Marking its 20th anniversary, the Austrian Tirol’s number 1 tourist attraction, the Swarovksi Crystal Worlds will re-open at the end of April after a complete redesign. 2015 will also be the 10th anniversary of the long-distance hiking trail, the Eagle Walk, there will be a new downhill challenge for mountain bikers in Sölden and new family attractions in the Pitztal and in Serfaus. Summer 2014 witnessed a growth in visitors from the UK, with the number of arrivals increasing +4.9 % and the number of overnight stays increasing by +2.2%.
20 years for Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens
The path to success for Swarovski has come a long way since its beginnings in 1895 when Daniel Swarovski moved to Wattens, near Innsbruck, with his newly-invented machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewellery stones. Now a household name, Swarovski is synonymous with jewellery, fashion and ornaments and it is no wonder the Swarovski Crystal Worlds is Tirol’s number 1 tourist attraction.To commemorate its 20th anniversary in 2015, the Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Worlds) will re-open on 30th April 2015, after a complete redesign of this extraordinary tourist destination, worth a total investment of EUR 34 million. Working in collaboration with artists from around the world and internationally renowned architects, the park landscape (previously 3.5 hectares) will be more than doubled to 7.5 hectares. There will be innovative installations and new structures, providing a memorable insight into the fascination of crystal through creative design, art and exhibitions. One of the show pieces will be the 1400 sq ft cloud floating above a black mirror of water and made up fo more than 600,000 crystals. Entrance for adults costs €19 and children €7,50. www.kristallwelten.swarovski.com
Tirol’s Eagle Walk celebrates 10 years in 2015
Tirol’s best known long-distance hiking trail will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in summer 2015. To mark this milestone, the Eagle Walk will be modified with a focus on two routes that will pass through the north and east of Tirol.
The founders of the Eagle Walk have decided to simplify the route, from its original form of 126 stages and additional secondary routes. From 2015, there will be two routes; one leading to 24 daily stages across the mountains of north Tirol and the second route passing through nine stages on the Glockner- and Venediger- mountain ranges in East Tirol. The routes take in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, Brandenberg Alps/Rofan Mountains, Karwendal Mountains, Tux Alps, Wetterstein Range, the Lechtaler Alps and the Hohe Tauern.
Alpine Sports Week 2015 in the Wilder Kaiser
For summer 2015, the Wilder Kaiser region is offering a special Alpine Sports Week, where guests can participate in 6 types of sport for only €99 per person (normally €358). From 20th – 27th June, the resorts of Söll, Ellmau, Scheffau and Going provide the perfect base for an active summer break. Experience new sports under expert instruction, try the Via Ferrata on the Jubiläumssteig and newly built Klammlsteig, challenge the legs to a mounatin bike tour, head high on the High Rope Garden course, go canyoning through the deep gorges and test your stamina trail running.
Flights are available with easyJet to Innsbruck from Gatwick. For more information on the resort visit www.wilderkaiser.info
New downhill challenge for mountain bikers: Prime Line Trail in Sölden
With almost 900km of official mountain biking routes, the Ӧtztal is one of the best areas for mountain bikers. Lakes, rivers, pastures, glaciers and mountain peaks guarantee great diversity, with trails and terrain available for everyone from novices to pros.
This summer there will be a new 6 km Prime Line trail in Sölden, beginning at the middle station of the Gaislachkogelbahn. Experienced mountain bikers will be able to take on the challenge, with steep turns and wave features along the trail. It will officially open on 20th June 2015, with half price lift tickets and guides on hand to show you how to get the best out of the new Prime Line.
Stay in one the approved properties certified for offering cycling and mountain bike friendly accommodation, with lockable storage rooms, free use of tools and repair kits, free washing facilities for bikes, tips and advice as well as bookable guided tours. Accommodation starts from from €30 per person per night staying in an apartment on a self catering basis. Flights are available with easyJet to Innsbruck from Gatwick. For more information on the resort visit www.soelden.com
Bathing fun for families in Serfaus
just becoming known as a ski resort to the UK market, particualrly good for families; the resorts of Serfaus Fiss-Ladis are really hidden gems as a summer destinations. Located on a sunny plateau, families can make full use of the Super Summer Card guestcard and benefit from free children’s entertainment from Sunday-Friday at the Murmli-Club in Serfaus or the Mini&Maxi club in Fiss-Ladis, as well as entry to the summer fun park in Fiss and the Adventure World in Serfaus.
From June 2015, the water reservoir Hög at Serfaus, normally used for snowmaking, will become a summer swimming and bathing area. It will offer play areas for children, there will be a jetty and pedal boat and rowboat rentals. The new restaurant Seealm Hög, with it’s sun terrace, will be the perfect place to relax, with views of the mountains.
Flights are available with easyJet to Innsbruck from Gatwick. www.serfaus-fiss-ladis.at
ZirbenPark on Hochzeigerhaus
In summer 2015 a new summer attraction for families will open in the Pitztal, located just 90km from Innsbruck airport. The Zirbenpark is named after the Swiss stone pine and one of the most beautiful forest areas in Tirol can be found on the Hochzeiger. Embark on a very special circular hike in the new ZirbenPark and allow the children to enjoy the 12m Zirben adventure tower, equipped with a viewing platform and a 16m long tubular slide.