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    • Rafting SalzburgerLand
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    Rafting in Austria

    Austria is famously known for its culture, imperial architecture, rich history, excellent food, and breathtaking lakes and mountains landscapes. In the Alpine regions, the country shows off its rougher side, providing some pretty cool action on the most beautiful rivers, gushing down countless gorges and ravines.

    My First Time Rafting

    In general, I’m not the adrenaline-seeking type when it comes to my holiday choices. But on a recent trip I was given the opportunity to go white water rafting. I have never done it before, so I guess it’s understandable that I was quite nervous – and very excited!

    Hiking in the region Lech-Zürs Arlberg / Lech at Arlberg

    Austria's Rivers - Facts & Figures

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    • Number of rivers in Austria
      2.194
    • Wild (unregulated) rivers in Austria
      2 (the river Isel & the river Lech in Tirol)

    After an introduction to the gear (short wetsuit, life jacket, helmet, paddle) we were told where to sit to balance the boat. And then we left the very calm shores of the kayaking and rafting school to start our adventure. It was a hot summer day, and the waters of the river were very cool against the skin, even with the wetsuit on. Our instructors showed us how to use the paddles in calm waters. When we came to the first (small) gushing sequences they told us when to paddle and in which direction, to keep the boat afloat – and us inside it! When we went through some rougher sections, we were all screaming at the top of our lungs out of sheer joy – we felt so alive and one with the nature surrounding us! After that first adrenaline rush we hit a quieter section and could take a breather. Wow – what an adventure! My heart was pumping like a hammer, cheeks blushing red, grinning from one ear to the other, hands shaking while holding the paddle. At one section we had to get the boat out of the water, as the upcoming passage was not suited for a boat – only a kayak could make it through.

    Drone shot of the Schlögener Donauschlinge

    Austria's Longest Rivers

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    • Danube
      350km (Upper & Lower Austria, Vienna)
    • Mur
      348km (Salzburg, Styria)
    • Inn
      280km (Tirol, Salzburg, Upper Austria)
    • Drau
      261km (East Tirol, Carinthia, Styria)
    • Enns
      254km (Salzburg, Styria, Upper & Lower Austria)
    • Salzach
      225km (Salzburg, Upper Austria)

    When we sat the boat back into the river, our instructors warned us of the next part. If we wanted, we could get out here, as it was going to get very rough. I needed about three seconds to decide to stay on board. What did I get myself into? I would find out soon enough.

    Splashing white waters all around us, we managed to steer the boat through some very challenging sections, having the time of our lives! Then the instructor told us that there was a “washing machine” (a huge whirl) up ahead, and he showed us how to get in and surf the waves – which we did three times. It was amazing. Until the boat became instable and we were all whirled around. The boat stood up - and turned around – and all of us fell into the gushing waters! That’s why you are wearing life jackets. Hold on to the paddle, hold your breath, hands on the life jacket and wait – just wait, until the water spills you out on the other side.

    When my head was above water again, I felt strong arms grabbing my shoulders and I was helped to haul myself back into the boat. We were all gasping for air, breathless, but so very happy! Later on, we encountered a very calm section and just went overboard – out of our own free will this time! – to cool down and swim around the crystal-clear water. Back on the boat, the tour ended ashore a few minutes later, were we got on a bus that took us back to the rafting school.

    You do not have to go to faraway lands to get that experience yourself. Austria has some amazing white waters to offer, surrounded by breathtaking nature. Come, and see for yourself!

    Author: Sandra Küchler

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where to go rafting in Austria?

    •                 Rafting in the Oetztal, Tyrol
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      Rafting in Tirol

      During the summer months, Tirol is one of Austria’s hotspots for rafting and kayaking, thanks to its many rivers with white-water sections catering to everybody, from beginners to pros.

      Rafting in Tirol
    •                 Rafting with children in the Salzburger Saalachtal
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      Rafting in SalzburgerLand

      SalzburgerLand offers beautiful shimmering lakes with crystal clear water for a relaxing summer holiday. For the adrenaline junkies, there are gushing white-water rivers - a true outdoor adventure.

      Rafting in SalzburgerLand
    •                 Rafting on the Salza in Styria
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      Rafting in Styria

      Styria is most famous for being the green heart of Austria, but it also offers some amazing rivers rushing through nature and national parks.

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      Rafting in Carinthia

      Carinthia, Austria’s most southern province, is the perfect location for keen swimmers and fans of other water sports, with beautiful lakes and rivers to discover. It also offers great rafting adventures for beginners and families.

    •                 Die abenteuerliche Bürser Schlucht Brandnertal
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      Rafting in Vorarlberg

      Vorarlberg is home to a wide range of water sports such as sailing, surfing, wakeboarding, stand-up-paddling. For some white water rafting, try the Bregenzerach river.

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