Austria’s Achensee is ideal for watersports
You’re wandering through a theme park, ice cream in hand, and the peaks rise up into the distance.
A pizza treat in a waterfront restaurant has views that you could never imagine at the coast and yet the weather is warm and wonderful.
Lakes & Mountains with TUI is the expert in the high points of Europe, ensuring perfect family holidays that offer so much more than the seaside.
There are so many lakes and almost all have shingle beaches, often with water-sports.
Austria’s Achensee is the place for gentle canoeing or kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding or even learning how to waterski or wakeboard.
The north end of Lake Garda in Italy, with its rugged backdrop, is another water-sports haven and the place for windsurfing lessons.
In Garda’s south, around the resorts of Sirmione and Bardolino, you can rent a motorboat to head off to a quiet spot for a dip.
Go white water rafting down the rapids on the river Ziller in the lively Austrian town of Mayrhofen, or in beautiful Bohinj in Slovenia.
Or try canyoning – this energetic mix of clambering, climbing, jumping and wild swimming in gorges is on offer across Austria as well as in the hills above Lake Garda’s Torbole and Riva.
Perfect for adventurous teenagers.
Many hotels in Italy and Austria have bikes to rent or even borrow – try Strandhotel Margaretha, this warm traditional hotel with a cool, modern twist is just off the promenade in lakeside St Wolfgang.
There are easy-going cycle paths in so many other resorts too.
Pedal sedately along one of Lake Garda’s boardwalks – the Bardolino to Garda stretch is idyllic – or take a chairlift up and cycle back down in Austria’s Bad Hofgastein.
Electric bikes are popular too, letting you whirr up to magical viewpoints.
Children of all ages will be excited by mountain walks, not least amid the red rock grandeur of Italy’s Dolomites.
Local tourist cards let you use mountain lifts. Stroll back down or parasail– parachute off the mountain with an instructor.
Get roped up with a guide for the Italian favourite “via ferrata”, dizzying mountain routes of ladders, cables and bridges.
Take to the treetops, too, with high ropes courses in Austrian resorts such as Saalbach and St Johann.
Gardaland (sister to British favourites such as Alton Towers) is one of Europe’s biggest theme parks, everything from Peppa Pig to roller coasters, while Caneva Aquapark is a wild, wet experience.
They’re along the road from each other on Lake Garda, walkable from the resorts of Lazise and Peschiera, a bus ride from others such as Sirmione and Desenzano.
There’s always something on a mountain: stay in Slovenia’s Kranjska Gora or Bled and try the mountain coaster, or visit the free amusement park at Maiskogel Family Mountain near Zell am See and Kaprun in Austria.