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Charming Winter Hideaways in Austria

When it comes to winter resorts, bigger does not always mean better. At narrow valley ends, in remote mountain regions or natural reserves, visitors to Austria will find pristine winter hideaways with plenty to offer.

Carinthia

Mountains covered in deep snow, glistening forests and broad, white meadows; Carinthia's Lesachtal impresses with its original charm. This natural sweep of country between the spine of the Lienz Dolomites and the Carnic Alps attracts those in search of a gentle winter away from the groomed slopes. Sliding along the trails against a stunning natural backdrop, scaling heights in snowshoes and slaloming through the powder on skis or a snowboard, the winter magic of the Lesachtal can be experienced in many ways.

Seldom are winter sport and nature lovers so regally rewarded as in Bad Kleinkirchheim. Take part in the weekly snowshoe hikes for gourmets leading through the peaceful winter landscape of the Carinthian Nockberge Mountains with a delicious menu awaiting at the end. Other activities away from the hustle and bustle of the ski slopes include ice skating, cross-country skiing, tobogganing and horse-drawn sleigh rides.

Upper Austria

Recognized as one of Austria's most magnificent natural landscapes, the Dachstein Salzkammergut region boasts rugged low mountain ranges, secret valleys, tranquil settlements along River Traun, mountainsides covered in lush pastures, romantic high-lying valleys, spectacular rock faces and the much-loved Lake Hallstatt. Set aside from the main transport links are the charming little settlements and villages of the region, well worth a visit. The village wells, where people used to do their washing, still exist today, and the local architecture is fascinating too. Other winter activities include curling, snowshoeing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ski touring, toboganning, ice skating and ice climbing.

SalzburgerLand

Not far from the city of Salzburg you will find the idyllic Lake Wolfgang. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the peaceful glow of lanterns across the water draws guests from near and far to the Wolfgangseer Advent, where they can experience deliciously nostalgic traditions still in practice today. Outside of the festive season visitors will still find plenty to do with snowshoe walks, GPS-tours, snow-bike workshops, a winter archery circuit, a biathlon taster and instruction in winter survival (including igloo building) offered by the Active Center Postalm Arena.

Styria

Ramsau am Dachstein has a lot to offer in winter, even off the ski runs and cross-country trails. It is a real pleasure to walk along the winter walking paths, covering a total length of 70km. The region is also home to many horses, and a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh is a great holiday adventure. Families should pay a visit to the local farmhouse Rösterstube where there is snowtubing, a fun activity for all age groups.

Vorarlberg

Ski right to your door - no problem in cosy Gargellen. The highest-situated mountain village in the Montafon offers a ski region that extends up to 2300m and is considered an eldorado for ski tours thanks to the guaranteed snow. The authentic ambience that has been retained up here offers a wildly romantic charm throughout the year. Another excellent resort for those who prefer to ski away from the crowds is the Brandnertal. In addition to downhill skiing and boarding, activities include tobogganing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and extensive winter walking paths. Families should not miss out on dog sledding with Husky Toni and a true highlight for gourmets is the Palüd Exquisite walk through the snowy mountains by night, accompanied by torches and a delicious menu spread across several huts.

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