Jess, aged 15, writes: During a lovely lakeside stay in Zell am See, Austria, I was lucky enough to visit the Kitzsteinhorn glacier with my grandpa. In the winter, the Kitzsteinhorn is generally used for skiing, but in summer the mountain is perfect for walks and admiring the gorgeous views. Our trip was definitely one of the most impressive in the entire holiday, and we both had a really good time.
The Kitzsteinhorn is about forty minutes away from Zell am See (our base) by bus, and we arrived just past midday. After pausing for a small drink and a pastry, we began our ascent up the mountain in a funitel. This journey was certainly one of the standout moments of the entire holiday.
The Gletscherjet I (glacier jet one) takes you unbelievably high, and the journey is about five and a half minutes long. The small capsule size and lack of midweek crowds meant that it was just me and grandpa by ourselves, and it was lovely to move around and talk freely without strangers next to us! The views were absolutely magnificent: the towering green mountains stretched into the distance, interspersed with tall trees and trickling waterfalls. This was definitely the most majestic point of our entire holiday, and I loved it.
After exiting the funitel, grandpa and I took a walk around the area. Luckily, the ground was flat, making it very accessible. The area consisted of a sports and a souvenir shop, a restaurant, and a climbing frame for children (I enjoyed this, despite probably being too old!) Our walk was short, but very pleasant. We stumbled upon some lambs and a river, and the views beneath us were simply gorgeous.
There are lots of lifts to choose in the winter, but there is less of a choice in summer. Grandpa and I took the Gletscherjet II to the next level: a journey which took about three minutes. This was equally as impressive as our first journey, and again, we had the capsule to ourselves.
There is a lot to do once outside of the Gletscherjet II, but grandpa and I decided to forgo this and take the Gipfelwelt 3000 to the highest accessible point of the mountain. This journey took us from the mountain’s lush grassy hills to the snow-covered glacier, and we could see people partaking in snow sports beneath us.
It was extremely exciting to be at the top of the Kitzsteinhorn, as this meant that we were at the highest accessible point of Salzburg: 3029m high. The Gipfelwelt 3000 panorama was a perfect place for admiring the incredible view and taking photos. It was a stunning view, and it was cool to be at the highest point in the whole of Salzburg!
Next came the National Park Gallery, which is located in a 360m long tunnel through the Kitzsteinhorn. It was fascinating to be able to walk through the mountain. We learnt about the formation of the Alps and the different crystals in the Kitzsteinhorn, but had to turn back as the altitude was making grandpa feel slightly uneasy.
Finally, it was time to take the Gipfelwelt, Gletscherjet II, and Gletscherjet I back to the bottom of the Kitzsteinhorn. I had had an amazing time, and was honestly sad to leave. The views from the gondolas had been phenomenal, and the mountain had been just so quiet and beautiful. There was so much grandpa and I didn’t manage to do (exploring more of the museum, going to the cinema, or trying out snow sports), yet we still had such a relaxing and interesting time. I would definitely recommend a visit to the Kitzsteinhorn; it was simply a lovely day out.
Jess and her grandpa went on a package holiday with Inghams, flying via Ryan Air from Stansted Airport to Salzburg and then taking a coach to Zell. They were gifted two “summer cards” from the Zell am Zee tourism board, but they had no input into this blog post.