Austria is a destination of sublime beauty and elegance all year round, the grandeur and spectacle of its mountainous landscapes rivalled only by the richness of its cultural and musical heritage. An escorted rail tour of Austria with Great Rail Journeys allows guests to enjoy the very best of both of these worlds.
Austria's modern railway network spans the entire country making even remote and rural areas accessible by fast, efficient and regular trains. This means that a rail holiday in Austria can easily encompass visits to both historic and cultural cities including Vienna and Salzburg with scenic regions such as Austria's Alps and Lake District.
Fascinating grand imperial cities and high-speed intercity train journeys showcase the turbulent history of Central Europe. Discover what turned these former Habsburg and Prussian cities into four of Europe's greatest destinations.
Combining the magnificent cities of Salzburg and Vienna with some of Austria's most scenic railways is the recipe for a truly wonderful tour. Add to this an international river cruise excursion to Bratislava and a "Sound of Music" tour, for an unforgettable Austrian holiday experience.
Charming castles in both Austria and Germany, and mighty zeppelins can be seen on this wonderful rail tour. Our base is in Lindau, a pretty island set at the edge of Lake Constance, a huge expanse that is bordered by three countries.
Marvellous Alpine scenery makes a brilliant backdrop as we discover the wonderful Austrian Tyrol, enjoying spectacular mountainous narrow-gauge railways before continuing on to the peaceful shores of sparkling Lake Garda. From our base in the pretty lakeside town of Salò we explore beautiful Venice and historic Verona.
Beginning and ending in London, we travel just under 23,000 miles across the globe on this incredible worldwide adventure. Starting with the renowned 'Big Apple' on America's Atlantic coast, we traverse this vast country of sophisticated cities and majestic landscapes by rail to vibrant Los Angeles and scintillating San Francisco in the West. From here we cross the Pacific for an enthralling journey across northern Asia, drinking in its myriad of distinct cultures.
Explore the mighty Austrian Alps on this wonderful tour to one of Europe's most scenic and alluring countries. From our base in the enchanting Tyrolean town of St Johann, we discover the majesty of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, enjoy a heritage railway journey through the dramatic Ziller Valley and visit the glorious imperial city of Salzburg.
Enjoy the festive period in two of Europe's most spectacular settings on this truly memorable rail holiday. Innsbruck at Christmas is enchanting, and Lake Garda is the perfect place to enjoy a fantastic New Year.
Our base for Christmas in the Tyrol, Jenbach, is ideal for yuletide trips to Salzburg, Innsbruck and the Achensee. The narrow-gauge steam railway, the Zillertalbahn, is a real highlight, as it winds its way up the valley to the winter resort of Mayrhofen.
This twin centre Christmas rail holiday gives you the opportunity to experience the festive delights of charming Salzburg in a classical 5-star hotel, as well as enjoying the musical and cultural delights of elegant Vienna.
At every bend our spectacular Danube cruise reveals new surprises - imposing fortresses, vine-laden hillsides and alluring forests. Explore four distinctive countries aboard our cruise ship and experience the Danube's harmonious blend of natural and cultural beauty with tours of the great Imperial cities, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest.
Touring Austria with Great Rail Journeys
Whether you join us to visit some of Austria's magical Christmas markets, journey by train through the magnificent Alps or for an unforgettable cultural experience at Vienna's annual Johann Strauss Ball, Great Rail Journeys promises you an outstanding trip and unbeatable value for money.
We offer a varied selection of escorted rail tours in Austria to suit everybody, and the price of each includes all rail and other travel, an itinerary of destinations, excursions and activities designed to showcase some of Austria's best historic, natural and cultural attractions, quality overnight accommodation and a selection of meals.
We arrange everything for you and place you in the care of an experienced and friendly Tour Manager who is happy to assist whenever needed and will answer any questions guests may have. Possessing local knowledge of the places we visit, our Tour Managers can also provide useful information and even make recommendations regarding places to eat or things to see and do.
We'll also make sure that you enjoy comfortable accommodation in hotels chosen for their convenient location, guest facilities, high standards of service and value. The quality, family-run hotels we prefer offer our guests a more personal service and an informal atmosphere in which to relax.
Austria traveller's guide
Although compact in size, the landlocked and mostly mountainous Republic of Austria in south central Europe is one of the world's most financially prosperous countries and has an accordingly high standard of living. For visitors, however, Austria's riches lie in its beautiful landscapes, its Alpine resorts and its cultural legacy, particularly in respect of classical composers. Austria is the country which gave us Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, Mahler and Haydn.
Austria's historic towns and cities also boast a wealth of remarkable and beautiful architecture ranging from Gothic churches to Baroque and Neoclassical palaces and fortresses and even remarkable contemporary architecture as demonstrated by Salzburg's Museum der Moderne gallery.
Austria enjoys a temperate climate, although as a mountainous country temperature decreases as altitude increases. Although rainfall occurs throughout the year, heavy rains may accompany thunderstorms in July and August, whilst November and April are typically the wettest months. Austria's southerly position means that summers can be hot and sunny with daytime temperatures rising to 30°C but cooling in the evening. In the Austrian Alps, snow cover at higher altitudes, if not permanent, lasts from November until May.
Robust, hearty meals form the basis of Austrian cuisine, although many flavours and dishes have been influenced by neighbouring countries. Beef, pork and chicken are popular, and bacon features in a number of traditional recipes. Schnitzels - breaded escalope of pork or veal, beef broths, savoury or sweet dumplings and boiled beef are all specialities, and no visitor to Austria should resist the opportunity to try the world's greatest chocolate cake; the Sacher Torte.
Guests visiting Austria on holiday tours should be aware that the Austrian way of telling a waiter to keep the change is to hand over payment and say thank you or 'danke' (pronounced dank-uh). If you expect change wait until you receive it before thanking your waiter.
Austrians greet each other with a hand shake. While you may see some Austrian men bowing to kiss the hand of a lady this is considered ostentatious and is not expected from guests visiting Austria on holiday.