The mountains of the Austrian Alps make the country a first-class destination for ski lovers. The landscapes, historic centers and cities are a reflection of the history and culture that has developed in Austria over the centuries. Whether you want to take a holiday in the nature of the Alps or want to spend a weekend and enjoy the cultural and artistic life of the cities, Austria is a destination not to be missed. There are many and varied tourist attractions in Austria.
MOUNTAINS AND WINTER SPORTS
The Austrian regions most renowned for winter sports are Tyrol, Carinthia, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, and Styria. In these regions there are famous ski resorts such as Kitzbühel, Schladming, Sölden, Bad Kleinkirchheim, Alpendorf, Ischgl, Mayrhofen, Bad Gastein, and Arlberg. In Austria the ski season starts in December and ends in late March / early April. But in some high altitude installations it is possible to ski on glaciers all year round.
The mountains are among Austria tourist attractions. They occupy about 60% of the Austrian territory, extend from west to east and cross the whole country. The mountain ranges of Austria are formed by the Rhaetian Alps, and by the Eastern Alps which are part of the northern slope of the Alps. These mountains are divided into the North-Eastern Alps, the Central-Eastern Alps and the South-Eastern Alps.
The main mountain massifs are those of the Hohe Tauern, where the highest Austrian mountain, the Grossglockner (3,798 meters), is located. Then there are the Ötztaler Alpen, where the Wildspitze (3,768 meters), the country’s second mountain, rises. Other important mountains are found in the Ahrntal Alps (Zillertaler Alpen), in the Stubai Alps (Stubaier Alpen), in the Lechtal Alps (Lechtaler Alpen) and in the Dachstein Mountains (Dachsteingebirge).
In addition to the mountains and the beauty of the landscapes, the capital Vienna is an inevitable destination. A splendid city where you can still breathe the ancient Habsburg atmosphere. Other prominent destinations are above all the historical centers of Salzburg, Graz, Innsbruck and Linz. The cultural and museum offerings of every Austrian city are very large and top-notch.
Nine distinct regions create a wide variety of vacation options in Austria. The country is easily accessible via a multitude of low-cost flights. Thanks to the numerous natural attractions, Austria is one of the most important European destinations for nature and trekking lovers. The country has about 47% of its territory covered with forests..
Steeped in history, Austria has led to the development of various architectural styles and a vast wealth of beautiful buildings that tell their story. Churches, castles and abbeys are places of great charm to visit.
SMALL CITIES, CASTLES AND ABBEYS
There are numerous small towns with characteristic historical centers, scattered throughout every Austrian region. These include Judenburg, Bad Radkersburg in Styria. Imst, Hall, Kufstein, Lienz in Tyrol. Feldkirch in Vorarlberg. Spittal in Carinthia. Zell am see, Radstadt in Salzburger Land. Rust in Burgerland. Bad Ischl, Gmunden, Wels, Enns, Steyr, Schärding in Upper Austria. Baden in Lower Austria.
Contemporary Austrian architecture has gained worldwide reputation, showing the continued vitality of the culture of this country and visiting these places is one of many things to do in Austria.
UNESCO has inscribed numerous Austrian sites on the list of World Heritage Sites. They are all cultural sites, except one. In the UNESCO list we find numerous historical centers of Austrian cities such as Salzburg, Graz and Vienna. Palaces such as the Schönbrunn in Vienna. Cultural landscapes such as the mountain ones of Hallstatt-Dachstein in Salzkammergut. River landscapes like the Wachau landscape, that is the Danube valley between Melk and Krems, and lakes landscapes like those of Fertö and Neusiedlersee. The only natural site is that of the Carpathian beech forests and other regions of Europe.