8461 Ratsch an der Weinstraße, Austria
Southern Styria is covered with vineyards, producing an assortment of excellent wines, most of which never make it out of the country. Fear not, the Styrian Weinstraße offers plenty of opportunity to sample wines from the region, such as Schilcher or Eiswein, as well as enjoy a good meal. It’s not just about food and wine though. Stop at the former abbey-turned-palace at Stainz and the castle ruins at Deutschlandsberg.
Eishohlenstrasse 30, 5450 Werfen, Austria
The largest ice caves in the world lie just 30 miles south of Salzburg in the Eisriesenwelt at Werfen. Only a portion of the more than 20 miles of caves are open to the public on a 75-minute guided tour, but what’s available to visit is impressive. Magnificent ice formations, frozen waterfalls, and a smooth, rinklike ice palace can be found in this underground world. Visitors will also see Hymir’s Castle, an enormous ice sculpture named for the ice giant of the Edda (the oldest Germanic-mythology saga), and witness layers of time, much like rings on a tree, encased in the glacier (which is actually not a glacier but a massive chunk of accumulated ice).
5440 Golling an der Salzach, Austria
Around 17 miles south of Salzburg between Golling and Kuchl is the Golling Waterfall, a popular motif for 19th-century painters of the Romantic period. A path follows the Schwarzenbach (“Black Brook”) leading to the lower falls and natural pools before following the roaring water to the upper falls via wooden footpaths and bridges. All in all, the water tumbles over more than 500 feet of rock, providing a beautiful introduction to the natural features of the Tennengau area, a beautiful district where much of Salzburg’s salt mining took place.
Achen Lake, Austria
Known as “The Heart of the Alps,” Austria’s Tirol region beckons visitors with an abundance of shimmering Alpine lakes. Lake Achensee is the largest, drawing swimmers, couples in paddle boats, and even scuba divers thanks to its clear waters. Submerge yourself in the emerald water, or take a sail alongside snow-capped mountains.
6867 Schwarzenberg, Austria
The Bregenz Forest holds tight to its regional identity, maintaining its traditional wooden architecture and costumes. While German speakers may have trouble understanding their dialect, they’ll have no trouble appreciating this beautiful forest region.
Nussberg, 1190 Wien, Austria
Austrian wines are made all the better by a visit to the many vineyards and wine taverns (Heuriger) on the outskirts of Vienna. Wieninger vineyard is located north of the city on the Nussberg. A light meal and wine outdoors among the vineyards is a great way to cap off an evening in Vienna. Trams run from the city center to Nussdorf. To explore more heuriger, the little Vienna Heurigen Express train runs from Nussdorf to Kahlenberg and Grinzing.
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