Experience all four corners of Austria: This comprehensive tour is a perfect introduction to the country's incredible variety of sites and landscapes. You will experience the lush plains of Lower Austria and the Danube Valley, the rolling hills of pre-Alpine Styria, and the towering Peaks of the Upper Austrian Alps, including the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountain. Additional stops in Italy, Switzerland or Germany could be easily added.
This trip will be customized according to your wishes.
The city on the Danube, which is situated at the crossroads of the transport routes from the Baltic to the Adriatic and from southern Germany to the Great Hungarian Plain, is much more than the capital of Austria.
For many centuries Vienna was the center of a powerful empire covering much of southeast Europe, the seat of the powerful Habsburg Monarchy which ruled from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918.The city's illustrious past is reflected in its stately palaces and other majestic landmarks along the ring surrounding the old town, such as the Staatsoper (state opera) and the ducal Hofburg. Today Vienna, former capital of the former multinational state, is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a touch of nostalgia for the glorious days of old. It is still the mecca of classical music with the world's largest music conservatory, the most famous concert halls with countless music events each year.
The small hotel with 26 bedrooms is imbued with homelike atmosphere rarely found in a commercial establishment.
This is not due to chance: It was the intention of owner Otto Wiesenthal from the start to provide guests with an extra measure of hospitality. Before opening his hotel in 1991, Herr Wiesenthal was in the computer business, where his unpleasant experiences with impersonal hotels inspired him to create an inn where guests are welcomed as friends. Located on a quiet side street outside the Inner Ring, the hotel is a 15-minute walk to the heart of Vienna. A staircase leads up one level to the reception area. The reception staff will gladly assist with sightseeing plans, dinner reservations and tickets for events. On the same floor there is a cozy lounge with an open fireplace, which is a popular meeting point for regular guests and local artists and musicians.
Dr. Marco Pongratz-Lippitt is a knowledgeable city guide who brings Vienna's history and present to life with light-footed and profound humour.
Large connections become visible without getting lost in details. Together with him one walks for a few hours on side paths through the Danube metropolis and sees beside the important sights like the Hofburg, the Stephansdom and the city centre also some hidden, enchanting inner courtyards.
Rental car pick-up
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Vehicle: Opel Astra or similar (CBMR)
Location: Vienna Airport (Desk at Airport)
The capital of Styria is situated on the River Mur at the point where it leaves a narrow valley and flows into the fertile plains of Lower Styria.
Schlossberg Castle, a partially preserved fortress perched on a hill in the center of the city, was never captured by an invading army and is therefore listed in the Guinness Book of Records as history's strongest fortress. The main sites in the old town huddled at the bottom of the hill are the Gothic cathedral, the Jesuit University, a castle complex called the “Burg”, and the Clock Tower – the city's most famous landmark. The entire Baroque inner city was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The most popular site in Graz is Schloss Eggenberg, a Baroque palace with an English park that is home to a flock of peacocks. Thanks to its geographical location south of the Alps, the city named Europe's Culture Capital in 2003 enjoys a partially Mediterranean climate.
The inn with 27 lovingly furnished guest rooms is located on Lendplatz in the heart of Graz with a view of the Schlossberg.
There is also an apartment with living area, kitchenette and large terrace. In the morning, a Breakfast buffet with mainly local products from regional partners is served. In the restaurant you can enjoy original Styrian home cooking as well as traditional Austrian cuisine. Numerous cafés and the old town are within walking distance.
West of Klagenfurt you will pass a scenic Alpine lake called Wörthersee. The surface temperature of the lake reaches an amazing 28° C (82° F) in the summer.
If you're not bothered by the crowds of tourists in Velden, you may want to stop for a walk, swim or boatride. At Villach you will head northwest and begin the climb into the mountains.
The Upper Alpine Road (Hochalpenstraße) that begins in Heiligenblut at the foot of the Großglockner is one of the most magnificent mountain stretches in the world.
The 22 km long highway leads through the Glockner Massif up to a height of over 2,500 m (8,200 ft.). Although the route around Austria's highest mountain was already used by the Romans, the road wasn't built until the 1930s. Today most traffic across the Austrian Alps uses other passes, leaving this route relatively quiet. Car parks are present at most viewpoints from which marked hiking paths lead off into the mountain terrain. In good weather a trip along a side road called “Glacier Road” (Gletscherstraße) is a must.
Today the 400-year-old farmhouse above Heiligenblut is a small chalet hotel that can accommodate up to 35 guests.
With its heavy wooden ceiling beams in the bedrooms and open fireplace in the rustic restaurant, the property has lost none of its historic flair. The restaurant specializes in traditional Austrian cuisine. A Turkish steam bath and a fitness room are also available. Although the inn with views of the Großglockner is especially popular among winter sports enthusiasts, the calmer summer months are ideal for relaxing or hiking on the numerous marked paths in the Großglockner National Park. Those who prefer to travel by car can take a scenic drive to the Großglockner Glacier.
The route follows one of the most beautiful stretches in the Alps. After crossing the border to Italy just past Sillian you will enter the Dolomites.
A particularly scenic route is a side road Cortina d'Ampezzo, site of the 1956 Winter Olympics. It will take you to the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, the most famous formation in the Dolomites, then to Monto Cristallo and through the Misurina Pass. You will then travel through the magnificent Passo Gardena (12% incline) leading to the rugged Gardena Valley.
The capital of the province of Bolzano-Bozen has a distinctly Austrian flavor. It is situated in a narrow valley which was once the crossroad of several ancient trading routes.
While the baroque city center clearly shows that the region belonged to Austria for centuries, modern Bolzano represents an interesting mixture of German and Italian culture. The landscape is dominated by the fascinating Dolomites, which rise majestically to the east creating bizarre formations. Huddled at the foot of the mountains is Caldaro al Lago. The warmest lake in the Alps is surrounded by vineyards for the production of red wine.
The family-run 4-star hotel in Völs am Schlern, at the foot of the Dolomites, is a place of contrasts and perfect symbiosis at the same time: behind the historic walls of the former residence of Baron von Colonna from the 13th century, hides modern design.
The rooms and suites are individually furnished – traditional or modern, but always stylish – and are partly located in the adjoining building, the Kraiterhaus. The staff is attentive and spoils the guests with South Tyrolean hospitality. Art lovers will appreciate the hotel's private art collection with works by Picasso, Kokoschka or Dix. The wellness area with sauna, fitness room and pool as well as a salt cave complete the pallette of services. The award-winning restaurant serves regional dishes and a large selection of South Tyrolean wines.
The quickest route leads through the Brenner Pass, the most important north-south connection in the Alps. Those wishing to avoid the heavy traffic on the Brenner Motorway can take a scenic detour through the Özttal Alps via Meran and the Passo del Rombo.
Vast mountain meadows, deep gorges, waterfalls and glaciers lie along the route.
The capital of Tyrol is located in the Inn Valley at the junction of the north-south route connecting Germany to Italy with the east-west route between Switzerland and Vienna.
The only major city in the Alps has a medieval city center with narrow alleys and numerous examples of Gothic architecture, the most famous of which is the house with the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl). The city, which has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1964, 1976), is famous for its scenic setting amid soaring Alpine peaks such as the Karwendel mountain range in the north and the Lanser heads as well as the Patscherkofel – a popular skiing terrain – in the south-east, where a cable car leads to the summit also during the summer months.
The old double eagle coat of arms of the Astro-Hungarian Empire still hangs above the entrance to the historical guesthouse.
In the 15th century the stalls of Emperor Maximilian I (known as the Knightstood on the site. The stalls were replaced by a patrician villa in the 17th century that has now served as an inn for nearly 500 years. Since its recent restoration the hotel has been awarded a 4-star rating. No two rooms in the building are alike, and most are decorated in accordance with a specific theme, such as the Sissi Room named after the Austrian Princess or the Castle Room. The area of the building that contains the hotel restaurant was once part of a neighbouring monastery. The restaurant, one of the best in Innsbruck, also has a proud, 500-year tradition. A wellness and massage centre is also available to guests.
The city located at the northern boundary of the Alps is one the most beautiful in central Europe. The backdrop of the Alps to the south contrasts strongly with the rolling plains to the north.
The closest Alpine peak – the 1,972 m Untersberg – is only a few kilometers from the city center. The inner city, or old town, is dominated by baroque towers and churches. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is Salzburg's most famous son. The houses where he was born and also lived in are popular tourist attractions and there are many monuments remembering the “Wolferl” in the city. His family is buried in a small church graveyard in the old town.
The historic villa was built in 1863 by an Italian master builder and from 1923 to 1938 was the residence of the world-famous von Trapp family, whose life underlies the musical “The Sound of Music”.
The property is situated in the middle of a picturesque park near the historical centre of Salzburg. Since 2008 the hotel has been restored to its former glory and is open to the public for the first time as a hotel. Numerous photos recall the former inhabitants of the villa, creating a family charm. The former bedrooms are now stylish and individually furnished guest rooms. In the dining room you start the day with a rich Breakfast, which you can finish later with a glass of wine on the large terrace or in the cosy salon.
The region known as the Wachau occupies a 30 km strip of the Danube Valley between the cities of Krems and Melk. The area was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 due to its natural beauty in harmony with its architectural landmarks, which include numerous castles, monasteries and ruins.
Along this stretch the Danube flows through a narrow valley sandwiched between the Bohemian Massif and the Dunkelsteiner Forest, lined with terraced vineyards and dotted with historical towns and medieval villages. High night-day temperature fluctuations contribute to the special aroma of the wines and this is where Austria's most famous wines, including Grüner Veltliner, are produced.
The palace in Dürnstein was built by a princess in 1632. She chose the location well: a high cliff overlooking the beautiful Danube as it winds through vineyards on the way to Vienna. Today the palace is a luxury Relais-et-Chateaux hotel considered one of the best properties in Austria.
Meals are served on the popular garden terrace above the river. The individually decorated rooms are complemented by elegant lounges with period furniture. Among many other activities, guests can take a dip in the indoor or outdoor swimming pools, enjoy a sauna or steam bath, walk up to the medieval castle ruins above the picturesque town of Dürnstein, stroll along the river or among the vineyards, or take day trips to nearby Vienna.
Rental car drop-off
Location: Vienna Airport (Desk at Airport)