Austria Motorhoming - Off the Beaten Path
Off the beaten track can mean so many things in Austria, trekking in the high mountains, walking in the pastures or it could mean just visiting places outside the main tourist destinations, however even the tourists hotspots aren’t like some of the tourist traps in other parts of Europe. What ever off the beaten track means for you, here are a few suggestions for visitors with campervan hire or motorhome rental to experience.
If off the beaten track means a place where time passes slowly then try Schilcherland because this is apparently where time passes more slowly than anywhere else. Why? Because this is where you can sit and drink a glass of wine in a typical wine tavern in the foothills of south-western Styria. This is a really traditional place to visit, so old in fact that it dates back to the 4th century B.C. and has vines planted by the Celts. As you may have guessed this is a wine growing region of Austria and there are now many more varieties grown here than when the Celts first arrived. Set in a region of grassy hills and ancient farmhouses this area is known as the Tuscany of Austria.
If you enjoyed your time in the winelands you must visit Bregenzerwald for a wonderful accompaniment to your wine, cheese. The area is rural with dairy farms and pastures and is the stuff that ‘Heidi’ was based on. Although this is off the beaten track there is an Alpine Farming museum at Hittisau which has a display of historic utensils and cheese making methods.
Other places to get off the beaten track in Austria are one of the 6 national parks, 60 nature reserves and nature parks, as well as bird watching spots and alpine gardens. If you are in the wine region the area around Burgenland has the Neusiedler See Seewinkel National Park. This is the only steppe national park in central Europe with delicate reed beds, salt water pools and flood meadows. Set on the border with Hungary the area is full of flora and fauna and over 300 species of bird. In Lower Austria, just outside Vienna, is the Donau-Auen National Park which is good for exploring on foot or the Thayatal National Park on the border with the Czech Republic which is home to the black stork as well as ruined castles. For lovers of white water rafting try the unspoilt Gesauese National Park on the Enns River or for lovers of the underground world the Oberoesterreick-Kalkalpen has some fascinating caves. The largest National Park in Central Europe is the Hohe Tauern National Park which is home to the giant Grossglockner mountain range. This is a popular tourist spot, it is also home to the thundering Krimml waterfalls, however the area is so large that you could get lost and not see anyone for days.
Remember that spending the night at the side of the road is not allowed in Austria, so plan your journey in advance and book in somewhere that offers services for campervan hire or motorhome rental to make sure you spend a comfortable night.