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If you spontaneously decide to spend a day boating, bicycling, or fishing, the staff at any local hotel should be able to tell help you out. Here's a list of outfitters who can help with advance planning and, in some cases, link you with a choice of specialized tours.

Biking -- Carinthia's gentle contours are ideal for cyclists. The tourist office in the Rathaus (tel. 0463/5372223) in Klagenfurt rents bicycles for 10€ ($16) per day.

Boating -- The reception staff at virtually any lakeside hotel can arrange boating lessons and boat rentals, but two local experts are Segel-und-Surfschule Wörthersee/Berger, Seecorso 40, Velden (tel. 04274/26910), and Flaschberger Georg, Seeuferstrasse 130, Pörtschach (tel. 04272/2743). These two outfits or any of the dozens of other bootverleih (boat-rental agencies) can help you arrange windsurfing, canoeing, or sailing, and, where it's allowed, even rent you a motorized craft for fishing.

Fishing -- Any local tourist office can provide you with the worthwhile pamphlet "Kärnten Fischen," which explains the rules and procedures involved with a fishing expedition. Some hotels adjacent to important lakes offer fishing packages that include rooms, boat rentals, guides, and equipment in one price, and most hotel staff are well versed.

Golf -- Some of the most appealing golf games in Austria are configured at sites that are relatively close to Carinthia's most beautiful lakes. From May to October, Carinthian golf is in full swing. The best of the district's golf courses include Golfanlage Moosburg-Pörtschach, A-9062 Moosburg (tel. 04272/83486; www.golfmoosburg.at). A nearby golf academy, Golfakademie Moosburg-Pörtschach, A-9062 Moosburg (tel. 04272/82302), offers lessons on the same course. Another fine course is Golfclub-Austria Wörthersee, Golfstrasse 2, A-9062 Moosburg (tel. 04272/83486). Each of the courses mentioned above has 18 holes, a par of 72, and greens fees of 65€ ($104).

Hiking -- Every lakeside resort has marked trails branching out over the mountains or through valleys. In summer, Carinthia is host to hordes of hikers. The Ossiacher See area is especially suited for hiking, as are Hochosterwitz and Friesach. Some of the best hiking is possible from the towns of Bad Kleinkirchheim, Feld am See, and Millstatt. Ask at the local tourist office for information and maps.

Skiing -- Carinthia doesn't have the mountains or facilities for skiing like Vorarlberg or Tyrol, but Friesach is emerging as a major ski area, attracting cross-country skiers in particular. The top ski resort is Bad Kleinkirchheim.

Swimming & Watersports -- All the major lakes contain public beaches, and the waters are among the purest in Europe. You can drink from them safely, although we don't recommend this. In late summer, lake temperatures reach about 75°F (24°C), making them ideal for swimmers. If you'd like to combine your swimming with more serious watersports, check with such outfitters as Segel-und-Surfschule Wörthersee/Berger, Seecorso 40, Velden (tel. 04274/26910), or Flaschberger Georg, Seeuferstrasse 130, Pörtschach (tel. 04272/2743).

Tennis -- Most major resorts have their own courts; we particularly like Villach and its satellite areas. Try the courts at Tennisplätz-ASKÖ, Landskron, Süduferstrasse at Villach (tel. 04242/41879), or Tenniscamp Warmbad at Warmbad-Villach (tel. 04242/32564).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.