• Alpbach village center in the summer

    Alpbach village center in the summer

    Alpbachtal Tourismus / Gabriele Grießenböck

Round Trip Itinerary: Austria's Hidden Treasures

This is your day-by-day itinerary for a round trip of Austria's Hidden Treasures, from artistic Lake Constance to gourmet Graz.

Arrival airport: Zurich or Memmingen

Departure airport: Graz

Suggested duration: 11 nights

Highlights along the way:

Watch a performance on Lake Constance's floating stage

Sample Bregenzerwald cheese

Tackle your first 3,000 metre-peak in Montafon

City stop-overs in Graz, Salzburg and Innsbruck

Zillertal's gourmet huts

Travel back in time at Alpbachtal's Musuem of Tirolean Farmhouses

Finish the first stage of the Eagle's Walk in Tirol

 

Your Flight to Austria

Your journey starts with a flight to either Zurich (Switzerland) or Memmingen (Germany), where you can hire a car right at the airport.

First Stop: Lake Constance in Vorarlberg

Tucked into the four-country corner of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, Lake Constance (a.k.a. Bodensee) in Vorarlberg has a

proud identity and daring imagination, reflected in its dozens of annual music and art festivals. Your hotel is located in the city centre of Bregenz, the region's capital: The Weisses Kreuz is the oldest and at the same time most modern 4-star superior hotel in town. Enjoy a wonderful dinner at the hotel restaurant, where head chef Harald Fink prepares the best dishes from the good old days.

After a refreshing night's sleep, you'll discover the cultural highlights of the region. The Rolls-Royce Museum in Dornbirn has some of the coolest vintage cars on show, and the Kunsthaus Bregenz with its impressive architecture exhibits contemporary local artists. Come evening, head out to one of the famous festivals. Should you be visiting in the summer months, then the Bregenz Festival with its stage floating on Lake Constance is a must.

 

Lake Constance, Bregenz

Lake Constance, Bregenz

Austrian National Tourist Office / Peter Burgstaller

Second Stop: Bregenzerwald in Vorarlberg

Get back on the road and drive to the Bregenzerwald, a true architectural feast for the eyes. The region's distinct wood architecture is unexpectedly modern, yet elegantly simple. Stay at Gasthof Krone, right on the town square of picturesque Hittisau village.

There is so much to see here: After a chat with the hotel owner, who is only too happy to tell you about the 170-year history of his hotel, head out to explore. Visit dairy farms, cheese cellars, and delicatessens along the Cheese Trail, or enjoy one of the scenic culinary walks, which include a 3-course menu in a mountain restaurant. For those interested in culture, we recommend Werkraum Bregenzerwald, an exhibition platform for furniture and other products made in the Bregenzerwald. Other museums and exhibitions worth visiting are Austria’s only Women’s Museum and the Angelika Kaufmann Museum, dedicated to one of the region's most famous artists.

Bödele, Bregenzerwald

Bödele, Bregenzerwald

Österreich Werbung / Popp-Hackner

Third Stop: Montafon in Vorarlberg

Ater breakfast on Gasthof Krone's sunny terrace, your trip continues to Montafon where you'll check into the 4-star superior Alpine Spa Hotel Alpenrose. Outstanding cuisine, a wide range of spa treatments, tennis and golf are just a few of the many activities offered by this superb hotel. The charming young lady at reception helps you plan the ideal itinerary for your stay, before showing you to your room with its terrace that provides excellent views of the valley.

The afternoon starts with a quick thrill. You head to the Golm Alpine Coaster - part toboggan, part roller-coaster - and strap yourself in for a 2.6-kilometre / 1.6-mile ride down the mountain. You may need a short rest after this before the adrenaline rush continues at Aktivclub Montafon. Activities include climbing, guided mountain bike, or e-bike tours, and lama trekking! Back in the hotel, a delicious 5-course dinner and some downtime in the spa make for a great finish to your day.

You awake refreshed and ready for your no. 1 challenge of the trip: the Piz Buin ascent. Your efforts are rewarded with breathtaking views from 3,312 m (10,866 ft) at the top of Vorarlberg province's highest mountain. The tour is led by Montafon locals who ease you into your ascent, meaning that everyone can take the challenge.

 

Mountainbiking in the Montafon

Mountainbiking in the Montafon

Montafon Tourismus GmbH, Schruns
Montafon

Fourth stop: Innsbruck in Tirol

The next destination on your roundtrip is Innsbruck. This city simply has it all: the air of the Habsburg era blended with modern architecture. You are staying in the city centre at Romantik Hotel Schwarzer Adler, where most of the rooms have a balcony with wonderful mountain views. Dinner tip: Enjoy your favourite Austrian dish on the romantic roof terrace.

Visit some of the modern architecture which has changed the city over the last few decades, such as the Bergisel Ski Jump and Nordkettenbahnen, both designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Afterwards, stroll through the historical old town, do some shopping, and look out for the Golden Roof, Innsbruck’s famous landmark, built in the 16th century. After that, take your car to the dazzling Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, an art gallery-slash-immersive experience inspired by crystals.

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Wanderlust Chloe

Fifth Stop: Zillertal Valley in Tirol

Your fifth stop is the Zillertal Valley where you'll stay at 4-star Hotel Sieghard. Should you want to tuck straight into the famous Zillertal produce, the local interactive Alpine Dairy is a good place to start. Here, you can work your way through cheeses, yoghurts, and other dairy delicacies. But dairy is not the only thing famously high-quality in Zillertal. Try, for one, the sausages at the traditional butcher's shop Gasser in Mayrhofen.

Hike to Berliner Hut, a protected Alpine landmark and the oldest stopping point for hikers, built in 1879. There's nothing like a locally brewed beer at one of the alpine huts to get your appetite going again. Then on to the Wedelhütte, the highest gourmet restaurant in Tirol.

Zillertal in Tirol

Zillertal in Tirol

Austrian National Tourist Office / Peter Burgstaller

Sixth Stop: Alpbach Valley in Tirol

A 20-minute drive takes you to Hotel Galtenberg, your accommodation for the night in Alpbach valley in Tirol. The family-run hotel with its huge spa area is just one of several wellness centres dotted around the area. First stop is a glimpse into the Tirol of old at the Museum of Tyrolean Farmhouses. After that, meet proprietor Gertrude Messner at Brandenberg's Land of Herbs, where there is said to be a herb for every ailment.

On to more rural mystery at the glass factory in Rattenberg, where glass makers, engravers, and painters have been showcasing their craft since 1820. Nearby you find the Augustinian Museum Rattenberg. Formerly a monastery, it is now home to an award-winning museum showcasing nine centuries of Tirolean art and culture.

 

Farm in Alpbach

Farm in Alpbach

Alpbachtal Tourismus / Gabriele Grießenböck

Seventh Stop: The Eagle Walk in Tirol

The Eagle Walk in Tirol is hailed as one of Europe’s greatest long-distance footpaths. On your day in this area, you'll finish the trail's first stage. From your starting point in St. Johann in Tirol, it’s a moderately diffcult walk westward toward a very worthy photo stop. Once you’ve snapped some memories, the route continues towards the alpine hut where you spend the night. Here, you'll have a chat with other hikers and have some hearty regional delicacies such as Tiroler Gröstl.

Along the Eagle Walk

Along the Eagle Walk

Tirol Werbung / Jens Schwarz

Eighth stop: Salzburg, City of Mozart

Our next stop is the city of Salzburg. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, its romantic, well-preserved old town is full of gorgeous baroque architecture. Your accommodation, the Art Hotel Blaue Gans, is located right in the city centre, just a few minutes' walk from well-known Getreidegasse and the house where Mozart was born.

After a warm welcome at the hotel, explore Salzburg's lesser-known modern side. Enjoy the views over the old town while walking up to the Museum of Modern Art, which is perched on a cliff above the historic quarter and houses pieces by the world’s most important contemporary artists. Once you are back in the centre, take part in a guided walk of modern art and let a knowledgeable local show you artworks around the city. To complete your day dedicated to modern Salzburg, don’t miss the Museum of Modern Art Rupertinum. It began as a seminary in 1350, but has been redesigned to form the perfect backdrop for the contemporary pieces on show.

For dinner, visit St Peter Stiftskeller, Europe’s oldest eatery and a Mozart family favourite. If you're in luck, you might catch a concert of Mozart arias whilst enjoying a delicious three-course meal based on traditional recipes that Mozart’s mother used to cook.

Salzburg

Salzburg

Wanderlust Chloe

Ninth Stop: Graz in Styria

The capital of Styria is the last stop of our round trip of Austria’s secret summer hotspots. Despite being Austria’s second-largest city, Graz is pleasantly uncrowded. Stay at Boutique Hotel Dom, a former palace in the heart of the UNESCO-listed old town. The relaxed vibe and the fact that Graz is known as a paradise for foodies mean that you can quite happily spend your final day strolling around, soaking up the atmosphere, while Kunsthaus Graz with its curved, blobby exterior contrasting the sharp angular baroque rooftops serves as your point of reference.

 

The next morning, make your way to Graz airport for your flight home. While waiting at the gate, you'll find time to recap all the experiences of your trip: Breathtaking landscapes dotted with alpine towns, authentic hosts, fine cuisine, unforeseen avant-garde architecture, and an arts and culture scene that's second to none.

Graz

Graz

Wanderlust Chloe
  • Lake Constance, Bregenz

    Lake Constance, Bregenz

    Austrian National Tourist Office / Peter Burgstaller
  • Birdseye view of the Kunsthaus Graz also called the friendly alien

    Birdseye view of the Kunsthaus Graz also called the friendly alien

    Austrian National Tourist Office / Julius Silver
    Graz
  • Hiking in the Zillertal

    Hiking in the Zillertal

    Austrian National Tourist Office / Peter Burgstaller
  • The city of Salzburg

    The city of Salzburg

    Austrian National Tourist Office / Julius Silver
    Salzburg
  • Hiking in Ötztal, near Obergurgl

    Hiking in Ötztal, near Obergurgl

    Austrian National Tourist Office / Peter Burgstaller
    Obergurgl
  • Bödele, Bregenzerwald

    Bödele, Bregenzerwald

    Österreich Werbung / Popp-Hackner
  • view to lake Constance from mountain Pfänder

    view to lake Constance from mountain Pfänder

    Vorarlberg Tourismus / Roman Horner
  • Chapel on the Alpe Vordere Niedere in Bregenzerwald

    Chapel on the Alpe Vordere Niedere in Bregenzerwald

    friendship.is / Ian Ehm
    Bregenzerwald
  • Bregenzerwald

    Bregenzerwald

    Österreich Werbung / Popp-Hackner
  • Mountainbiking in the Montafon

    Mountainbiking in the Montafon

    Montafon Tourismus GmbH, Schruns
    Montafon
  • Lake Langsee, Montafon

    Lake Langsee, Montafon

    Montafon Tourismus GmbH, Schruns
  • Innsbruck

    Innsbruck

    Wanderlust Chloe
  • Summer in Zillertal

    Summer in Zillertal

    Zillertal Tourismus GmbH / Andre Schönherr
  • Farm in Alpbach

    Farm in Alpbach

    Alpbachtal Tourismus / Gabriele Grießenböck
  • Stage 27 on the Eagle Walk

    Stage 27 on the Eagle Walk

    Austrian National Tourist Office
  • Along the Eagle Walk

    Along the Eagle Walk

    Tirol Werbung / Jens Schwarz
  • Salzburg

    Salzburg

    Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
  • Salzburg

    Salzburg

    Wanderlust Chloe
  • Graz with Kunsthaus and Murinsel

    Graz with Kunsthaus and Murinsel

    Austrian National Tourist Office / Wolfgang Weinhäupl

Route: Roundrip - Austria's Hidden Treasures