My friend and I along with our two 16 year old daughters are traveling to Italy and we would like to do a 2-3 day trip to a nice town in Austria. Can anyone suggest a few places that will be scenic and interesting to see. We don't mind renting a car if need be. We prefer that it is not more than 3-4 hours away. My friend is suggesting Villach. Any suggestions?!
Not sure if it is too far, but Admont (Styria) might be interesting. Cute village with an abbey that has a very famous baroque library. It's in a gorgeous valley on the edge of the Gasaeuse National Park, so the scenery up to the mountains is wonderful. Lots of hiking/rafting/kayaking opportunities there. They have a very nice visitors center for the park, too, with plenty of info. Park website here: http://www.nationalpark.co.at/en/visitors
I haven't been to Villach, but Klagenfurt a little further east is an atmospheric town with nice lake views.
Thank you for your responses. I am going to look into both places!
Villach and Klagenfurt are cities, or at least large towns. Wouldn't you prefer something more quaint?
We love quaint also! What did you have in mind? We do have to consider that we have two teens with us though! I have never been to Austria ,so any suggestions will be great so that we can get an idea as to what we would like to see or do!
Sept of 2014 my husband and I took the train from Vienna to run the Wacchau marathon which was based in Krems, where we spent 3 nights. We were bused out to Emmersdorf to run the 26.2 along the Danube back to the finish line in Krems. The views were beyond spectacular, the people amazing and I'm pretty sure they invented the word "quaint" in all the small towns in that area.
For driving I might suggest a route over 2-3 days out to Krems, then Melk, back through St Polten and back to Vienna. Otherwise it's pretty easy and scenic to do it by train with many trips making connections thru St Polten.
The Abbey at Melk is spectacular. We saw lots of people cycling the paths beside the Danube. We absolutely fell in love with Austria and in particular the beauty of the Wacchau Valley.
We did 13 days in Austria/Germany using only trains and it was easy and fun.
Great information! Thank you. I will definitely look into it.
Graz is a nice city in southern Austria. It is not a small place, since it is the second biggest city in Austria, but there are lots of nice buildings in the city centre. There is also Schloss Eggenberg on the outskirts of the town which is a very nice old manor house.
If you do take the suggestion of seeing the area that has been part of Italy only since the end of WW 1, see the main town Bozen.