Best time to visit Austria

Best time to visit Austria


TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL

If snow is your thing, late Nov-April is, on average, is perfect for frosty fun. Austria likes its rain, so always bring an umbrella just in case. June-Aug bring beautiful summer weather, particularly the further south you go, but never too scorching. Of course the high mountains are always cooler, but with risks of lightning in summer. Christmas and New Year in Austria are magically festive, with glühwein and Christmas markets everywhere you go, no matter how remote. Hike in autumn to catch the wine harvest, with many festivals to accompany it.

Things to do in Austria


WHAT TO DO IN AUSTRIA & WHAT NOT TO

Things to do in Austria


If you want to escape the piste posse, cross country skiing is one of the most exhilarating ways to see Austria. Having hosted the Winter Olympics twice in Seefeld, they are experts at creating trails that lead you into wild, winter wildernesses. There are over 300km of cross country skiing trails in Seefeld alone. In the Alps, the Stubai and Zillertal Mountains conceal even more remote snowscapes, with frozen lakes and blanketed meadows creating the most serene vacation on ice. And Austrians love their spa hotels – so there is always a sauna waiting at the end of the day.
Hiking can be done summer and winter, to varying levels. The North Austrian Lakes aren’t at the same elevation as, for example, the Hohe Tauern National Park, where peak after peak beckons. But they will elevate your spirits for sheer aesthetic perfection alone. Hiking along the River Danube is iconic, as you amble along this vast artery that cuts through the heart of the country. And the Tyrol is steeped in tradition and a whole other culture, with strong Italian influences and superb food.
Austria is one of Europe’s most cycle friendly countries, with a wonderful choice of ways to see it from the saddle. Going with the flow along the Danube, passing ancient monasteries and wineries en route, pedalling Von Trapp style through the Tyrol, maybe not climbing every mountain, but definitely enjoying the edelweiss. The northern lakes are flatter and more full on in terms of Austrian kitsch, with pretty taverns, coffee shops and fairytale castles – plus swimming areas to cool off in.

Things not to do in Austria


Don’t leave it until you are retired. It’s not all Mozart and moseying around coffee shops in Austria. The hills are very much alive with music, and you can do the veritable Von Trapp thing so easily as it has a super-efficient, family friendly infrastructure of hiking and cycling trails, expert guides and so on. More adventurous teenagers have white water rafting, climbing and canyoning to enjoy too. And if that doesn’t have them pumped, the hot chocolates and copious cakes certainly will.
Don’t try and tackle high mountains in winter without a mountain guide if you are snowshoeing or cross country skiing. You need support and local knowledge and there are plenty of excellent guided vacations out there that take you into wilderness wonders. Because you just don’t mess with the mountains. And in general, stay clear of downhill. Environmentally, and often economically, they are a slippery slope.
Don’t mention The Sound of Music. Seriously. Most Austrians don’t care about it, or have even seen it. Nor have they yodeled or worn lederhosen. It is a proud and polite nation. But not when you ask them if they can solve a problem like Maria. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Austria travel advice


TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN AUSTRIA

Food tips


Heather Godbert from our leading walking and cycling vacation supplier in Austria, Headwater:
“Austrians love to take time out of their daily routine to indulge in Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake). But there’s so much more choice than the ubiquitous Apfelstrudel. You can find all manner of cakes and delicacies even in the smallest Konditorei, often served with a generous helping of cream or Vanillasosse. If you are traveling to Salzburg and the nearby Austrian Lake District of Salzkammergut, you’ll also see Mozartkugeln. Dedicated to the composer who lived in the city, these chocolate covered marzipan and nougat balls pack a punch and have to be tried!”

Packing tips


Claire Daniel from our supplier, Exodus, on how to beat the ice:

“In winter it is a good idea to bring Yaktrax-style spikes to wear under your shoes when walking in town: it can be quite icy, so these are great little things to have!”
Heather Godbert, from our supplier Headwater, shares her Austria packing tips:

“If out trekking, take walking poles – when on Austria’s multitude of mountain and valley paths, they come in really handy for summer hiking and winter walking (although a ‘basket’ on the end is recommended when it gets snowy). And don’t forget the sun cream – over the summer months, it can get surprisingly hot in Austria.”
At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.
We have selected some of the most useful Austria travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation.
“Read Michael Palin’s New Europe book before you go as it gives a brilliant insight into some of the history and culture of the whole area, not just the 5 countries we visited. Anyone who has the time would greatly benefit by reading up on any of the history of any of the places we visited.”Helen Spooner on a Vienna to Budapest tour
“In the past we have always downhill skied, but this time we decided to try cross country skiing having never done it before. It took a short while to learn the basics and by the end of the week we were able to complete a cross country journey - with no broken bones!” Elizabeth Musetti
Photo credits: [Snowy mountains: Zoltán Vörös] [Austrian cakes: Michela Simoncini] [Trekking: austriatourism] [Skiing: nikcname] [Hiking: Allie_Caulfield] [Austrian landscape: Zoltán Vörös] [Helpdesk: Michi Hofb.] [Family trekking: Leo-seta]
Walking vacaton in the Austrian Tyrol

Walking vacaton in the Austrian Tyrol

Beautiful mountain scenery and attractive Tyrolean villages

From US $1235 8 Days ex flights
Cross country skiing in Austria

Cross country skiing in Austria

Tuition is provided by Eric Woolley, a Snowsport England Coach

From US $1285 8 Days ex flights
Prague to Budapest cycling vacation

Prague to Budapest cycling vacation

A wonderfully contrasting ride through the heart of Europe

From US $2555 11 Days ex flights
Germany and Austria hiking vacation, self guided

Germany and Austria hiking vacation, self guided

Circular trek around Mount Hochkönig and Königssee

From US $1014 8 Days ex flights
Danube cycling holiday, self guided

Danube cycling vacation, self guided

Discove the compelling history of the Danube

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