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    Yoga in the mountains

    Schmittenhöhebahn
    Zell am See Schmittenhöhe

    5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness in Austria

    Take a walk over fields and through forests, swim in crystal clear lakes, or see more stars than ever before under a brilliant night sky. Austria’s landscapes offer gentle outdoor adventures which bring you back to your true self. Here are five ways to practice mindfulness in Austria’s nature: 

    1. Sleep Under the Stars

    A small, wooden house. One wall made of glass. A view of nothing but the lake and the stars. Spend a night in a bivouac on Lake Millstätter See in southern Austria and wake up completely refreshed.

    Whether on the beach, in the luscious green of a forest glade, or high up above the pastures: a total of seven bivouacs make up this haven away from reality, a place for romantic togetherness. Made of larch and Swiss pine, the bivouacs are an authentic part of the landscape. Feel at one with nature, as you gaze through the large panorama windows at the stars sparkling in the night sky or the sun rising in the early morning. The approximate 15m2 (160 sq-ft) hideaway offers space for a bed, a table with chairs plus cuddly sheepskin rugs, as well as a small washroom.

    Nearby hotels, a campsite, and a farm operate the little hideaways. In the mornings, you’ll receive a breakfast basket, in the evenings a gourmet basket filled with local specialities. Simply enjoy the exquisite contents whilst sitting on the terrace with a view of the lake. 

    Find out more & book a bivouac

    2. Hug a 500-Year-Old Tree

    If you want to hug one of the biggest trees in the larch forest known as Zedlacher Paradise, you’ll need at least four people. After all, these quiet giants have a diameter of up to seven metres. They had a long time to grow to their current size: The oldest specimens are 500 years old.

    Here, an educational path meanders through the unspoilt wooded areas above Matrei in East Tirol. The larch trees radiate a pleasant calmness, and the air is heavy with the smell of moss and earth. At seven stations visitors become acquainted with the secrets of the region’s sensitive ecosystem, and learn about its various inhabitants. The most beautiful time to experience this natural paradise is autumn, when the centuries-old larches have turned golden yellow in colour.

    Walk Among Giants

    3. Swim with the Snails

    Austria’s southernmost province Carinthia is famous for its numerous, deliciously warm lakes. A short way away from the hustle and bustle of the busy lake lidos, you’ll find untouched nature at Lake Hafnersee, surrounded by rich and diverse scenery. To the west lies an expansive moor, to the south characteristic reeds serve as a natural sanctuary for water snails, clams and numerous insects. 

    4. Travel Back in Time

    When visiting the Alpbachtal region in Tirol, you can travel not just in space, but also in time: A stroll through the open-air Museum of Tyrolean Farmhouses reveals how farmers lived in bygone days.

    14 farms and 23 auxiliary buildings have been uprooted from various countryside locations around the province and reconstructed on the museum’s grounds. Scenes from the farmers’ lives are projected onto the walls of seven farmhouses so visitors get a vivid impression of what the daily lives of the inhabitants were really like. When you stand in the little rough-hewn rooms of the old houses, you instinctively feel the hand of history as you lose yourself in time.

    Learn More About Country Living

    5. Go to the Source, by Bike

    Deep in the Karwendel mountains in Tirol, you’ll witness a river being born. 

    The Isar river springs at an altitude of 1,162 metres, just a small mountain stream whose waters will merge into the mighty Danube and arrive in the Black Sea in just three days. But up here, everything is new and fresh. Take your bike to discover the area’s numerous spots where the water springs from the ground and your daily routine might just start to seem miles and miles away. The best part? The cycle route from the village of Scharnitz to the river’s origin winds its way through a completely car-free valley.

    Discover the Waters

    • Boating at the Lake Zell

      Boating at the Lake Zell

      Austrian National Tourist Office / thecreatingclick.com