Photo by K. Thomas/age fotostock
Vienna WoodsAt some 15 miles wide and with elevations that can top out at almost 3,000 feet, the Vienna Woods is an enormous park just outside the city, and the source of inspiration for countless stories, poems, and musical compositions. The former imperial hunting grounds are laced with hiking trails that wend through oak, conifer, and beech forests where wild pigs roam. A drive up a cobblestoned road takes you to the Kahlenberg lookout for magnificent city views and the vineyards of Döbling and Grinzing districts below. Here, in 1683, the Holy Roman Empire defeated the armies of the Ottoman Empire when Polish general John III Sobieski came to the rescue (a shrine honors him today). The nearby 1,400-foot-high Leopoldsberg peak and its fine little baroque church can be seen for miles away.