Winter in Austria

Exciting fringe events for cold days

Your conference guests will remember these winter activities for a long time to come.

While a thick layer of snow slowly blankets the country, cosy fires leisurely crackle away in Austrian fireplaces, and a contemplative calm gradually seeps in. But one thing certainly does not wind down to a standstill: the conference industry. And even though temperatures outside may sink below zero at this time of the year, heads still smoulder at seminars, workshops, conferences and brainstorming sessions. That’s why it’s all the more important to pay special attention to the wellbeing of the participants by providing an exciting programme of side events. The exchange of ideas becomes smoother and the level of motivation amongst the guests increases after they have been on an excursion that was totally inspiring. In Austria, one can experience winter in the most extraordinary ways. Here come a variety of suggestions for incentives in the various Austrian federal provinces, which make conferences held in winter a special highlight.

Salzburg: Trips with the SchafbergBahn or the WolfgangseeSchifffahrt during the Advent season

Salzburg undoubtedly occupies one of the top places in the category “idyllic snow scenery.” You and your guests can bear witness to this during Advent by taking a ride on the SchafbergBahn that is all decked out for Christmas. Arrive at the Schafbergalm located at 1,364 metres above sea level in a festively lit train. Feel the joyful spirit of the season in the air with an Advent stall serving hot drinks and the magical winter panorama of the Salzkammergut all around. If, however, you prefer to stay in the lowland areas, you don't have to miss out on having an amazing experience, because you can also take a special trip with the WolfgangseeSchifffahrt during Advent. This can even be combined with a dinner where a whole deck is reserved just for you and the conference participants. Festive trips can be taken on certain days between November and the beginning of January. Ideally, plan to spend at least two hours on board.

Tirol: Overnight stay in an igloo. A canyoning tour.

Tirol provides for all the magical "wonder" in "winter wonderland." After all, you don't get to spend the night in an igloo every day, do you? But that’s exactly what is on the agenda in Tirol’s ALPENIGLU village. Various team-building activities like snowshoe racing ensure that a perfect balance is restored after an intensive meeting. And at night you get to stay in the igloo suites. That is, after you and your team are back from the full moon canyoning tour. Because if the night is bright enough, you can embark on an exciting adventure on the ice that will definitely make an impact and indelibly remain in the memories of all the participants. This fringe activity is ideal for welding an existing team even tighter together and strengthening it for future challenges.

Carinthia: Uphill sledging

When heads start to spin during intensive brainstorming sessions, it's time to take a proper break and air out the little grey cells. And what could be a better way of doing this than by going for an exhilarating sledge ride? Let the fresh winter air rush past your ears so that you and your conference guests are soon filled with new inspiration and can get down to working on some great ideas. Because sledging is definitely not only for children. Save yourself the arduous climb up the mountain at the Eberstein ski lift on the Carinthian Saualm. To get up the hill effortlessly with a drag lift, rent a sledge that has been converted and made suitable for the lifts thanks to a special trailer device, hence the term “uphill sledging” (BergAufRodeln). Now the real fun starts. Zoom down the mountain at top speed and let the velocity inspire you! Incidentally, uphill sledging is not only fun during the day; it can also be fun in the mysterious dark of the night. To round off your conference with a unique activity, go night sledging for a truly magical experience.

Upper Austria: Through the snow on a fat tyre electric bike

Do you think that cycling is a sport only done in summer? If so, you’ll soon change your mind in Upper Austria – and that, with the help of fat tyre electric bikes. The bikes with the wide balloon tyres turn riding over snow-covered paths and frozen meadows into sheer delight. With the deep knob profile and the smooth riding, fat tyre e-bikes are easy to control in all types of snow conditions. People of every fitness level can therefore experience the mysterious beauty of nature covered in snow in a very relaxed manner. These special tours are offered in Windischgarsten and are best for small groups of up to eight participants. Plan at least about three hours for this activity. Incidentally, an excellent seminar location lies in the immediate vicinity. Before you take to the outdoors, first hold your planned conference in the Villa Sonnwend.

Styria: A world of glaciers on the Dachstein

“Little snowflake, little snowflake, when will it start snowing?” is a German children’s song. This question is unnecessary on Styria’s highest mountain at 2,700 metres. Standing majestically, the Dachstein captivates with its edges softened by the snow. A beautiful natural scenery, it boasts panoramic views stretching as far as the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Depending on how much time you have and what suits your agenda best, you can choose from numerous exciting activities: the Dachstein suspension bridge, the Sky Walk, the Ice Palace and the mystical "Stairway to Nothingness" provide the best conditions for a successful fringe event. For an unforgettable experience, plan the ascent with the Dachstein cable car featuring a gondola rooftop balcony. Discover the secrets of the Dachstein both with a small group or with a larger number of participants (up to 55 persons).

Burgenland: Experiencing winter in the Neusiedlersee - Seewinkel National Park

Burgenland is not necessarily known for its abundance of snow, but anyone who thinks that a visit to the national park would therefore be less attractive, is really wrong. Only at this time of the year can one see flocks of hundreds of cranes, marvel at groups of greater white-fronted geese and experience dozens of other rare animal species. So, if you’re planning an event in Burgenland, don't let yourself and your team miss out on a guided tour through the Neusiedler See - Seewinkel National Park. A large group of people can also take part in the three-hour exploration of nature here: the ideal environment to draw inspiration from flora and fauna during multi-day events. In addition, many well-equipped meeting locations can be found in different parts of this distinct region.

Vorarlberg: Eiskanal Bludenz

You will definitely leave an impression with this fast-paced fringe activity – that’s guaranteed: The Eiskanal Bludenz invites you to try out adrenaline-laden rides down the ice track in a Vutschko guest bobsleigh. Where the pros usually train and where luge, skeleton, mono and two-man bobsleigh competitions take place, amateurs can also get a feel for the icy speeds of up to 100 km/h. Two Vutschko guest bobs are available solely for this purpose, so that your adventurous guests can whiz down 750 metres including six curves. Afterwards you will be treated to drinks and snacks in the bob kiosk at the finish line. Do you think your team is courageous enough to go through with this activity? Then hold your event in the nearby Fohren Saal. Just in case your guests yearn for more team activities, you’ll also find bowling alleys and a laser tag arena in the Fohren Center. And if you need a soft bed after all that fast-paced action, then Hotel Alpstadt Lifestyle is just the place for comfortable overnight accommodation.

Vienna: Gold workshop, ice skating and Christmas market

Austria's capital also does its very best to drive away any gloom as the days get shorter during the cold season. Christmas markets, punch stalls, the smell of roasting chestnuts and romantic lighting all lift the spirits in the city. The gold workshop at Belvedere Palace provides a brilliant fringe activity. First marvel at Gustav Klimt’s works of art and learn how they were created during his Golden Phase. In the studio, you can then experiment with the elegant metal and refine a unique souvenir with wafer-thin gold leaf. Afterwards have some punch and admire the handicrafts on sale in the lovingly decorated Christmas market in front of the castle. If you fancy plunging into the merry hustle and bustle, then drop by the Rathausplatz. Ice skating enthusiasts will find a fairytale landscape of ice at the Viennese Ice Dream, where ice skates can be hired on site. And if you would like to warm up after ice skating, a variety of stalls sell mulled wine and food at the Vienna Christmas market on Rathausplatz.

Are you looking for more tips to round off your conference? Find plenty of information in this article concerning post-meeting tips. And because having regular breaks during a conference makes such a big difference, here are some inspirational ideas for creative conference breaks.