Kayak the wild emerald rivers of Austria’s Gesäuse National Park

Gesäuse National Park is Austria’s secret whitewater kayaking gem, with crystal clear water and steep technical rapids

Most Brits tend to associate Austrian whitewater kayaking and rafting with the big thundering glacial rivers in the country’s western state of Tirol. The mighty Inn and Ötz are two roaring freight trains: grey and heavy with the weight of glacial silt, they’re intimidating but feature many classic sections and some of Europe’s biggest volume whitewater.

Central and Eastern Austria are often undeservedly overlooked, and very definitely off the British radar. While most tourists flock to Tirol, Gesäuse National Park offers a quieter and more soulful vibe. Deep gorges guarded by verdant forests conceal beautiful emerald-green rivers like the Enns and Salza, lined by white beaches of the same limestone they curve through. The river water is so clean it’s classed as the highest quality of drinking water, naturally filtered by the rock as it tumbles through technical boulder garden rapids and over steep drops and waterfalls.

Kayak im Gesäuse

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