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Need advice on our 14-day Sep 19 Austria itinerary :)

Hello!

My husband and I will be in Austria from 1 - 14 Sep 19. It's our first time so we are not very confident of our itinerary. Appreciate your help and advice on making our trip a perfect one! :)

Background:
-We are not skilled drivers, so will not risk renting a car. We will use public transport to get around
-We like nature, light hiking, good food, cafes, local markets

Draft itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Vienna early morning, will make our way to Salzburg

Day 2: Salzburg

Day 3: Salzburg --> Hallstatt and spend the night there

Day 4: Hallstatt --> Zell am See

Day 5: Zell am See (day trip to Kitzsteinhorn Top of Salzburg platform, and Großglockner Alpine Pass)

Day 6: Zell am See (day trip to Krimml Falls)

Day 7: Zell am See --> Innsbruck

Day 8: Innsbruck

Day 9: Innsbruck --> Vienna for a night

Day 10: Vienna --> Gols (Burgenland) for wineries

Day 11: Gols (cycling/hiking to visit vineyards)

Day 12: Gols --> Vienna

Day 13: Vienna

Day 14: Depart from Vienna in late afternoon

Is the above doable or too rush? Any kind soul to give some advice on our draft itinerary? Much appreciated!! :)

Posted by
1514 posts

I feel there is a bit of a rush on the itinerary plus there are some must see sights I feel you are leaving out. Skip Innsbruck, add a day in salzburg, Vienna, add a hiking and biking excursion to Wachau valley on the itinerary.

Modified itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Vienna early morning, will make our way to Salzburg

Day 2: Salzburg

Day 3: Day trip to the towns of St. Gilgen or Wolfgang

Day 4: Salzburg --> Hallstatt and spend the night there

Day 5: Hallstatt --> Zell am See

Day 6: Zell am See (day trip to Kitzsteinhorn Top of Salzburg platform, and Großglockner Alpine Pass)

Day 7: Zell am See (day trip to Krimml Falls)

Day 8: Zell am See --> Vienna

Day 9: Vienna

Day 10: Vienna

Day 11: Melk - Explore the melk abbey and light hiking

Day 12: Melk --> Hike or Bike ride in Wachau valley and explore wineries and make a stop at towns like Krems or Dürnstein.

Day 13: Vienna

Day 14: Depart from Vienna in late afternoon

https://www.donau.com/en/wachau-nibelungengau-kremstal/outings-activities/exercise/wachau-world-heritage-trail/

https://www.austria.info/us/activities/biking-in-austria/scenic-bike-trails/the-danube-bike-trail

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for your suggestions! Yes, we would love to combine hiking/cycling with wineries. We were deciding between Wachau or Burgenland. For now, we are leaning more towards Gols in Burgenland because the town looks quaint, and the Pannonia scenery looks great -something different from the alpine scenery we would be seeing in the earlier parts of the trip.

Will look at the links you provided! :)

Posted by
4073 posts

The Wachau is not in the Alps either. Skip Innsbruck and consider Hallstatt as a day trip. It is beautiful, but take the photo and get out of there. I much prefer St. Gilgen or Gosausee. Zell am See seems redundant to me and you might want to decide between Zell and Hallstatt. Seems like a lot of time will be wasted changing locations. Renting a car and driving in Austria does not require a driver to be skilled. Some of the smaller places you mention will be much easier to explore with a car.

Posted by
13 posts

@Emily, thanks for your suggestions!

@wmt1, thanks! How many days do you suggest I spend in Gols should I decide to go there?

Posted by
613 posts

I second Emily's advice to rent a car. Driving in Austria is easy (except in the big cites). Search the web for how to drive in Austria. It will increase your sight seeing time. Example: Krimml Falls turns into a 2-3 hour trip instead of a day trip.

With car in the Wachau, see the Pilgrimage Church Maria Tafrl before Melk. Maria Tarfl will dazzle you, until you see Melk. Maria Tafrl is where Prandtauer practiced before he did Melk, and Melk blows the dazzling Maria Tafrl out of the water. Maria Tafrl (views of the Danube and the Alps) would also be an off the beaten track place for US tourists to spend the night.

I'm not a fan of the high priced, slow, slow, slow Grossglockner road unless you are desperate to see a glacier up close, but then, you can do better at the Mer de Glace in France on the Dachstein and a place near Zell am See whose name I can't recall in Austria or a couple places in Alaska & Alberta.

Posted by
1280 posts

How many days do you suggest I spend in Gols should I decide to go there?

This depends how much you are into cycling and your interest in exploring that region. Because of the flatness all cycling routes are of the level "beginner". Along the lake there are natural parks, access for swimming, boat hires, etc., not to talk about that this area has the warmest climate in Austria, fostering extensive growing of wine, which can be tasted, drunk, and bought at numerous places.

If you are tough you can do the all-around-the-lake cycling tour, about 80 miles, 10 hours; better to be done in two legs. You can shorten this tour by taking a ferry to cross the lake.
https://www.radtouren.at/en/?wso_cycling_tour=lake-neusiedl-cycle-trail&noredirect=en_US

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks wmt1, not that tough so maybe not the whole lake, hehe. but the drinking sounds good so probably a night there for a start.

Thank you all so far, especially those who suggested St Gilgen/Wolfgang -I think i'm sold as they look beautiful especially the view up on Mt Schafberg!

And so i'm torn now on my itinerary. I'm not sure if i should use St Gilgen as my base to travel to Wolfgang, Salzburg and Hallstatt or I should use Salzburg as our base, and then make day trips to St Gilgen and Wolfgang on 1 day, and Hallstatt on another day. What say you all?

Posted by
10 posts

I have not been to Gols, but I spent a weekend on the Neusiedler See in the town of Neusiedl am See, and it was a highlight of my time in Austria. We had a car, so we were able to see most of the western side of the lake in just two days, and we also took the ferry across the lake to Podersdorf one of the days to have lunch. Here is what I recommend the most:

  • Kellergasse in Purbach am Neusiedler See is a street lined with wine cellars, with many of them serving food. It has a very nice atmosphere.

  • Rust has a very pretty Altstadt, which is part of the Unesco world
    heritage. It's largely Baroque and Renaissance architecture, and has
    a distinctive orange town hall. What I loved about it were the
    storks that build their nests on the chimneys there.

  • I remember Mörbisch am See having the prettiest landscape, with field
    of red poppies interspersed among the vineyards, leading down to the
    lake, but the poppies are in bloom earlier in the year than when you
    will be there. The other cool thing I remember is that most of the
    houses there are whitewashed and hang dried ears of corn as
    decoration, which was different.

I don't think a car is necessary, but a bike probably is, since as far as I know there isn't a route that goes around the lake. Getting to Neusiedl am See from Gols looks completely doable via train, but getting to Rust or Mörbisch would not be easy. Have a great trip!