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Explore Austria’s cultural & natural wonders and most stunning places with this 7-day itinerary starting in Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, and finishing at the Arlberg, a well-known skiing resort that is beautiful in the Winter and Summer. Along the way you will visit Austria’s oldest and most picturesque villages and explore the capital of the Alps.
Start your trip at Café Tomaselli with pastel pastries on the upstairs balcony. The café has long been a favourite amongst Salzburg’s cultural elite. Continue your morning with the Walk of Modern Art which does not only take you to all the city’s hidden art treasures but also to it's historic spots.
For Lunch take the elevator from Anton-Neumayr square up to Mönchsberg mountain. Here, inside a modern concrete bungalow, restaurant Restaurant m32 awaits with spectacular views over Old Town and an ambitious menu.
M32 belongs to the Museum der Moderne, a haven for contemporary art. Tour the museum for its brilliant permanent collection as well as impressive temporary exhibits. After a walk past the greats of modern and contemporary art, take a gentle stroll along the Mönchsberg mountain’s tree-covered ridge. There are many scenic lookouts over the city and if you loop across the mountain you’ll even stumble upon several small city castles and a historic monastery. Meander for as long as you like before making your descent back into the city!
On your second morning in Salzburg, have breakfast in style at Hotel Sacher, one of the most iconic properties in Austria. The hotel’s terrace overlooks Salzach river and serves everything from the city’s finest sausages to the iconic Original Sacher-Torte, which melts in your mouth and soothes the soul.
If you’ve spent the last days staring up at Hohensalzburg Fortress, wondering what hides behind its mysterious stone walls, you’re in luck. After lunch, walk or take the cable car up the mountain to explore the stronghold from 1077 CE. The Fortress Museum shows exhibits on the lives of the Prince Archbishops who built Hohensalzburg and inhabited it for centuries.
In the afternoon drive to Hellbrunn Palace, a “pleasure palace” of Prince Archbishop Markus Sittikus. The egg-yolk-yellow schloss might not be Austria’s most opulent, but the extravagant grounds that surround it hold an entertaining secret: a network of “trick fountains” was installed by Markus Sittikus and still runs today.
Hit the road early to beat the tourists in Hallstatt. The scenic 1h 15min drive takes you through the Salzkammergut (Lake Region) and you will drive past some of the most refreshing lakes where you can stop for a quick dip.
Nestled between the edge of Hallstätter See and the towering Dachstein mountains, Hallstatt is something like a mirage in the Salzkammergut Lake Region. Once you arrived head to Restaurant & Bar Zauner, the best address to try local fish caught in front of the restaurant.
The best way to experience Hallstatt and its picturesque view is with a ferry ride across the lake. After immersing into the beauty of the village take a look into the mountain and find out more about the wealth of the Hallstatt. Explore the Hallstatt Salt Mines and slide deep into the world’s oldest salt mines. Discover a subterranean salt lake and the mummy of a prehistoric miner - preserved in salt. The local museum depicts the history with 7,000-year-old artifacts, several tours are available to reveal more about how Hallstatt came to be.
The 3-hour drive from Hallstatt to Innsbruck will take you deeper into the Austrian Alps. Once you arrived in Innsbruck you know immediately why it is called the capital of the Alps. The Nordkette Mountains rises over the city’s old town with colossal grace. To get the best view of the Innsbruck take the Nordkette cable car up to Seegrube. On you way down visit the Alpenzoo (Alpine Zoo) - one of the highest elevation zoos in Europe. The Alpenzoo nestles against the Nordkette mountains and offers refuge to endangered species that roam the nearby mountains.
Head to the iconic Bergisel Ski Jump, designed by architect Zaha Hadid. There you'll see firsthand the daring heights from which ski jumpers hurtle themselves down the ramp. From the ski jump hike over to mystical Sillschlucht gorge. Follow the circular trail into the gorge, which begins right behind the ski jump. Wander through forested elevations and look down into the Sill river (you might encounter some kayakers!) Cross the river via two pedestrian bridges and enjoy the view over the Sill’s babbling stream and up towards the ski jump.
Finish your time in Innsbruck with a sunset cocktail and perfect views of the mountains. Head to Hotel aDLERS (you can’t miss the modern, glass-paneled tower) and go up to the roof. The two-story rooftop terrace offers some of the most stunning views in the city. Watch the sun set over Innsbruck’s mountains with a cocktail, wine, or Austrian beer in your hand.
The Arlberg is all about its mountains. There’s no better place to start exploring than the region’s tallest peak: the Valluga. You can of course scale the 2,809 m of craggy rock, but there is an easier way. Hop on the Galzigbahn cable car down in St. Anton and take it to Vallugabahn I cable car. After a quick look around, zip further up the mountain to 2,650 m and hop on your final cable car: Vallugabahn II carries you to the panoramic summit. From the top of The Valluga, the Alps look like a vast ocean of limestone peaks. The 360-degree platform offers breathtaking views all the way to Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.
In the afternoon explore the village of Lech. Think wood-paneled farmhouses, perched between towering Alpine peaks. A stroll down the village’s main street gets you acquainted with the mix of high-end fashion and traditional handcrafted pieces that dominate the Arlberg.
On your last day hike to Körbersee Lake. This hike takes you from the picturesque village of Schröcken to a placid lake in the middle of the mountains. Körbersee lake was voted Austria’s most beautiful place. Körbersee lake looks like someone spilled a glass of crisp blue water into a mountain meadow. Its lush banks are surrounded by summits and on one side of the lake you’ll find a cozy hotel with a sun terrace. Get a piece of their home made apple strudel before making your way back to Schröcken. The hike takes about 1h 45min.
This ultimate top drive was provided by the Austrian National Tourist Office