Where to walk in Switzerland
By Lorna Heatley
22 November 2017
Hiking is one of the most rewarding forms of exercise in the world, and what country is more made for this particular exercise than Switzerland?Read more
Charming Austria is home to grand cities and superb natural beauty. Explore the lakes, hills and heritage of Austria with Great Rail Journeys.
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.… see more
13 days from £1,895 ppView tour details >
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 this Alpine wonderland.… see more
10 days from £1,395 ppView tour details >
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 a scenic river cruise through the stunning Danube valley of the Wachau and a 'Sound of Music' tour, for an unforgettable Austrian holiday experience.… see more
10 days from £1,995 ppView tour details >
Journey through the heart of the Alps on this grand tour of majestic Switzerland. Visit the picturesque cities of St Gallen and Lucerne, explore delightful Lugano and Bern and experience wonderful Swiss rail over and around the spectacular Swiss peaks.… see more
12 days from £3,295 ppView tour details >
Charming castles in both Austria and Germany, and mighty Zeppelins can be seen on this wonderful rail tour. Our base is on the pretty island of Lindau at Lake Constance, a huge expanse which is bordered by three countries.… see more
10 days from £2,295 ppView tour details >
At every bend the spectacular Danube reveals new surprises - imposing fortresses, vine-laden hillsides and alluring forests. We explore four distinctive countries and experience each region's beauty whilst discovering their rich history and varied cultures.… see more
10 days from £1,495 ppView tour details >
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.
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.