Once the seat of a mighty European empire, today Austria is an astonishingly down-to-earth country that just so happens to abound in elegant architecture, timeless culture and comforting cuisine. The Austrians love their lederhosen, music, art, wine, and most certainly their coffee. With nearly two-thirds of their country covered in alpine landscapes that almost oblige you to belt out, "The hills are alive!", Austrians also have a heartfelt appreciation for their country's open spaces.
With a long tradition of hiking and skiing, it's not surprising that tens of thousands of kilometers of marked hiking trails crisscross the country and that Innsbruck has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Time spent hiking, walking, and skiing the broad valleys, rolling hills, and hinterlands of Austria can be invigorating, rejuvenating, and relaxing all at once.