BY WENDY GORE
Amongst the most beautiful countries in Europe, Austria boasts breath-taking Alpine scenery, multiple outdoorsy pursuits, a magnificent culture and a booming culinary and wine scene. Indeed, when you’re ready to truly indulge in a holiday you’re likely never to forget, there’s no better place to spend time than in Austria.
Here are some of the very best, can’t-miss options for you to check out on your well-deserved visit to glorious Austria. And while you’re there, you cannot go wrong establishing a base for your ultimate Austrian adventure at CLC World’s resort in the Austrian Alps, CLC Alpine Centre, which is ideally located amidst a gorgeous mountainous landscape.
A well-known company within the luxury travel industry, CLC World has earned a stellar reputation for the quality of its resorts and the unbelievable value offered by its famed CLC World free holiday promotion. So, when you stay at CLC World’s Austrian resort, you can rest assured that you’ll enjoy an unforgettable luxury getaway in the very best of hands.
1. Ski And Experience The Great Outdoors In The Austrian Alps
Throughout every season, for skiers, snowboarders and nature-lovers alike, the dramatic terrain of the Austrian Alps is an absolute magnet.
If your idea of heaven includes schussing down snow-covered pistes, breathing in crisp Alpine air and topping the action-packed day off with an unbeatable après-ski scene – then the top ski resorts of the Austrian Alps will make you feel as if you’ve discovered paradise on earth. During the winter there’s nowhere better to truly satisfy your yen for all things snow-related than in the Austrian Alps, especially when you try them out from the luxurious environs of CLC World’s Austrian resort.
From the challenging slopes of St Anton to the family-friendly terrain of Obergurgl, the Austrian Alps in the wintertime deliver an ideal, snow-filled environment guaranteed to appeal to every level of skier and snowboarder – from the black-flag experts to the willing and eager beginners.
And for those who might be a bit more interested in the nightlife and parties that so flawlessly complement a day of healthy exercise on the mountains, you’ve also come to the right spot. Whether you’re up for the legendary partying that Ischgl and Mayrhofen provide in spades, or you’d rather prefer the more low-key, but still epic après-ski offerings of Hinterglemm and Saalbach – there’s sure to be a scene that pleases every taste.
In the summer and autumn months, enthusiasts of the great outdoors will also find plenty to delight them in the Austrian Alps. Hike along miles of trails that wend their way through the hilly countryside. Climb rocky inclines. Feast your eyes on panoramic views that seem to extend forever, as you inhale the fresh, pure mountain air and make plans for an evening of entertainment and fine dining at your home away from home in Austria, CLC Alpine Centre resort.
2. Pamper Yourself In Austria’s Spas
In addition to its unparalleled skiing, snowboarding and other outdoors activities, Austria also provides an abundance of opulent spas of all descriptions. Once you’ve pushed yourself to a healthy state of exertion on the slopes or walking trails of the Alps, there’s no better way to recuperate and rejuvenate tired muscles than to spend a few hours in one of Austria’s multitude of sumptuous thermal spas.
Float blissfully in a steaming open-air pool, as you gaze at a fantastic view of the snow-capped Alps in the distance. Work on your complexion as you soak in sulfuric hot springs at a still-active Roman bath, surrounded by luscious grape vines of a vineyard. Indulge yourself in a whole raft of healing treatments – from traditional massages to more exotic therapies, such as sound meditation and Styrian elderberry wraps. Invigorate your cells, revitalize your body and soothe your soul in Austria’s sublime spas – the majority of which are easily accessible from the lavish CLC World resort in Austria.
3. Immerse Yourself In Vienna’s Rich Cultural Offerings
For those who crave culture and adore the urbane sophistications of Europe’s storied cities, Austria has a treasure trove of wonders to share with you. The capital of Vienna virtually resonates with gentility and invites art and history buffs to explore its many charms.
Vienna is literally filled with graceful, imperial architecture – the visual legacy of hundreds of years of Hapsburg rule. During their dynasty, this powerful family ruled from Vienna, where they created some of Europe’s most iconic buildings, such as the baroque Schloss Belvedere and the many architectural masterpieces in the Hofburg palace complex, including the Imperial Chapel (Burgkapelle) and the chandelier-clad Imperial Apartments (Kaiserappartements).
Austria’s main city also offers a dazzling selection of world-class museums, such as the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, which showcases priceless paintings by Old Masters; the MUMOK, which exhibits amazing avant-garde creations and the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, which houses an exquisite furniture and design-oriented collection.
Yet, perhaps the most significant and stunning of Austria’s cultural gifts to the world rests in the extraordinary music that has been composed here over the centuries. Known as the “city of music,” Vienna has, over the years, spawned and played host to such giants of music as Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Strauss, Brahms and Mahler. To get completely lost in the magical sounds of these geniuses’ timeless compositions, head to one or more of Vienna’s acoustically superior and visually spectacular venues – the Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; the multi-stage Konzerthaus; and the Staatsoper, the city’s shimmering, crystal and gold-bedecked main opera house.
4. Sample Delicious Austrian Food And Wine
Throughout your stay in Austria, you’ll have almost endless opportunities to try out the country’s hearty fare and sip on a wide range of outstanding varietals. While the elegant coffee houses and wine taverns of Vienna surely provide a whole parade of palate-tempting treats, you’re also likely to be impressed with the local cuisine that you can order in the ski huts, cafes and cozy restaurants of the Austrian Alps.
After a day flying down snowy slopes, wandering across Alpine paths or even strolling the halls of a museum, you can dig into meals that will tantalize your taste buds, replenish your energy and get you ready for another exciting day ahead. Enjoy national favorites, such as wiener schnitzel, a thin escalope of veal (or if you prefer pork) battered and fried until golden, and tiroler gröstl a mouth-watering and satisfying hash, made with meats, such as ham, pork or beef, combined with fried onions and potatoes.
Don’t forget to save space for dessert! After all you’re in Austria to live la dolce vita – the sweet life. One particularly delicious Alpine treat is apfelstrudel (or apple strudel), which consists of a puff pastry shell, filled with apples, raisins, cinnamon sugar and breadcrumbs.
Plus, if you believe that no great meal can ever scale its ultimate heights without being paired with a wine or two that complements and brings out its subtle flavors, then Austrian wine will undoubtedly win you over.
There are a vast array of excellent varietals and vintages for you to sample, sourced from vineyards across the length and breadth of Austria. However, if you’re in the Austrian Alps, there’s one standout choice that will elevate your meal to new levels – Grüner Veltliner. Due to its high-acid content, this Austrian grape is second-to-none when it comes to penetrating the characteristic richness of the local Alpine fare and revealing its most delectable characteristics. Wine aficionados will be utterly enchanted by Grüner Veltliner’s slightly spicy hints, its creamy finish and haunting notes of ripe peaches and apricots.