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Luxury Austria 2016, 2017
A short flight from the UK will land you at one of Central Europe's gems, Austria. From the vibrant capital of Vienna, the Alps, and the charming cities spread throughout the country, Austria should most certainly be on your luxury holiday wish list.
No trip to the country is complete without visiting Vienna first. This architectural masterpiece, with the river Danube flowing through its centre, may be one of the most awe inspiring cities in Europe. Visit the Hofburg Imperial Palace where the country's president resides and you'll be taken aback by the grandeur of the Hapsburg era architecture. The same goes for Schonbrunn Palace which, other than its glorious structure, houses the world's oldest zoo, a maze and beautiful grounds. When it comes time to relax, grab a seat and enjoy your afternoon in one of the cities many infamous cafes. As night falls, you can go back in time and enjoy a classic Mozart performance in the State Opera House.
Outside of the capital, there is so much more to see. Take a trip to Salzburg and see the towering medieval Hohensalzburg Castle that looms over the city. If you are after winter sports, the country's Alps and Seefeld (two-time home of the Winter Olympics) are not to be missed. For a truly unique and breath-taking experience, you must visit the city of Hallstatt. This picture perfect town right on the water will be the perfect end to your luxury Austria holidays.
Start with a generous dose of Alpine drama, stir in a rich supply of imposing 18th century architecture and stunning classical music venues, and finish with a sprinkle of some of Europe's best cafes. Austria, as our returning guests testify, serves an appetising holiday blend of history, culture and the great outdoors.
Austria with A&K
To really appreciate its diverse charms, however, you need to be in experienced hands. A&K's knowledgeable, multilingual European team has provided seamless luxury travel across the region for the last quarter of a century, with highly qualified staff, well established connections and seriously good guides. The result? You get insights and adventures off the ordinary tourist radar from behind-the-scenes tours with university experts, to tickets to February's annual opera ball, to the ultimate private baking class: the perfect apple strudel perhaps?
Take an Abercrombie & Kent Austrian holiday in 2016, 2017 and Vienna - the perfect weekend city break with its fabulously atmospheric cafes - is an absolute must. The centre of the Hapsburg empire, it reeks of imperial power and displays the legacy in its architecture, art and music. - a performance at the State Opera is not to be forgotten, nor is the muscular elegance of the white Lipizzan horse at the city's famous Spanish Riding School.
Equally compelling for anyone interested in glorious architecture is Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and setting for the Sound of Music. Its UNESCO listed cobbled-street Old Town includes the early 17th century Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Hohensalzburg Fortress & Nonnberg Abbey.
But Austria is about natural as well as man-made splendours. And that means the Alps. A&K have stunning chalet rentals in St Anton, one of Europe's oldest ski villages, that combines historic charm with high-octane apres-ski. There's small, medieval Kitzbuhel with the HahnenKamm, the most exciting downhill on the World Cup Circuit, and Innsbruck, where traditional buildings are juxtaposed with Zaha Hadid's asymmetric metallic ski jump, and mesmerizing glass mountain railway stations that echo the flow of Alpine glaciers.
Add in the country's highly respected spa culture - you can even stay in an abbey where therapies are provided by nuns - and it's clear Austria offers a lot. An awful lot. And with A&K it's all possible
Spring is particularly pretty throughout Europe as the temperate climate awakens the flora of the region. Wet winters result in green springs and the mountains and plains come alive with blossom and flowers. This region enjoys pleasant warm summers and inland regions can be very hot in July and August, coinciding with the busiest periods. May, June and September are recommended due to the pleasant temperatures, though with fewer crowds. Eastern Europe tends to experience very cold winters, especially in inland areas. This is a pretty time to visit and many Eastern and Central European cities and towns hold traditional Christmas Fairs complete with decorated trees and festive entertainment.
Vienna - British Airways, easyJet
Salzburg - British Airways, easyJet
Innsbruck - easyJet
Vienna - 2 hours 20 minutes
Salzburg - 1 hour 50 minutes
Innsbruck - 1 hour 45 minutes
GMT +1 hour
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
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Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
This 5* fairy-tale chateau is situated on a peninsula in Lake Fuschl at gateway to the Salzkammergut, just 20 minutes from Salzburg. It was built in 1450...Find out more
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We had the most fabulous holiday.The Schloss Fuschl (especially in the fine weather) was as near to perfect as one could suppose.Our room was totally charming (they upgraded us to a suite) and the restaurant was absolutely world-class.
- PS, London