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arrive A round trip through Austria

The road to happiness EXCURSIONS Round trips with real appeal  //  CASTLES AND PALACES Impressive witnesses of past epochs  //  THEME TRAILS Routes to discover life at its most beautiful  //  MUSIC IS IN THE AIR Festivals the year round

www.austria.info

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Uncompromisingly at one with the environment. Who would have imagined that architecture can provide a motto for life?

w w w. a u s t r i a . i n f o

Š Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ V o lk e r P re us s e r

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If you ask me.... ... holidays in Austria mean hiking through breathtaking, stupendous landscapes, imbibing moments of utter stillness along the way, recharging with new vital energy. Holidays in Austria, that also means meandering in the soul-searching footsteps of great artists and savouring outstanding culinary delicacies. Yet holidays in Austria also means, more than anything else, encounters with the people who dwell in this land, with their outgoing hospitality and their deepfelt warm-heartedness. Come on out: make a grand tour through Austria, discover the mighty mountain summits, the far-ranging fields, the crystal-clear waters. Immerse yourself in the pulsating lifestyle of the cities, let yourself be enticed and enchanted by the art and the culture. Grant yourself a time-out, a breath of fresh air away from hectic everyday life: enjoy the delicious specialties of each region. And experience a time that will go down in your own personal history as unforgettable. I wish you wonderful holidays in Austria. Petra Stolba, CEO, Austrian National Tourist Office

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ V o lk e r P re us s e r

All this awaits you 02 CITY WALKS Wander through Austria’s nine provincial capitals  05 Escape from the city The top rural routes around some of the regional capitals  06 Excursions Great places to see on unique trails  08 Castles and palaces In the footsteps of emperors and knights  13 THEMED TRAVEL On the most attractive themed routes  14 Convents and monasteries Jewels of sacred architecture  16 MUSIC The best music events  18 Back to nature Magnificent untouched landscapes  20 Body and Soul Well-being at the spa  22 Longing for lakes Crystal-clear waters and recreational bliss  24 Families Fun and adventure for those little travellers and explorers  Insert Map of Austria with numerous tips and practical advice

Proprietor and publisher Österreich Werbung, Margaretenstraße 1, 1040 Wien, ZVR-Zahl: 075857630 Cover photo ÖW/Peter Burgstaller Translation Stanley Hale Graphics Karin Trenkler Foreign language layout Claudia Fritzenwanker Reprographic services R12 Spannbauer Ges.m.b.H. & Co KG Printed by Ueberreuter Print GmbH Effective date April 2013. No responsibility is taken for correctness of information.

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Regional capitals 1

No less than three of the nine Austrian regional capitals have been celebrated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.­ stroll through the charming centre of an ­ historic town brings centuries of history and its personal stories to life. Splendid buildings in the Gothic, Renaissance or Baroque tradition are huddled together along narrow cobblestone streets and medieval squares. Majestic palaces and parks serve as a constant reminder of the pomp and parade of the bygone days of the Imperial Monarchy. However, between these relics of former glories the city pulsates with newfound vitality; icons of modern architecture blend harmoniously with time-honoured cityscapes, while luxurious shopping streets, quaint coffee-houses and the very best cultural events invite you to immerse yourself in the elegance and style that city life has to offer.

Vienna Vienna has twice been honoured as a World Heritage Site, for its historic town centre and for the Baroque palace and park of Schönbrunn. Today’s cityscape owes its abundance of opulent buildings and count-

less cultural treasures to its former role as the official imperial residence. At the heart of the city, the striking St. Stephen's Cathedral serves as an impressive example of Gothic architecture, while the Baroque period is reflected in the palaces of Schönbrunn and the Belvedere, and in the Karlskirche. Then of course there is the monumental and imposing architecture of the Ringstrasse, icons of the Historicism that characterised late 19th century architecture. Vienna has an exceptionally lively art and cultural scene, and is often referred to as the “city of music”. Concerts, opera performances and contemporary music events fill the cultural calendar every day – alongside plays, performance art and exhibitions. Vienna’s distinctive flair comes from its coffeehouse tradition, its rustic ‘Heurigen’ (wine taverns) that lie at the outskirts of the city, and its vibrant markets and shopping areas. Just as charming are the many green spaces and recreational areas, unusual for a city of Vienna’s size, including the extensive Wienerwald, the romantic Prater or the recreational paradise, Donauinsel. T. +43 1 245 55, www.wien.info

Salzburg In 1997 the Baroque old town of Salzburg, home to Mozart and the Festivals, was declared a World Heritage Site. Numerous churches and palaces define the city's image, along with the Baroque palaces of Mirabell and Hellbrunn with their magnificent parkland gardens. Salzburg cathedral and the medieval fortress of Hohensalzburg are further architectural highlights. The Getreidegasse, a narrow medieval street, is also the location of Mozart’s birthplace, and an absolute must for all visitors. The town is famous amongst music and culture enthusiasts alike due to its rich cultural and musical programme. First and foremost is the annual summer programme, which includes the Salzburg Festival, the pinnacle of which is the performance of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s ‘Jedermann’ on the Domplatz, as well as the staging of Mozart’s greatest operas in the Haus für Mozart. T. +43 662 88 98 7-0, www.salzburg.info

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ P e t e r B ur gs ta lle r

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© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ A n d r e as H o f e r (2 )/ Lam me r hub e r (4 )/ Wi e se n ho f e r (5 ); M o st v i e rt e l T o uri sm u s/ we in f ra nz.at (3)

City walks


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Museums’ Quarter in Vienna.The Museums’ Quarter is one of modern Vienna’s most exciting and pulsating focal points. It is an absorbing symbiosis of museums, avant-garde architecture, events and exhibitions, trendy bars and innovative shops. www.mqw.at

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Joanneum Quarter. Austria's oldest public museum complex. The Provincial Library, the New Gallery, the Mulitimedia Collection and the Natural History Museum (as of March 2013) form a vital collection of art, culture and science. www.museum-joanneum.at

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Museum der Moderne, Salzburg.This building with its imposing architecture towers above the old town from its perch on Mönchsberg. Clad in marble, the building provides a spacious setting for art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The rooms of the museum’s restaurant partially extend into the mountain. www.museumdermoderne.at

1 Salzburg: modern art in an historic city 2 The ‘Friendly Alien’: the art gallery dominates the Graz cityscape 3 Sightseeing in St. Pölten 4 Stylish and typical at the same time: a Vienna restaurant

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ An d r e as H o fe r (2 )/ Lam me r hu be r ( 4) /W ie s e n ho fe r (5); M o st v i e rt e l T o u r is mus / w e in fr anz.at (3)

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ P e t e r Bu rg sta lle r

5 Johann Strauss, the famous composer of waltzes

Graz Austria’s second-biggest city is home to two World Heritage Sites: the “Alstadt”, the largest medieval old town in Europe, and Eggenberg Castle with its unique architecture. Further places worth visiting are the Gothic Cathedral, Emperor Ferdinand II’s Mausoleum or the Landhaus, with its Renaissance-style arcaded courtyard. Since 2011, Graz has been the first Austrian city to carry the title of “UNESCO City of Design”, thus ranking amongst the world’s most forward-looking cities. Architectural examples of this are the Kunsthaus art museum and the Murinsel. T. +43 316 80 750, www.graztourismus.at

Innsbruck The special thing about this city is not just its unique location, with its stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Its attractions include the ‘Golden Roof’, the art treasures in the Renaissance Ambras Palace, and the Hofkirche with its memorial to Emperor Maximilian I. Also well worth a visit is

the Bergisel ski jump, designed by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The same architect also designed the station on the Hungerburgbahn, which takes visitors from the city centre up into the surrounding mountains. T. +43 512 59850, www.innsbruck.info

Linz The thrilling conjunction of traditional and contemporary architecture and its vibrant, high-quality cultural scene saw Linz awarded the title “European City of Culture” in 2009. The counterpoint to the Baroque old town is a series of modern buildings: the Ars Electronica Centre, a venue which stages multimedia events, the Lentos Art Museum alongside the Danube, and the newly-opened Musiktheater, the most modern opera house in Europe.. Linz’s local peak is the Pöstlingberg, with its Baroque pilgrimage church, from where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the city. T. +43 732 7070-2009, www.linztourismus.at

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Regional capitals

1 1 Linz owes its title as “European City of Culture 2009” in part to the Lentos Art Museum 2 Fine grapes grown here: near Falkenstein, in the Weinviertel region

Bregenz The ancient Romans settled in Bregenz more than 2,000 years ago. Today the medieval St Martins Tower, with its Baroque onion dome, is the ­distinctive feature in the city centre. Stunning works of ­contemporary architecture fit harmoniously into the cityscape: the Festspielhaus, the Kunsthaus (art gallery) on the shores of Lake Constance, and the “vorarlberg museum”, opened in 2013, with a facade featuring over 16,000 forms of blossom. Music-lovers from all over the world meet up every summer at the Bregenz Festival, with its open-air floating stage. T. +43 5574 4959-0, www.bregenz.travel

One name is inseparably linked with the capital of Burgenland: that of Joseph Haydn. For over 40 years, the composer was choirmaster to the court of Esterházy, In the Esterházy Palace, the emblem of Eisenstadt, concerts are staged all year round, and especially during the Haydn Festival in September. Other reminders of the great composer include the 18th century Haydn Church, the Haydn Mausoleum, and the Baroque Haydn House. The city is situated in an extensive wine-growing area, with many local wine-makers. T. +43 2682 67390, www.eisenstadt-tourismus.at

Linz

St. Pölten

Salzburg

Bregenz

Vienna

Eisenstadt Graz

Innsbruck Klagenfurt

The nine provincial capitals St. Pölten Capital of Lower Austria. Population 52,000. Eisenstadt Capital of Burgenland. Population: 13,000.

St. Pölten

Bregenz Capital of Vorarlberg. Population 30,000.

The youngest provincial capital in Austria boasts a long historical tradition; its municipal charter actually dates back to the 12th century, but St. Pölten really experienced its heyday in the 17th century. The picturesque squares of its old town, the Herrenplatz, Rathausplatz, and Riemerplatz, are adorned with beautiful Baroque and Jugendstil facades. The town hall, the Romanesque-Baroque cathedral and the Jugendstil building which was formerly the synagogue are also well worth a visit. In contrast, take a look at the modern architecture of the Government Quarter and the Cultural District, the Festival Hall in particular. T. +43 2742 353354, www.st-poelten.gv.at

Klagenfurt Capital of Carinthia. Population 95,000. Vienna Austria’s capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Population: 1,700,000. Salzburg Capital of the province of Salzburg and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Population: 150,000. Graz Capital of Styria and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and “City of Design”. Population: 260,000. Innsbruck Capital of Tirol. Population: 140,000. Linz Capital of Upper Austria. Population: 190,000.

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© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ P e t e r Bu rg sta lle r

The picturesque old town of Klagenfurt has already won a number of awards. Baroque and Jugendstil facades line the streets and the arcaded squares, while historic passages and courtyards give the city a Mediterranean flair. Klagenfurt’s emblem, the stone figure of the Lindwurm on the Neuer Platz, acts as a reminder of the legend surrounding the city’s beginnings. Other sights include the 16th century cathedral, the Diocesan Museum and Minimundus, miniature scale models of 150 of the most beautiful buildings in the world. T. +43 463 537 2223, www.info.klagenfurt.at

Eisenstadt

© T o u ri sm us v e rb an d Li n z

Klagenfurt


Escape from the city

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Day trips

Austria’s regional capitals are surrounded by enchanting,

unspoilt countryside, making a day trip to explore your surroundings a real pleasure!

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rom culture to nature. The mountains are within short reach. Within a few minutes you have left a provincial capital and find yourself in a picture-postcard world of mountains and lakes. From west to east, from Bregenz to Vienna.

Across Vorarlberg Bregenz is a wonderful base for touring the province of Vorarlberg by car on its stunning ­mountain roads. The route via Feldkirch and Bludenz takes you to the Montafon and over the Silvretta Alpine Highway, one of the most ­impressive ­panoramic highways in the Alps, to the Paznau Valley in Tirol. From St. Anton am Arlberg, the ­journey continues over the Arlberg Pass and the Flexen Pass to the glamorous ski resort of Lech am Arlberg. The return trip to Bregenz takes you through the forests of the Bregenzerwald, and past Schwarzenberg with its houses typical for the region.

© Ö ste rr e ic h We r bun g / Pet e r Bu rgs tall e r

© T o u ri sm us v e rb an d Li n z

Around Innsbruck Leaving Innsbruck in a south-westerly direction, you’ll reach the tiny villages of Natters and Mutters in the sunny Mittelgebirge, and further on, Sellrain and the beautiful Sellrain Valley. Especially ­attractive is the winding stretch between Kühtai and Ötz in the Ötztal. You continue via Nassereith and Telfs in the Mieminger Plateau nature reserve to Seefeld, another of the region’s jewels, and via Zirl to arrive back in Innsbruck.

Around Salzburg

Around Vienna

From Salzburg the road leads east, passing through the town of Hof into the enchanting Salzkammergut. Continuing along the banks of the Fuschlsee, the road takes you to Fuschl, and from here towards St. Gilgen on the edge of Wolfgangsee. Near Strobl it’s worth making a detour to St. Wolfgang. Continuing eastwards the road takes you to Bad Ischl, the former Imperial Summer Residence and via Bad Goisern to the Hallstätter See. The idyllic environs around Hallstatt have been designated a World Heritage Site. From here the route takes you on to Obertraun. Among the notable attractions here are the ­historical salt mines. Places to see on your return trip: Gosau (Gosau Lakes), the Gschütt pass, Abtenau (Lammeröfen Ravine), Golling (waterfalls) und Hallein (salt mine).

To reach Vienna’s local mountains, Rax, Schneeberg and Hohe Wand you leave the city on the Südauto­ bahn. Take the Wöllersdorf exit and continue towards Piesting, Pernitz, as far as the picturesque little town of Gutenstein. Passing through the romantic Höllental, you reach Reichenau and Gloggnitz. The spectacular railway line over the Semmering pass built in the 19th century, distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, runs from here to Mürzzuschlag. Back to the road, and leaving Gloggnitz, the road takes you to Puchberg and a highly recommended trip on the mountain railway; it takes you right to the summit of the Schneeberg. Between Maiersdorf and Stollhof a toll road takes you to the plateau of the Hohe Wand. The route back to the motorway and Vienna takes you via Dreistetten.

Around Graz The trip from Graz takes you over the Schilcher Wine Trail to Stainz. From here you travel to Kitzeck, the highest wine growing area in Europe, where you can visit the first Styrian Wine Museum. The drive ­continues along the picturesque South Styrian Wine Road (www.suedsteirischeweinstrasse.at) to the towns of Leutschach and Gamlitz. Next is Leibnitz by way of Ehrenhausen. Bad Radkersburg follows with its h­ istorical old town. On the return you will travel through the specialist ham-producing region and v­ olcanic geography of Styria’s ‘Vulkanland’, past Klöch, Kapfenstein and Feldbach. Here you might take a detour to Riegersburg or to the Zotter chocolate ­factory. The A2 motorway takes you back to Graz.

Linz Salzburg

Bregenz

Vienna St. Pölten Eisenstadt

Innsbruck

Graz Klagenfurt

Five round trips Around Vorarlberg (c. 280 km, summer only) Around Innsbruck (c. 140 km) Around Salzburg (c. 170 km) Around Graz (c. 170 km) Around Vienna (c. 240 km)

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Excursions 1

On the road

The best routes and excursions through magnificent mountain passes, past spectacular lakes and through beautiful old towns; here the journey itself is the reward!

Grossglockner High Alpine Road A spectacular route, from Fusch onto the Hochtor (2,504 m) at the foot of the Grossglockner (3,798 m), Austria’s highest mountain. A detour to the Kaiser Franz Josephs Höhe is recommended. Blooming Alpine meadows and fragrant mountain forests give way to the stark strength of the rocks and, lastly, to the permanent ice of the glacier. The road is open from May to October inclusive.

Carinthian Lake Tour Journey on Carinthia’s lakes, framed by the province’s hills and mountains: Klagenfurt- Northern

shore of the Wörthersee – Pörtschach – Moosburger Teiche – Feldkirchen – Ossiachersee – Afritzer See – Millstätter See – Villach – Maria Gail – Faaker See – Keutschacher See – Wörthersee – Viktring – Klagenfurt. Special attractions en route: the toll roads on Gerlitzen (1,800 m) near Treffen and on Dobratsch (1,732 m) at Villach, Millstatt Monastery (see p. 14), the Renaissance Porcia Castle in Spittal an der Drau (see p. 8), Maria Gail (parish church), Velden, Maria Wörth (the Pyramidenkogel with its viewing tower).

Along the Danube A route with many highlights of the landscape and culture along the way: Passau – Wilhering – Linz – Grein – Wachau (Melk, Spitz, Weissenkirchen, Dürnstein) – Klosterneuburg – Vienna – Hainburg. Special attractions to visit include the “Donauschlinge” (a scenic arc of the Danube) near Schlögen, the ­monasteries at Wilhering and St. Florian, near Linz (see p. 15), the towns of Enns and Steyr, the ­countryside of the Wachau area (including the

­ onasteries at Melk and Göttweig (see p. 14) and the m villages of Spitz, Weissenkirchen and Dürnstein), the monastery at Klosterneuburg, Vienna, and the Roman excavations at Petronell-Carnuntum, near Hainburg (see p. 25).

Around and about the ‘Wilder Kaiser’ A route characterised by the impressive panorama of the ‘Wilder Kaiser’: Kufstein – Griesenau, with a recommended detour via the Griesener Alm (toll road) – Kirchdorf – St. Johann in Tirol – Kitzbühel – Going, Ellmau, Scheffau – Söll – Kirchbichl – Mariastein (pilgrimage church) – Kufstein. Recommended ­stop-offs en route include the hour’s walk around the Hintersteiner See lake, near Scheffau.

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© Ö s t e rre i ch We rb un g/ P e t e r B ur gsta lle r/ J. Kn o pp /; T V B Wi ld e r Kai se r

n Austria, the journey is every bit as pleasant as arriving at your destination. You pass through fantastic landscapes, over spectacular climbs, alongside picturesque lakes and through old towns. Some routes are especially recommended:

© Ö s t e rre i ch We rb un g/ P e t e r B ur gsta lle r

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Experience Vorarlberg’s highest peaks Starting in Bludenz this round trip takes you through the Montafon. By way of Schruns-Tschagguns, St. Gallenkirch, Gortipohl and Gaschurn you travel past Partenen on the Silvretta High Alpine toll road, one of the most beautiful panoramic highways in the Alps. It is 22.3 km long and over more than 30 switchbacks it leads to the 2,032 m Bieler Summit. The Silvretta reservoir and the view of the mountains are breathtaking. The trip continues to Galtür and Ischgl and over the imposing Trisanna Bridge to the upscale ski resorts of St. Anton and St. Christoph am Arlberg. This is followed by the 1,793 metre high Arlberg mountain pass. You return to Bludenz by way of Bergdorfer Stuben and Klösterle through the Kloster Valley. www.silvretta-bielerhoehe.at

4 1 The boat-houses on the Wörthersee enjoy cult status 2 A picnic in the Styrian vineyards Linz Bregenz 8

St. Pölten

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Innsbruck

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3 Frequently spotted in the mountain region of the Grossglockner: the marmot

Vienna

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4 The impressive Wilder Kaiser mountain range defines the landscape around Kufstein

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Eisenstadt Graz

Klagenfurt

Some of the best tours 1

© Ö s t e rre i ch We rb un g/ P e t e r B ur gsta lle r/ J. Kn o pp /; T V B Wi ld e r Kai se r

© Ö s t e rre i ch We rb un g/ P e t e r B ur gsta lle r

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Grossglockner High Alpine Road A breathtaking stretch of road winding from Bruck in Salz­burger Land to Heiligenblut in Carinthia. (c. 48 km) Carinthian Lake Tour From Klagenfurt to Ossiacher See, Millstätter See, Faaker See and Wörthersee. (c. 270 km)

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Along the Danube Follow the Danube from Passau to Hainburg, taking in the Wachau and Viennaon the way. (c. 445 km)

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Around the Wilder Kaiser A circular route from Kufstein in Tirol, around the Wilder Kaiser mountain (c. 90 km).

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Hohe Tauern tour From St. Johann im Pongau to Spittal an der Drau, St. Michael im Lungau and Radstadt (c. 270 km)

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Around the Wölzer Tauern A circular tour from Liezen in Styria, through the Sölktäler Nature Park (c. 200 km)

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Across the lowland plains of the Burgenland ‘puszta’ A circular tour from Vienna to the Neusiedler See, the lakes and Eisenstadt (c. 220 km)

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Through Vorarlberg’s high mountains A circular tour from Bludenz via the Silvretta and Arlberg passes (c. 140  km)

Hohe Tauern Tour A tour through the magnificent natural landscape of the Hohe Tauern National Park: St. Johann im Pongau (‘Liechtenstein Klamm’ gorge) – Gasteiner Tal – Böckstein (motorail transfer to Mallnitz) – Obervellach (Falkenstein Castle) – Spittal an der Drau (Porcia Castle) – Gmünd – Katschbergpass – St. Michael im Lungau (Moosham Castle, Mauterndorf Castle) – Radstädter Tauernpass – Radstadt – St. Johann im Pongau.

Around the Wölzer Tauern The many detours turn the route along this Styrian mountain range into a magnificent adventure: Liezen – Aigen im Ennstal – Irdning (detour to the 1,600 m Planneralm), Irding – Sölkpass (Sölktäler Nature Park) – Schröder – Oberwölz (exhibition silver mine) – Möderbrugg – Hohentauern (detour to the Scheiblseen lakes, 1,700 m) – Rottenmann – Liezen.

Across the ‘Puszta’, the lowland plains of Burgenland The main focus of this route is the Neusiedler See National Park region: Vienna – Schwechat – Bruck an der Leitha – Neusiedl am See – Mönchhof (Halbturn Castle, see p. 8) – Frauenkirchen – St. Andrä am Zicksee – Apetlon – Illmitz – Podersdorf (surfers’ paradise) – Neusiedl – Rust – Eisenstatt – Loretto (pilgrimage church) – Vienna. The region is one of the largest wine-growing areas in Austria – be sure to visit a vineyard on your tour!

AUSTRIA CLASSIC TOUR Here you have the chance to put together your own routes, from adventure-filled crossings of the high Alpine passes to romantic tours of the Salzkammergut region to the pleasures of the Danube: www.austriaclassictour.info

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Castles & palaces

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Audience with the Emperor n most cases, they stand out impressively in the ­surrounding countryside: medieval castles and castle ruins tell of a turbulent past. They offered defence against invaders from outside, and protection for the local people. Today, many are still so well-preserved that they can make history come alive right before our eyes. And the lavishly-outfitted state rooms and private rooms of the palaces tell their own stories of how well some people lived. What's more, you can be sure that every castle or palace tour guide will have their own eerily beautiful tales to tell...

Vienna The Hofburg: today the official residence of the Austrian President, until 1918 it was the residence of the Emperor of Austria. The oldest part was constructed in the 13th century. The buildings house numerous museums, including the Imperial Silver Collection, the Treasury, the Imperial apartments, the Sisi Museum, the Spanish Riding School and the National Library and Prunksaal. www.hofburg.wien.info Belvedere Palace: once the summer residence of Prince Eugen of Savoy, the Baroque palace comprises the Upper and the Lower Belvedere. The Belvedere is also home to the Austrian Gallery. www.belvedere.at Schönbrunn Palace: see shaded box

Burgenland Schloss Esterházy: Esterházy Palace: 17th century Baroque residence, includes the stately Haydn-Hall that regularly hosts concerts; landmark of Burgenland. www.esterhazy.at/schloss-esterhazy Forchtenstein Castle: near Mattersburg; an imposing fortress originating from the Middle Ages, houses 20,000 exhibits and an armoury. www.burgforchtenstein.at Güssing Castle: built in the 11th century, it is the ­oldest castle in Burgenland and contains a museum housing 5,000 exhibits; bell tower with panoramic view. www.burgguessing.info Halbturn Castle: close to Neusiedl am See; a Baroque construction from the time of Empress Maria Theresia, with palace gardens, the palace wine cellars and exhibition. www.schlosshalbturn.at Lockenhaus Castle in central Burgenland: built around the year 1200 complete with hotel for an overnight stay, robber-baron banquets, events and castle tours. www.ritterburg.at

Carinthia Schlossberg Griffen: near Völkermarkt, 12th century castle ruins, complete with stalactite caves. www.griffen.at/schlossberg.html

Hochosterwitz Castle: see shaded box Landskron Castle: beautiful ruins of a large castle near Villach. Includes a bird of prey exhibition and a ‘Monkey-Mountain’ with free-roaming monkeys. www.burg-landskron.at Porcia Castle: Spittal an der Drau is home to one of the most important Renaissance buildings in Austria. Sommeregg Castle: majestically overlooks the Millstätter See near Seeboden. Lovingly restored, it also contains a torture museum and stages a Medieval Knight’s Festival every August. www.sommeregg.at Strassburg Castle: lies north of St. Veit. Built in the 12th century, former seat of the Carinthian bishopric; now contains an ethnographic and a hunting museum. www.bistum-gurk.at/Strassburg/strassburg.htm Wolfsberg castle: built in the 12th cent., Tudor-style adaptions. www.schloss-wolfsberg.at

Lower Austria Aggstein Castle: castle ruins on the banks of the Danube in the Wachau. A favourite tourist destination with a magnificent view. www.ruineaggstein.at Dürnstein Castle: the English King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned here in the former castle ­during the 12th century.

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Castles and palaces are witnesses to bygone ages. Within their walls, history comes alive.


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Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace Imperial Palace, complete with its spacious palace gardens; one of the most important Baroque estates in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Up until 1918 it was the Imperial Summer Residence. It contains the Imperial Apartments and boasts the oldest zoo in the world, which today is considered one of the most modern in Europe. www.schoenbrunn.at

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Carinthia, Hochosterwitz Castle East of St. Veit an der Glan, the symbol of Carinthia. First mentioned in 860. It is an extraordinary structure with 14 towers. There is also a castle museum. www.burg-hochosterwitz.or.at

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Lower Austria, Rosenburg Castle A lavishly decorated Renaissance castle near Horn. Attractions include a bird of prey display and a tournament ground. www.rosenburg.at 1

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4 1 Orth Castle, on the Traunsee at Gmunden 2 The Hofburg in Vienna – for centuries, the residence of Habsburg emperors 3 The Baroque features of the Innsbruck Hofburg

© Ö st e r re i ch W e rb un g/ P o pp G. ; In n s br uck T o u ris mu s; Sc hlo s s E st e r ház y

© Fe ri e n re gi o n T ra un s e e

4 The workplace of Joseph Haydn: Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt

Grafenegg Castle: near Krems, it is an important example of architectural Historicism; hosts numerous cultural events. www.grafenegg.at Greillenstein Castle: a small Renaissance castle situated near Horn, includes an arcaded courtyard and hosts exhibitions, events and ‘ghost-tours’ during the evenings. www.greillenstein.at Schloss Hof: near Hainburg, it was the Summer ­Residence of Prince Eugen of Savoy; contains a ­ballroom, the state apartments, and a Baroque garden terrace complete with pavilions and fountains. www.schlosshof.at Artstetten Castle: Medieval castle, burial-place of Franz Ferdinand’s family line. www.schloss-artstetten.at Kreuzenstein Castle: has medieval origins and was rebuilt in the 19th century. Popular tourist destination near Vienna, bird of prey displays. www.kreuzenstein.com Liechtenstein Castle: Maria Enzersdorf. Ancestral castle of the Liechtenstein family, with unique ­architecture. www.burgliechtenstein.eu Orth Castle, Orth an der Donau: In the Danube Marshlands National Park. Permanent multimedia display “DonAUräume”, observation tower and open air

exhibition “castle island” with typical animals and plants from the marshlands. www.orth.at Rappottenstein Castle: near Zwettl, one of Austria’s best-preserved castles, sections of the structure from the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods. Cultural events are held in summer. www.burg-rappottenstein.at Riegersburg Castle: near Hardegg, it is the most important Baroque palace in Lower Austria. With state apartments and historic palace kitchens. www.riegersburg-hardegg.com Rosenburg Renaissance Castle: see shaded box Schallaburg: splendid Renaissance palace near Melk, arcaded courtyard with terracotta decorations and exhibition centre. www.schallaburg.at Weitra Palace: near Zwettl, Renaissance palace with arcaded courtyard, palace theatre and brewing museum. www.schloss-weitra.at

Upper Austria Aistersheim Water Palace: one of the most beautiful and largest water palaces in Austria. www.wasserschloss-aistersheim.at Clam Castle: one of the best-preserved 12th century castles in Austria, situated near Perg. Museum and concerts. www.burgclam.com

Greinburg Castle: Renaissance castle ­overlooking the Danube, with exhibition rooms and maritime museum. www.schloss-greinberg.at The Kaiservilla: in Bad Ischl, this was the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph 1 and ‘Sisi’ – Empress Elizabeth 1. www.kaiservilla.at Kreuzen Castle: near Bad Kreuzen, formerly a castle of refuge. Unique panorama from the viewing tower. www.burg-kreuzen.at Lamberg Castle: Baroque successor to a castle that was erected on the site in 980. Today it is home to the largest library in Austria. Linz Palace: overlooks the old town in Linz, and first mentioned in documents dating to 800. Today it houses the Upper Austrian regional museum. www.schlossmuseum.at Ort Castle: the symbol of the town of Gmunden, situated on the banks of the Traunsee, with a Renaissance period arcaded courtyard. www.schlossort.gmunden.at The Imperial Castle in Wels: built in 776, it was here that Emperor Maximillian died in 1519. Today the building houses a bakery museum. >

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Castles & palaces 1

1 The Riegersburg perches atop a volcanic mountain and can be seen from far away 2 The Mondsee lies on the Austrian Romantic Route

SalzburgerLand Finstergrün Castle: Ramingstein. 12th century ­castle. Today it is home to a youth hostel. www.burg-finstergruen.at Goldegg Castle: near St. Johann im Pongau, with its 16th century Knight’s Hall and events area. www.schlossgoldegg.at Hellbrunn Palace: built in the 17th century, it is located in the town of Salzburg; palace gardens with late Renaissance fountains and mechanical theatre with water driven figures. www.hellbrunn.at Hohensalzburg Fortress: symbol of the town of Salzburg, and one of the largest surviving fortresses in central Europe. Built in the 11th century, the fortress offers a magnificent view over the town and houses a museum. www.salzburg-burgen.at/ de/hohensalzburg Hohenwerfen Fortress: near Werfen. This imposing building was constructed in the Middle Ages as a fortress for the Archbishop. Today, attractions at this show castle include falconry displays, an armoury, and dungeons. www.salzburg-burgen.at/de/werfen Mauterndorf Castle: West of Tamsweg, built in the 13th century, houses a countryside museum. www.salzburg-burgen.at/de/mauterndorf Mirabell Palace: built in 1606, boasts beautiful ­palace gardens and lies in the heart of Salzburg.

Deutschlandsberg Castle: Landmark of the town of Deutschlandsberg. www.archeonorico.at Eggenberg Palace: Baroque palace in Graz, stately rooms, a park in the style of an English garden, the Alte Galerie. Also houses the pre- and early history collections of the Landesmuseum Joanneum. www.museum-joanneum.at Gallenstein Castle: near Liezen, in the Gesäuse National Park. Great view, cultural events. www.burg-gallenstein.at Herberstein Palace: a Renaissance palace with a historic garden, museum and zoo, to the East of Weiz. www.herberstein.co.at Oberkapfenberg Castle: near Kapfenberg, and ­dating back to the 13th century. Includes birds of prey show, exhibition of historic weapons, historical displays, medieval events and activities. www.narrenfreiheit.at Riegersburg Castle: Near Feldbach, known as strongest bulwark of the occident. Birds of prey display, Knights’ Hall, exhibitions. www.riegersburg.com Strechau Castle: Medieval castle rebuilt in the Renaissance. Arcaded courtyard, ceiling paintings, events. www.burg-strechau.at Stainz castle: Baroque and Renaissance origin. Hunting museum. www.schloss.stainz.at

Tirol Ambras Palace: a Renaissance palace ­overlooking Innsbruck, boasting the ‘Spanish Hall’ with its ­magnificent artwork; branch of the Art History Museum of Vienna with many art treasures, e­ xhibitions and exhibition rooms, palace gardens in the style of an English garden. www.khm.at/ambras.at

The Innsbruck Hofburg: the former seat of the ruling Princes of Tirol, remodelled into a Baroque palace by Empress Maria Theresia. Grand staterooms, exhibition and event spaces, Imperial Apartments and palace gardens. www.hofburg-innsbruck.at Kufstein fortress: The city’s landmark, first mentioned in the 13th century, has the largest ­open-air organ in the world. Regular cultural events. www.festung.kufstein.at Landeck Castle: 13th century castle that also functioned as a legal court and administrative centre. Houses a Local History Museum and Gallery. www.schlosslandeck.at Tratzberg Palace: near Jenbach. One of the most beautiful late-Gothic, early Renaissance palaces in Europe. The Habsburgersaal contains the oldest known painting depicting the Habsburg family tree. www.schloss-tratzberg.com

Vorarlberg Schattenburg Castle: the symbol of Feldkirch; ­viewing tower; local museum. www.schattenburg.at Hohenems Castle: 16th century Renaissance; parts of the Songs of the Nibelung manuscripts were discovered here; also hosts exhibitions and cultural events. www.palast-hohenems.at Castle ruins Tosters: 13th century ruined castle near Feldkirch, with viewing tower. Castle ruins Gebhardsberg: In Bregenz. 18th c­ entury pilgrim church now stands in the middle of the ruins, which date from the 11th century Hohenbregenz fortress. Further details at: www.vorarlberg.travel/sehenswert

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© Ö st e r re i ch W e rb un g/ W e in h ae u pl ; V o ra rlb e r g T o ur is mu s; SLT V i a C uli n a ria

4 Salzburger Nockerl simply has to be tried when travelling the Via Culinaria

Styria

© Ö st e r re i ch W e rb un g/ P o pp & Ha ck n e r

3 The Bregenzerwald is renowned for its cheese-making


Theme trails 1

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Pure Indulgence

Wining, dining and culture! These routes will take you to the sunny side of life.

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ine dining, encounters with history, and ­traditions you can feel – anyone taking a themed trail in Austria will be amazed at how much there is to d­ iscover, experience and sample. We particularly r­ecommend some “speciality routes”:

© Ö st e r re i ch W e rb un g/ We i n ha e upl ; V o ra rlb e r g T o ur is mu s; SLT V ia C uli n ar i a

© Ö st e r re i ch W e rb un g/ P o pp & Ha ck n e r

Cheese route The cheese route takes you in search of the spicy Vorarlberg cheese. You travel to alpine dairies, to farms, to artisans and to the cheese merchants. Especially noteworthy is the cheese cellar in Lingenau. Popular attractions are the cheese house in Andelsbach as well as the alpine dairy school and the producer of whey cosmetics, Metzler in Egg. The cheese route in the Bregenzerwald is not so much a single route, but more a network dedicated to the preservation of regional distinctiveness and expertise. There are also events, presentations and guided tours. www.kaesestrasse.at

VIA CULINARIA This comprises seven different “pleasure trails” through Salzburg province, taking you to special regional delicacies including fish, cheese and pastries. The “gastronome’s pleasure trail”, by contrast, takes the visitor to particularly outstanding restaurants. www.salzburgerland.com

SALZBURGER ALMENWEG This trail dispenses with the car and train: it is a ­walking route leading to a total of 550 lodges and ‘Almen’ (hotels/restaurants) in Salzburg Land. Extensive walking is not essential: in some cases, cable-cars and lifts shorten the route. And your efforts are rewarded with home-made delicacies in these traditional lodges. www.salzburger-almenweg.at

AUSTRIAN ROMANTIC ROUTE This route, from Salzburg to Vienna, takes in many of the most beautiful places in Austria. Unique landscapes alternate with towns and villages with outstanding architecture and with castles, palaces and monasteries. www.romantikstrasse.at

EMPERORS’ AND KINGS’ ROUTE The old “Route of Kings” runs through the heartlands of the Habsburg monarchy. It takes in major cultural and administrative centres with Baroque castles, monasteries and stunning residences, which have ­distinguished the rich history of the Danube v­ alley. The Austrian section of this trail runs along the Danube valley – with the scenic highlights of the Schlögener Schlinge and Wachau – to Vienna and on towards Budapest. www.strassederkaiserundkoenige.at

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Linz

Salzburg

Bregenz

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Innsbruck

Wien St. Pölten

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Eisenstadt Graz

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Klagenfurt

Culture and culinary tours 1

Cheese Route Through the Bregenzerwald, in northern Vorarlberg

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Via culinaria ‘Pleasure trails’ through the province of Salzburg

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Salzburger Almenweg Walking route to 550 lodges and ‘Almen’

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Austrian Romantic Route Route taking in the most beautiful landscapes in Austria (380 km)

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Emperors’ and Kings’ Route Route visiting historical treasures and landscapes (c. 400 km)

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THEME TRAILS

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2 1 Historic iron-working tools exhibited in the smithing town of Ybbsitz 2 The apple-growing village of Puch 3 A jewel on the Castle Route through Styria and Burgenland: Schloss Seggau

Museum ROUTE This route runs through the hilly, forest-covered Mühlviertel district in the north of Upper Austria. The fertile countryside provided a good living for earlier craftsmen, and is still inspiring artists today. 30 ­tourist destinations give the visitor a glimpse of living and working in the region, including the open-air museum in Pelmberg, the castle museum in Freistadt, the school museum in Bad Leonfelder and the famous winged altar in the parish church in Kefermarkt. www.museumsstrasse.at

THE IRON ROUTE The Iron Route extends across three provinces – Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Styria. It is an introduction to the world of iron, as in the Middle Ages everything in the region revolved around iron and its processing. This history is brought to life in the many museums of rural living and e­ xhibitions. In the holiday region of Pyhrn-Eisenwurzen, the Iron Trail runs round the n­ ewly-established Kalkalpen National Park. The Styrian part of the trail is ­characterised by the precipitous Alpine landscape between the majestic mountains of the Gesäuse in the west and Hochschwab in the east. It is ­dominated by the 1,465 m Erzberg, the symbol of Styria and the centre of the tradition-rich Austrian mining industry. In the show mine, visitors get an

insight into the subterranean labyrinth of the Erzberg and how miners worked in the past. The Iron Trail culture park comprises 21 museums, 14 themed walking routes and 6 ironworks. www.eisenstrasse.info

STYRIAN WOOD ROUTE In the attractive landscapes of the Murau region, the varied uses of wood are demonstrated for all to see, in over 70 buildings along a 150 km trail. The Murau ‘World of Wood’, the wood museum in St. Ruprecht and the longest cantilever wooden bridge in Europe, between St. Georgen and St. Lorenzen, demonstrate the wide-ranging forms of use for this adaptable raw material. www.holzstrasse.at

STYRIAN FLOWER ROUTE The Styrian Flower Route links nine of the most attractive Styrian flower villages: Miesenbach, Mönichwald, Pöllauberg, St. Jakob im Walde, St. Lorenzen am Wechsel, St. Kathrein am Offenegg, Strallegg, Vorau and Wenigzell. Five of these villages were named as the “Most Attractive Flower Village in Europe” as part of the “Entente Florale” event. Every two years, a flower parade takes place in one of the villages, with flower-­decorated horse-drawn carriages from all the v­ illages on the Flower Trail. www.blumenstrasse.at

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© Sc hlo s s S e gga u ; We b e re i mu se u m Gr o SS- Si e gha rt s; Mo s t v ie rt e l T o u ris mu s/ w e in f ra n z .at

5 There’s always a warm welcome from our cider-makers

© Mo s t v i e rt e l T o ur is mu s/ we i n fr an z .at; BMLFU W /R i ta N e w ma n ;

4 A loom in Groß-Siegharts weaving museum


Tip

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The Styrian Apple Route Starting close to the provincial capital, Graz, the ­snaking route of the Apple Trail runs through the ­eastern Styrian hills, past impressive farms, through idyllic villages and peaceful forests. When the blossom is out, the picturesque hilly countryside transforms into a pinkish-white sea, and in autumn the fruits on the trees lend their exceptional charm. Lovingly-fashioned wooden signs tell where craftwork traditions survive and where farmers conjure honey, cider and fine schnapps from the natural bounty of the region. The local museums, including the “Haus des Apfels”, have much to offer. www.apfelstrasse.org

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Vienna

© Sc hlo s s S e gga u ; We b e re i mu se u m Gr o SS- Si e gha rt s; Mo s t v ie rt e l T o u ris mu s/ w e in f ra n z .at

© Mo s t v i e rt e l T o ur is mu s/ we i n fr an z .at; BMLFU W /R i ta N e w ma n ;

CASTLE ROUTE THROUGH STYRIA AND BURGENLAND The south-east of Austria is particularly rich in castles and palaces. During the Middle Ages, a closely-ranged line of castles was built to serve as a defensive wall against the wild warrior horsemen from the east and the expanding Ottoman Empire. There are 18 castles and palaces along this route – including the 850 years of history of the Riegersburg and the last authentic knight’s castle in Austria, Burg Lockenhaus. www.schloesserstrasse.com

The Waldviertel Textile Route For centuries the region between Groß-Siegharts and Weitra in Lower Austria was a centre for textile production. By 1759, there were already 72 linenweaving guilds, and many private homes also had their own spinning-wheels and looms. Along this 180 km route with 40 stop-off points, visitors can learn much about the history of spinning, weaving and dyeing, as well as about how people have lived and worked in these trades throughout history. The highlight of this fascinating tour is the “First Waldviertel Weaving Museum”, in Waidhofen an der Thaya, where historical and modern weaving machinery can be seen in operation. www.niederoesterreich.at/textilstrasse

Cider ROUTE A 200 km signed panoramic trail, running through the gentle hills of the Lower Austrian cider district, or ‘Mostviertel’. Here, extensive pear orchards grace the landscape – in spring, they transform into an impressive sea of blossom. Cider-making is important in the local economy, and in the many cider inns and ‘Heurigen’ specialising in cider you can buy produce directly from the makers. The cultural high-point of this picturesque trail is Seitenstetten Monastery, with its unique rose garden. www.moststrasse.at

Bregenz Innsbruck

Linz 2 3

Klagenfurt

St. Pölten 8

Eisenstadt

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Graz

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Culture and culinary tours 1

Mühlviertel Museum Route Route to 31 fascinating museums (c. 100 km)

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Iron Route Tracing the history of metal extraction (c. 120 km)

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Styrian Wood Route The multi-faceted aspects of wood as a building material (c. 150 km)

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Styrian Flower Route To some of the most attractive flower villages in Europe (c. 40 km)

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Styrian Apple Route Apple-growers, apple products and fascinating countryside (c. 25 km)

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Castle Route through Styria and Burgenland A trail of adventure, visiting impressive fortresses (c. 300 km)

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Waldviertel Textile Route A journey into the history of textile manufacture (c. 180 km)

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Cider Route To cider-makers and cider inns (c. 200 km)

ALONG THE WINE ROUTES It is a harmonious combination – impressive ­landscapes, picturesque wine villages and winemakers serving up delightful wines and local ­specialities. Many wine routes lead across the Austrian wine-growing areas, which range from ­ gently undulating (as in the Weinviertel district) through to the steep inclines of southern Styria and parts of Burgenland. Many appealing tourist ­attractions await the visitor along these routes. www.weinstrassen-oesterreich.de

Salzburg

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Convents and monasteries

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Close to Heaven

The gates of the old walls are wide open. They are jewels of ecclesiastical art, in their own meditative sphere. Burgenland Franciscan Monastery Güssing: 17th century monastery with a valuable library collection. Loretto Abbey: Founded by the Servite Order in the 17th century. Near Eisenstadt. Maria pilgrimage site, a Baroque construction from the 17th –18th ­century with cloister. www.martinus.at/loretto Franciscan Monastery St. Michael: in Eisenstadt, 17th century, the Esterházy family crypt, Haydn’s Organ and diocesan museum. Frauenkirchen: Pilgrimage village with 17th cent. basilica and Franciscan monastery. www.frauenkirchen.info

Vienna

Carinthia

Capuchin Abbey: Imperial Vaults of Habsburg Emperors. www.kaisergruft.at Schottenstift: A 12th century Benedictine Abbey and a 17th century church. The museum possesses art from across the centuries. www.schottenstift.at

Ossiach Benedictine Abbey: Founded in the 11th cent. Venue of the Carinthian Summer. www.pfarre-ossiach.at Benedictine Abbey St. Paul: See box for details. Millstatt: Former Benedictine Abbey, founded in the 10th century, complete with Romanesque cloister and museum. www.stiftsmuseum.at

Viktring Monastery: 12th century Cistercian monastery in Klagenfurt, monumental Romanesque Abbey Church with a 14th century Baroque altar and stained glass windows. www.stiftviktring.at

Lower Austria Altenburg Monastery: A sumptuously decorated, 12th century Baroque monastery, with ceiling frescos, a library, and crypt. www.stift-altenburg.at Geras Abbey: See box for details. Göttweig Abbey: 11th century Baroque abbey with a museum, an Imperial Wing, concert performances plus a magnificent view over the Danube and the Wachau. Retreats possible. The stretch from Göttweig to Melk is part of the Austrian ‘Camino de Santiago’ pilgrimage. www.stiftgoettweig.or.at Heiligenkreuz: Cistercian Abbey founded 1133. www.stift-heiligenkreuz.org Herzogenburg Abbey: Superbly furnished Augustinian canonical monastery and Baroque abbey church. Contains an important art collection with an emphasis on the Middle Ages and the Gothic. www.stift-herzogenburg.at

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©Ri ta N e wm an ; K lö s t e rr e ic h/ St i ft St. Lam br e ch t

ustria’s convents and monasteries date from ­various epochs. They are often architectural masterpieces, housing magnificent libraries with manuscripts and printed books that are beyond price. However, in most cases they are more than centres of religion: many have dedicated themselves to the s­ ervice of education and training, are home to ­museums and collections, and offer a­ ttractive venues for events and exhibitions. Visitors to ­monastery ­gardens will find rare flowers, medicinal herbs, fruits and vegetables, all artfully laid out. All Austrian monasteries open to visitors are united in the “Klösterreich” association. www.kloesterreich.at

© we in f ra n z .at

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TIPS

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Lower Austria. Akademie im Stift Geras Countless artistic, recreational and creative courses take place in this 800-year-old Premonstratensian abbey. The seminars are conducted by experienced artists. www.stiftgeras.at

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Carinthia. St. Paul Benedictine abbey Located in Lavanttal, this abbey has valuable artistic treasures. The Basilica from the 12th century provides facilities for retreats. www.stift-stpaul.at

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Upper Austria. Kremsmünster abbey One of the most important Baroque abbeys in Austria, founded in the year 777. Artistic art treasures, with the eighth-century Tassilo Grail. Observatory. www.stift-kremsmuenster.at

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2 The treasury at Klosterneuburg Monastery ­contains some magnificent exhibits. 3 St. Lambrecht Abbey, set in Grebenzen Nature Park

Klosterneuburg Monastery: Commanding 12th century monastery at the gates of Vienna. Impressive art treasures including the 12th century ‘Verdun Altar’, a wine cellar and events. www.stift-klosterneuburg.at Lilienfeld Abbey: Early 13th century Cistercian abbey, counts as the largest monastery in Austria. Cloister, library and chapter house. www.stift-lilienfeld.at Melk Abbey: Main exemplar of the Austrian Baroque. Showrooms, library, frescos and art treasures. www.stiftmelk.at Seitenstetten Abbey: 12th century Baroque abbey with a Gothic church, gallery, and extensive gardens, including a rose garden. www.stift-seitenstetten.at Zwettl Monastery: 12th century Cistercian monastery located in the ‘Waldviertel’. The monastery buildings are an architectural amalgamation stretching from the Middle Ages, through the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque. www.stift-zwettl.at

©Ri ta N e wm an ; K lö s t e rr e ic h/ St i ft St. Lam br e ch t

Upper Austria

© we in f ra n z .at

SalzburgerLand Michaelbeuern Abbey: 8th century Benedictine Abbey, art treasures, cloister, special exhibitions, Baroque library. www.abtei-michaelbeuern.at Nonnberg Abbey: 8th century nunnery, considered the longest continually functioning example north of the Alps. Nestled at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress, it has a Gothic basilica. Baroness von Trapp – made famous through the musical ‘The Sound of Music’- taught at the convent school. St. Peter Abbey: Located in the town of Salzburg and founded in the 7th century, it is the oldest abbey in the German-speaking region. With a high-Roman­ esque abbey church and the oldest library in Austria. www.erzabtei.at

Styria

3 1 Herzogenburg Abbey – religious art can also be playful

St. Florian Abbey: 11th cent. Augustinian canonical abbey, renovated into one of Austria’s finest Baroque buildings. Gracefully carved choir stalls, a library and an inn. www.stift-st-florian.at Wilhering Abbey: 12th century abbey with a superb rococo church. www.stiftwilhering.at

Schlägl Monastery: Small, pretty 13th century monastery in Aigen-Schlägl with a Baroque library. www.stift-schlaegl.at Kremsmünster Abbey: See box for details. Lambach Monastery: 11th century Benedictine monastery, with Baroque rooms, early-Romanesque frescos, an archive and collections. Including guest wing and rooms. www.stift-lambach.at Schlierbach Monastery: 14th century Cistercian monastery with an impressive abbey church and library, houses the 14th century ‘Schlierbacher Madonna’; monastery also produces its own cheese, ‘Schlierbacher Klosterkäse’. www.stift-schlierbach.at

Admont Abbey: 11th century Benedictine monastery with world’s largest monastic library, art and natural history museums and a contemporary art collection. Its church was Austria’s first neo-Gothic religious building. www.stiftadmont.at Rein Abbey: 12th century Baroque edifice, the oldest standing Cistercian monastery in the world. Archaeological finds from the Roman period. www.stift-rein.at Seckau Abbey: 12th century abbey with Renaissance architecture added in the 16th and 17th centuries and a Romanesque basilica. www.abtei-seckau.at St. Lambrecht Abbey: 11th century Benedictine abbey with Gothic church, frescos and museum containing art history and folklore collections. www.stift-stlambrecht.at Vorau Abbey: 12th century Augustinian canonical monastery with Baroque church and one of Austria’s most exquisite libraries. www.stift-vorau.at

Tirol Stams Abbey: 13th century Cistercian monastery, renovated in a Baroque style. The abbey church contains a Prince’s Crypt. There is a schnapps distillery on site and concerts are also held here. www.stiftstams.at

Vorarlberg St. Gerold Provost: In the biosphere park Großes Walsertal; now an exhibition and event centre with wine cellar. www.propstei-stgerold.at Mehrerau Abbey: Founded in the 11th century. Cistercian convent since 1854. Baroque library with incunabula and handwritten manuscripts. www.mehrerau.at

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Music

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A Musical Extravaganza

The classics and opera, jazz and the contemporary: there’s music everywhere.

Vienna

Resonances: A festival dedicated to old music. January. www.konzerthaus.at Osterklang Wien: ‘Sound of Easter’ festival, music from modern to Baroque. www.theater-wien.at Vienna Festival: May to June, with a broad cultural programme. www.festwochen.at Vienna Jazz Festival: June/July. www.viennajazz.org Music Film Festival at the town hall square: operas and concerts, free entry, July to August. Modern Vienna Festival: festival for contemporary music in November every year. www.wienmodern.at

Vienna’s main music venues: State Opera: www.wiener-staatsoper.at Volksoper: www.volksoper.at Musikverein: www.musikverein.at Konzerthaus: www.konzerthaus.at Theater an der Wien: www.theater-wien.at Raimund Theater, Ronacher: www.musicalvienna.at The Vienna Boys’ Choir: www.wsk.at The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra: www.wienerphilharmoniker.at Haus der Musik: www.hdm.at MuTh – Concert Hall of the Vienna Boys’ Choir: www.muth.at

Burgenland

Annual jazz, rock and pop festivals in Wiesen: June to September. www.wiesen.at Opera Festival at the Roman quarry in St. Margarethen: July/August, www.ofs.at Novarock: Nickelsdorf. Rock-music festival, June. www.novarock.at Mörbisch Lake Festival: Operetta festival, July/ August. www.seefestspiele-moerbisch.at Haydn Festival: Eisenstadt, September, www.haydnfestival.at

Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival: July. www.kammermusikfest.at Liszt Festival Raiding: see shaded box

Carinthia

International Music Weeks: Millstatt. Chamber music, choral and orchestral works, May to October. www.musikwochen.com St. Paul Culture Summer: Benedictine Monastery of St. Paul, May through August. www.kuso-stpaul.at Wörthersee Classics: in June. www.woertherseeclassics.com Trigonale: Festival dedicated to old music, St. Veit an der Glan, June and July. www.trigonale.com Carinthian Summer: Ossiach and Villach, during July and August. www.carinthischersommer.at

Lower Austria

Grafenegg Music Festival: Mid-June to September. www.grafenegg.at “glatt und verkehrt”: Music festival in Krems and Göttweig. July 15 – August 1. www.glattundverkehrt.at Lunz am See: “wellenklänge” music festival, July. www.wellenklaenge.at

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© Lis z t Fe st i va l Raid i n g/ Ul ric h Sch wa r z ; K la n gs p ur e n Schwaz

pen-air jazz, chamber music in the Waldviertel, the Ars Electronica in Linz, or the Vienna Festival? There are good reasons why Austria is known as the “Land of Music”. The country which has been the birthplace of major composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert is also home to countless music festivals and events every year. These involve a tremendous variety of styles and venues. And the performers mostly come with international reputations.

© A n d ré Ch é n ie r Fo t o a n d e r e art, Bre g e n z e r Fe s t sp ie l e

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Tips In the footsteps of the great masters.

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Ludwig van Beethoven. Numerous apartments in Vienna and Baden bei Wien (Lower Austria). Joseph Haydn. Birthplace in Rohrau, Lower Austria, residence and museum in Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, Burgenland.

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Franz Liszt. Raiding (Burgenland), the birthplace of the composer, stages Liszt Days every January, March, June and October. www.lisztfestival.at

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.Birthplace in Getreidegasse, and residence on Marktplatz, both in Salzburg, plus residences in Vienna.

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3 1 Summer highlight: the Bregenz Festival, on its stage on the lake 2 The annual Liszt Festival is held in the concert hall next to his birthplace 3 Top-calibre musicians interpret contemporary music at the Schwaz ”Klangspuren”

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Franz Schubert. Vienna was both his birthplace and final residence.

Barocktage: Melk Monastery, June. www.barocktage.at Schrammel.Klang Festival, Festival: Litschau, July. www.schrammelklang.at Chopin Festival: In Kartause Gaming during August. www.kartause-gaming.at Allegro Vivo: Chamber music festival. various venues in the Waldviertel district during August and September. www.allegro-vivo.at

© Li s z t Fe s t i va l R ai d i n g/U lr ic h Sc hwar z ; Kla n gs p ure n S chwa z

© A n d ré Ch é n ie r Fo t o an d e r e art, Br e ge n z e r Fe st s pi e le

Upper Austria Attergauer Kultursommer: July and August. www.attergauer-kultursommer.at Abbey concerts: In the monasteries of St. Florian, Kremsmünster, Lambach and Engelszell, during June and July. www.stiftskonzerte.at INNtöne Festival: June. www.inntoene.com Attersee Classical Festival: July and August. www.atterseeklassik.at Danube Festival: Baroque music festival at historic locations, during July and August. www.donaufestwochen.at Gmunden Festival: July/August. www.festwochen-gmunden.at International Bruckner Festival: ‘Classically different’, Linz, September/October. www.brucknerhaus.at Ars Electronica Festival: Art and technology and society. Linz, August/September. www.aec.at

SalzburgerLand Snow Jazz Gastein: Jazz in the mountains, Gastein, during March. www.jazzgastein.com Diabelli Summer: Festival by Mattsee, dedicated to music stretching from the Renaissance to the present day. June to September. www.diabellisommer.at

Jazz Festival Saalfelden: During August. www.jazzsaalfelden.at Salzburg City: A week of Mozart in the Mozarteum: January, February. www.mozarteum.at Easter Festival: www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at Whitsun Festival: www.salzburgfestival.at Fortress concerts: all year round. www.salzburghighlights.at Salzburg Festival: July and August. www.salzburgfestival.at ‘Jazz Autumn’: Salzburg, in October and November. www.salzburgerjazzherbst.at Winter Festival: Salzburg, November and December. www.winterfest.at

Styria Bergwelle: Mariazell, Music Festival from June-September. www.bergwelle.at Styriarte: Styrian Festival in Graz, June and July. www.styriarte.com springwelten: Festival for Electronic Art and Music, Graz, May. www.springfestival.at Mid Europe, Wind Orchestra Festival: Takes place in Schladming during July. www.mideurope.at Jazz Summer: Graz, during July and August. www.jazzsommer.at Styrian Autumn, Graz: Platform for contemporary and experimental music, September/October. www.steirischerherbst.at Further events at: www.steiermark.com/events

Tirol Tirolean Easter Festival: Hall in Tirol and Innsbruck, www.osterfestival.at Tirolean Festival: Performances of some of the great operas in Erl during July. www.tiroler-festspiele.at Innsbruck Festival of Old Music: during August. www.altemusik.at Ambras Palace Concerts: Concerts held in Schloss Ambras in Innsbruck during July. www.altemusik.at Klangspuren Schwaz: Contemporary music festival during September. www.klangspuren.at Innsbruck Dance Summer: June/July. www.tanzsommer.at New Orleans Jazz Festival: Innbruck. July. www.neworleansfestival.at

Vorarlberg Schubertiade: Hohenems – April, May, July, September, October. Schwarzenberg – June, August, September. www.schubertiade.at Bregenz Spring Festival: Dance festival in March-May www.bregenzerfruehling.at Montafon Summer Festival: July. From Classical and Jazz to music for children. Held at various locations in July. www.montafoner-sommer.at Bregenz Festival: Takes place in July and August. www.bregenzerfestspiele.com Walser Herbst: August and September. www.walserherbst.at

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Nature and national parks

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Back to nature igh up, nearing the summit of a 3,000-metre peak is an eagle, soaring gracefully, cutting the air with his powerful wings. No matter which direction he looks all he can see are wooded mountain slopes, rugged outcrops and leviathan glacial peaks jutting up towards the heavens. In between, lush green meadows flourish, roaring waterfalls plunge over rocks and babbling mountain brooks meander down through scenic gorges. The ecosystems in Austria’s national parks and nature reserves have been left untouched, over thousands of years. They not only provide a secure habitat for innumerable species of plants and animals but also welcome hikers and those looking to recharge their batteries.

Burgenland Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park Part of the UNESCO World Heritage site FertöNeusiedler Lake. In 1993 the picturesque environs of this steppe lake with its delicate wetland reed beds, salt-water ponds and flood-meadows were selected as the only steppe national park in Central Europe. The national park straddles the border between Austria and

Hungary, connecting the two countries, and boasts an enormous diversity of flora and fauna. Around 300 species of birds have made this their home and favourite breeding ground. The park can be explored on foot, by bike, from the saddle or by horse and trap. www.nationalpark-neusiedlersee-seewinkel.at

Carinthia Nockberge National Park. It is the rolling hills of the mountain landscape that fashion the natural scenery of this National Park. The starting point for hikers can be reached via the 34 km long Nockalmstrasse which has frequent information stands dotted along the route. The region has been declared a protected area by the World Conservation Union. www.nationalparknockberge.at

Lower Austria/Vienna Donauauen National Park. On the outskirts of Vienna lies one of the last great, undeveloped flood plains in central Europe. The plain offers ideal living conditions to countless species of animals and plants. www.donauauen.at

Thayatal National Park. This park is located at the border with the Czech Republic. It has an intricate, densely wooded terrain. Countless species of animals and plants, some of them very rare, like the black stork, are at home in the Thayatal. Castles and ruins dominate this magnificent national park, where the waters of the Thaya forged the natural landscape. www.np-thayatal.at Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Reserve. The Ötscher mountain massif lies at the very heart of this hillwalking paradise in the ‘Mostviertel’. Many of nature’s wonders are on display; the breathtaking Ötschergräben valley – a magnificent ravine hewn out of the rock, waterfalls, caves and undulating mountain pastures. One group of particularly special inhabitants are brown bears that were reintroduced to the area at the end of the 1980s. www.naturpark-oetscher.at For information on all 23 of Lower Austria’s nature reserves, visit: www.naturparke-noe.at

Upper Austria Kalkalpen National Park. The largest protected woodland in Austria shelters many species of flora and fauna, and provides a protective habitat for such

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© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ P o pp H a ck n e r (2 ), B io s p hä re n pa rk N o ck be r ge / Mo i k (3 ); Ö s t e rr e i ch W e rbu n g/ Ju lia K n o p (4)

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© K ä rn t e n We r bu n g/F ra n z G e r d l;

Seven internationally recognised National Parks and countless nature reserves protect Austria’s unique natural environment.

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TipS Carinthia, SalzburgerLand, Tirol

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Hohe Tauern National Park Covering an area of 1,800 square kilometres the National Park Hohe Tauern is the largest national park in Central Europe and set apart by its outstanding natural beauty. The picturesque simplicity of this alpine landscape is fashioned by ancient woodlands, lush alpine meadows, craggy mountains and some of Austria’s most impressive peaks.

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In various villages, e.g. Matrei, Mittersill and Heiligenblut, nature-watch tours to different kinds of deer, bearded vultures, golden eagles, chamois and marmots are offered. www.hohetauern.at

1 1 Early risers see in the morning in Hohe Tauern National Park 2 The Austrian plains; the Neusiedler See National Park with its variety of bird species 3 The capercaillie is found primarily in the Nockberge mountains in Carinthia

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ P o pp Hac kn e r (2 ), B i o sp här e n pa rk N o ck be r ge / Mo i k (3 ); Ö st e r re ic h We r b un g/ J uli a Kn op (4)

© Kä rn t e n We rb un g /Fr an z Ge r d l;

4 Chamois, or eagles? Both can be spotted in Hohe Tauern National Park

rare animals as the lonesome lynx. Guided tours of the cave system allow you to explore the underground world of the Kalkalpen. On the surface the captivating landscape extends to the echelons of high alpine terrain and parts can be explored on horseback, by bike or in a horse and trap. www.kalkalpen.at

Styria Gesäuse National Park. The remarkable landscape of this National Park in northern Styria was formed by the roaring waters of the River Enns that runs through the rocky canyon of the Gesäuse. Wooded slopes thin out to become mountain pastures, which in turn merge into a high alpine mountain landscape, offering a variety of habitats for the diverse animal and plant species that are at home here. Besides hiking and climbing we have a terrific insider’s tip – whitewater rafting is one of the activities offered here. www.nationalpark.co.at Natural Park Sölktäler. Probably the most romantic of Styria’s national parks, it separates two mountain ranges (Schladminger Tauern and Wölzer Tauern). Fresh green pastures, steep summits, idyllic hamlets, spectacular mountain lakes and the region’s famous marble characterize this natural park. Particular highlights are lake Schwarzensee, the alpine pastures at

the foot of Sölkpass, romantic winter experiences with snowshoe hikes and stays in cosy villages as well as the Natural Park House at Großsölk Castle featuring the permanent exhibition “Natura Mirabilis”. www.soelktaler.at Information on all Styrian nature parks at: www.steiermark.com/naturparke

SalzburgerLand Riedingtal, Weissbach, Buchberg, Untersberg Nature Parks: Wild corries, gentle valleys, and traditional, welcoming Alpine lodges are the special features of these nature parks. Accompanied by expert tour guides or following the well-signed themed routes, the visitor can reach stunning mountain peaks, crystal-clear Alpine lakes, and unique flora and fauna. Traditional crafts are practised in the park's workshops, and regional specialities can be enjoyed in the many Alpine lodges. www.naturpark-weissbach.at; www.naturpark-buchberg.at; www.naturpark-riedingtal.at; www.grossgmain.info/de/naturpark

Tirol Tirolean Lechtal Nature Reserve. We’re sure the impressive natural beauty of the landscape surrounding the Lech River, the only remaining undeveloped

river in Central Europe, will captivate you. The nature reserve lies in the northern Kalkalpen, nestled between the Allgäuer Mountains and the Lechtal Alps. The Lech River, its branches and its extensive flood plains carved and shaped the magnificent landscape, which can be explored on foot or by bike. www.naturpark-tiroler-lech.at For information about all Tirol’s nature reserves: www.natur.tirol.at

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The Austrian National Parks 1

Gesäuse

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Kalkalpen

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Thayatal

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Donauauen

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Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park

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Hohe Tauern National Park

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Nockberge

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Recreation

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Body and Soul

Warm thermal waters that massage the skin, relaxation and rejuvenation for the body and clear alpine air at the door. Physical wellbeing can be this agreeable!

BURGENLAND Bad Sauerbrunn: therapy spa for rehabilitation. www.die-heiltherme.at/ Bad Tatzmannsdorf: AVITA spa. Focus on rest and relaxation, with five thermal saunas. www.avita.at Frauenkirchen: St. Martins spa. Exclusive spa and lodge resort, on the edge of the Seewinkel National Park with its own bathing lake. www.st.martins.at Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg. Europe’s leading spa for babies and young children. ­ www.sonnentherme.at

Stegersbach: Family spa with 14 pools and a large children’s area. http://sparesort.reiters-hotels.com/therme

CARINTHIA Villach: Kärnten Therme. New spa complex with outdoor pool, sports pool and hammam. www.kaerntentherme.com Bad Kleinkirchheim: Thermalbad Römerbad. Wellness spa in the Roman style. www.badkleinkirchheim.at/thermal-roemerbad Bad Kleinkirchheim: Therme St. Kathrein. Family spa, therapy spa and wellness area, with Roman-style tepidarium. www.badkleinkirchheim.at/therme-sankt-kathrein Bad Bleiberg: Therme Bad Bleiberg. Adventure and relaxation spa, at 920 m above sea level. www.bad-bleiberg.at/de/therme-bad-bleiberg

UPPER AUSTRIA Bad Schallerbach: EurothermenResort. Health spa with sauna facilities, Water adventure pool, relaxium and Tropicana spa. www.eurothermen.at/Bad-Schallerbach Bad Ischl: Salzkammergut Therme. Saltwater spa, with saltwater grotto, saltwater springs and saltwater pool. www.eurothermen.at/Bad-Ischl Geinberg: Spa Resort, fed by one of the hottest natural springs in Austria. 3 pool complexes. www.therme-geinberg.at Bad Hall: Therme Mediterranea. Iodine-saltwater spa, with Mediterranean architecture. www.badhall.com/ eurothermen/therme-mediterrana.html

SALZBURGERLAND Zell am See-Kaprun: Tauern Spa. Alpine spa, in a 20,000 m² area. www.tauernspakaprun.at Altenmarkt: Therme Amadé. 30,000 m² Alpine spa complex with looped flume. www.thermeamade.at

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pas are wonderful places for spending some time on yourself, for relaxing and re-energising – whether on an extended stopover as part of a longer trip, as something different while on holiday, or on a wellness break over several days. Surrounded by impressive mountains, soft hills or the distinctive landscape of the Pannonian plain, they are great places for topping up on health and rest.

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The ‘Best Health Austria’ seal Wellbeing with quality guaranteed! Austrian wellness centres, health resorts and cure establishments that display this seal of approval really are the best of the best. After all, if it’s health and wellbeing that you are promised, that’s exactly what you should get. www.besthealthaustria.com

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Alpine Wellness. Health, fitness and pampering by the ton! We set the highest quality standards for authentic high altitude wellness hotels and regions; specialist environmental, organic, and relaxation hotels in the Alps. www.alpinewellness.com

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Fit and relaxed. 45 four and five star complexes dedicated to healthy eating, exercise, relaxation and beauty treatments have committed themselves to the philosophy of ‘Schlank and Schön’ (Slim and Beautiful). www.schlankundschoen.at

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3 1 The Stegersbach Balance Resort 2 Warm spa water works wonders... 3 Art combined with recreation: Therme Blumau

LOWER AUSTRIA Laa an der Thaya: Therme Laa. Spa complex with various pools and flume. www.therme-laa.at Bad Erlach: Therme Linsberg Asia. Spa with an Asiatic feel. www.linsbergasia.at Baden bei Wien: Römertherme. Sulphur spa with steam bath complex. www.roemertherme.at Gmünd: Sole Felsenbad. 7 pools, with varying saltwater concentrations. www.sole-felsenbad.at

STYRIA Bad Blumau: Rogner Bad Blumau. Designed by the Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, with an impressive wellness area. www.blumau.com Loipersdorf: Therme Loipersdorf. Extensive spa complex with adventure pool and sauna facilities. www.therme.at Bad Waltersdorf: Therapy spa. 7 pools, 12 saunas, wellness park. www.heiltherme.at Sebersdorf: H2O spa. Especially for families. www.hoteltherme.at Bad Mitterndorf: Grimmingtherme. Surrounded by mountains, 7 spa pools, giant flume, sauna complex. www.grimming-therme.com Bad Radkersburg: Parktherme. Extensive water complex with large sports pool and sauna village. www.parktherme.at Bad Gleichenberg: Life Medicine Resort. Therapy spa set in an extensive park area. www.lifemedicineresort.com Köflach: Therme Nova. Sports and wellness pool, sauna complex with helarium. www.novakoeflach.at Fohnsdorf: Aqualux Therme. Family adventure complex; wave pool, current channel, extensive sauna complex. www.therme-aqualux.at

VIENNA Therme Wien. The largest city spa in Europe, with sulphur therapy spring. www.thermewien.at

© S t. M art in s T he rm e & L o d ge ; bl um au @r o gn e r .co m

© S t e ge r sb ac h

Bad Hofgastein: Alpentherme Gastein. The biggest Alpine spa in Europe. www.alpentherme.com Bad Gastein: Felsentherme Gastein. At 1,200 m above sea level, with adventure pool and flume. www.felsentherme.com Bad Vigaun: Heiltherme Bad Vigaun. Therapy spa for diseases of the locomotor system. www.badvigaun. com/de/heiltherme/index.htm

TIROL Längenfeld: Aqua Dome. Outdoor pool, giant flume, waterfall. www.aquadome.at Ehrenberg: Alpentherme. Adventure pool and sophisticated sauna complex. www.alpentherme-ehrenberg.at Fügen: Erlebnistherme ZiIllertal. Saltwater and adventure pools, water slide. www.erlebnistherme-zillertal.at/

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Lakes

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Longing for Lakes

Crystal-clear mountain lakes, pure bathing pleasure and countless gems of nature invite you to lie back and relax in or on their cooling waters.

Burgenland Lake Neusiedl is often dubbed ‘Vienna’s coastline’. When you’re lying on its bank on a hot summer’s day, watching the countless surfers, sailors and swimmers go by, it doesn’t take much imagination to think you are at the seashore. The lake, one of the largest in Austria,

is even slightly salty. It is not deep, however. Yet its maximum depth of 1.8 metres enables it to beat one record – that of being the warmest lake in the whole of Austria, enjoying a pleasing 300 days of sunshine per year. It also offers perfect conditions for numerous species of birds that breed in the broad reed fringe. The countryside around the Neusiedlersee forms part of the Neusiedlersee National Park, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. The National Park itself comprises 45 salt-water ponds. www.neusiedlersee.com

Carinthia The Carinthian Lakes have long been a synonym for a crystal-clear summer paradise. From May through September the 200 warm water bathing lakes in Austria’s southernmost province turn the region into a paradise for water-lovers. Austria’s most well known lakes are the Wörthersee – www.woerthersee.com – with its sophisticated holiday resorts, the romantic Millstätter See – www. millstaettersee.at, the Ossiacher See –www.regioin-villach.at –, its banks being the venue for the annual “Carinthian Summer” event, and the Weissensee, lying at an altitude of 930 metres. There are also other real gems, like the Faaker

See – www.faakersee.com – with its idyllic island feature, the Pressegger See with its panoramic view of the mountains – www.naturarena.com – and the warmwater Klopeiner See – www.klopeinersee.at. Find out more about Carinthia’s lakes at: www.kaernten.at

Lower Austria The crystal-clear Lunzer See in the ‘Mostviertel’ is the only natural lake in Lower Austria, www.lunz.at. An excursion that is always recommended is a visit to the Erlaufsee, on the border with Styria – you can reach it with the Museumsbahn (heritage railway) from Mariazell. Wildly romantic, encircled with trees and watched over by the Dobra Ruins are the Kamp lakes Dobra and Ottenstein in the ‘Waldviertel’.

Upper Austria Thinking of Upper Austrian lakes, you will immediately conjure up an image of the scenic Salzkammergut, because it is here that the biggest and brightest gems are located. The two largest lakes are the Attersee, (www.attersee.at) loved by water-sports enthusiasts, and the Traunsee (www.traunsee.at), overlooked by the arresting Traunstein Mountain. The warmest lakes

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© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/R al f Kr e ue l s/A n d re a s Ho fe r/ J uli a K n o p

ustria’s lakes shimmer blue and green in the warm sunlight, later silver and gold as the sun slowly sets. One of the greatest masters of colour, Gustav Klimt, spent years in the summer resorts on the Attersee, finding inspiration in the picturesque beauty of the Salzkammergut. However, you don’t have to be an artist to succumb to the dazzling array of Austria’s lakes. They are living areas, recreational areas and the splendour of nature all rolled into one. From the crystal-clear water of secluded mountain lakes, surrounded on all sides by monumental mountains, to warm steppe lakes, ringed by a wetland area of reed beds and filled with the surfers’ colourful sails. Austria’s lakes invite you to pause on the lakeside and to dive under the glassy surface. You can even drink it if you want; many of these lakes taste just as good as they look, and the water is of drinking quality.

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ Wo lf gan g Z a jc

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Tips Where great artists roamed

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Johannes Brahms used to spend his holidays in the enchanting landscape around Altaussee. He was in good company. Friedrich Torberg, Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal all spent time in the area. The ‘Via Artis’ (Artists’ Trail) takes you around Altaussee and the Grundlsee, informing visitors of today about the prominent holidaymakers of a bygone era. Only a stone’s throw away is the Attersee, where art enthusiasts can follow in the tracks of Gustav Klimt on the Artists’ Trail. Or perhaps take a tour of the places where Klimt spent the summer months. 24 panels display information about the time Klimt spent in the region. Guided tours start at the information office in Schörfling.

4 1 Good winds for sailing on the Millstätter See

of the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut are the beautifully located Mondsee, www.mondsee.at, and its neighbour the Irrsee, which stands under an ­environmental conservation order. The three moor lakes of the Oberinnviertel Lake District, the Holzöstersee, the Höllersee and the Heratingersee are situated within the stunning landscape of the Ibmer Moor. Find out more about lakes in Upper Austria at: www.wasser.info

SalzburgerLand

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/R al f Kr e ue l s/A n d re a s Ho fe r/ J uli a K n o p

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ Wo lf gan g Z a jc

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In the Salzburg part of the Salzkammergut three lakes spring immediately to mind, the Wolfgangsee (www.wolfgangsee.at), the Fuschlsee (www.fuschl­ seeregion.com) and its little brother the Hintersee. From the Zeller See (www.zellamsee-kaprun.com), nestling impressively between the m ­ ountains, you get a magnificent view of the austere giants of the Hohe Tauern National Park. And for those who would like to stay in Salzburg for some sightseeing, it’s not far to the lake area with Grabensee, Mattsee, Obertrumer See or to the Wallersee. www.salzburger-seenland.at

Styria The scenic highlight of the ‘Green Heart of Austria’, as Styria is affectionately called, are the lakes in the Styrian section of the Salzkammergut, principally the Altausseer See – www.altaussee.at, the Grundlsee www.grundlsee.at, and the Toplitzsee, www.toplitzsee.at Not far from Bruck an der Mur is the Grüner See – www.tragoess-gruenersee.at, with crystal clear water. A popular destination is the Stubenberg Lake directly on the Styrian Apple Route – www.stubenbergsee.at

2 The Neusiedlersee, a kite-surfing paradise

Tirol

3 Diving into the Faakersee

Where else can you splash around in clean waters, before looking up to see colossal mountains towering above you? For example at the Achsensee – www.achensee.com, a beautiful lake that was carved out by glaciers, or the crystal-clear waters of the Plansee in the northwest of Tirol and its connected lake Heiterwangersee. Then there is the lovely Schwarzsee near Kitzbühel, the Walchsee just north of Kufstein, the Thiersee, or the only bathing lake in East Tirol, the Tristachersee at the foot of the Dolomites. The countryside around many of these lakes offers the perfect habitat for many species of animal and plant life and needs to be protected; this is true of the countryside surrounding the Vilsalpsee near Tannheim, which is covered by an environmental conservation order, whilst the Hintersteiner See lies within the Wilder Kaiser nature reserve. More about lakes and waterways in Tirol at: www.wasser.tirol.at

4 On the Achensee, the mountain slopes plunge down to the water

Vorarlberg Lake Constance, the third-largest lake in Central Europe, borders on three countries – Austria, Germany and Switzerland. From the Pfänder, Bregenz’s local mountain, you get a wonderful view over the lake. www.bodensee-vorarlberg.com Significantly smaller, but perfectly romantic is the emerald green Seewaldsee, in the Grosses Walsertal biosphere park; despite its depth and the fact that it is located at a height of 1,200 metres, it retains a pleasant bathing temperature. www.grosseswalsertal.at Details on waterside holidays in Vorarlberg at: www.vorarlberg.travel/de/wasser

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Families

© Öt z i -Dorf Um ha us e n

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Kids and Teens

A family holiday is a holiday with the kids, not about the kids. Austria means guaranteed fun for these young explorers and adventurers!

Vienna Schönbrunn: Specially designed children’s tours through the palace, numerous attractions including a labyrinth and a large zoo. www.schoenbrunn.at/kinder ZOOM Children’s Museum: Children can investigate, marvel and participate in numerous exhibitions and events. www.kindermuseum.at Haus des Meeres: Houses flora and fauna of the deep, with aquariums etc. www.haus-des-meeres.at

Burgenland Forchtenstein Castle: On the weekends throughout July kids get the chance to discover the medieval world of knights and castles. www.forchtenstein.at Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg: Family spa resort specialising in entertaining babies and small children; houses the longest indoor slide in Europe. www.sonnentherme.at Family Park Neusiedlersee: A 100,000 m2 park in St. Margarethen with fairy-tale forest, farm, recreational castle and adventure island. www.familypark.at Museum at Lackenbach castle: “Along the traces of Nature” – a creative adventure world. www.naturspur.at

Carinthia Terra Mystica: Bad Bleiberg, multi media adventure caves to explore, plus show mine. www.terra-mystica.at BIOS Adventure World: Hohe Tauern National Park, over 80 laboratory stations show natural phenomena. www.bios-hohetauern.at Obir Stalactite Caves: Show caves in Bad Eisenkappel; during the magical light and audio show

the stones start to speak and the dragon who lives in the cave comes back to life. www.hoehlen.at Rosegg Family Adventure: A castle with its own waxwork display, castle ruins to explore, a zoo and a labyrinth. Open from May until October. www.roseggonline.at, www.keltenwelt.at Minimundus: Klagenfurt’s top attraction, miniature models of 150 of the most beautiful buildings in the world, all built true-to-scale. www.minimundus.at

Lower Austria Carnuntum: See box for further details. Museum for Pre-history: In Asparn an der Zaya. Pre-history to play with; adopts a hands-on approach to experience history for yourself, with exhibitions, events and workshops. www.urgeschichte.com Ötscherland Express: Narrow gauge steam train from Kienberg/Gaming to Lunz/See. Tel. +43 741652191 Hohe Wand Nature Park: Fun and play mountain with skywalk and petting zoo. www.naturpark-hohewand.at “Betty Bernstein”: St. Pölten Landesmuseum: regional museum with several tours and courses for children. www.landesmuseum.net/de

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© Ö t zi - D o rf U mh au se n ; ZOOM K ind e r mus e um / k at se y. o rg

hey’ll be amazed by the magical, illuminated caves, filled with stalactites and stalagmites, or watch Romans fight their gruesome battles. They’ll play Cowboys and Indians in the Wild West Town, feed the animals at the zoo or be captivated by the thrilling nature and adventure parks. Those who still have the impression that children are obliged to go hiking in Austria are a little behind the times. Every one of Austria’s regions is a genuine paradise for little travellers and explorers. And what about the grown-ups? When they see the fun and frolics that the little ones are enjoying, there’ll be no stopping them from diving in to get a piece of the action too. So on your marks, get set, go!

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ Wo l fga n g Z ajc

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Tips

* © Öt zi -Dorf Um ha us e n

Vienna. Vienna Prater A green oasis with a historical tradition; in the ‘Wurstelprater’ amusement park nostalgia meets the present day. Also has a sizeable planetarium. www.prater.at, www.planetarium-wien.at

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Lower Austria. Carnuntum Travel back in time to the days of the ancient Romans in this archaeological park. Exciting spectacles like gladiator fights make history come alive. www.carnuntum.co.at

* 3 1 A break and a bite to eat by the Grundlsee 2 A journey into prehistoric times at the Ötzidorf, Umhausen 3 The Middle Ages come alive at Vienna’s ZOOM Children’s Museum

Styria. The Glacier train on the Dachstein takes you to special attractions: the spectacular Sky Walk viewing platform and the ‘Ice Palace’, where you can look into a glacial crevasse filled with giant ice crystals. www.dachsteingletscher.at

Amethyst World at Maissau: The World’s largest exposed amethyst deposit. Visitors can dig for gems themselves. www.amethystwelt.at

Upper Austria Dachstein Caves: Obertraun. Giant ice caves, ­mammoth and stalactite caves, www.dachstein-salzkammergut.com Hirschalm Fairytale Park: In Unterweissenbach, with 40 mystical fairytale and play points. www.hirschalm.at Hallstatt Salt Mines: An exciting escapade through the oldest salt mine in the world. www.salzwelten.at Vöcklamarkt: Children’s World at Walchen Castle: www.kinderweltmuseum.at Steyr: Narrow-gauge railway. www.oegeg.at Kopfing: treetop exploration trail. www.baumkronenweg.at Gosau: Family adventure park. The earth’s history ­condensed into 90 minutes. www.urzeitwald.at

© Ö t z i - D o rf U mha u se n ; Z OOM K in d e r mu se u m/ kat se y.o r g

© Ö s t e rr e ic h We r bu n g/ Wo l fga n g Z ajc

SalzburgerLand Giant Ice Caves in Werfen: The largest ice caverns in the world. www.eisriesenwelt.at Strasswalchen Fun Park: Pleasure park, adventure park and fairytale playground all rolled into one! www.erlebnispark.at Treetop walk in Saalbach-Hinterglemm: the highest-altitude tree walk in Europe. www.baumzipfelweg.at Königsleiten Observatory: Planetarium with entertaining shows, a ‘planet theatre’, a planet trail and children’s visits. www.sternwarte-koenigsleiten.com Game Park and Adventure Park Fusch-Ferleiten: 20,000 square metres of wildlife park plus recreation and adventure areas for kids. www.wildpark-ferleiten.at

Worlds of salt: Hallein/Bad Dürrnberg: trip to the salt mine. www.salzwelten.at Grossgmain Open-Air Museum: Experience farming’s past. Craft displays, tractor museum, and much more. www.frelichtmuseum.com Vulcanino, Köstendorf near Salzburg: Adventure World. www.vulcanino.at

Styria Erzberg Adventure: The Schauberg facility, the biggest Taxi in the World, live detonations. www.abenteuer-erzberg.at Elfenberg: Mautern: Vulture encounter park in Sebersdorf; 23 routes to walk or drive through. www.erlebnispark-geier.at Gröbming Adventure Park: The largest climbing centre in Austria, various parcours for children 3 and above, and for adults. www.abenteurpark.at Hohentauern Adventure Park: Cave and cliff face adventure park, water trails, woodland nature trails and a prehistoric stilted village. www.keltenberg.at Katerloch Stalactite Caves: Dürntal near Weiz. Magnificent show cave, with the most stalactites and stalagmites anywhere in Austria. April – October. www.katerloch.at Altaussee Salt Mine: Salt mine with slides. www.salzwelten.at Styrassic Park: Near Gleichenberg, with over 60 life-size dinosaurs. www.styrassicpark.at Stübing open air museum: antique farming, adventures for children. www.stuebing.at

Tirol Hexenwasser Hochsöll: Adventure park. Interactive stations with a focus on woodland and water, a bare-foot trail and traditional arts and crafts. Open from May until October. www.hexenwasser.at Ötzidorf Umhausen: Archaeological park exploring life and work in the Neolithic period. The park also stages Stone Age festivals. Open from May until October. www.oetzidorf.at Fisser Flitzer: Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis. Summer fun park with summer toboganning through the adventure worlds. www.fisserflitzer.at Innsbruck: Alpine zoo with 2000 animals and displays of flora and fauna of the Alps. www.alpenzoo.at Area 47: Innovative nature and adventure park in the Ötz valley. www.area47.at

Vorarlberg Montafon Recreational Park: Schruns-Tschagguns, Voralberg’s largest leisure park, includes a water park and many other activities. May to September. www.aktivpark-montafon.at Schröcken: Adventure park with high rope walks and “flying fox” slides. www.alpinschule-schroecken.at Alpine Coaster Golm: Adventure train between Latschau and Vadans. 2.6km, 44 jumps. www.golm.at Schmugglerland: Gargallen. Themed forest adventure walk with a twist. www.gargellen.at/schmugglerland.html

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