Rediscovering yourself on holiday... this happens all by itself as you hike, swim or bike in the Hohe Tauern National Park. Or, find bliss simply by sitting down at a lovely spot in the early morning, observing how the new day slowly asserts itself and listening to it all happen.
Come and sit down over here on this rock overlooking the lake, just for a few minutes. If you are very quiet, especially now in the early morning, you will hear the silence. When you perceive sounds that are otherwise not there – that is the secret. The wind sweeping through the Swiss pines; a bird chirping on the other side of the lake; the brook as it rushes over stones; the bees’ buzz, the soft ringing of bells wafting up from the valley, and how the land gently breathes in and then out again. This is silence.
It’s said that some parts of Austria are best approached with one’s ears because they are visually so overpowering. If that’s the case then Hohe Tauern National Park is simply waiting to be heard. There are few other spots in the Alps where the interplay of geology and time has led to such stupendous grandeur. And there are definitely not many that so completely overwhelm their visitors from the very first moment.
One can, of course, describe Hohe Tauern National Park solely in terms of facts: 1,800 square kilometres spread over the provinces of Carinthia, Tirol and Salzburg. At the centre, the Grossglockner - Austria’s highest mountain, to the west the Venediger Group, in the east the Hochschober. A total of 226 peaks here are over 3,000m. Add this impressive number to spectacular scenery everywhere you turn and you’ve got the sum of a great holiday destination, from snow-capped summits and glacial ice to wide alpine pastures and crystal-clear mountain lakes.
Hohe Tauern National Park is full of places that possess almost a kind of magical aura – the type that open one’s eyes to the beauty of the world. One can find them in the breathtaking Weißsee Glacier area, at heights that reach the heavens; and on the Pasterze with its ice fields from which a breeze of cold air blows even on hot summer days. One can find them in the Leitenkammer Gorge, through which the roaring waters rush on their way down to the valley and on a bench up on a mountain pasture with a view of alpine ibexes. The Krimml Waterfalls are another such place that takes one’s breath away and makes any adventurer’s spirit jump for joy.
Truth is, the mountains here radiate a special magic. They give us the feeling of being able to breathe deeply again and to forget the hullabaloo and tumult of ’the other world’ for a while. The mountains not only help us to understand our earth and its stories – but also sometimes ourselves just that little bit.
From snow-covered 3,000m peaks to deep-blue alpine lakes – the Weißsee Glacier offers spectacular panoramas even in summer. The best way to explore the area is on one of the over 40 marked hiking trails.
Massive amounts of water plummet some 380m down the mountain into the basin of the town of Krimml. Observation points along the entire ascent afford fantastic views – it takes just over an hour to walk to the very top.