Ten reasons to visit Kaprun and Zell am See in the summer

Kaprun and Zell am See are well-known winter holiday destinations, but one of the best secrets is how stunning Zell am See and Kaprun is in the summer.

Discover Kaprun and Zell am See in summer- sports enthusiasts, sightseers and enjoyers of all things leisure.

Mountains, lakes, rivers and pristine nature –paradise ready to be discovered.   

1. Spring/early Summer skiing

Not ready to pack up your skis?

Kaprun’s Kitzsteinhorn Glacer is one of Austria’s premier winter skiing destinations.  But when the mercury is tipping 30°C in the valley and other European resorts have packed away the snow, you’ll be happy to find snow covered slopes. The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier is the only place in Salzburger Land where skiing in June is possible. So grab your skis and hit the slopes.  Where else can you swish down the snowy slopes followed by summer sun and relaxation – swimming, boating or sunbathing- on Lake Zell? 

2. Experience summer in Kaprun & Zell am See by bike

One of the best ways to explore Kaprun and Zell am See in summer is by bike on one of the many paths that meander through the pastoral mountain scenery.  There are a number of leisurely and easy paced cycling trails that will take you around Kaprun, Piesendorf, Bruck and Zell am See.  Kaprun also lies on the Tauern Cycling Trail (Tauernradweg) that begins in the foothills of the Hohe Tauren’s mountains following the Salzach River through lush green meadows to Salzburg. The trail is normally completed in multi-day stages, but a beautiful section of the trail to Krimml can easily be enjoyed from Kaprun - with the option of a return trip on the Pinzgau local train (Pinzgauer Lokalbahn).

For the more adventurous, there are many mountain bike and freeride tours and trails. The region has over 30 mountain bike tours catering from easy to difficult terrains. A bit further afield in Saalbach- Hinterglemm (28 km from Kaprun) is a mountain biker’s paradise with over 400 km of mountain trails to explore.

3. Kitzsteinhorn in Summer

The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier at 3,203m is the highest mountain in Salzburger Land. It's easy to reach the Alpine Centre - either from the Kitzsteinhorn Valley Station or from the Kaprun Centre via the MK Maiskogelbahn and the 3K K-onnection.  You’ll instantly feel reinvigorated as you breathe in the pristine mountain air. The Alpine Centre is the starting point for all the activities on the Kitzsteinhorn – there is something to suit everyone from leisurely to adventurous- hiking, walking, sightseeing. 

Gipfelwelt 3000 is Salzburger Land’s highest destination, easily reached by Gondola. The National Park Gallery takes you through a 360-meter tunnel cut through the Kitzsteinhorn with information stations where you learn all about the Alps.  The Top of Salzburg skywalk hangs 50 m above the glacier where you’ll be awed with the breathtakingly views of the surrounding mountains.  Or enjoy the best of local and international cuisine with panoramic views in Salzburg’s highest dining experience at the Gifpel Restaurant. Still need more fun?

The Ice Arena equals summer snow fun. Take time out on one of the sun loungers at the snow beach or slide down the snowy piste on a toboggan.  

4. Summer fun at the Schmittenhöhe Mountain

Standing proudly over Zell am See, Schmittenhöhe is on the eastern edge of the Kitzbühel Alps.   Have a bird’s eye view of the glistening Lake Zell and in the distance up to thirty 3,000m mountains including the Kitzsteinhorn, Groβglockner and Groβvenediger and the Steinernes Meer. 

Various family-friendly activities and trails from leisurely nature walks to high altitude hikes can be found at the summit.  The Sisi Roundabout Trail (about 2 km long), dedicated to Austria’s former Empress, is an family-friendly trail and takes you around the Schmittenhöhe summit, starting and finishing at the Elisabeth Chapel.

There are plenty of mountain Alms and Gasthäuser on the Schmittenhöhe Mountain where you can relax, soak in the panoramas and the summer sun while you enjoy one of the many Pinzgauer specialities.

5. Summer at the Maiskogel

The Maiskogel Mountain, Kitzsteinhorn’s baby brother, is starting point for a number of hiking routes- from leisurely to a full-scale ascent of the Maiskogel or Kitzsteinhorn. The summit is easily reached by a comfortable, scenic ride up the MK Maiskogelbahn from the Kaprun Centre

A walk from the Maiskogel mountain terminal along level paths leads you through alpine meadows and forests with majestic vistas to Kitzsteinhorn, Piesendorf and the Kitzbühel Alps beyond, and the Zeller See and the mountains of the Steinernes Meer (Rocky Sea).  The sunny terraces of the Maiskogel Alms and Gasthaus are the ideal spots to sit back and relax while you enjoy the valley and mountain vistas.

Back down in the valley; get ready to fasten your seatbelt.  The Maisiflitzer Alpine Coaster will have you racing down the 1.3 km of track, reaching speeds of up to 40 km/h as you race towards the valley along bridges, waves,  jumps and banked loops - adrenaline rush for kids young and old.

6. Summer days on Lake Zell

Zeller See is a crystal clear glacial alpine lake located at the base of the Schmittenhöhe Mountain.  The lake is surrounded by deep green pastures and it is one of the cleanest lakes in Europe. 

A 12km walk or bike ride around Lake Zell seduces with panoramic views of the Steinernes Meer, Kitzsteinhorn and Schmittenhöhe Mountains.

There are several lidos (public beaches), sunbathing lawns and lakeside cafes at Zell am See, Thumersbach and Schüttdorf.  These spots provide the perfect opportunity to jump into the lake whose average summer water temperature is 21 °C.

Zell am See summer evenings come alive with colour and pageantry as the water parties to the beat of the exploding lights. The Laser and Light show can be viewed from along the Esplanade but the best vantage point is in front of the music pavilion at the Lake Promenade. Zell am See light show: Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (May- October- weather permitting).

7. Sigmund Thun Klamm- the power of water

Timber boardwalks and bridges meander through the narrow Sigmund-Thun Klamm (Gorge) over rock formations, waterfalls, eddies and whirlpools of the Kapruner Ache River carved out by retreating glaciers 14,000 years ago. 

At the top of the gorge, the trail continues around the turquoise waters of the Klammsee. At the southern end of the lake there is a snack bar, playground and a bus stop that will take you back to Kaprun. The Sigmund Thun Klamm info-centre has interesting displays on the production of hydroelectric power in Austria.

8. Kaprun High Mountain Reservoirs-Summer on the mountain

Every year more than 100,000 tourists visit one of the most Instagrammable sites in Kaprun – the High Mountain Reservoirs (Hochgebirgsstauseen). The Wasserfallboden (1672 m) and Mooserboden (2036 m) are high mountain reservoirs that seem like fjjords with their turquoise waters surrounded by 3000m peaks.   The melting snow from the Pasterzen Glacier of the Groβglockner fills the dams with water which produces a considerable percentage of Austria electricity each year. 

It is easy to spend the day at the High Mountain Reservoirs.  There are several mountain trails which offer sweeping views of the Mooserboden and Wasserfallboden and surrounding Alpine peaks. The easy Herb Trail begins at the Bergrestaurant Mooserboden (open end of May to mid-October) and leads down to the Fürthermoaralm (Open mid-June to end September).  The “Power and Ice Adventure World “, located at the end of the Mooserboden, has information on the history of dam construction and their operation.

9. Grossglockner High Alpine Road

When you visit Zell am See in summer you cannot miss out on one of the world’s best Alpine driving experiences. 

The Groβglockner High Alpine Road (Großglockner Hochalpenstraße), ~20 km from Zell am See, climbs up Austria’s highest mountain, the Groβglockner and its glacier, the Pasterze. Its 48 km of 36 hairpin turns and serpentine bends ascending to 2,504 m is one of the greatest alpine drives. The Groβglockner High Alpine Road can be travelled by car, bus, motorbike or for the more adventurous by bike.

The Groβglockner Road leads from Fusch-Ferleiten in Salzburger Land to Heiligenblut in Carinthia via the Fuscher Törl and the Hochtor Pass at 2504 m. At every turn, there are vistas of snow-capped peaks, forested slopes and wildflower covered pastures.

Open from early May to early November (weather permitting) from 6 am to 8 pm.

10. Tauern Spa

Need a break from your holiday?

After a few days of exploring all the summer fun in Zell am See and Kaprun you may need a break from your adventures. Kaprun’s Tauern Spa resort is the largest spa and wellness centre in Austria. Relax and massage away your worries and aches in the spa, aqua & sauna world. Kids can also have a ‘Spa day’ in the children's area which has an outdoor water park with water slides, play pool, a baby pool, youth pool, volleyball court and climbing wall.

It’s easy to get to Zell am See and Kaprun

Zell am See and Kaprun is located 85 km south of Salzburg and approximately 380km southwest of Vienna and is easily accessible by car, train or bus.

Ready for Adventure in paradise? 

Sun & Summer fun where the mountains meet the lake. | Hiking, Biking, sightseeing, relaxation.  Book your self-catered apartment in Zell am See Kaprun