Mix cultural delights with rugged pursuits in Europe’s Alpine treasure
Austria has the look and feel of a fairy-tale kingdom. Snow-capped peaks hover in the distance behind emerald pastures dotted with dairy cows. Lipizzaner stallions go through their motions in palaces, and occasionally monks still pace the streets in traditional brown cloaks. Austrians are very proud of their refined culture, their skiing, and their famous native sons like Mozart, Haydn, and Freud. Oh, and of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who would certainly encourage you to experience some of Austria’s stunning natural features, like its ice caves, glaciers, and towering alpine peaks. While you are out in the countryside, stop by a local vineyard to sample Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s most common grape, and the most recent darling of the oenophile scene. Vienna is Austria’s gem, or shall we say its Swarovski crystal. Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral, its renowned Opera, and its dueling statues of Goethe and Schiller collude to create an atmosphere of enlightened civility. Feast your eyes upon the opulence of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace, then kick back with a slice of equally luxurious Sachertorte, the world-famous chocolate cake. Austria will draw you in with its rugged attractiveness and then charm you with its artful refinement. Just like Arnold, you’ll be back.