Austria is a popular ski destination, and is therefore often associated with vast mountains covered in deep snow. However, it’s also a great place to visit during summer months. The country has two distinct types of tourists – the first being the winter sports enthusiasts, but the other being summer hikers and culture lovers. In June, you can expect average temperatures of 24ºC and this pleasant weather continues through to September, which enjoys an average of 21ªC.
The hilly terrain that makes the country so great for skiing also makes it ideal for walkers once the snow has melted. Austria has plenty of signposted trails throughout its valleys and mountain tops for adventurous tourists. A beautiful place to visit, these walks may take you past idyllic lakes, through quaint towns, and into serene valleys and forests. You might also choose to hire a bike and cover further terrain on two wheels.
Some of the popular walking destinations include the Wilder Kaiser mountain range, which is home to over 400km of walking paths. Alternatively, there’s the majestic Zell am See-Kaprun, which has a range of short and long routes through the 3000m Kitzsteinhorn and the 2000m Schmittenhöhe alpine giants. Then there’s the Zillertal Alps Nature Park, which has some breathtaking views, or the Olympiaregion Seefeld, with 650km of walking trails that offer a combination of leisurely saunters and challenging summit treks.
On many walks, you may find yourself encountering spectacular viewing platforms; the Dachstein Sky Walk is found at 2700m and hangs off the edge of the Hunerkogel cliff. It gives you beautiful panoramic views of the Dachstein mountains. There’s also a suspension bridge there, with a ‘stairway to nothingness’.
For a long distance hike, you might consider the Alpe-Adria Trail, which will culminate in views over Slovenia. For those with an appetite for the local food scene, you might be keen to try the Bregenzerwald Cheese Trail, which will have your taste buds salivating as you trial the local delicacies in the Vorarlberg region.
If food and drink is your thing, then you may also be interested in learning more about Austria’s vibrant wine culture. Why not try the Burgenland Wine Region – a soft undulating expanse of meadows on the edge of the Pannonian plain? Or there’s the historic Vienna Wine Region, which was first cultivating grapes back in 1132AD. Here you can experience a wine harvest and see what goes into the process of making these world-renowned vintages. Alternatively, a tour through the Schlumberger wine cellars will open up a world of bottles and stories, while the Loisium Wine & Spa Resort will welcome you to some of the most intense flavours that the region has to offer.
For a touch of drama and glamour, there’s the Salzburg Festival. First established in 1920 in the town of Salzburg, it will run from 21st July to 30th August 2017. With orchestra and opera, Mozart and the Chamber Concert Wiener Philharmoniker, choral recitals and performances of the ‘Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’, there’s plenty to see and do. A cultural extravaganza, it’s suitable for all the family with introduction to opera sessions available for children, as well as many musical fun and games steeped in tradition.