An interview with Herwig Kolzer, UK Manager at the Austrian National Tourist Office.
What’s so great about Austria?
Holidays in Austria are extremely diverse and are composed of several aspects, making Austria stand out from its direct competitors. Austria encompasses culture, cuisine, nature and regeneration, intertwining the best natural scenery and cultural zones with extraordinary people who know how to live. Austria stands for warmth, hospitality and pro-active hosts who fulfil holiday wishes and expectations. The perfect destination for people longing for new experiences and self realisation, in Austria you can expand your horizons and sample a new quality of interaction and hospitality.
What is it about Austria that makes it so worthwhile visiting?
Intact and healthy nature provides an ideal foundation for Austria as a longstanding, popular holiday destination: From the Alps to the Danube and the flatlands of Pannonia, Austria possesses the full variety of natural settings that Europe has to offer. Austria melds historic traditions with modernity in an exciting confrontation of the two extremes. National heritage and an opulent contemporary art scene supply wondrous experiences of Austrian culture, not only in urban areas, yet also within the beating heart of nature. Austria’s attractions are far-reaching and can be found from one end of its map to the other – some well-known and others waiting to be discovered. We have chosen our top 10 holiday suggestions for Austria – Austria’s Hidden Treasures – which enable guests to simply experience the Austrian way of life. www.austria.info/treasures
What do visitors have to do / see when in Austria?
Although long recognised as an indomitable ski paradise with some of the world’s best ski resorts and winter recreation on offer, the fact is, when the last spring skiers have hung up their boots, Austria unveils an incredible summer scene. Cities throb with cultural fare; be fascinated by the magnificent baroque architecture of Salzburg’s old city, grab a taste of the gourmet life of Graz, or experience Innsbruck, ‘the capital of the Alps’, offering a gateway between urban fun such as shopping and outdoor adventure. Of course, when it’s time to take a breather and escape a little further afield, it’s easily said and done.
In Austria, you’re never far away from nature in its finest form, be it in Montafon, the world’s biggest gym, bounded not by walls but by mountainsides, or in a breathtaking network of mountain bike and hiking trails in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. Another perfect way to enjoy nature at its best is to hike along the Eagle Walk – the Austrian way to meditate and unwind. Or slow down the Austrian way – birdwatching – at the shore of Lake Neusiedlersee in Burgenland with national park rangers, before enjoying Austrian cuisine and wine at its best.
What hotels do you recommend?
For families I can recommend the Kinderhotels. This unique group of independently-run hotels caters exclusively to families with children and has, over the past 20 years, been committed to the highest levels of service and the maintenance of first-class facilities to create unforgettable holidays. They offer incredible value for money thanks to their all-inclusive packages with no hidden extras and up to 60 hours a week of free child and baby care http://www.austria.info/uk/kinderhotels
For guests who just want to escape every day stress, Austria’s Finest Spa Hotels & Resorts is definitely the best option. Warm thermal waters that massage the skin, relaxation and rejuvenation for the body, and clear alpine air at the door. Relaxing weekend breaks and longer restorative holidays at Austria’s Finest Spa Hotels & Resorts are just a two-hour flight away www.austria.info/uk/wellbeing-spa.
For more information on Austria, visit www.austria.info.