Tirol – Austria
With May half-term done and dusted, the next big holiday to plan is the long summer school break. Rather than playing it safe and going for the usual beach holiday, break the mould and look at an active family holiday, a sure way to create some lasting family memories. Tirol offers a wide range of different activities, from staying on a farm, to a youth mountain bike camp or a long distance hiking trail.
Children today seem to have less opportunity to explore life for themselves than previous generations, but love to be outdoors, interacting with nature in their own way. So a holiday on the farm allows children to be hands-on during their stay, whether it is tending to the animals, collecting eggs for breakfast, picking berries, taking a tractor ride with the farmer or enjoying a pony ride.
A long distance hiking trail with children would send most parents literally running for the hills. The Lechweg (Lech River Trail) in the Austrian Tirol is not specifically classified as a family trail but it is possible to do with children and most sections are even accessible with an all-terrain buggy. The full Lechweg covers a distance of 125km across 15 trail stages, connecting three regions and two countries, starting in the Arlberg region, before heading through the Tirol Lech-Reutte nature park and finally reaching Germany’s southern Allgau region. Tracing the route of the River Lech makes for plenty of interesting rest stops, such as the natural swimming pond in Vorderhornbach, the historic Ehrenberg Castle or crossing the Holzgau suspension bridge 110m off the ground.
Learning to ride a bike is a milestone in every child’s life and once those skills are learnt the unstructured play it provides inspires young ones to explore and appreciate the natural world. In July and August, the Kurt Exenberger Bike Academy offers a 4 day junior mountain bike camp for children aged between 7-14 years to explore the beauty of the Kitzbühler Alps.
Under the careful and patient instruction of the highly-trained riders, the children will gain solid bike riding skills with technical training, single trail tour, downhill and a session in the Bike Park. Whilst the children are enjoying themselves, parents can enjoy some well-deserved holiday time walking or cycling around the Kitzbühler Alps.