Want to go skiing this winter but don’t want to take the lifts? Then cross-country skiing is the sport for you! Cross-country skiing involves cruising through beautiful nature on tiny skinny skis, and it’s set to become THE sport of 2021. Not only is it an awesome way to get fit (you can burn up to 500 calories an hour) but it also takes place on pristine snowy trails, far away from the crowds.

Four of the Best Cross-Country Skiing Areas Near Innsbruck

Are you ready to try cross-country skiing? Here are four of Innsbruck’s top cross-country areas to try out this winter.

1. Mieming: Best For Scenery

The Mieminger Plateau is probably one of the most beautiful parts of the Innsbruck region, and it’s a cross-country mecca. With a whopping 17 trails spread across the plateau, there really is something for everyone, whether you’re a cross-country expert or just giving it a go for the first time.

But what Mieming is particularly known for is its stunning scenery. And I don’t just mean mountain views (although it has plenty of those too). Many of Mieming’s best trails take you through picturesque forests, where the only things you’ll hear are the birds and the sound of your skis gliding across the crisp snow. Norway, eat your heart out.

There’s nothing like a snowy forest on a crisp winter’s day. © Innsbruck Tourismus / Christian Vorhofer

2. Axams: Best For A Quick Lap Or Two

Only got a spare couple of hours? Then head to Axams. This cute little village is just 15 minutes from Innsbruck city centre and home to a great 4.5km trail that is ideal for beginners. You can access the trail at different points in Axams and its neighbouring village of Birgitz, and expect to see lots of locals out for their morning run.

Top tip: Head to Axams on a sunny afternoon in February or March and watch the sun set behind the Rangger Köpfl mountain. You’ll be treated to a dazzling light show as you shoop your way around the trail.

Now THAT is a backdrop. © Innsbruck Tourismus / Christof Lackner

3. Rinn: Best For Peace And Quiet

The village of Rinn is also home to some pretty amazing cross-country trails. There’s the “Golf Trail”, situated on the golf course, as well as two panorama trails with absolutely stunning views of the Nordkette mountains. Panorama Trail 1 is particularly good for beginners and a great place to get your cross-country ski legs.

Rinn is also a good place for beginners (and anyone who likes their own company) as it’s so quiet. You can easily do a whole trail without meeting another soul. There’s no jumping in and out of the tracks, trying to overtake people. You can simply take the trail at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful scenery on all sides.

You’ll never see more than three people on a trail in Rinn. © Innsbruck Tourismus / Irene Ascher

4. Lüsens: Best For Just About Everything

Ah, Lüsens. You’re gorgeous, you’re snow-sure and you’re home to some of the best cross-country trails in the Innsbruck region (if not the whole of Austria). Lüsens is set in a dramatic valley close to the ski resort of Kühtai, and it’s the place to go for majestic peaks and glaciers. It’s also situated at an altitude of over 1600m, meaning the snow lasts here right through until April.

And when it comes to the trails on offer, you simply can’t beat Lüsens. From the death-defying black Waterfall Trail to the gorgeous Sport Trail (including views of the aforementioned glaciers), you are spoilt for choice. There’s even a couple of beginner trails that are almost entirely flat and great for learning. Who wouldn’t want to learn cross-country skiing in an environment as beautiful as this?!

Taking a break in Lüsens. © Innsbruck Tourismus / Christian Vorhofer