The Mieders Alpine coaster or summer toboggan run is one of the top mountain attractions in the Innsbruck region. You will understand why once you’ve blitzed down the 2,8km track for the first time. Which is why I’m starting with a tip: Never buy only one ticket and end up paying double if you want to go again! Read all about the pricing structure and the other (free) mountain attractions of the Serlesbahnen in Mieders Austria.
With a difference in altitude of 640 m, the Mieders Alpine coaster is one of the steepest of its kind in the world. No wonder you can reach speeds of up to 42km/h while navigating your way around 40 bends.
The Mieders Alpine coaster track starts at the Koppeneck mountain station of the Serlesbahnen (the cableway in Mieders in the Stubai Valley near Innsbruck) and ends at the valley station. The track winds its way through the trees and over the cableway clearing. To get to the top, you must either walk or take the cable car. Naturally, most people opt for the quicker, easier way.
It’s natural to get butterflies in your stomach before getting into the Serlesblitz, as the coaster is officially called, for the first time. However, there is no need to worry. The coaster cars are easy to handle. All you must do is hold on to the brake lever between your legs and pull it back when it feels like you’re on a runaway train. You can avoid that feeling by taking it slow for the first 100 m or so until you get the hang of it. And pay attention to signs next to the track warning you about steep parts and when to slam on the brakes.
Children riding on their own (Mattheus did his first solo ride at age 7) sit on a special cushion to make them more secure if they are small in stature. Small kids ride in the same car with an adult. You can also ask for two cars to be joined, with the more experienced driver sitting in front. And of course, everyone must buckle up.
The worst thing that can happen to you on the Alpine coaster? To have a slow coach in front keeping you up when you are pretending you have no brakes. For this reason, leave enough room between you and the next person when you start.
Prices and opening times
The more you ride, the cheaper it gets. The fee structure looks complicated at first, with different discounts applying for families and the holders of the Freizeitticket Tirol and the Stubai Card. Children are divided into 4 different age groups, with those under 6 riding for free.
Here are a few basic prices (without discounts) to give you an idea what to expect.
1 x cable car + Alpine coaster = €14,30 per adult and €5,80 per child (6-9 years)
3 x cable car + Alpine coaster = €34,40 per adult and €21,20 per child (10-14 years)
Opening times – 09:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday, and till 18:00 over weekends during the peak season from the end of June to the beginning of September. More details and dates are available here. (Unfortunately, the only up-to-date link is in German)
Read more: Our top 4 things to do in Stubai in summer
Free water attractions
If you think the ride up and down the mountain is a bit pricey, the good news is that the Mieders Alpine coaster isn’t the only attraction of the Serlesbahnen cable car.
There is a lot more value for your money at the Koppeneck mountain station in the form of the Serlesseen and Serleswasser. These are some man-made lakes with a variety of water play features. While the kids try out all the fun activities, the adults can enjoy some quiet moments on a picnic blanket or stroll around the bigger lake in the shadow of the Serles mountain.
Serleswasser or Serles Water is a relatively new summer attraction of the Serlesbahnen in Mieders, Austria. It includes a wooden water canal system, a giant sandpit with jungle gym, and a wooden float that can be pulled across one of the lakes. The attractions are free to enjoy by all, but take heed of the general rules and regulations posted at the gates. For example, proper swimming isn’t allowed even if it is a water attraction and most children get partly or thoroughly wet.
Hiking, eating and drinking
The Koppeneck mountain station is a good starting point for a few short and easy hikes. Those to mountain huts or restaurants are very popular.
Almgasthof Hochserles – Right next to the Koppeneck mountain station above the Serlesseen. There is a nice outside seating area overlooking a playpark with swings and slides for the kids.
Ochsenhütte – A traditional mountain hut restaurant, only a short walk (about 30 minutes) to the left of the Koppeneck mountain station. It also has a children’s play area.
Maria Waldrast – The one-hour hike to Europe’s highest functioning monastery, Kloster Maria Waldrast, is perhaps the most popular. It is also possible to sleep here.
Alpengasthof Sonnenstein – This mountain restaurant is a 45-minute downhill walk from the Koppeneck mountain station.
Of course, you can also take your own picnic basket and enjoy it next to one of the lakes.
The good news for those with small children or elderly parents is that a “train” now runs between Koppeneck and Maria Waldrast. The Serleszug is pulled by a tractor and departs on its scenic route 6 x daily between July and September. It also stops at the Ochsenhütte.
Mieders Alpine coaster must-knows
- The German word for an Alpine coaster is Sommerrodelbahn. Officially, the Mieders Alpine coaster is called the Serlesblitz (Serles lightning bolt).
- If you like the idea of cows and the sound of their bells in an Alpine pasture, this is the place to find them. They were all around the Serlesseen on the day of our last visit. You’re not allowed to take pictures while riding the Mieders alpine coaster. An action camera tied around your stomach or head is the best solution to film your ride.
- The Alpine coaster shuts down if there is the slightest chance of rain. The kids were very disappointed when they missed their third turn because of a looming shower. They had to take the cable car down but were given a complimentary ticket each.
- The above information only applies to the summer months, roughly from May to October. In winter, the area around the Mieders Alpine coaster is a ski resort. Please double check the opening status, especially in May and October, on the official websites of the different attractions and restaurants.
Read more: If you like the Mieders Alpine coaster and the Serles water play area, you will also like the Muttereralm Adventure Playpark
Where to stay in Mieders
With so much happening on the Serles mountain and in the Stubai Valley in general, you can easily spend 3 or more days here. It’s even a good base for exploring Innsbruck, which is only a 15-minute drive away. In summer, guests staying in the Stubai valley get a Stubai Super Card which gives them free access to many services and attractions.
Staying within walking distance from the Mieders Alpine coaster is possible with the following options.
Hotel Serles – The Hotel Serles is just down the road from the Serlesbahnen valley station. We stayed here to go skiing on the Stubai glacier in winter and can thoroughly recommend it. The location is great, the food is excellent, and guests can opt to go on organised outdoor activities in summer as well as winter.
Best self-catering accommodation
Milcherhof – The Milcherhof is an absolutely stunning apartment only 500 m from the Mieders Alpine coaster valley station. It sleeps up to 6 people and has every amenity you can think of. Naturally, it is very popular with regular guests returning year after year. Click here to check availability and to book apartment Milcherhof now.
Best budget accommodation
Ferienwohnung Driendl – A bit more basic and some say it could do with a facelift, but the Ferienwohnung (holiday apartment) Driendl is in the center of the village with everything you need nearby. If you are going to be out and about exploring all day, you won’t need more than this to come back to in the late afternoon or evening. Click here to book the Ferienwohnung Driendl.