Europe’s best sled runs
Extreme Austrian sled runs
The areas around the city of Innsbruck are rich with sled runs, and about 104km from the city centre in the ski village of Ischgl you can experience one of Austria’s most fun routes. Open only at night, the floodlit sled run stretches more than 6km, starting at a 2,320m elevation and dropping you 950m at breakneck speed – not one for beginners, but a real rush. Germans and Scandinavians have long praised the resort’s upscale village vibe and snowy pistes loaded with fine intermediate and expert terrain, and British and American travellers are slowly catching on to Ischgl as an alternative to better-known (and more crowed) Austrian ski resorts like St Anton and Kitzbühel.
For the world’s longest floodlit sled run, open until 10 pm each night, head to Wildkogel Sledding Arena in the state of Salzburg, where the lift sweeps you up to 1,300m to sled more than 14km back down a white-knuckled route loaded with hairpin turns to the town of Bramberg. The best part? If all that adrenalin makes you thirsty, you can stop off at a slopeside alehouse for something cold and frosty to warm you from the inside out.
An adrenalin kick in Norway
If all of the above seem too tame, then kick your sledding experience up a notch with a bobsled run in Norway. There is plenty of old school wooden tobogganing to be had at the country’s many ski resorts, but the most extreme experience can be found in the town of Hunderfossen in southern Norway, where bobsleds carrying up to four passengers careen at 100kph down Europe’s only artificially frozen luge track. One glance at the terrified faces exiting the sleds and you will understand why Norwegian cheeks always look so rosy.