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List of Itineraries For Austria

As Published In The Karen Brown Guide.

Total Number of Itineraries in this list: 5

Highlights of Austria

Many travelers long for the freedom to travel at their own pace, to choose their own hotels, and to avoid the confinement of a packaged tour, but their sense of adventure does not quite extend to driving in a foreign country. If this dilemma applies to you, do not despair: Austria’s public transportation is convenient, well organized, moderate in price, and, best of all—fun. Such fun in fact that many of you who usually rent a car might want to consider making this vacation a complete holiday for all, including the driver, and choose to see Austria by train and boat. To climb aboard a train or boat immediately evokes a mood of romance, a twinge of nostalgia. As you whiz through meadows of wildflowers, chug over mountain passes, zip through tunnels, trace narrow gorges, or float lazily down the Danube, the world is yours. Transportation of this kind is not a means to an end: it is a sightseeing adventure. This itinerary covers some of Austria’s highlights—an excellent choice for seeing Austria for the first time whether you follow the itinerary by train and boat—or car.

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Marvelous Mountains of Tyrol & Vorarlberg

When one hears the word “Tyrol,” wonderful visions dance in the mind—lush green fields with lazy cows munching grass, their huge bells ringing with the rhythm of each step; little boys with apple cheeks wearing leather shorts held up with jaunty suspenders; little girls with blond braids dressed in gay dirndls; picture-perfect villages with every small chalet bedecked with geraniums; simple little churches standing on mountain ledges in isolated splendor; enormous farmhouse-barn combinations with plump down pillows dangling and airing from the windows; meadows of wildflowers stretching as far as the eye can see; powerful mountains rising like walls of granite into the sky. All this is true—and more.

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Music Wine & Castles

This itinerary begins in Vienna, the city of music, and then goes south, tracing the eastern border of Austria. Most of the trip takes place in Burgenland, which literally means "land of castles." The name is appropriate: look closely and you will spot on almost every strategic mountain top a castle or the ruins of a once-mighty fortress. Two of the suggested places to stay on this itinerary are castles that have been converted into hotels.

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Southern Lakes & Mountains of Carinthia

The lakes around Salzburg are gorgeous. Less well known, but also of spectacular beauty, are the many lakes sprinkled among the mountains of southern Austria, in the province of Carinthia. Not only are these lakes lovely, but in summertime their waters warm to a comfortable temperature for swimming. Another plus: this patchwork of southern lakes is surrounded by majestic mountains including the mighty Dolomites whose jagged peaks form the border between Austria and Italy.

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Spectacular Lakes & Mountains of Salzkammergut

The area close to Salzburg is called Salzkammergut, meaning “Land of the Salt Mines,” a rather bland title for one of the most beautiful sections of Austria. Salt, a precious commodity, was responsible for Salzburg’s early prominence and wealth, a wealth still visible in splendid palaces, stunning cathedrals, and magnificent castles. But none of these can compete with the splendor of nature—meadows of wildflowers painting pockets of vibrant color between dark-green forests, splendid lakes reflecting snowy mountain peaks in the early morning sunlight, small hamlets hiding behind swells of rolling hills, villages snuggled in little coves of gray-green lakes, gigantic mountains pushing their jagged, rocky peaks into the sky. This itinerary can be used as a reference for planning day trips from Salzburg. Another option would be to study this itinerary, choose one of the towns that sounds most intriguing, and use it as a base. However, each destination suggested has its own special personality, so try to budget your time to linger in each area. Explore the ice caves, journey down into the salt mines, discover your own little lake, hike up into the mountains, and circle the lakes by ferry. Relax and soak in the spellbinding beauty of Austria.

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