More than most, City workers appreciate how important it is to get away from it all; to escape the urban jungle.

For your mental and physical health, it’s essential to occasionally put as much distance between you and the computer screen as possible.

And you can’t get much further away from the concrete metropolis than a mountain meadow in Austria.

The walk of life

The SalzburgerLand region has some of the most epic scenery in Austria – and is one of Europe’s finest locations for hiking.

The fragrance of wild flowers, the timbre of running water, the crunch of boots along a dirt path – it’s good for the body, the mind and the soul. And now there’s scientific evidence.

In order to explore how hiking influences inner balance and wellbeing, researchers in Saalfelden-Leogang in SalzburgerLand were asked to study how the human nervous system reacted on specific hiking trails. The resulting ‘LifeFire measurements’ were then used to curate nine vitality trails.
These trails differ in walking times – lasting between half an hour and four and a half hours – and have three different effects on the body.

For relaxation, choose a route that regenerates: for example, the short 45-minute canyon trail in the Stoissengraben.

To get invigorated, an active route is recommended: you could take the two-hour hike to the Lettlkaser mountain cabin, which offers the best views over the Leogang Mountains and the Saalfelden Basin.

To bring body and spirit in harmony, opt for a vitality trail – like the 75-minute route to the Riedlalm mountain hut that runs through forests and over meadows.

And of course all of them will help with building strength, lowering your blood pleasure, and raising your joie de vivre.

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Water under the bridge

The Ötztal in Tirol and the Nature Park Ötztal, which includes all protected areas in the valley, offers a landscape laden with superlatives.

The 65-metre long valley is the longest side valley in the Inntal, with more than 200 impressive peaks, including 67 glaciers, framing it. The highest summit in North Tirol, the Wildspitze proudly soars 3,774 metres into the sky in the southern part of the Ötztal.

The 160-metre high Stuiben Falls in the Nature Park Ötztal is the highest waterfall in Tirol. The name comes from the spray of the falling water – stuiben in the regional dialect.

From Umhausen, it’s a continuous upward hike for between 30 minutes and an hour to the waterfall. If you want to feel the spray on your skin, then climb up the 700 steps next to the waterfall and cross the 80-metre long hanging bridge. Up here you will find the observation deck, and very close by is the restaurant Gasthaus Stuibenfall in Niederthai.

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The great outdoors

Whether it’s enjoying the picturesque play of colours, taking in the amazing glaciers, numerous peaks and a magnificent waterfall, or simply indulging in time away from social media and spreadsheets, a holiday here is sure to leave you feeling regenerated and balanced.

When the fog of the daily routine grows thick, it’s time to head for the mountains – for fresh air, a different perspective – and ultimately a new lease of life.

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