Backpacking in Austria
Austria is an ideal destination for an adventurous backpacking holiday at any time of the year. With a vast choice of sporting activities for every season, it is no wonder that increasing numbers of gap year students are choosing to explore Austria for themselves. Backpackers in Austria will find prices for city youth hostels start at around 12 Euros a night for the most basic lodgings, however, if you fancy a trip into the mountains, you can certainly find a welcoming and cheap Austrian B&B for around 20 Euros a night. These guesthouses are generally very comfortable and will serve you a generous continental breakfast. If you are backpacking in Eastern Europe, Austria is a great destination to add to your itinerary; a European East Pass (€160) will get you 5 days unlimited travel on the national rail networks in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Whilst choosing a backpacking holiday in Austria may seem a little unconventional, the relatively cheap accommodation, great transport links, and range of activities, can make it a surprisingly rewarding experience.
Camping in Austria
Ideally suited to the summer seasons, camping in Austria more or less guarantees you a clear blue mountain lake, the purest mountain air, and a friendly local tavern. Choose your campsite according the type of holiday you’re after; the stunning Tyrol region, for example, is famous for its glorious forests and lakes and offers many exciting outdoor activities. Or choose a location near one of Austria’s vibrant cities, such as Salzburg in the north east of the country. Whether you enjoy fishing, hiking, walking, or the more extreme sports such as mountain biking, paragliding and rafting, Austria’s campsites are generally well equipped and offer a good range of activities. A tent for two people for 7 nights will cost you from €250-300 – which may not sound especially cheap, but many boast ‘hotel standard’ facilities and do include some sporting activities.
City Breaks in Austria
‘Music and culture’ best sums up a city break in Austria. Whether you want to visit Mozart’s charming hometown Salzburg, or admire the dramatic gothic architecture of Vienna, Austria offers a wealth of culture for a weekend getaway. Salzburg is drenched in tradition and historical sights; cobbled streets, fountains and gardens; churches and romantic castles. You’ll find tributes to Mozart everywhere, with highly recommended experiences such as ‘The Mozart Dinner Concert’, where guests enjoy Mozart’s music while tucking into gourmet food from his era. In contrast to the quiet elegance of Salzburg, a Vienna break offers visitors vibrant nightlife, excellent shopping and a more cosmopolitan feel. Once the capital of the Holy Roman Empire in the middle ages, Vienna remains architecturally stunning and is ranked third in the world for quality of life. A city break in Graz is also a great idea for the culture-hungry tourist; this colourful city, once again steeped in history, enjoyed its status as Culture Capital of Europe in 2003. Innsbruck, in the heart of the Tyrol region, should equally not be overlooked as a fantastic Austrian city break destination. With pretty renaissance architecture encircled by mountains, this city allows you to combine a ski break with a city getaway and is the perfect choice for a winter holiday.
Corporate Weekend in Austria
What better place to get to know your work colleagues than when you’re orienteering your way down a mountain? Austria offers a good choice of corporate events, whether you are looking for charming conference facilities in a medieval castle, or a team building exercise on the slopes of the Alps, you’ll find it here. Fresh mountain air and a range of activities is the perfect environment to clear out the cobwebs and get your team mentally recharged. Austria’s cities offer some great corporate weekends as well, including a treasure hunt in Vienna which will take you round all the best sights whilst you follow the clues.
Culture and Arts in Austria
Austria scores full marks if you are a culture vulture. Salzburg should be the first port of call for anyone interested in touring a wide variety of art galleries and seeing a number of rare art collections. Housing art from all over the world from the ancient to the contemporary, there is something in Salzburg for art lovers of all different tastes. Music is a highly important part of Austrian culture, with Salzburg being the jewel in the Austrian crown as the hometown of Mozart. Vienna offers a great deal of culture as well; the Museum of Fine Arts exhibits the treasure chambers of Archduke Ferdinand and the baroque collections of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm. You will also find museums housing Roman, Ancient Greek and Egyptian artefacts, as well as art from all over the world. If you fancy a trip outside the cities to find history and culture amongst Austria’s countryside, there are some fantastic tourist attractions, such as Burg Forchtenstein; a stunning Austrian fortress with over 20,000 exhibits from the Turkish wars. It is surprising that Austria is not as famous as some of its European neighbours for its culture; it is a country rich in musical and architectural history, with some vast and fascinating art collections.
Disabled Needs in Austria
If you are trying to find a destination suitable for disabled travellers, Austria is a good choice. Public transport is optimised for disabled access as are the top mountain resorts where you can find activities such as monoskiing and wheelchair hiking. Innsbruck town has a good number of hotels, shops and city attractions that have disabled access, including a walking train for the visually impaired. The Tyrol region’s mountain resorts have some superb activities for disabled guests that include handbike trails, parachuting and hiking. If you have a disability and you would like to learn skiing and other winter sports, contact ‘Freizeir PSO’ (Skiing without hindrances). This association is set up to help people with varying disabilities master the art of skiing; they have worked with disabilities including impaired sight, down syndrome, amputation, paralysis, autism and MS. If you are looking for holidays for disabled people in Austria in the summer months, it may be worth looking up farm holidays, or 'Urlaub am Bauernhof', which is a society of traditional Austrian family run countryside accommodations for the mobility-impaired. If you’re taking a city break in Austria, the Viennese Opera halls, theatres and cinemas have excellent wheelchair accessibility and there are a number of restaurants with menus suitable for the visually impaired.
Family Holiday in Austria
Keeping the whole family entertained while on holiday in Austria is no problem at all. Whatever time of year you are planning to visit, there is always an activity to satisfy every member of the family, even it that's just relaxing by a stunning lake in the heart of the Austrian countryside. A family holiday in Austria will tire you out for all the right reasons; with an abundance of fresh mountain air, sporting activities, and hearty food, a holiday in Austria is as healthy as it is fun. There are a number of Austrian resorts with hotels that cater for families, many of them with professionally trained, English-speaking childminders.
Winter activities for the family include skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and ice-skating. You can always bundle the kids off to ski school during the day where they can learn all the basics while you take on the larger slopes or relax with a hot chocolate. Bike riding holidays in Austria make excellent family breaks in the summer; plan your route in advance and stop off at picturesque mountain villages where you can find traditional Austrian guesthouses for overnight accommodation. The only drawback with an activities holiday for the whole family is that it can be a little more expensive than your usual 'sun, beach, swimming pool' holiday. One good way to keep costs low is to book a hotel that includes meals and activities within your accommodation fee. There are also a wide-range of campsites that make superb family holidays in Austria. With cheap accommodation, some truly stunning locations, and excellent facilities, a camping holiday in Austria might just be the new beach break.
Honeymoon in Austria
It may not spring to mind when you think of ‘honeymoon destination’ or ‘romantic retreat’, but Austria is truly a fairytale land full of warming firesides, sweeping alpine forests, clear blue lakes and breathtaking mountains. Scattered with secluded log cabins and enchanting mountain paths, this is the perfect escape for any couple looking forward to getting away from the hectic whirlwind of their wedding and into a tranquil alpine paradise.
Whether you want to just relax by a crystal clear lake, or take a hike up into the Alps, there are a plethora of activities for couples on their honeymoon in Austria. If you’re looking for adventure and excitement, you can paraglide from the tall peaks or take a thrilling trip down the mountain rapids. Austria’s towns are also oozing with culture and romance; Salzburg is exceptionally elegant, filled with beautiful gardens and a range of music and art museums. Vienna is visually stunning, with gothic architecture and some great shopping, it makes a fantastic day out and is certainly worth a visit. There are a number of tour operators who will tailor a honeymoon in Austria for you so that you can do everything you want to do during your stay.
Naturism in Austria
The Austrians are more liberal than you might think when it comes to nudity. If you are looking for a slightly different naturism holiday where you can lie by a stunning lake, rather than on a sandy beach, Austria may be a surprisingly good choice. There are a growing number of lakeside beaches dedicated to naturism; look out for signs of 'FKK', which stands for 'Freikörperkultur' or 'free body culture', and indicate that there is a nudist area here. If you are planning to visit a naturist resort, be aware that nudity is compulsory and that this rule is taken very seriously.
If you are looking for a naturist resort near Vienna, the 'Naturistenpark Lobau' is a good 'family friendly' campsite with excellent facilities.If you're staying in the south of Austria, 'Rutar Lido' is a holiday village for naturists near to Klagenfurt. This campsite comes complete with an indoor swimming pool for the winter months. If you would like to stay in Central Austria, an expansive campsite by the name of 'Camping Pesenthein' is based on the edge of beautiful Lake Millstätter in the heart of the Austrian countryside. Or, if it is a naturist hotel you're after, Gästehaus Lührmann is a good find. Whilst guests are expected to wear clothes in the restaurant, they are expected to go nude in activities areas such as the swimming pool and steam bath. The glorious Austrian countryside makes you feel you are really 'getting back to nature', so with a good range of naturist resorts, and a culture that increasingly supports the activity, it is an ideal destination.
Couples Holiday in Austria
Austria is the perfect couples’ getaway. Whether you are looking to rest and revitalise in the clear mountain air, or soak up some fine European history on a romantic city break, Austria is a great choice. The culture-rich cities are full of charming restaurants, beautiful architecture and a plethora of museums.
Vienna is a city that deserves to be strolled around at anytime of the year, though it is perhaps prettiest in the spring and summer months. Spend a day of culture and history and then enjoy a romantic meal at a Venetian restaurant followed by a choice of classical concerts. Salzburg is a diamond in Austria’s cultural crown; full of gardens and flowers, secluded fountains and cobbled streets, it is the perfect destination for couples.
Or, if you are looking for a romantic trip to the countryside, Austria offers you some of the very best Alpine views in Europe. With a whole range of activities for couples, including hiking and bike riding, Austria makes an excellent fairytale retreat.
Golf Activity Holiday in Austria
Austria seems to have been purpose built golf holidays; with rolling greens that blend into lakes, the golf you'll play here is as nature intended it. The courses are simply stunning, you'll find them nestled between the magnificent mountains and dotted with crystal clear lakes. There are over 140 popular golf courses located throughout the country; choose one of the many golfing hotels that are situated on the courses, but check in advance whether there are any golfing tournaments going on, as Austria hosts many golf events every year. There are a great selection of resorts that range from the 2-3*quality, to the luxurious 5* 'golf and spa' hotel breaks. Prices for golfing breaks in Austria are also very reasonable; for a 3 night stay in a 3* hotel, half board plus 3 x greenfee, you can expect to pay around €236 per person.
Skiing - Snow Boarding in Austria
Austria is one of the top skiing and snowboarding destinations in Europe. There is an old saying that Austrians were born with skis on, and it certainly seems that this country was purpose built for the sport. The beautiful Alps, which cover a vast proportion of the Austrian landscape, offer you miles and miles of fresh piste and ski runs for every ability – from absolute beginner to ...Austrian standard. If you’re travelling with children, some of the most popular ski resorts are Bad Kleinkirchheim, Gerlitzen, Koralpe and Mallnitz. These offer a good range of beginners’ programmes and have excellent ski school facilities. Skiers and snowboarders looking for great slopes with fabulous ‘après-ski’ nightlife may want to try Nassfeld, St Anton, Schladming, Sölden, Kitzbühel, and Mayrhofen.
The main resorts in Austria are superbly maintained and entertain a wide range of international guests. However, if you fancy getting a taste of the ‘real Austria’, it might be worth moving off the beaten track. Some of the smaller resorts offer equally fantastic facilities, but are a little more ‘Austrian’ in nature, and you are more likely to get a taste of traditional Austrian cuisine and hospitality here. There is a vast accommodation choice for your skiing and snowboarding holiday in Austria; whether you are after a 5 * luxury hotel, or a quaint self-catered chalet in the mountains, you will find a huge choice available to you.
Hiking Activity Holiday in Austria
With majestic mountains, deep evergreen forests and icy blue mountain lakes, a hiking holiday in Austria will have you breath-taken and spellbound. The guided walking and hiking tours available to you will take you to dramatic mountain ridges, through to idyllic green meadows and lush forests. Whether you want to ascend one of the magnificent peaks, or if you are content to navigate your way past valleys and lakes, you will find a tour to suit you.
The Tyrol region has always been attractive to hikers and ramblers; it has over 700km of hiking routes, qualified local guides, accommodation to suit all budgets, and a range of routes to suit all abilities. Visitors go back again and again in order to wend their way through picturesque mountain villages whilst soaking in the pure mountain air. You can also make sure you see what you want to see during your hiking holiday in Austria, whether that is dramatic limestone rock scenery, Alpine peaks, peaceful nature reserves, traditional Austrian villages or stunning mountain lakes.
Cycling Activity Holiday in Austria
Increasingly popular amongst Austrians, mountain biking is now a top sport in the country. With a mountain path to suit every ability, there is no better way to see so much of the beautiful countryside than on a cycling holiday in Austria. The variety of routes is enormous; perhaps you are after a peaceful ride by the winding blue Danube, or maybe the deep green enchanting forestland is more appealing, or maybe you are an adventurist, keen to explore what’s round the next secluded mountain bend. Popular biking trails include the ‘Danube Bicycle Path’, the ‘Salzburg Lakes Bike Tour’ and the ‘Tauern Bike Path’.
Just remember a few safety tips when mountain biking – wear your helmet, even if it’s hot and sweaty! Wear sensible clothing that isn’t loose and won’t get stuck in any spokes, plan your route in advance – getting lost on an Austrian mountain can ruin your holiday! A basic first aid kit with suntan lotion, antiseptic wash and some plasters can come in very useful.
If you want a worry-free biking holiday in Austria we recommend you take a tour package; a week’s biking, tailored to your sightseeing interests, will cost you around 550 Euros, and this includes accommodation, luggage transfers and the bike rental.
Shopping Holiday in Austria
It’s not famous for its shopping like Paris and Milan, but Austria has some very decent shopping centres in the larger towns, as well as some lovely pokey souvenir shops dotted about. There are also a number of markets selling local produce that can be a fun bargain-hunting experience. Legally permitted opening hours for stores are Monday to Friday 5:00 a.m to 21:00 p.m, and Saturday to 18:00 p.m. Vienna is the best place to go if you want some serious luxury or designer stores; ‘Mahü’ is a particularly popular street which contains a vast range of major department stores. Down quaint little alleyways you’ll find some smaller, independently owned stores that offer souvenirs and other trinkets. There are also an abundance of pretty cafes selling fresh coffee and pastries; perfect when it’s time for a break. Austria throws some very colourful market days, so whichever region you’re staying in, see if you can find out when and where the local market is on. Fresh fruit, veg and produce from local farmers is a big feature and you’re bound to enjoy the smell of cooking bacon and maturing cheeses!
Well-being and Spa in Austria
Austria is the natural choice for anyone wanting to get away and relax with some fantastic Alpine spa treatments. There are some splendid luxury spa resorts located deep in the heart of the magnificent Austrian countryside that will have you revitalised and glowing with health by the end of your stay. You will find Austrian hospitality of the highest standard, with a very welcoming and traditional atmosphere. With a terrain rich with minerals and pure mountain springs, it is not surprising that treatments here centre around alpine-infused recipes and superb mountain activities. Whichever treatments you choose, you can be sure to come away from a spa break in Austria feeling de-stressed and very pampered.
Many spa hotels in Austria offer great packages so that, no matter your budget, you can take advantage of a good range of facilities and treatments.
If you prefer a break in one of Austria’s beautiful cities, both Salzburg and Vienna offer a selection of spa hotels with top treatments. Salzburg in particular provides perfect surroundings for that pampering break; with many beautiful gardens for you to wander around, you will come back feeling cultured and centred.
Touring - Driving holiday in Austria
Rated as one of our top ten tour driving destinations, Austria is perfect for a driving holiday - although we cannot say it can properly experienced from the back seat of a car! Savouring the view, taking your time, and going where you want to go, are three top reasons to see Austria by car. Drive up into the mountains, glide through pretty Austrian villages, descend to the lakes and forests on the lowlands. Whatever you want to see, you are the master of your holiday, and taking a car journey through Austria couldn’t be easier. With clear and well-maintained roads, you can drive at your own pace and soak in the sights. Just remember that in Austria you drive on the right, seatbelts are compulsory, children under 12 must not ride in the front seats, and speed limits are taken very seriously, with on-the-spot fines for drivers who do not comply. Expect to drive at around 50km/h through towns, 100km/hour on the open roads, and 130km/hour on the motorways.
Wine Tasting Holiday in Austria
Austrian wine is getting increasing attention from wine-buffs and finds itself on wine lists all over Austria and the rest of the world. The Grüner Veltliner is the most widely planted grape in Austria, and is famous for complementing a wide range of cuisine. Vienna offers some great wine tasting tours, including particular favourite, the "tour of tastes", which gives visitors a taste of wines from Austria’s different regions including the Burgenland, the Danube River Valley and the Kamp River Valley. You can also try wine from Vienna itself which is famous for being the only capital city in Europe that has vineyards within the city walls. If you are interested in doing a full Austrian wine tour, there is a special 4-night journey around the country that has become popular. Tour from Vienna to the heart of the wine country, Krems, and then take a boat down the Danube. You will also visit the Wine Experience Centre which is full of exhibitions on Austria’s regional wines. The package is expensive, at over 900 Euros per person, however it includes luxury hotel accommodation (including breakfast), private transfers, guided tours, entrance to a number of exhibitions, 3 evening meals and the wine tasting experiences.