In summer, the green mountains and the blue lakes of Austria privide a charming natural background for the country's baroque cities and quaint villages. And when winter arrives and the snow turns the landscape white, Austria becomes a playground for snow sports. Swishing down the mountains on skis or on a snowboard is a must for adrenaline-seekers. For those who prefer to stay at ground-level, ice-skating on the frozen lakes is a fun option.
By train or plane, getting to Austria is relatively easy from most places in Europe. The country's internal transport system is reliable and efficient, making moving around easy. In summer, temperatures are hot, while in winter they are frequently below zero, getting colder as you go higher up into the Alps.
Summers in Austria are generally short, but offer visitors some great holiday options. This would be the time to explore the village of Alpbach in the state of Tirol, for example. Voted the prettiest in the country, it boasts typical Austrian architecture and lies in a valley surrounded by mountains. Another attractive holiday spot is lake Achen (Achensee, in German), where the bright light blue lake is the focal point. Watersports enthusiasts would be well-advised to head here.
Austria really comes into its own in the winter months. The snow-covered hills are all the incentive people need to get out of the house and into the crisp winter air. The town of Zell am See, situated on the banks of Lake Zell (Zeller See, in German), is the perfect holiday base. The town and surrounding area have access to terrific slopes, generally ready for skiers as early as late September. The activity lasts all day, from early morning skiing sessions to late evening apres-ski parties, all under the shadow of the impressive Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.