Austria is one of Europe's jewels - a truly delightful country to visit at any time of the year. In winter, it is shrouded in snow and ideal for skiers, while in the summer months it offers an equally delightful landscape that is perfect for hiking and walking holidays.
If skiing does not appeal and you would rather use your own two feet to explore some of the delights the country has to offer, try these cities and towns for size. There are many opportunities for some exploration in all of them.
You cannot visit Austria without visiting its capital, Vienna. Many wonderful walking holidays can be had here alone, exploring the gardens and castles that make it so memorable. Be sure you do not miss the Stadtpark and the Baroque palace, which has gardens to wander around in and appreciate for an hour or two. Indeed Vienna is known just as much for its parks as it is for its history of music.
Salzburg is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Mozart, and for being the place where The Sound of Music was set. One of the highlights of any walking holidays here would undoubtedly be the Old Town, with its distinctive architecture. You can also make the hike up to the Hohensalzburg Castle, which looks down over the Old Town. Be sure to see the fountain in the gardens of Mirabel Palace too - you may recognize it from The Sound of Music.
This is the capital of the Tyrolean area of Austria. Many hikes can be planned in this area, thanks to its mountainous properties. It is well worth exploring the Hofgarten, which is a park that is easily accessible from the Old Town. You cannot walk on the well-preserved lawns but there are plenty of paths to use and there is also a palm house that is worth a look. You may head for the Nordpark for other sightseeing opportunities too.
Perhaps not as instantly recognizable a name as many other places in Austria, Klagenfurt nonetheless provides an opportunity to explore some lakeside walks, thanks to its proximity to Lake Workhorse. If you want a shorter and more casual outdoors experience, you can head for the castle that dates back as far as the Middle Ages. For more challenging routes you can head for Lake Workhorse and try a shore-based route; there are alpine slopes nearby.
With so many superb towns and cities to explore, the above suggestions form just a few of the opportunities you have to enjoy in Austria. Whether you are content with a few short walks in the middle of town or you want to get out and hike around the mountains, Austria has it all.
Sunday, July 7, 2013