Austria is a small, mostly mountainous country with only 8 million inhabitants, yet it has lots to offer to its visitors, combining culture and nature in a very appealing way. If you like outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking and are also looking for rich cultural experiences, this is the country to go to!

Being largely unpopulated due to its alpine setting, Austria is offering vast regions of beautiful countryside to enjoy. Apart from the few bigger cities, pretty little villages invite travelers to relax, engage in sports activities and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the countryside. You can go hiking and climbing in the mountain areas in summer and hit the slopes in top alpine ski resorts in winter. The offerings range from mountain climbing, white water rafting and canyoning for the adventurous, to biking or horse-back riding through the green hilly landscape, and swimming in crystal-clear mountain lakes and rivers. The many lakes in Austria are amazingly clean and beautiful, so make sure to take a dip when you're visiting in summer. In winter the focus lies above all on the snow activities such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice-skating, with courses held for all levels. There are many options to stay in one of the little skiing villages, ranging from luxurious hotels to ski huts and small familiar led accommodations.

On the other hand, Austria is a very cultural country due to its history. Make sure to visit some of its bigger cities such as Vienna and Salzburg to see some of their imperial splendor.  Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart, with its overlooking castle and beautiful old town. In summer you can visit the world famous theater and classic music festival "Salzburger Festspiele".

Vienna is Austria's capital and the city for culture lovers. Visit its castles and palaces and enjoy the multitude of theaters and museums, which show contemporary as well as classical art. If you want to see the young and modern part of the city, try the "Museumsquartier" area which attracts many young crowds with its restaurants, bars, concerts and readings. Have a coffee in one of Vienna's old coffee houses with their well-dressed but grumpy waiters and enjoy the Viennese charm. Coffee culture and fine cakes are a big part of Austrian culture - you can purchase a single coffee and sit for hours reading a newspaper or magazine from the cafe's collection without being disturbed.

The Austrian cuisine is substantial and savory, the most famous dish probably being the "Wiener Schnitzel". It also has a varied dessert selection well worth tasting. The local wine industry plays a big role and local wines like "Veltliner" and "Zweigelt" will make wine-lovers rejoice. Why not enjoy a sample at one of the cozy wine taverns, called "Heurige", together with some plain fare overlooking the Danube River at Wachau?

Austria will beautifully satisfy your hunger for both natural and cultural experience - come and find out!