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AdventureAustria > News > Cross-country skiing in East Tyrol

Cross-country skiing in East Tyrol

Besides alpine skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing and ski touring are two other very popular winter sports, particularly in the region of East Tyrol where AdventureAustria is based.

Cross-country skiing is traditionally popular mainly in northern Europe as well as the Alpine countries. Standard equipment includes a pair of cross-country skis, a pair of cross-country ski poles and cross-country ski shoes. There are 2 different cross-country skiing techniques – the classic style and the outdoors style.

East Tyrol is very well known as a cross-country skiing destination. The local slogan here “doing cross-country skiing well” invites cross-country skiers to enjoy healthy exercise on sunny days in unspoilt snowy winter landscapes. Cross-country skiing is a good cardiovascular workout with additional high calorie consumption and simultaneously exercises all major parts of the body as well as increasing the coordinative skills. Compared to alpine skiing there are less stresses and strains on joints and bones and above all, it is a sport that is suitable for all ages.

Each region in East Tyrol has its own cross-country trails, each offering its own particular flair and challenges. East Tyrol has some 400km of prepared and marked cross-country trails. In the Lienz region there are over 100km of trails, complete with amazing views of the Lienzer Dolomite Mountains. Trails here are mainly level with just a small amount of short climbs.

A cross-country region for the more experienced is the Alta Pusteria region. Here you can find 160km of groomed trails in numerous villages of the Val Pusteria, Lesach and Virgental. In the town of Obertilliach, the biathlon centre for professionals can be found. This is where the cross-country elite including Olympic and World Champions compete. When there are no competitions, there is the possibility for visitors of a “taster biathlon day”.

In Defereggental there are some 70km of trails in various designs. High up on the panoramic trail by Staller Sattel, visitors can go cross-country skiing at an altitude of 2,000 meters. And just in case the day isn’t long enough, guests can also go cross-country skiing at night on the three kilometre-long illuminated Deferegger trail in St. Jacob.

The trails in the Hohe Tauern National Park offer views of the highest mountain in Austria – the Grossglockner.

In each region there is the possibility to rent the equipment and specialist ski schools offer tuition for beginners to the sport.


On the 3rd weekend every January, the “Dolomitenlauf” cross-country skiing completion takes place in East Tyrol. Cross-country skiing enthusiasts from up to 30 different nations meet in Lienz and Obertilliach in front of the impressive natural backdrop of the Lienzer Dolomites. More than 3,000 competitors compete in 7 different races covering different distances and difficulty levels. In addition to the large “Dolomitenlauf” itself which takes place on Sunday, the Dolomite Sprint on Friday night taking place on the main square in Lienz is a real sporting highlight.

If you are interested in cross-country skiing in East Tyrol then please contact us where we will be happy to organise this for you or add it to your holiday package.

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