If you are planning a winter holiday in the Alps, you do not necessarily have to only ski or snowboard. In fact to experience the exhilaration of going down a mountain at high speed, you don’t have ski or snowboard at all.
You can experience this exciting, family-friendly activity, fit for all ages, at a multitude of winter holiday destinations; and some of these tobogganing experiences might be unlike any you may have experienced before! In South Tyrol, for example, sledging is a very popular winter activity and most ski resorts offer toboggan runs (from novice to advanced) accessible by ski lift or cable car. RudiRun at the Plose resort in the Dolomites is the longest run in South Tyrol. The 10.5-km trail is divided into two sections: the first is a more moderate course and starts at an altitude of 2,115 metres; the second is more suitable for dare devil sledders! RudiRun and other South Tyrolean tobogganing sites can also be experienced at night—sometimes referred to as “moon sledding.” It is not uncommon for locals to walk up to their favourite mountain restaurant for a traditional meal and then sledge down after dining.
Additionally resorts that stay open after dusk on given nights illuminate their tracks. Tobogganing at night (as well as during the daytime) is also big in Austria. Some sources claim the Zauberberg Semmering ski resort, about an hour outside Vienna, boasts Europe’s most powerful floodlight system. It lights up a three-kilometre toboggan run down Hirschenkogel Mountain. The route consists of tunnels, lighting effects and such features as the “Dragon’s Mouth”, “Magic Garden” and “Runes Forest,” to tell the whimsical story of Siebenstein the magician, and a dragon named Feuerzahn. There is even a hut serving food and drink en route. Sledders can also experience the track during the day. The world’s longest floodlight tobogganing track (14 km long) is located at the Wildkogel Arena in Salzburg. Sledders can take a chair lift to the top of the track, which takes between 30 and 50 minutes to slide down. At Wildkogel, winter outdoor enthusiasts can also downhill or cross country ski, skate, snowshoe, take a sleigh ride, and more!
For your winter holiday, whether you’re travelling to Austria, Germany, South Tyrol, Switzerland or any place with snow, it won’t be hard to find a place to toboggan! It might be at the resort you are staying, a ski centre down the road, or a nearby hill where you may spontaneously feel inclined to relive the rush!