There's plenty to do outdoors in the dramatic high-altitude landscapes in Tyrol. If you don't want to make plans until you arrive, that's fine: Every hotel, inn, and pension in the region is well versed in where, when, and how you can fish, swim, ski, play tennis, or work out at a local spa. But if you want to plan in advance, here's a list of specialists who can help you plan your outdoor adventure and, in some cases, link you with specialized tours.
The best outfitter for arranging specialized tours, such as mountain climbing and hiking, is David Zwilling, Waldhof 64, A-5441 Abtenau (tel. 06243/30690; www.outdoorconsulting.com). This outfitter will also arrange other tours including white-water rafting, biking, and even paragliding.
Many areas of Tyrol are simply too rocky and steep for cycling. With a bit of planning, however, you can usually limit your cycling to trips up and down valleys that separate the region's many mountains. You can arrange rentals at Sport Kaserer, Bilgeristrasse 18, Innsbruck (tel. 0512/377247; www.tirol.at), and at Schönherr Sport, Stubaitalstrasse 79, at Neustift (tel. 05226/369043; www.schoenherr.cc).
Canoeing & Rafting
For canoeing and white-water rafting, contact either branch of Sportschule Fankhauser (www.oetztalrafting.com), and a specialist in conducting waterborne excursions. The company's branches consist of one at A-6382 Kirchdorf (tel. 05352/62101), 35km (22 miles) from Innsbruck, and one at A-6425 Haiming (tel. 05266/88116), 40km (25 miles) from Innsbruck.
In winter, you can check with the tourist offices to find out about snow conditions. The staff will also tell you how to get to the major ski areas. One of the top three outfitters is Schischule Seefeld, 6100 Seefeld (tel. 05212/2412; www.schi-seefeld.at). The other two are in the nearby alpine hamlet of Igls: Platzer Wolfgang jun KEG, Eichlerstrasse 16 (tel. 0512/377377; www.snowsport-igls.com), and Schischule Igls-Patscherkofel, Bilgeristrasse 18 (tel. 0512/377383).
Some of the best trout and carp fishing in Austria is in the streams and lakes near the town of Kössen, about a 30-minute drive north of Kitzbühel. A fishing license is priced at 28€ ($45) per day for the Kolhbach or Weissenbach Rivers, or 12€ ($19) per day for the Taubensee. Licenses are for sale at the Kössen Tourist Office (tel. 05375/62870), which is open Monday to Friday 9am to noon and 2 to 4pm, Saturday 9am to noon.
Many of the golf courses in Tyrol are private, but at some, you can call in advance to reserve a tee time. Well-respected courses that welcome newcomers include the Golfclub Rinn, A-6074 Rinn (tel. 05223/78177; www.alpinegolf.com), 10km (6 miles) south of Innsbruck, and Golfclub Lans, A-6072 Lans (tel. 0512/377165), 8km (5 miles) south of Innsbruck. A bit farther afield is Golfacademy Seefeld, Reitherspitzstrasse, A-6100 Seefeld (tel. 05212/3797; www.golfacademy-seefeld.at).
Austria's most dramatic mountain climbing occurs on the rocky (and sometimes icebound) slopes of Tyrol, particularly at St. Anton, Mayrhofen, Kitzbühel, and Saalbach/Hinterglemm. One of the best outfitters is Martin Ripfl-Marx, owner of Tirolalpin Berg-Sport-Zentrum, Seewald 11, A-6105 Leutasch (tel. 05214/515210; www.tirolalpin.at). Set in an alpine hamlet 5km (3 miles) northwest of Seefeld, this outfitter offers physically fit adventurers a series of climbing excursions in the Tyrolean Alps. Trips range from a half-day initiation course for beginners (42€/$55 per person), to weeklong, high-endurance exposures to such alpine activities as rock and ice climbing, and "canyoning" down streambeds deeply eroded into layered bedrock. A worthy competitor closer to Innsbruck is the Alpinschule, In der Stille, A-6161 Natters (tel. 0512/546000; www.alpinschule.com).
If the idea of navigating the tricky and oft-changing winds from the deck of a sailing craft appeals to you, the best and most comprehensive sailing school in the region is Segelschule Tirol, A-6213 Pertisau (tel. 650/5155850; www.diesegelschule.eu). Headquartered in the lakefront hamlet of Maurach, adjacent to one of the Tyrol's largest lakes (a long and narrow body of water, the Achensee), it offers sailing instruction for all levels of sailors (beginners and advanced) as well as for children and teens. The Achensee, which measures 10km (6 miles) from end to end, lies 35km (22 miles) east of Innsbruck via the A12 superhighway.
Snowboarding & Skiing
Your best bet for snowboarding is to call Austro Tours/Austria Ski (tel. 800/333-5533 in the U.S., or 0664/2004655). This organization also arranges ski trips and winter hiking tours.
There are many tennis courts in Innsbruck, but since they are so popular, you should reserve court time in advance. The best courts are at Tennis & Squash Hallen, Fürstenweg 172 (tel. 0512/284364; www.burkia.at).