The small landlocked and mountainous country of Austria is one of Europe’s best destinations. The western half of Austria is located in the heart of the European Alps, where you can find some of the best hiking and climbing in the continent. Austria is also home to several famous cities such as Vienna and Salzburg which carry some important history from the medieval times through World War II. Austria has been romanticized through movies like “The Sound of Music”, or famous artists like Mozart. I was able to visit Vienna on this trip, but my main focus in Austria was to climb the Grossglockner; the country’s highest mountain. I’d like to return to Austria in the summer time to revisit the mountains, see the capital of Vienna and some other regions in the east.
Salzburg is one of the best places to experience Austrian culture outside the capital. The city is famous for its baroque architecture and for being the birthplace of the famous musician Mozart. Salzburg is one of Austria’s most beautiful cities and is built along the Salzach river while surrounded on all sides by mountains. Many people also enjoy a “Sound of Music” tour to see places in person that were made famous during the true story of the Austrian family that lived here during World War II.
The king of the eastern Alps, the Grossglockner is Austria’s highest peak located at 12,461 feet (3,798 meters). The Grossglockner is no where near being a high climb, but comes with all the challenges you’d expect from any good mountain. The mountain is located within Hohe Tauern National Park, which itself has more than a dozen peaks over 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), and plenty of opportunities for skiing in the winter and hiking and camping in the summer.
Filled with ancient castles and palaces, medieval cathedrals, and several hip cafes and restaurants, the capital of Tyrol is both a fun and interesting place to visit. Despite its history which dates back thousands of years, Innsbruck retains its small town charm and feel. Right in the heart of the Austrian alps, Innsbruck offers history, arts and museums, and is the gateway to plenty of outdoor activities such as skiing, mountaineering, and hiking.