Travel Guide Water trails

Water trails

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For thousands of years, the element water has exerted an inexplicable attraction on people as it offers countless opportunities for activities. Whether wildly roaring or gently bubbling, agitated or mirror-smooth: unforgettable tours can be undertaken on lakes, streams, rivers or seas.

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Highlights

All regions

Especially in the summer holidays, water sports should not be missing under any circumstances. In a canoe you will discover beautiful river landscapes from a very special perspective – when kayaking or rafting, you will get a portion of adventure in white water. Canyoning is the perfect way to combine alpine activities with the element of water. 

Water sports – a little journey through the time

We owe it to the American natives that we are able to travel with canoes and kayaks in our free time today. Indians and Inuit built light boats out of birch bark and animal skins, with which they navigated rivers and lakes for hunting and fishing.

In the course of time, numerous changes were made at the material. Temporarily, canoes were made of wood and aluminium. Today, mainly the light and nevertheless extremely durable plastic GFK is used.

In contrast to canoeing and kayaking, canyoning is a rather new sport. It was not until the 1990s that the sport established in the alpine region – and to this day it is still more of a niche sport.

Canoes on the shore of a lake
Canoes on the shore of a lake
Photo: CC0

The right equipment...

…depends on the type of sports you want to practise. However, water sports enthusiasts agree on some items of equipment:

  • A life jacket is the number one safety equipment for water tours.
  • Special water shoes make it easier to move around in the water and also sit much more firmly on your feet than sneakers.
  • The wetsuit is a faithful companion in spring, autumn and winter – but also when the water is cool like in canyoning.

Fascination whitewater

For adventurous sportsmen, the so-called whitewater exerts a very special fascination. It occurs wherever either a high gradient or a narrowing of the riverbank increase the flow velocity of the water.

Whitewater is characterised by an above average fast current and other elements such as whirlpools, waterfalls or rapids. For whitewater sports – such as whitewater paddling, rafting or canoe slalom – artificial whitewater canals are sometimes used.

Rafting in whitewater
Rafting in whitewater
Photo: CC0