The first snowflakes have fallen, the smell of hot mulled wine is in my nose, my mum is putting up the Christmas decorations and I know that the best time of the year is starting again: Advent!
When I was younger, almost every day was exactly the same. Come home from school, put on my ski suit and head straight out into the snow to build the biggest snowman of all. I didn't really care about homework in those moments ;) Now, a few years later, I often ask myself what I could do in these wintry times and preferably without a car, in these weather conditions. Luckily, I live in Radstadt, which allows me to do lots of activities during the Advent season, which I can easily get to on foot or by bus.
Let's start with our romantic Christmas market on the town square. Here you are spoilt with delicious mulled wine, biscuits, farmer's doughnuts, bosna and much more. After grabbing a children's punch, I took a leisurely stroll around the Christmas market and discovered lots of interesting stalls offering everything you could wish for at a Christmas market, from beautiful decorations to the finest delicacies. An exciting children's programme was on offer for the little ones and there was plenty of crafting going on in the “Elves Hut”. Of course, there were also musical performances every weekend to warm the heart. In my opinion, the highlight of the Christmas market was the alpacas that you could stroke and feed. Even though the Christmas market is unfortunately already over, you are welcome to visit this year from mid-November and be enchanted by Radstadt's wonderful winter atmosphere.
Skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing... so many opportunities for exercise in the fresh air. As you've probably already read in my "Holiday on Ice" blog, I'm an ice skating fan. In November 2023, I stood in my ice skates for the first time again and glided across the beautiful ice rink in Salzburg's Volksgarten. Of course, I'll be most excited when I can finally skate on the natural ice rink in Radstadt again. The ice rink in Radstadt is still closed at the moment, but I hope that it will soon be open again for all ice skating fans. In Radstadt you can of course also ski down perfectly groomed pistes and then enjoy the magical view of Radstadt and Altenmarkt from a mountain hut.
Snowshoeing sounds more strenuous than it actually is. In February I was able to go on a snowshoe hike with our dear Herta and it was a really great experience.
PS: Herta always offers "guided snowshoe hikes" in winter. All you have to do is register with us at the tourist office and Herta will show you the most beautiful routes for trudging through the snow.
The longest toboggan run in the Salzburger Sportwelt, where do you think it is? I'll tell you: In RADSTADT. Well, if it's the longest toboggan run, the way up must be pretty strenuous, right? No, no, I can spare you, because you can take the cable car up to this toboggan run in comfort. So, grab your toboggan buddy, hire a toboggan at the valley station and take a leisurely ride up to the start. Then it's just a case of: "3,2,1 whoever gets down the fastest and goooo".
What's your favourite thing to do after an eventful winter's day? I have a suggestion for you: the Thermal Spa Amade. Here you can really switch off and unwind. Whether in one of the 7 swimming pools, in the sauna or for adrenaline junkies on one of the fast water slides, there's something for everyone here.
For those of us who don't like skiing, ice skating etc., there are also other activities in Radstadt where you can get into the winter spirit. The Christmas hike in Radstadt, with the longest Advent calendar in Europe. On this hike, you can meet Chris Ploier, for example, who tells his fairy tales before heading through the gorge at Lärchenbach with the rock sound cloud. The scented hut and the free punch will always be my two favourites. As soon as you arrive in the valley, the path leads you back to the Christmas market, where all kinds of delicacies and performances are waiting for you.
If you're the type of person who still hasn't had enough of Christmas after Christmas Eve, you can marvel at the Radstadt Nativity Scene Trail. This is available for you until the end of January. On this wintry circular route, you will see beautifully illuminated nativity scenes that are true works of art. The complete tour takes around 45 minutes and you can get a free brochure for the cot trail from the tourist office.
Brief interruption Someone wants to tell you something: "Hey squirrel, this is Toki writing. Wintertime is too good to be true. But the Radstadt Escape Game "The Mystery of the Three Towers" is just as beautiful, where I play the leading role😉, my sister too, but I'm much more interesting and important.
I'd love to meet you all, so come along and help me save Radstadt! All right, I'll let Selina continue writing with you, see you soon guys. Greetings Toki.
Erm, okay I think it was Toki or Nyra who wrote in there. Well, now one of the two has got me pretty confused while writing. But I think I wanted to wish you a good start to the new year, and I hope that we will meet at one of these many activities during Christmas 2024, maybe for a mulled wine at the Christmas market?
photo credits: Radstadt Tourismus