Family Fun in Carinthia

In the Austrian village of Nassfeld, adrenalin junkies can get their fix. So can the average 5-year-old and those who manage just fine without bursts of adrenalin, like me. This summer, take the Millennium Gondola up on Madritsche mountain for heaps of family fun.

Rodelbahn on Madritsche, Nassfeld, Carinthia, Austria

The Pendolino is a Rodelbahn – a luge on wheels. If you’re into roller coasters, this is the thing for you. I’m not. Yet, the Rodelbahn is the thing for me, too. You see on this particular roller coaster, you determine the speed yourself. If you want to whizz down the 2 km run at max speed 40 km/h, you can. And if you want to pull the brake during the sharp turns, you can. Perfect!

I must admit I used the brake now and then. I don’t think Matthias did. What’s more, he was cool enough to film the experience. Let’s join him for a thrilling ride.

Back at the finish line, a ten-minute walk up a steep hill takes you to the 480 metre long Flying Fox (zip line) for an even bigger thrill. Here are Sabrina, Marie, Agnieszka, Matthias, Leyla, Anna-Lena and Laurel, ready to take on the tree tops.

Flying fox (zip line) on Madritsche in the Austrian Alps

Flying Fox at Madritsche, Austrian Alps
Marie, the Flying Travelette

The Flying Fox course is part of a Rock Labyrinth with canyons, rock climbing and Klettersteig (via ferrata) in addition to the high ropes. For the youngest, there’s the Aqua Trail, a one-hour stroll on a pram-friendly path down to a gorgeous little mountain lake, with fun and games along the way. And a mountain top trampoline!

Mountain lake at Madritsche in the Austrian Alps

For lunch, I recommend you sample the cheese at Tressdorfer Alm Schaukäserei. It’s a bit difficult to translate Schaukäserei – in essence it’s a small cheese factory, a showcase dairy. Rudi, the owner, guides us quickly through the cheese making process, then serves up trays of yummy Alpine cheese.

Tressdorfer Alm Schaukäserei in the Austrian Alps Tressdorfer Alm Schaukäserei in the Austrian Alps

Donkeys, hens and goats roam around outside the Schaukäserei, a veritable petting zoo up here on the mountain.

Tressdorfer Alm Schaukäserei in the Austrian AlpsTressdorfer Alm Schaukäserei in the Austrian Alps

My 10-year-old is asking why I, wimpy mamma, visited Nassfeld without her. She would have tried out everything properly, she says, and no brakes! She’d do the full-on Flying Fox and the Klettersteig. And, as she points out, she’s not too old for goats and donkeys. Only one thing to do, I suppose…

Family fun accommodations – and border jumping

In Nassfeld, I stayed at Falkensteiner Carinzia, a fab spa hotel just a few metres from the Millennium Gondola. Further up the mountain is the even more family-friendly Hotel Sonnenalpe – with the added bonus of being just a few metres from the Italian border. Not that there’s a physical barrier up here in the mountains. Still, it’s fun to jump across: now I’m in Italy, now I’m in Austria, Italy, Austria, Italy, Austria…

For an even more international flair, the Slovenian border is a few miles further along.

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If you go:

  • The above is what we managed to fit into our short one-day excellent adventure. There’s heaps more, of course, including 1000 km of trails, mountain biking (extreme or easy), panorama view golfing and all sorts of water fun on offer: swimming, fishing, river tubing, rafting, canoeing…
  • Nassfeld is located in Carinthia (Kärnten), Austria’s southernmost province, a half hour from Villach, a transport hub about halfway between Venice and Munich. (For a spot of shopping, I’m told Udine, just across the Italian border, is just the ticket.)
  • Ask at your hotel about the +Card, giving you free and discounted activities in the Nassfeld-Hermagor-Lake Pressegger region.
  • Costs: Rodelbahn: 7€ (5€ with the +Card), Flying fox/Rock Labyrinth: 22 € (19€ with the +Card) for three hours of fun

Disclosure: In Kärnten, I was a guest of Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences. As ever, opinions are mine, all mine.

Tressdorfer Alm Schaukäserei in the Austrian Alps

For more travel inspiration, head over to this week’s Travel Photo Thursday or Friday Daydreamin’.

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  1. Ana O 26 July 2012 at 0208 - Reply

    May I have some cheese, please? 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 26 July 2012 at 1015 - Reply

      The cheese really was delicious 🙂

  2. [email protected] 26 July 2012 at 0857 - Reply

    What a fun day! I can see why your 10 year old wanted to go! Now you will have to go back!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 26 July 2012 at 1015 - Reply

      Yes, she’s going on about the Flying Fox especially.

  3. ItalianNotes 26 July 2012 at 1002 - Reply

    I like flying – but not in a thin line, so I’d just heard directly for the cheese plate, I think:)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 26 July 2012 at 1016 - Reply

      Yeah, I’m not much of a zip liner either. The kids I’m a bit of a wimp.

  4. Jane 26 July 2012 at 1100 - Reply

    Thanks for this amazing tour! I hope to be able to see and experience everything you mentioned in this post soon.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 26 July 2012 at 1200 - Reply

      Hope you do, too 🙂

  5. Leigh 26 July 2012 at 1552 - Reply

    I’d love to do it all – and finish up with the cheese plate. What a fabulous day. And you’re not alone in using the brake – I’m a bit of a wimp in that department too,

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1626 - Reply


  6. Nancie 26 July 2012 at 1614 - Reply

    Looks like lots of fun, and I would love some of that cheese!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1626 - Reply

      Truly yummy 🙂

  7. Jackie Smith 26 July 2012 at 1629 - Reply

    I hate to admit it but the cheese plate calmed my queasy stomach that had developed from seeing your thrill seeking adventure. Now for a glass of wine to calm my nerves and I am set. . . (great post!)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1626 - Reply

      We didn’t have wine up there, but that’s probably a good idea 🙂

  8. Vera Marie Badertscher 26 July 2012 at 1704 - Reply

    I was thinking along the same lines as Jackie. Not sure I could eat the delicious cheese plate because just watching the film made me queasy. But I’d definitely love to do that ride.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1628 - Reply

      Taking a nice walk between the ride and the cheese would probably do the trick.

  9. Jessica 26 July 2012 at 1834 - Reply

    My boys would be in heaven!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1628 - Reply

      Kiddie heaven for sure.

  10. We did a summer luge run in Germany once. I used the brake my husband did not. Can you guess who was the one that almost fell out of their sled??? Looks like a fun place for all ages.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1628 - Reply

      You? 🙂

  11. Jess @UsedYorkCity 27 July 2012 at 0050 - Reply

    That is definitely the longest and coolest roller coaster ride I’ve ever seen! I never heard of controlling your own speed before, how awesome! Would love to check this out someday!:-)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1629 - Reply

      Head for Carinthia 🙂

  12. InsideJourneys 27 July 2012 at 0150 - Reply

    This definitely looks like a fun place to spend a day. I agree with Jess, that is a mighty long roller coaster ride.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1629 - Reply

      I don’t think I’ve heard of a longer one.

  13. Dick Jordan 27 July 2012 at 0436 - Reply

    Looks like a lot of fun! I rode a “psuedo-luge” near Salzburg.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1629 - Reply

      Curious about a pseudo-luge…

  14. Natasha von Geldern 27 July 2012 at 0702 - Reply

    I did similar activities near Luzern in Switzerland, god I love the European Alps. Can’t wait to take my daughter there.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1630 - Reply

      She’ll love it 🙂

  15. Laurel 27 July 2012 at 1130 - Reply

    This was such a fun day! I’m now addicted to Rodelbahns and can’t wait to try it again. And the cheese….Mmmm.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1631 - Reply

      Wasn’t it just the greatest day?

  16. Oh my goodness- that looks like so much fun! I would totally be the thrill-seeker and not use the breaks!!

    Thanks for linking up!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 July 2012 at 1631 - Reply

      Brave woman!

  17. Cathy Sweeney 27 July 2012 at 1831 - Reply

    Now that’s my kind of roller coaster. I would totally want to take the Rodelbahn ride, even though I’m not a roller coaster person either. Lunch looks delicious. Such fun!

  18. Lisa 27 July 2012 at 1856 - Reply

    I don’t do roller coasters – but a ride that I could control, I might consider that! I would, in all likelihood, win a prize for the slowest rider down the track though! You should definitely go back with your daughter!

  19. Steffi 19 August 2015 at 1706 - Reply

    What a good trip! You would also like the mountains of the Karwendel. Have a look:

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