Popularly known as ‘The Bearded Lady’, Conchita Wurst recently bagged the winning title of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 for Austria with a powerhouse ballad, ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’. If you’re inspired to check out Conchita’s home country then there are some amazing sights to see in the beautiful alpine land of Austria this summer.
With fast, smooth and well-maintained motorways through France, Belgium and Germany, it’s pretty simple to get to Austria from the UK by car. The distance is around 647 miles to the Austrian border and the journey usually takes between 10 to 11 hours.
The Romantic Road
If you’re driving as a couple with the love of your life by your side, the ‘Romantic Road’ of Austria is a great way to see some stunning sights as well as spend quality time together on your trip. Set off from Salzburg and take the road to the provinces of upper Austria where you’ll find the famous village of St. Wolfgang and exquisite monasteries like St. Florian. After exploring the north, head down to the Wachau River valley dotted with castles and mystic ruins in Lower Austria. Finish off the 380km road in Vienna with its equal share of historic city sights and tempting cuisine so that you can really soak up the culture together.
South Austria’s Lakes
Austria is famous for its mesmerising lakes set against majestic mountains and natural scenery. Experience it all for yourself in the southern province of Carinthia. In the summer, the water in many of the lakes is even warm enough to swim in! Start in the medieval city of Klagenfurt and head north to Hochosterwitz Castle for intriguing historic sights. Finish off at the capital of the region, Sankt Veit an der Glan where you’ll find rich Roman Catholic heritage and rest by Lake Ossiach for a truly divine retreat.
The Cheese Trail
It might sound peculiar but Austria really does have some dairy delicacies that are a must-try when you visit. Take in the beautiful countryside by visiting rural dairy farms and specialised cheese-merchants. Highlights are the Käsekeller Lingenau cheese cellar and the cheese house in Andelsbach. Just be mindful not to agree to too many cheese and wine tasting sessions as the legal drink driving limit in Austria is 50 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood and penalties are severe!
As with any road trip abroad, make sure that you’ll well-informed of the local driving rules and regulations. Remember, all Austrian motorways and ‘S’ roads are subject to tolling and you must display a ‘motorway vignette’ inside your windshield when you enter the country. There is plenty of information and guidance online as well as forums from people who have taken the journey before so be prepared with a good amount of knowledge to ensure that you have an enjoyable and amazing trip to Austria.