Holiday rentals in Austria
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Your guide to Austria
Welcome to Austria
From the alpine mountains and meadows in the west to the lush valleys and vineyards in the east, Austria is a place that sparkles with natural beauty. The slopes of the Tyrol, dotted with medieval villages and fairytale castles, boast some of the best skiing in the world. The glacial lakes of Salzburg and Carinthia sit beneath a backdrop of breathtaking peaks and pastureland. Austria also claims Europe’s highest waterfall and the world’s largest accessible ice cave, while its major cities are baroque treasure troves of art and architecture, the legacy of the 600-year-old Habsburg Empire. Austria is the cradle of classical music, and the birthplace of Mozart and Haydn. Throw in steepling funicular railways, thrilling mountain passes, abundant orchards, and hot springs, and Austria’s appeal is as crystal clear as its mountain air.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Austria
Thanks to its high-altitude slopes and glaciers, it’s possible to ski in Austria at any time of year. Most pistes, however, are open from November to April, and resorts tend to be at their most crowded in late December and in February. Spring is pretty in the mountains, although it can still be very cold, and the summer resort season begins in May. In June, midsummer is celebrated all over the country with bonfires and other traditions; July and August are the hottest months of the year and filled with major musical and cultural events, such as the famous Salzburg Festival, which has taken place for more than a century, and the Bregenzer Festspiele, held on the largest floating stage in the world. Autumn is a wonderful time for hiking, and from November to February you can witness Vienna’s legendary winter balls.
Top things to do in Austria
Austria’s second city runs at a very different speed than Vienna. The capital of the Styria region reflects the more gentle feel of its Tuscan-style countryside. Its Altstadt (Old Town) is a marvel of medieval alleys, red rooftops, and Renaissance squares, while the tranquil Franciscan monastery in the middle of the city dates from the 13th century.
On the country’s western edge, this tiny province remains an undiscovered gem. Its thousand square miles pack in plenty of typical Austrian delights, from snow-covered peaks and peaceful lakes to dairy pasture (cheese is a big deal here), but its penchant for modernist architecture alongside the traditional is just as fascinating.
The Danube Cycle Path
Covering 200 miles between Passau (just over the border in Germany) and Vienna, this riverbank route passes through some of the Danube’s prettiest valley scenery, ancient towns, and villages. You’ll see forests, meadows, romantic castles, and the foothills of the Alps on this easy-to-cycle path. Whatever you do, don’t miss the city of Linz and the gourmet region of the Wachau vineyards.