Austria- the best of winters
We love winter, the distinctiveness of our regions and the many alternatives they have to offer. Whether you have a family, or prefer travelling solo, whether you are a sports enthusiast or are simply looking for relaxation – Austria provides an individual experience for everyone.
One good reason to come to Austria are the advent customs of its regions, towns and villages. Getting away for a relaxing weekend in advent is the perfect antidote to the pre- Christmas rush. It is also a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, sample wonderful food, get back on your skis again or take in a bit of culture. Here in Austria we have places with wonderful authentic advent traditions where you can experience our customs, take a sleigh ride or watch traditional gingerbread being made. These places have strong regional traditions and outside of the main tourist season they offer visitors the opportunity to explore an area in all its undiscovered beauty. Not least amongst which are the outstanding craft workshops, which always have wonderful gift ideas on offer.
Austria’s beautiful cities are also worth a visit as there is magic in the air during advent in Vienna, and so much to occupy you that your stay will feel too short. Graz and Salzburg also have a lot on in advent, with a wonderful festive atmosphere and a wide range of markets, culinary delicacies and cultural activities.
Anyone visiting Austria in winter should make sure they experience a traditional Austrian ball. Besides the bestknown ball in Austria, the Vienna Opera Ball,there are many other balls, so-called “Kränzchen” and “Redouten” (masked balls).
Anyone thinking that balls are only held in the larger cities would be mistaken. Wherever you are, we can guarantee you an unforgettable traditional Austrian evening. New Year’s Eve celebrations are incredibly highspirited in Austria. Apart from Vienna’s New Year’s Eve Trail with its many different stages, the whole city offers different events during that special night.
The socalled “Bauernsilvester” (country New Year) is also lots of fun and is celebrated on 30th December. Anyone preferring a quieter night in an alpine chalet should make sure they book early. Mountain chalets in Austria are in high demand, especially around New Year.
Skiing has always been a great Austrian tradition. Whether you are looking for a quiet family ski resort, something more energetic, ski touring or crosscountry skiing, you have many choices, from lively to peaceful and chic to traditional. If you can, you should book your ski holiday already before the traditional holiday periods.
Less well known, and therefore all the more fun, are our Austrian preLent carnival traditions. Fasching (Carnival) officially begins in November, but – as it does everywhere – reaches its high point in February. The best thing about Fasching is that the traditions vary depending on the region and that they are celebrated almost exclusively by and for locals. From the Wampelereiten (“riding of the Wampeler”) in Axams to “Fasching runs”, masks, bonfires, men dressed as women and women dressed as men, quirky and entertaining customs can be found all over Austria. Only in Vienna there are no considerable carnival traditions.
Easter marks the end of the winter – and Easter is heavenly. Our towns and cities are full of Easter markets, and there are decorations and flowers on every corner. There’s a lightness in the air again, and everyone looks forward to the culinary delights of Eastertide: sweet Easter bread and pinca rolls are spread at this time of year with horseradish, the most delicious sausage, salted and smoked meats and hardboiled eggs to make up the traditional Osterjause meal, eaten on and after Easter Saturday. You won’t believe how often Austrians are in desperate need of an Osterjause during that time.