Was planning on going on a trip to Austria in July (family of 4 - with one student and one kid (12))
We'd arrive to Vienna on Jul 18 in the morning (overnight plane from Toronto) - and would need to leave the following Sunday - Jul 28 (for Bucharest - another week there).
For he Austria trip - I thought about splitting 3-4 nights in Vienna and the rest driving to see different places (ideal, rent a car for 1 week).
I've read Steve's suggestions - they end up though in Munich/Milan for flying out - and that would extend the stay to 12-14 days, which would be a stretch for me (work perspective).
Would you have a recommended itinerary of about 6-7 nights that would circle back to Vienna? The total nights would be 10 - but I'm flexible assigning 4 to Vienna and 6 outside or 3 and 7 respectively.
I want to include Salzburg of course, Hallstatt, some time on Danube valley (cruise?, Krems, Melk abbey?), Mauthausen, some light, not very steep (2-3 hours kind) hiking in mountain area; palaces/castles, churches but also as much nature as possible!
Also - would you rather start with the stay in Vienna, then drive out and come back straight to the airport to return the car - or try and get out of Vienna as soon as we arrive on Jul 18, then come back for the last 3/4 nights in Vienna before flying out? This last option - I'm a bit reluctant as I would need to drive in a new country right after a red eye almost 9 hours flight - not ideal:-).
Oh and one last more focused question - my birthday being on July 19 - if taking the option to stay in Vienna to start - what restaurant (not super fancy/expensive - but above average, or for a special occasion) would you recommend?
Thanks in advance for your time to respond - any opinions/suggestions - I really appreciate it them!!