The Gail river

Lifeline flowing through the heart of Carinthia

From its moorland source in East Tyrol, the Gail river flows through Carinthia and into the Lesachtal Valley, an area in the west of Austria's southernmost province which is today still an untouched haven of natural beauty and home to many endangered animals and rare plants. From the Lesachtal Valley, the river continues on through the Nassfeld holiday region in the Gailtal Valley, a paradise for holidaymakers, sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. The river, which measures a total of 122 km in length, ends in the town of Villach, where it flows into the Drau.

Follow the river by bike

Passing through dense forests and impressive mountain landscapes, the Gail is a natural guide to some of the most beautiful sights in Carinthia. The cycle path "Radweg R3" runs along the banks of the river downstream from Kötschach-Mauthen to Villach, from where cyclists can travel back to Nassfeld by train. However, the Gail river itself also offers plenty of water-based action, adventure and relaxation.

Swimming and relaxing

During the hot summer months, there is no better place to cool off than on the banks of the Gail. The fresh mountain water, untouched nature and shady forests that line the river make for a relaxing day out.


Tip! Fly fishing is also possible on the Gail from 15 April.

Wildwater adventures

Visitors looking for an adrenaline rush will enjoy the 30 km of whitewater and can choose from rafting, kayaking and canoeing. The whitewater is divided into three sections:


  • top section: Bichl – St. Lorenzen, 10 km
  • middle section: St. Lorenzen – Birnbaum/Nostra, 10 km
  • bottom section: Birnbaum/Nostra – Wehr vor Körtschach, 10 km


With its many steps, twists, turns and steep sections, the river is a natural playground which caters for watersports enthusiasts of all abilities. Don't miss out on this unique journey down a unique waterway!


Tip! Family rafting is FREE OF CHARGE for holders of the "+CARD holiday" during the low season and -30% during the high season.