"Austria Adventure Week" Launches in September, Program Features Alpine Mountain Biking and Trail Running

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"Austria Adventure Week," a new program featuring guided mountain bike rides and trail runs in the Austrian Alps, launches September 5, 2009. Each day, participants can ride or run with a guide or on their own, take part in excursions or activities such as rafting and climbing, or relax in the town, which has roots to medieval times. Many evening activities are also planned including a traditional dinner on an Austrian farm. The program ends with a day and overnight in Salzburg.

"Austria Adventure Week" (http://www.austria-adventure-week.com), a new program featuring guided mountain bike rides and trail runs, launches September 5, 2009, in Leogang, Austria. The region, about an hour south of Salzburg, is in the heart of a 500-mile trail system in the Austrian Alps and is well-known in Europe as a top destination for mountain bikers, hikers and skiers.

Each day, participants can ride or run with a guide or on their own, take part in excursions or activities such as rafting and climbing, or relax in the town, which has roots to medieval times. Many evening activities are also planned including a traditional dinner on an Austrian farm. The program ends with a day and overnight in Salzburg.

"The scenery is stunning, with snow-topped mountains, farms, villages, waterfalls and valleys," says Jim Johnson, owner of BikeToursDirect, the Tennessee-based company organizing the program. "And Austrian hospitality and cuisine are legendary. Even in the mountains, you can break out of dense forest and find yourself at a mountain lodge with superb food and cold drinks."

Riders and runners can depart directly from their hotel or take an adjacent cable car to the summit of mile-high Asitz Mountain, where trails lead back to the valley or deeper into the Alps. Trails are well-marked and range from leisurely, panoramic forest roads to challenging high-alpine circuits and single-track, with routes from two to 50 miles.

The package costs 977 euros--about $1,390 at current exchange rates--and includes seven nights' lodging in Leogang, one night in Salzburg, breakfasts, several dinners, guided rides and runs, and on-site Austrian and American tour organizers.

A package for less active partners is also available, as is a one-week mountain bike training program.

Leogang, located about an hour south of Salzburg, is well-known in Europe for its scenic setting and as a top European destination for mountain bikers and hikers. In addition to being at the heart of a 500-mile trail system, it's also home to Bikepark Leogang, Europe's largest mountain bike park. Mountain bikers can also tackle the park's downhill, free ride, dual slalom and cross trails.

One of the more challenging mountain bike rides is the Four Gondola Tour, which covers 35 miles and climbs 2,200 vertical feet--not including the cable-car rides to four 6,000-foot mountain summits. The focus in on the descent: more than 10,000 feet of downhill, much of it on singletrack. Another, the Hundstein Mountain Tour, features a three-mile climb to the mountain's 6,646-foot summit.

Among the trail runs is the popular Pinzgau Hiking Route, one of the most beautiful high trails in the eastern Alps. After a nearly two-mile cable-car ride to 6,200 feet, runners cover 13 miles along the alpine trail, with nearly constant views to snowy summits and a river valley.

Further information is available at http://www.austria-adventure-week.com, 877-462-2423, or info@biketoursdirect.com.

BikeToursDirect, based in Chattanooga, Tenn., was founded in 2003 and represents more than 40 European bicycle tour companies in 30 countries. Last year, the company organized Europe bicycle tour programs for more than 1,300 clients. The program is offered with support from the SalzburgerLand Tourist Office.

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