Holidays to Austria are all about the scenery. Choose where to go based on the views and plan your days around the mountain meadows, cultural cities and blue lakes once you’re there. Here are our five favourite sights to get you started.
Hop on the bright red cog train in St Wolfgang and it’ll chug-chug you up to the peak of Schafberg mountain. Austria’s oldest mountain inn, Hotel Schafbergspitze, meets you at the top with coffee, cake and stand-out views. This peak gets 360-degree panoramas across Austria’s equivalent of the Lake District and as far as Germany. Stay in St Wolfgang, St Gilgen or Fuschl and you’re less than half an hour from the Schafberg railway.
This stretch of still, blue water is edged by meadows and fragrant pine forests, with the Austrian Alps peeking out behind. It looks exactly how you’d imagine Austria to look, and is a popular locals’ swimming spot, so you can paddle, bathe or just cool your feet in the water on a hot day. The lake’s a pleasant walk from sophisticated, medieval-walled Kitzbühel and is easy to reach from St Johann.
The home of Mozart is packed with famous views, sights and sounds. You could spend a leisurely afternoon enjoying one or two in this musical city, or fit them all into one day. Start at the colourful flower beds and grand fountains of the Mirabell Gardens, before relaxing with a drink on a shaded terrace overlooking the Salzach river. The Sound of Music was filmed here, and you can either take the official tour or have a wander and see how many scenes you can spot yourself. The most famous view should be left for last – the cathedral and city rooftops as seen from the fortress walls. Stay in Salzburg or join us on a day trip from most of our Austrian resorts.
No list of Austria’s best views is complete without its oldest and most photographed village, Hallstatt. It’s UNESCO protected and much loved for the Gothic lakeside church, subterranean lake, salt mines and funicular railway. The village is beautiful at water level but also from above – take the cable car from Obertraun and you can walk to the 5Fingers viewing platform, which reaches out above the lake. Hallstatt is a bus or train journey from St Wolfgang, St Gilgen and Fuschl.
Central Europe’s tallest waterfalls are in the Hohe Tauern National Park, a lush landscape of glacier fields, lakes and forests teeming with wildlife. The falls cascade from three tiers and you can walk up a path along the side to take in the very different views from each stage. Or just watch from the bottom and feel the refreshing spray coming off the water – it’s said to have healing powers. Come with us to the Krimml falls from most of our Austrian resorts, or take the local Pinzgauer train from Zell am See or Kaprun.
Chosen your favourite? Get to know Austria and then let us take you there on our Austrian Lakes & Mountains holidays
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Author: Clarice Hine
Published: July 19, 2019
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