Explore: Austria

Some of Europe’s best ski resorts snuggle into Austria's Alpine valleys, which transform into epic hiking terrains when temperatures warm and meadows burst into colour with wildflowers.
Heiligenblut Church at the start of the Grossglockner Hockalpenstrasse in Austria

Holidays to Austria

The air is fresh, the scenery is spell-binding and everything seems to tick along at a relaxed but reliable pace. Folklore and tradition are celebrated in the Tyrol and Salzburg, while at the opposite end of the scale, avant-garde ideas are championed in cities like Graz, Linz and Vienna.

Spliced by the Danube river, Austria’s capital is a cradle of fine music and arts, where waltzes, opulent palaces and elegant coffee houses are a natural fit.

Vienna’s coffee houses, proffering sweet Sachertorte chocolate cake, make for a sweet diversion while sightseeing

Where to go

Any Sound of Music stereotypes are embedded in Salzburg, an Alpine city dressed in baroque architecture. Regular tours run through locations associated with the Trapp family, while the city’s other claim to fame is being the birthplace of classical composer Mozart.

Although it is home to one of Europe’s best-preserved old quarters, Graz – in the south – is a hotbed of modern design, with futuristic buildings such as the sci-fi Kunsthaus Graz.

Great names from the art nouveau movement dominate Vienna, which is home to galleries celebrating Klimt and Scheile. The capital’s coffee houses, proffering sweet Sachertorte chocolate cake, make for a sweet diversion while sightseeing.

For majestic mountains, the Tyrol region is hard to beat. Ski resorts such as St Anton, Kitzbuhel and Solden are world renowned.

When to go

Although Kitzbuhel’s pistes are ready from mid-October, other ski resorts open from mid-November onwards. Several snow-blessed spots even stay open until the end of April. After then, the hills are alive with the sound of hikers. Vienna, meanwhile, enjoys an extreme range of temperatures; ice skate and glug mulled wine in winter, or sun-bask at riverside bars six months later.

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