What could be better than being on top of a mountain in summer, enjoying the panoramic view, looking over the valley and literally standing above everyday life? The most comfortable way to head uphill is on a cable car or chairlift. That way you can cover a few hundred metres in altitude and you can save your energy for the top. And there’s plenty to discover and experience once you get there.
A mountain full of ghosts?!
Last week, accompanied by my six-year old nephew Elias, I tried and tested this attraction in the Salzburger Sportwelt, in St. Johann-Alpendorf to be exact. In the summer months you can take the Alpendorf cable car up to the “Ghost Mountain”, which sounds really exciting. Where in winter skiers have a great time, in summer there’s fun for all the family with a number of play stations.
The fun starts in the valley
When you arrive at the cable car station in St. Johann-Alpendorf you’ll find a large adventure playground. However, our destination is the mountain, so we head on upwards on the cable car. After a short journey of around ten minutes we reach the mountain station, from where you take the path up towards the Ghost Mountain. Some families have small children in pushchairs, which is no problem as the path is wide enough and suitable for pushchairs. Transporting them on the cable car is no problem either.
After a short walk, which can also be undertaken with small children, the adventure can begin. The Ghost Train, a tractor pulling a carriage, transports us up to the centre of the Ghost Mountain.
An adventure playground at airy heights
Here you’ll find an adventure playground of a very special kind – spread out around the peak of the Gernkogel. Air, earth, water and fire ghosts attract you to the various stations. The walk between the stations is no problem, though the area covers the mountain extensively. Yet when there’s so much to explore you soon forget about walking. A new highlight is the Ghost Castle towering over the Ghost Lake and has been the central feature for over two years now. The four connecting towers can also be climbed – a fun activity.
Looking for ghosts!
Equipped with the Ghost Mountain medal and stickers which we received at the lift cash desk, we head off from station to station. We learn interesting facts about the legends of the region. Did you know for example that the word “Krampus“ comes from the words “grampus orca“ which literally means “frightening creature of the underworld”? Plus information boards tell you which ghost stickers need to be stuck where on your medal.
And here are lots of features for playing, climbing, paddling and crawling everywhere. You certainly won’t get bored and time flies by. At some point we stop for refreshment at one of the two huts, which also cater for little ghost hunters. With menus in the shape of Spuki and Gspensti, the two Ghost Mountain mascots and dishes such as the “Dragon“ the lunch break is also a fun experience.
At the end of an exciting day we head back down to the valley on the cable car, where we pick up a small reward for our successful ghost hunt to take home at the cash desk.
But wait a minute – there’s another playground at the valley station. We’ve still got a bit of energy left over for a few rounds on the mini go-kart course.
Photo credits: Snow Space Salzburg Bergbahnen Sankt Johann