria, Austria
    kesselfallklamm2
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Kesselfallklamm, Styria, Austria
    kesselfallklamm4
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©

Raggaschlucht (Carinthia)

The 800-meter-long Raggaschlucht gorge is not among the longest in Austria, but still a spectacular experience. It starts with a path through the forest along the river to the gorge itself. As soon as you pass through the gate, you walk on a wooden walkway criss-crossing the narrow gorge. It can be slippery on the wet planks. Therefore, we recommend shoes with good non-slip soles. As you venture into the narrow canyon, the roar from the water that thundering right under our feet, gets louder and louder. The canyon winds its way into the terrain and occasionally the walkway is quite steep. Along the way we pick up some information in German and English about how nature has created the gorge and a few geology hints. As we reach the top after about one hour, the camera is full of impressions from the fabulous hike through the Raggaschlucht. As a great final to the hike, a forest road takes you back down into the valley through the forest, where you also get some glimpses of Mölltal Valley and the mountains. It took about 1.5 hours to get make the roundtrip.

For more info: Carinthia Tourism

  • raggaschlucht3
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • raggaschlucht5
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • raggaschlucht2
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • raggaschlucht6
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
Advertisement

Wolfsklamm (Tyrol)

For thousands of years the Stallenbach creek has cut a deep ravine into the Karwendel mountains in Tyrol. Then the monks from the monastery of St. Georgenberg arrived at the area and laid a path from the village Stans through the gorge up to their monastery. The hike starts at the edge of the village where you find a car park. After a short walk you reach the entrance to the gorge. The Wolfsklamm gorge, which owes its name to the wolves that once lived here, leads gently uphill through steep cliffs and steep slopes, towards St. Georgenberg, the oldest pilgrimage site in Tyrol. Wooden walkways, bridges and 354 steps lead you through a fantastic natural spectacle. This is a family friendly hike, but be sure to wear proper shoes, as it can be slippery and steep.

For more info: Tourism Silberregion Karwendel

  • Wolfsklamm, Tyrol, Austria
    wolfsklamm1
    Photo: Ana Lucia Marcos ©
  • Wolfsklamm, Tyrol, Austria
    wolfsklamm3
    Photo: Ana Lucia Marcos ©
  • Wolfsklamm, Tyrol, Austria
    wolfsklamm2
    Photo: Ana Lucia Marcos ©
  • Wolfsklamm, Tyrol, Austria
    wolfsklamm4
    Photo: Ana Lucia Marcos ©

Gilfenklamm (South Tyrol)

The small river Ratschingser Bach has for millions of years been digging through white marble and created a deep gorge in the surrounding landscape – the Gilfenklamm, which has been developed into a great hiking tour. The tour starts nice and easy on a well-marked path as the landscape slowly changes. It gets steeper and the gorge narrows as we trek further into the ravine. On a warm summer day, the shady dense forest makes this a comfortable hike. Eventually, we hear the rising sounds from the water rushing down the canyon. Already back in 1896 the first walkways and bridges were built through the gorge, and it has been a popular tourist spot ever since. Although we had to hike along narrow over-hangs and climb steep stairs, with steady shoes this is no problem for even children. The bridges over the canyon and the walkway alongside are secured with wires and railings. It’s a thrilling feeling have the water cascading down the gorge just below your feet. Along the way there are several places to rest and even to enjoy lunch. It takes about 1 ½ hours to make the entire round-trip.

For more info: Tourist Information Vipiteno Racines

  • Gilfenklamm, South Tyrol, Italy
    gilfenklamm2
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Gilfenklamm, South Tyrol, Italy
    gilfenklamm3
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Gilfenklamm, South Tyrol, Italy
    gilfenklamm4
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Gilfenklamm, South Tyrol, Italy
    gilfenklamm5
    Photo: Arnold Weisz ©
  • Melk Abbey, Lower Austria

    Posted in:

    The captivating splendour of Melk Abbey

    The small-town of Melk by the Danube receives tens of thousands of visitors each year who come to see the huge Melk Abbey. Regardless of whether you arrive at Melk Abbey by land or water, you cannot avoid being mightily impressed by the grande splendour of the monestary. 1000-year history Melk was for the first […]

    Read more

  • Mauterndorf Castle, Salzburgerland, Austria

    Posted in:

    Medieval adventures at Mauterndorf Castle

    The castle in Mauterndorf is not to be overlooked as it is located on a mountain cliff at the edge of the village. There has been a fortification on the site since 326 A.D. guarding the Roman trade route crossing the Tauern mountain pass. However, the castle itself is first mentioned in written records from […]

    Read more

  • Freistadt, Upper Austria, Austria

    Posted in:

    Savour the medieval market town Freistadt

    Its historic centre (Altstadt) has by no means lapsed into to a tourist trap, but still functions as a place where people live. Furthermore, you find lot’s of shops, restaurants, patisseries and other businesses to keep you busy a few days. Although I have been here numerous times and know the town well, I’m never […]

    Read more

  • Beach Holiday in Austria

    Posted in:

    Beach holiday in Austria

    Hundreds of lakes are scattered throughout Austria and on warm sunny summer days, the Austrians flock to their bathing lakes. Austria is also very proud of that almost all of their lakes have drinking water quality. Add to that pleasurable water temperatures and good facilities and you have a great beach holiday. Hence, don’t forget […]

    Read more

Advertisements

Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,

Written by Ana Lucia Marcos

Ana Lucia Marcos

Ana Lucia has traveled the world, but fell completely in love with Austria. She loves the dramatic mountain landscape, the phototastiske lakes and the captivating castles. Moreover, a real Wienerschnitzel is always on the menu when she explores the alpine country.