Austria is a country rich in traditions, music and contrasts, from the Western Alps to the Danube basin in the east. The country of Johann Strauss and Mozart, it is also remarkable for the historic buildings, museums and world-class alpine landscape that takes your breath away. In a cafe, in a ballroom or church, Austrians seem to have something from the charm and romanticism of Italians combined with the discipline of Germans. Austria's glorious architectural wonders are inherited from the powerful Habsburgi, who dominated central Europe for several centuries. Opera house and the Hofburg Palace in Vienna are magnificent. Among other places infused in history there are Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace, the Baroque churches of the central Alps and Innsbruck.
Austria has produced and inspired a whole range of people of culture. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Vienna became a center of Renaissance culture. Besides great Mozart, Austria has given the world artists like Klimt and Schiele, composers Mahler and Schubert, psychologists Freud and Rank, and philosophers such as Husserl and Wittgenstein.
Most tourists come to Austria attracted by winter sports. Modern Alpine skiing developed around 1900, when many ski clubs were formed. Ski legend Hannes Schneider started his career as an instructor in 1907 and until 1930 had already developed the Pan-Alpine skiing tradition. In some areas skiing season begins in late November, but more often on Christmas. It lasts until April, but in recent years this period has varied greatly due to global warming and unusual weather phenomena. In areas with glaciers one can ski all year round, although it is more expensive during summer.
The main ski areas are almost everywhere in the Alps. Resorts are rather divided on the skill level of skiers. For beginners, the best resorts are Lech in Vorarlberg, Tyrol region, east of Innsbruck (Ötztal Alps, Alpbach, Niederau and Obergurgl), most areas of Salzburg (Neukirchen, Skiwelt Amadei), and Styria and Carinthia (Bad Kleinkirchheim). In these areas will you find the easiest parts, along with facilities for families with children.
By Maria Morari
The best winter holiday destinations .
Austria - Great setting and facilities
Austria - Salzburg view
Austria - Beautiful country
Austria - Vienna City Hall
Austria - Greenish landscape
Austria - Beautiful architecture
Austria - Best ski resorts in the world
Austria - Halstatt view during winter
Austria - Tyrol
Austria - Salzburg
Austria - Innsbruck
Austria - Splendid scenery
Austria - Panoramic setting
Austria - Scenic landscape