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Water Sports in the Alps

There is nothing like high-altitude rivers, roaring with melted snow, or deep mountain lakes mirroring dramatic peaks and alpine forests for breathtaking water sports. The Alps tick every box for scenery, excitement, and excellent facilities to help you take make the most of the water-borne elements of your holiday in Europe.


Austria may be land-locked but there’s no shortage of water sports in this lake-studded country. Whether you fancy a refreshing dip or want to have a go at sailing, windsurfing or one of the other water sports, be sure to make use of the Austrian lake guide.

Carinthia is known as Austria's Riviera without reason; this South Eastern corner of Austria is blissfully warm in summer, providing excellent swimming and tanning opportunities at its many beautiful lakes. The Heart of the Alps, where some 10,000 clean springs bubble up to the surface, offers a wonderful combination of majestic mountains and glittering lakes with water temperatures of up to a soothing 27°C/80°F.
185 lakes adorn the landscape across the Salzkammergut region, through mountain valleys and on mountaintops.

Adventure sports in Slovenia are simply enticing in Slovenia. If you want to go rafting or hydrospeeding, head for the River Soča; its smaller tributaries offer exciting canyoning. The Sava, Savinja and Krka rivers are also great for kayaks, while for more relaxed activities like canoeing and old-style rafting, try the Kolpa and Drava. The Slovenian coast is small but perfect for sailing, renting pedalos, or learning to water ski in Portorož. The waters between Piran and Strunjan are excellent for diving: apart from the diverse plants and animals, you can also see the remains of shipwrecks. Divers are also drawn by the mysteries of Karst springs, such as Lake Divje Jezero lake near Idrija.

Switzerland’s lakes offer all kinds of fun on the water. Lake Murten is especially popular because the water warms up early in the summer. Sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, surf-biking, rowing, pedalo boating, canoeing, lake kayaking and angling – you can do almost anything here. Thanks to the enduring Maloja wind, ideal conditions prevail for windsurfing and sailing on lakes St. Moritz, Silvaplana and Champfèr. The tranquillity and breadth of the lakes in the Upper Engadine just beg for rowing a boat or canoe. Warm water, beautiful landscape and a fusion Italian-Swiss life style –no wonder the Ticino is the most popular canoe and fun rafting river of Switzerland’s South. Floating down on inflatable canoes with a guide is an ideal thrill for white water novices and families.

Germany's North and Baltic Sea coasts and its lakes offer excellent windsurfing and kite surfing conditions for beginners and pros alike. Free your spirit serenely, canoeing or kayaking on still waters, or break loose nature’s forces shooting the rapids. With its great variety of lakes and rivers, Germany is the ideal place for paddle sports and offers great facilities for these waterborne adventures. Nature parks, idyllic biosphere reserves or entire cities can be explored from a totally new perspective, either alone or in a group with a canoe. In Brandenburg, which has an abundance of water, the entire network of rivers and lakes invites you to go on limitless water sport adventures. From waterway to waterway floating along the rafters and boatmen’s old trade routes through the pristine landscape – who would want to go ashore?

Italy offers endless and amazing opportunities for water lovers. Surrounded by the saltwater playgrounds of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean and graced with the Alps and the Apennines for elevated water works, you have loads of recreational choices. Enjoy the sea for windsurfing, kite-surfing, swimming, sailing, and waterskiing at Italy's countless marinas and ports, or head to the summer mountains for white water rafting and kayaking, fishing in the pristine waters of rivers and lakes, paragliding and hang gliding over spectacular landscapes. Italy’s famous lakes number over a thousand, and at larger lakes the adventurous can have fun testing their skills water skiing, canoeing, windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving, and even fishing in a national level competition.

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