How to Spend Summer in the Alps
Collected by Simon Willis , AFAR Local Expert
Bike along winding mountain trails, surrounded by verdant Alpine meadows and wildlife. Cavort down roaring rivers on an exhilarating rafting ride. Or, for even more adventure, descend the stunning Alps on the region’s steepest rollercoaster.
Kehlsteinhaus, 83471 Berchtesgaden, Germany
My dad is a WWII nut. I wasn't too keen on this historical endeavor to visit Hitler's old 'tree house,' but I quickly changed my mind. Board a bus and creep precariously up the mountainside on winding roads, then hop on a cable car. Once you're...
With everything from roaring rapids to blissful river runs, Interlaken is rightly known throughout the Swiss Alps as rafting heaven. Lütschine River garners the greatest praise, with class III through IV rapids that plummet through the...
3963 Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Offering everything from mountain biking and road cycling to BMX jumps and leisurely rides, Crans-Montana ticks all the boxes for free-wheeling Alpine activities. The Swiss municipality, located in the region of Valais, features a network of more...
Koppeneck, 6142 Mieders, Austria
With swift turns, steep drops, and mountainous views to make your heart jump, the Mieders Alpine rollercoaster provides the perfect summer thrill for families. Featuring the steepest track in the Alps, the 3,062-yard rollercoaster zips riders...
Senator-Wilhelm-Wilfling-Platz 1, 5630 Bad Hofgastein, Austria
While Alpine lakes and rivers enchant visitors with their aesthetic appeal, they’re often too cold for swimming. In 2017, however, Alpentherme Gastein opened in Salzburg, giving guests an alternative to normally chilly waters. At the...
Klausen Pass, 8751 Spiringen, Switzerland
Swiss Alpine roads not only lead to some of the most exhilarating outdoor adventures in the world, their hairpin turns and perfectly maintained surfaces allow for a James Bond-type thrill of their own. The Klausen Pass provides such joys along...
La Tzoumaz Rue Centrale, 1918 Riddes, Switzerland
Few dishes exude more Swiss tradition than raclette. For more than 700 years, locals have been gorging on this smoky, often nutty cheese in mountain chalets across the country. For a deep dive into the dish’s history, head to tiny...
Dr. Ödlweg 2, 5083 Gartenau, Austria
Salzburg’s nearest mountain rises up behind the landmark Hohensalzburg fortress and rewards those who make the short trek out of the city with some incredible views. Accessible via a brief cable-car ride on the Untersbergsbahn,...
Viktoria Center,, Bahnhofpl. 2, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
While Zermatt’s charming town center and surrounding Alpine mountains are beautiful from the ground, they’re most impressive when viewed from above—particularly while attached to a sail, gliding through the sky. This area is...
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