Sunday

Austria

One trip to Austria is just not enough! There are majestic mountains reaching up to rolling skies, The Danube Valley, the glorious Pannonia Plain Steppe. So, what happens and where can you find it all? Take a flight to any of the super efficient airports and head off out into the lush countryside.



The Alpine region, known as the Alpbachtal, is found in the west. Land management with traditional farming techniques have ensured that this natural environment is largely unchanged with beautiful countryside. To see all the local tourist spots, its useful to invest in a WildschonauCard – it’s a one off card for access to cable cars, farm shops, museums and guided tours. The Montafont Valley is the perfect place for anyone who wants to walk, trek or use mountain bikes. The bike trails range from 2 - 25 miles long, and travel through some decidedly lush woods. The Zillertal Valley offers up great food and wine – it’s big on organic produce, so you can expect some of the finest and freshest food you’ll ever try. Farming here is little unchanged, with cows producing marvellous milk – which in turn is developed into about 30 types of local cheese! And of course, there is the Tirol region, with its century’s old walking trail and known as one of Europe’s most beautiful long distance footpaths. Whether you are an experienced hiking looking for a few challenges, or someone who enjoys a leisurely stroll, the Tyrol is perfect walking country. The Eagles Walk leads you across meadows and mountains – and yes, the flowers of spring are spectacular.

The Bodensee Vorarlberg is an area made up of several countries, so there are German, Swiss, Austrian influences here – and it’s also known for its dedication to music. Lake Constance is the setting for some it’s fabulous music festivals and a floating stage hosts spectacular opera performances! Feldkirkchs Poolbar Festival is held over six weeks during July and August. It’s held in an ancient indoor swimming pool complex and the focus is art, fashion, music – and great party nights which work really well in this echoing, atmospheric building. If you want something a little more contemplative, try the music of The Abbey of Heiligenkreuz, where Cistercian monks have embraced technology and produce their own recordings of Gregorian Chants.

There are several bargain flight operators that travel to Austria, including Easyjet so pack your walking boots and sunscreen and revel in the crystal clear air of this special place.

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