On a walking holiday to the Austrian Alps, expect picture-postcard views of jewel-box, timber villages surrounded by luscious, fresh green pastures. Hear brown cows and mountain goats sing out across wildflower meadows, dipping their toes in freshwater streams and basking in perfect sunshine.
This enchanting land is perfect to explore on foot. Follow beautifully kept trails to snow-dusted mountain peaks, magical woodlands and glacial blue lakes. The cuisine is also to die for – sample delicious fresh cheeses, chocolates and pastries too, each handmade to local recipes unchanged for generations.
In this blog, we’ll take you through our highlights of the Austrian Alps, giving you more than enough reasons to come and experience them for yourself!
The Austrian Alps offer some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery: the solitary peak of Mont Blanc, mineral-rich thermal springs, glistening turquoise waters of the Achensee lakes and fairy-tale cascading waterfalls at Weissbach.
Cable cars allow easier access to the trickier summits, meaning you’ll get to explore picture-perfect glacial peaks with ease. Take a ski lift up world-famous mountains including Hundstein, Kingspitz, Predigerstuhl and Peiljoch.
The traditional, log cabin villages of Austria offer the most calming, charming spots for a well-earned rest. Sip on the fresh mineral water sourced from mountain springs and slip into the local way of life; listen to traditional folk music played on old accordions, treat yourself to a hot and soothing sauna or simply stretch out on a flower-pot balcony and admire panoramic views of the sweeping valley.
To fully immerse yourself in the alpine experience, you can even spend the night in a traditional mountain hut for true rest and relaxation.
Born over 770 million years ago, the Alps have an incredible history of formation. Characterised as fold mountains, they were formed when two large tectonic plates slowly collided, pushing up the ground over tens of millions of years. This created some of the highest peaks in Europe, including Mont Blanc.
Like most European countries, Austria looks back on a rich and fascinating history. From the feudal dynasties of the Babenburgs to the powerful rule of the Habsburgs, the Austrian monarchies were some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful. Today, you can still see the elaborate palaces of Austrian rulers and splendid edifices built in the Baroque style.
Home to some of the most influential artists, thinkers, poets and musicians, Austria is the birthplace of Strauss, Sigmund Freud, Schubert, Klimt and Mozart.
Food and drink
Austrian cooking takes advantage of the country’s fresh, locally sourced ingredients and ancient methods of preparation: hand-churned butter, wind-milled grains, free-range meats and traditional recipes.
Try a slice of fruity apple strudel, wrapped in a perfect parcel of flaky, buttery pastry. Or, sample the local cheeses and sliced hams made by artisans from hundred-year-old recipes.
Flora and fauna
For those with an interest in botany, a green thumb or just an appreciation for the beauty of nature, the plant life here is inspirational. The acidic limestone soil of the Alps is the perfect environment for beautiful wildflowers, meadows of yellow orchids, pure-white edelweiss, flame-orange hawksbeard and amazing deep indigo acaulis.
Forest trails, pastureland and alpine meadows are havens for incredible animals too. Keep an eye out for colourful butterflies, roaming marmots, deer, chamois, ibex and wild horses as you walk.
If you’re looking for an afternoon of fun, no matter what your activity level, why not try your hand at winter sport? From the rustic village of Bach, enjoy the gentle sport of snowshoeing, trekking over ice to see the glorious Kalbele and Körber lakes. Or if you prefer something a little more exhilarating, you could always opt for a thrilling ski down the snowy slopes. There is something for everyone to find here.
From gentle strolls across flower-fresh meadows to more adventurous hikes tackling the glacial Alps, we offer a variety of walking grades to suit every traveller. If you’re tempted to experience the allure of the Austrian Alps for yourself, why not browse our expert guided walking holidays and book your getaway today.