Austria is a beautifully scenic country at any time of year with spectacular mountain landscapes and clear rivers and lakes. There are activities to suit all ages and abilities and it’s a fabulous walking destination. Historic cities are full of Renaissance and Baroque influence so perfect for art and culture. This is the home of mountain goats, yodelling and apple strudel!
The crystal clear alpine lakes and rivers are great for swimming, sailing or rafting and there are other adventure activities such as canyoning and biking. There are plenty of walking and hiking trails, join an escorted group or do your own thing here. Austria also has some great spas to enjoy some pampering after your energetic mountain activities! The people here are welcoming and friendly, join them in the bars and village festivals and get to know the locals.
Vienna, located on the River Danube, is a great city break option and was the seat of power for the Austrian Empire, retaining a great number of monuments and historic palaces. It is a melting pot of waltzes, coffee houses, Art Nouveau and imperial splendour and a must for Arts lovers. Visit the Leopol Museum and the Liechtenstein Palais. Tickets to venues such as the Spanish Riding School with it’s classical Lipitzaner horses or to the Vienna Boys Choir, should be booked in advance, especially in peak season. Take a horse drawn carriage tour or ride a tram round the Ringstrasse and visit the musuems, Opera House, Parliament and University. The Tiergarten here is the world’s oldest zoo, located at the Schonbrunn Palace. In winter enjoy the festive markets at Christmas in Vienna and other Austrian towns.
Another lovely city is Salzburg, on the Salzach River and birthplace to Mozart and setting of the ‘Sound of Music’. This is a Baroque city, dominated by a 900 year old castle and surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of mountains, rivers and forests. There is plenty of charm and romance here and it’s quite a compact town so easy to wander the cobbled streeds which are packed with historic buildings and elegant squares. There is a Summer music festival and various classical and jazz concerts throughout the year. Take a boat trip (or join a river cruise holiday through Austria). Salzburg and Vienna make a great two centre city break holiday.
Head for the outdoor life in the mountains and there are plenty of attractive towns and villages where you can stay in alpine chalets and pretty guesthouses. Kitzbuhel is a great ski destination, but in the summer has plenty of walking trails, gorgeous Lake Schwarzsee and rafting and canoeing activities nearby. The medieval 700 year old town centre has great restaurants, boutique shops and trendy bars. Innsbruck is another pretty mountain activity centre. Travel by train, use cable cars or self drive, there are endless transport options here.
Austria is full of picture postcard, chocolate box villages – explore the Tyrolen landscape, swim in the lakes or cycle the lanes – however you want to travel through Austria, you’ll enjoy the clear mountain air and vibrancy of this lovely alpine country.