Joe and family mountainbiking in the Tirol, Austria
Andy Cook
Joe and family mountainbiking in the Tirol, Austria

A Summer Family Holiday in St Johann, Austria

With bellies full of Bratwurst after a week staying in airbnbs in Germany, our hearts full of high hopes for a trip that promised to be action-packed, my two brothers, dad and I rocked up at our traditional B&B in a good mood despite the full-scale thunderstorm that welcomed us to Austria.

My dad had skied in the little Alpine village of St Johann about 25 years before and hoped to relive with us the fun he’d experienced decades ago but through its summer activities. Right beneath a mountain with some of the best ski runs for families and best hikes in the Alps, the resort has almost as many restaurants as people and more tradition than Christmas. 

On our first morning, we took the gondola to the top of the mountain and walked back down, then went whitewater rafting – sitting in a rubber dinghy and praying to all the gods as we shot down meltwater rapids. It was brilliant fun.

The next day we went for a hike with my dad’s friend around a beautiful river, then were thrown in the deep end, quite literally, when we went canyoning – abseiling, jumping off boulders and sliding down waterfalls, for the ultimate adrenaline rush. As if this wasn’t enough excitement for one year, the next day we went to a different resort, stuck our rented bikes on the back of a gondola and cycled down from 2000m above sea level.  

The trip lasted a bit more than a week but it felt like we squashed in a month’s worth of thrills. We experienced the Alps in a very different way than we do in winter - and it was very nearly as much fun.

Read more about family holidays in the Tirol.

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