MoaAlm, Austria – Travel Review
Living the ‘Good Life’ in the Austrian Alps
by Lottie Joynes
Holidays of the past have often resulted in overindulgence, lethargy and laziness. But as more people than ever take up the challenge of ‘veganuary’, yoga participation is soaring and the call for responsible travel grows. Holidays have become more than a break from the daily grind, rather, a chance for you to explore and create change within yourself.
In search of a holiday that would challenge me to become healthier and happier, I came across the small ‘WearActive’ company. Run by cricket-loving Yorkshireman, Craig, and his wife Xania. The two former PE teachers have developed the ‘relaxingly active’ holiday concept in a remote retreat, high in the Austrian Alps. It is a healthy balance of fresh Alpine air, alternative mountain activities and great home-cooked, plant-based food. With a daily dose of yoga alongside space and time to relax in a stylishly designed home, complete with wood-fired hot tub, a holiday at MoaAlm promised to leave me rejuvenated and refreshed.
“Breathtaking Alpine scenery”
Situated at 1800m, MoaAlm is a superb base from which to explore the breathtaking mountains of East Tyrol, Austria. It sits right on the edge of the Hohe Tauren National park, where lynx and ibex still roam. In the summer the mountainsides are cloaked in vibrant green, studded with alpine flowers and birds soaring overhead.
MoaAlm’s in-house mountain guide offers daily hikes exploring remote waterfalls, hanging bridges and idyllic mountain huts. In the winter, the guide and guests slip on their snowshoes and undertake peaceful hikes through snow laden forest trails to discover ancient churches, and spot winter hares and foxes.
More than hiking, MoaAlm offers the opportunity to try a range of alternative activities. Cross country skiing is on the agenda for winter guests, and for an adrenaline rush you can sledge down the MoaAlm road on a traditional Rodel to the village, where live traditional music is played at the local bars and restaurants. Plus, skiers and snowboarders will not be disappointed. From MoaAlm you can ski straight out the door to the GG resort, so called for the stunning Grossglockner mountain that peaks above the valley.
“Relax and reset”
If all that sounds a little too much like hard work for a holiday, it helps to remember that a holiday at MoaAlm is highly personalised to your needs and ability. Group sizes are limited, and within a day of arriving, I had found myself a whole new set of friends, each on their own journey to a more relaxed, healthy life.
The cleverly designed interior of MoaAlm lends itself to relaxation, but the highlight was the yoga studio with panoramic views of the mountains. With a resident teacher, there is a focus on yoga practice remaining light-hearted and fun. Every level is welcome and a mixture of yoga styles are offered. I found that within a week of excellent instruction, I had come to see yoga as more than just an hour long stretching class, but a mindset that I could incorporate into all areas of my life.
“Exciting and original”
Great, healthy, home cooked food is a vital part of the `WearActive’ concept. Each evening I enjoyed hearty three course dinner accompanied by local Austrian wine. The plant based meals are made with ingredients that are organic, locally sourced and seasonal.
The chefs at MoaAlm make huge efforts to keep up to date with developments in plant based cooking, and keep their menu as sustainably sourced as possible. They have recently worked with Austrian chefs to develop vegan variations of traditional Austrian classics, so guests can experience Austrian food without sacrificing their diet. Food influence also comes from further afield, with chefs taking inspiration from Croatian, Indian and Asian cooking. This certainly made the dinner table interesting with travel tales and stories about our day in the hills mingling in the warm haze of an evening spent among friends.
“Vast mountain arena”
On my last night at MoaAlm from the wood fired hot tub, I watched the the sun slip behind the hills and the stars appearing, framed by the vast mountain arena that MoaAlm resides in. My week had seen me try exciting new activities, uncover some of the history and traditions of Alpine Austria, make a new group of friends and challenged me to return home with a new mindset, inspired and rejuvenated. MoaAlm has proven that holidays can and should be be about escaping and unwinding, but at the same time have the ability to kick start an active, healthier, relaxed you.
Summer holidays from €1110 per person per week
Winter holidays from €1200 per person per week
Nearest Airports: Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt (winter only)