Austria is selfie-central with its picturesque Alpine villages and lakes, spectacular natural landscapes and atmospheric cities. Sound of Music associations aside, here are some unusual experiences in nature in Austria you must try – your friends will definitely be prone to selfie-envy!
Grossglockner High Alpine Highway To the Tallest Peak for Glacier Spotting
Imagine the view of Pasterze glacier from 12,470 feet – the journey to Austria’s highest mountain is as spectacular as the destination. The famous engineering marvel – the Grossglockner High Alpine Road – leads across the main alpine ridge and ascends to the majestic black mountain Grossglockner (3,798m). With 36 hairpin turns and an ascent to 2,504 m, this route almost dares mountain bikers to take it on. Would you attempt it?
Why black mountain? Legend has it that a pitch-black crystal that concentrates the mountain’s therapeutic energy is hidden inside the Glockner. The greenstone core is surrounded by a mantle of schistous rock that gives the Glockner its black colour. Located in Hohe Tauern National Park, Glockner towers above Pasterze, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps. The glacier shrinks 30 feet every year, so pay your respects while you can. Open from May till end October.
Visit Austria’s Oldest and Most Photographed Village
The spectacular Alpine village of Hallstatt is tucked between mountains and water, so a ferry ride on the lake is the best way to get a panoramic view. There’s a secret behind its wealth and stunning baroque architecture – for centuries, villagers have traded the sought-after commodity: salt. At Hallstatt Mines, slide deep into the world’s oldest salt mines. Find a subterranean salt lake and the mummy of a prehistoric miner preserved in salt.
While here, take a nature walk through the Echerntal trail for landscapes that have been a magnet for mountain climbers, explorers, romantic poets, and painters.
Walk the 44-mile South Styrian Wine Road
Forget the car, choose the eco-friendly way of exploring the South Styrian Wine Road – on foot! Located in the Southern part of Styria, the wine region lies one hour south of Graz. Exquisite wines, taverns with charming views, hiking trails make this region ideal for walkers.
The wine road runs from Glanz-Leutschach – Gamlitz-Ehrenhausen to Strass. Take the Glanzer Weintour, a 6.5 mile long, well-marked hiking trail that is part of this road. Start in the village of Glanz, stop at wineries and savor a well-earned glass of wine! You can stay overnight in any of the charming village inns – the best way to meet locals.
Be a Green Traveller: Take the Dazzling Crystal Hiking Trail
How about encountering precious crystals on a hike? Gives a whole new shine to the activity! You can try the crystal hiking trail through the area of Hall-Wattens, see valuable Halltal Valley salt crystal and Tux Alps rock crystal or visit the Swarovski Crystal Worlds to immerse yourself in the mysterious realm of crystals.
The star of the Swarovski Crystal Worlds is a water-spouting giant that lures you into a hidden world created by multimedia artist André Heller. Five of the Chambers of Wonder have been recently redesigned by internationally renowned artists and designers.
Soak in a Thermal Spa
The mineral-rich waters at Austria’s unique thermal spas not only have therapeutic properties but are accompanied by dazzling mountain views. Aromatic baths, soothing hot springs, massages and meditation – you deserve a holiday within a holiday. Find spas in Tirol, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Carinthia, Styria and there’s even one in Vienna.