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Seeking Ideas/Feedback for 2015 Austria Trip

As Fall arrives, we’re beginning to search on-line for ideas for a 2015 September trip to Europe. We’re in our 50’s, stay in Europe for 15 days and like a variety of big city/ small towns, water/mountains locations if possible during the trip. During our vacations, one stop has been a non-touristy location - really enjoyed those adventures. We travel by train & bus. We travel more for the culture than seeing the most popular sites, so we would forego a location if it’s over-crowded with tourists.

We took the RS GAS tour 11 years ago so have been to Salzburg, Hallstatt & Vienna. I’ve listed some initial ideas (not in order of travel), but we would appreciate hearing about locations you’ve enjoyed that aren’t on the Top 3 list of Austria. Also, we haven’t been to Slovakia, yet.

We would like to spend more time in Vienna –4 days.
We really liked Salzburg for the atmosphere, music, beautiful buildings & smaller town feel in the old center . We would like someplace with a similar feel. – 3 days.
We’re looking for a relaxing spot of outdoor beauty– St. Wolfgang? – 2 days
The Melk Abbey - stay there overnight to see the abbey and be in a small town? – 1 day
We love Venice & Italian food and could spend our last 4 days there, including flight day, unless there’s another airport near a location you suggest. (We have been to Munich)

Posted by
68 posts

We just returned from a from an 18 day trip to Croatia, Slovenia and Austia. September is a great time, although we had an unusual amount of rain this year.
We stayed at Haus Raudaschl in St. Wolfgang and I would highly recommend it. They are a lovely couple, the place was spotless and the location was excellent. Easy access to hiking, hopping on a boat or renting a bike. Not sure about the bus/train connection as we had a car for that portion of our trip.
Went to Salz Welten on day and enjoyed the Salt Mine tour.
We spent a few nights in Kufstein, Austria, right on the German border. Great hiking and excellent location for a day trip to Chiemsee (Germany) and Munich. We also took a day trip to Salzburg from Kufstein. This is the town where they make Riedel wine glasses and they have a cool tour of their facility.

Posted by
8597 posts

Haven't been there but would like to see Graz and other parts of less-visited southern Austria. Good segue to Venice.

Posted by
2921 posts

Hi Jean,

We loved our stay last Dec. in Ramsau am Dachstein. Gorgeous scenery, the Pension Haus Maria couldn't have been better and "Der Dachstein" trip was an absolute highlight. Probably the best cable car trip we've done, incl. the Zugspitze, Jungfraujoch, etc.

Another area to consider is the Zillertal. Breathtaking alpine scenery. We stayed in Finkenberg overlooking Mayrhofen.

We have photo's at:


Posted by
16724 posts

You could consider taking the train from Salzburg to Venice via Trieste, with a two-night stay in Trieste. We are thinking of doing this for our own trip to Venice next September/October. Trieste looks like a very interesting place and it is right on the border with Slovenia. The Lipica stud farm (Lipizzaner horses) is just a few kilometers away and I am trying to work in a visit there

Posted by
7400 posts

Thanks, everyone, for your replies. We really appreciate it!

Posted by
5450 posts

I would suggest Vienna, Graz, Ljubljana, Lake Bled area and then Piran on the coast. Slovenia is an absolutely beautiful country, friendly, English is widely spoken, Austrian flavored mountains, Venetian looking coast, small and easy to get around.

Posted by
328 posts

I agree with Paul's recommendations of Ramsau am Dachstein & Zillertal. We've been to both and they were slightly off-the-beaten-path highlights for us.

Last month we spent a week in Vienna and took a day trip to Neusiedlersee, about an hour south of Vienna on Emily's (lives in Vienna and posts here often) recommendation. It's a large lake right on the border with Hungry that is no more than 1 meter deep. It is very popular holiday destination for the Viennese in July and August. It was the highlight of our 4-week trip for me because it was so different from all the places I've visited in Europe so far and is definitely not touristed, even by Europeans.

Posted by
1 posts

Go to Graz!!! I studied abroad there for a semester and loved it. The city has a rich history and has many UNESCO sites. There are possible day trips all around Styria that are great as well!

Posted by
1920 posts

We spent a few days in Ramsau am Dachstein at Pension Haus Maria (thanks to Paul from NYC!). The area is beautiful, the B & B one of the finest. The mountains are stunning and it is off the beaten path of most tourists. We took the cable car up to one of the mountains and had an afternoon coffee in small mountain top restaurant only to sit next to a group of older women who would break into song as they sipped their experience of a lifetime.

Posted by
18562 posts

You mentioned wanting to take in the culture.

Here are some of my favorite venues in the “Region”:

For Opera and Ballet:

For Operett and Musicals:

For World Class Music:

My favorite Klezmer (2):

For Great Religious Heritage:

For all the arts:

For Wine

Two Favorite Small towns
(2) yes, that is (was) a mosque:

Finally, for breathtaking architecture:

Okay guys, don't give me too much grief. You knew I would do this.

Posted by
102 posts

Last in Austria I made special effort to visit Hallstatt. This was December following snowfall. My cousin, a skilled Austrian driver made the trip from Linz in what seemed no time, but was somewhat over an hour. Train had been my plan and the schedule is regular, though not so often in winter. By car we had no trouble parking as most activities were between seasons. Ate at Ruth Zimmermann pub with great local menu/beer and all the locals come here in winter for lunch. Spectacular mountains run into the bright winter gray lake, and it was all especially impressive snow covered from my feet to the blue skies. Cable cars can take you high to walk, or just look, and hours/days vary by season. Next time I'll anticipate and see Hallstatt sights in a different season, but for peaceful awesome winter can't be beat.