Travel Tales from Tyrol: “Kössen and Kaiserwinkl are the new Kitzbühl!”

“Will you help me do it?!” Peter Fahringer, working at the paragliding & kiting club in Kaiserwinkl, Tyrol, is full of passion for his job. Just ahead of my tandem paraglide, we find we also share a common one: The power of connecting people through blogs, online communities & Social Media. “Kössen is a perfect winter resort. People should know that.” He smiles, tells one of his jokes, his colleagues at the flight club all laugh. Suddenly, everybody is alert. “The wind does seem to have dropped. I think we might be able to start after all”, Peter’s colleagues Herbert and Mario call out, two brothers from Kaiserwinkl who have learned how to fly ahead of learning how to drive – at only sixteen years old. All eyes are on me. “I am ready”, I answer with my heart pounding in my chest. “As a world traveller, you have to be naturally open-minded and adventurous“, I tell my instructor Mario while walking over to the starting field. Tandem paragliding in the mountains. Easy, right?! Oh how beautiful it must be to hang out high up in the air, coming down into the valley light as a feather. Definitely try. Definitely?! Yeah!

Caught up with my inner voice, I let my instructor help me into my paragliding gear, tie me up, secure all ropes, run through the last check-ups. If I had still been able to move, I would have bounced with pre-excitement. My heart leaps as we finally lift off, the world below us swiftly getting smaller while my eyes grow bigger and bigger in wonder. Wooowww …

Romantisch und zugleich wunderschön: Der kleine Ort Walchsee mit seinem Namensgeber vor mir. Diesen sowie die Berge dahinter hat man beim Tandem-Paragliding-Flug bestens im Blick.

Romantic and utterly beautiful: Lake Walchsee at the Tyrolean Kaiserwinkl village with the same name. You are able to spot both the lake and the mountains in the back from your paragliding flight – an amazing experience for all the senses.


Schon am frühen Morgen geht es los und die ersten Abenteurer starten mit ihren erfahrenen Partnern vom Paradeltaclub Kaiserwinkl in die Lüfte.

Early in the morning, the first adventurers come up with the professional team at Paradelta Club in Kaiserwinkl, Tyrol.


Ein einmaliges Erlebnis, wie auch hier ein professioneller Drachenflieger den ich beim Absprung fotografiere.

Even to watch the preparations for the people ready to go is a fascinating experience. Here, a “kite runner” prepares for final take-off.


Vorfreude ist für meine Gruppe & mich die schönste Freude ...

My friend & colleague Nadja Schönwälder minutes ahead of her own paragliding experience …


... mit Blick auf diese Berglandschaft rund um "Wilden & Zahmen Kaiser" im Skigebiet Kaiserwinkl in Tirol.

… with a fantastic view of the mountain resort of Kaiserwinkl, called “Wilder & Zahmer Kaiser” here in north-eastern Tyrol, at the border with Bavaria, Germany.


A few minutes later, we are stuck in the sky. Caught between shock and fascination, my top (open) air seat high above ground will most likely stay there forever, engraved in my memory.

Strong winds in higher altitudes leave my paragliding partner Mario and me “stuck” for a good fifteen minutes without much movement either way. (Just to remind you: This is really quite long if you have never, er, been there before.).

Time, therefore, to become conscious of what is happening around you. I stay “seated”, leaning back into my gear at about 5.000 feet above sea level with nothing between me and the ground than … air. Trees appear like little toy sticks, right beyond my legs is where the free fall starts. … The world is wonderful, the view upon the Kaiserwinkl winter landscape just magic, the wind howls and I feel mesmerized. “Lean forward a little please, yes that’s right, leaning in will help us to steer better.” Mario makes sure we are good despite the little hold-up. I feel brave and proud of myself for being able to stay calm. As we finally touch down in the valley a little later, my heart has even stopped from beating fast. It is only then I realise that joy is written all over my face: I have successfully completed my very first tandem paraglide! Thank you so much guys at Paradelta Club in Kössen – you are great! 😀

... bevor es auch für mich soweit ist: Los geht's! Nach fünf Jahren und Skydiving in Neuseeland ist das mein nächstes, großes Abenteuer dieser Art!

I can only recommend you try: Tandem paragliding at Kaiserwinkl in Tyrol. Five years after skydiving in New Zealand, this is my next big adventure successfully completed right there.


The Kaiserwinkl ski resort means fun & adventure for the whole family, yet somewhat “off the beaten track”. Or have you ever heard of “snowtubing” before … ?

What on Earth is “snowtubing“? Surprise, surprise – even, or especially, for us crazy Austrians! And even more so upon starting this fun downhill snow adventure for the first time, as we did here in Kaiserwinkl, Tyrol. First of all, you need to check which behind goes into which tyre. No kidding !! After all, there are smaller and bigger … well. Whatever. In any case, our beloved bums had to fit one of those big “ski tyres”. Next, you are being pulled up by a small tow-lift that automatically disconnects your “skiing tyre” once you have reached the top and hell off you go, sprinting down the hillside over ice and snow and out into the valley. At night. Under floodlights. “Just brake using your feet further down!” our happy instructor shouts after us.

Clear, everyone?!

Snowtubing ist der Hammer. Erst mal geht's ans Reifen-Auswählen ...

Snowtubing is just so much fun. First step: Choose your tyre and see which one fits your bum comfortably …


"Hold on for dear life!", ist die Message hire: Nicht loslassen bevor man oven ist. Ab dem gleißenden Licht wird's waghalsig - schnell und lustig ist man beim "Snowtubing" wieder ganz unten.

“Hold on for dear life!” or – don’t let go from the lift until you reach the top. Where you can see the light is where the magic starts to happen – speeding fast and down into the valley is what the locals like to call “snowtubing”.


I like - Noch etwas, was ich "erst" mit meinen 30 Jahren entdeckt habe. Man ist nie zu alt, verrückt zu sein :D

I really like it. Another adventure I have only discovered in my thirties – I think you are never too old to do something crazy. Right?! 😀


Im Anschluss an das winterliche Vergnügen empfiehlt sich eine herzhafte "Kasspatzle"-Pfanne aus Tirol.

Afterwards, we recommend you dig into one of those lovely Tyrolean specialities, such as “Kasspatzle” typical local pasta with gorgeous melted mountain cheese, here at Kaiseralm hut in Kössen. Yum!


Off to relax. After all these snow-covered adventures, I am ready for sauna, pool, wellness and more. The so-called “Verwöhnhotels” in Kaiserwinkl offer us exactly that, in addition to culinary delights. Lucky us!

Panorama sauna, jacuzzis, “romantic hideaways” and top cuisine during breakfast or dinnertime: Those staying at the Panorama Hotel Superior have found a haven for delight after being active outside in the fresh winter air. The hotel which is part of the “Verwöhnhotels” here in Kaiserwinkl, literally offering to spoil you rotten, welcomes us with its pretty location right up a forest-clad mountainside: A true gourmet’s hideaway. Check this out.

Ausblicke für Genießer: Hier schweift der Blick in die Ferne - und weit hinein ins Tal des Kaiserwinkl.

The view from our hotel room at “Verwöhnhotel” Panorama Superior stretches all the way into the Kaiserwinkl resort.


Gemütliche Bäder und Jacuzzis lassen mich diese Wellnessanlage aktuell schon wieder vermissen ...

Inside, bubbling jacuzzis and relaxing pools welcome us to relax after a day in the mountains …


... und auch für ausreichend Nähe ist gesorgt: Familien oder Paare finden hier mühelos und gemütlich Platz.

… and if you prefer more privacy, head for one of those “romantic roundabouts” that easily fit one small family, or couple, on its own.


Die kulinarische Linie legt Wert auf Hausgemachtes und verwöhnt unsere Gaumen drei Tage lang aufs Feinste.

Culinary delights mean home-made, locally inspired cuisine such as this deer parfait with a dark berry chutney.


Eine Empfehlung wert: Urlaub im Kaiserwinkl in Tirol!

We proudly recommend: Holidays in Kaiserwinkl, Tyrol!


A big word of Thankyou also goes to Máximo Perez, of TravellingForYou, who has been brave enough to learn how to ski on this trip and has filmed our every moves in Tyrol – check out his video here:


Fancy even more adventure shots from our visit to Kaiserwinkl ski resort? Let me take you on a trip via Flickr:


In my next blog post about “Travel Tales from Tyrol“, I shall talk to you about “cheese & classics”. Not really classical music but well … . Stay tuned!


Disclaimer: We have been invited by the Kaiserwinkl Tourism Board to experience different winter activities in this Tyrolean mountain resort. All opinions are my own. 

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Maximo Perez 15 January 2014 - 13:08

Next time I would love to try paragliding. But I was very happy learning the basics of skiing with my instructor. The Journalist trip was very good indeed and we met lovely people. Thank you region of Kaiserwinkl 🙂

Elena 15 January 2014 - 13:29

You should absolutely try paragliding: It was one of the best experiences of my whole trip to Kaiserwinkl! I will never forget watching the Tyrolean winter landscape from above … beautiful. 😀


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