The land of the Sound of Music and of Mozart is mainly covered by the Alps and its rolling afforested foothills. There are glaciers, meadows, Alpine valleys, gentle farmlands, vineyards, plains and the river that inspired a waltz, the Danube. Most people live in or around the capital city, Vienna, with its romantic buildings, grand old coffee-houses, beautiful palaces and majestic cathedral.
Summers are warm and perfect for hiking or walking in the mountains and valleys. It’s safe to hike without a guide in the Austrian Alps because there’s a dense network of marked trails and mountain shelters. The country is also well-known for its scenic cycle routes along its rivers.
Austria has a strong musical heritage, with worldclass opera-houses in Vienna and Salzburg, and many open air festivals in the warmest months. Winters are cold, but together with neighbouring Alpine Switzerland, Austria is one of the main European centres for snow sports, and the skiing is excellent.