Nine good reasons to choose Upper Austria for
a winter break
Thinking of going somewhere for a holiday this winter? Read on to find out why Upper Austria might be the perfect destination for you.
1. Variety is the spice of life
The state’s varied topography means there’s something to suit a wide range of needs and tastes. Along with familiar alpine pursuits like skiing, snowboarding and ski touring, Upper Austria’s display counter includes some tasty specialities in the form of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, winter horse riding and surfing.
2. The ski resorts
Upper Austria’s premium ski resorts are perfect for families with young children. Plus, visitors can let off steam with an almost endless variety of sporting activities, including freeriding on the Dachstein Krippenstein or the world cup slope in Hinterstoder.
Pretty much anything can be booked on the ski resorts’ websites – from accommodation through to ski passes, cross-country charges, equipment and admission to thermal baths. And all for a great price.
3. Highlights away from the ski slope
Upper Austria also has a whole host of attractions away from the ski slopes:
- Cross-country skiing in the Nordic Centre in the Bohemian Forest, offering 50 miles of traditional and skating trails
- Snowshoeing on the Feuerkogel in the Salzkammergut region with unique views of Lake Traunsee, and surfing on the largest river waves in the world in Ebensee
- Winter hiking with a ranger in the Kalkalpen National Park, the largest contiguous forested area in Austria spanning 81 square miles
- Winter horse riding in the Mühlviertler Alm, the largest uninterrupted network of bridleways in Europe with over 400 miles of equestrian trails
4. The accommodation
Upper Austria’s appetising display counter also includes specialised accommodation facilities to suit a limitless range of preferences. These range from the perfect family holiday – at the five-star Dachsteinkönig family resort in Gosau, for instance – to a natural retreat in the ultimate forest hideaway: the new Blockhausen Chalets in the Bohemian Forest.
5. Advent traditions
- Visit the Christkindl post office in Steyr, where a special stamp is applied to letters sent around the world each year
- Take a trip to the Steyrer Kripperl, one of the last stick puppet theatres in Europe to open its doors
- Go for a Kripperlroas in the Salzkammergut region, where people open their houses to visitors
- Visit the world-famous Lake Wolfgangsee Christmas Market and see the world’s largest floating candle
- Experience the brand-new Domplatz Christmas Market in Linz
6. Linz is Linz
Incidentally, Linz is always a great place to visit! With concerts at the Musiktheater opera house or the Brucknerhaus concert hall, exhibits at the Castle Museum or the Lentos Art Museum, a stroll through the historic old town, or a visit to the Ars Electronica Center, the museum of the future – an intriguing trip for anyone interested in what the future may hold – the city boasts a thriving art scene and a large number of cultural and architectural highlights.
7. To your health
In particular, Upper Austria is a popular health destination in winter, when people come in search of an escape and a chance to recharge their batteries. Eight health partners in the area combine expertise and deep-rooted tradition with innovative ideas, providing an effective service that helps visitors to return to normal life with vitality. Whether at a thermal bath or a health hotel, the hosts deliver impressive results based on their professional expertise.
By way of example, there’s whole-body cryotherapy treatments in Bad Zell, where visitors brave temperatures of -110°C to strengthen their immune and musculoskeletal systems – perfect for anyone who doesn’t think the Austrian winter is cold enough already. As far as nutrition is concerned, it would be remiss not to mention the Therme Geinberg spa, which only uses products from the region.
8. The hospitality
More broadly, Upper Austria is well known for its hospitality. It’s a place where genuine encounters are possible, where the people are honest and authentic, and where what they do is done with a purpose.
Creating a comfortable and homely atmosphere is a priority and “ja, passt” (“can do!”) is one of the locals’ favourite expressions. And you can count on them keeping their word.
9. Food and drink
This hospitality is, of course, particularly prized in the food service and hotel industries. And the culinary scene itself plays a major role in Upper Austria. Yes, we do love a hearty pork roast with crackling, white cabbage wedges and dumplings, especially when the cold arrives. But there’s so much more than that on offer. Young chefs are bringing new, innovative cuisine to the state’s inns and top-end restaurants. And let’s not forget the beer! With 60 breweries within its borders, Upper Austria has the highest density of independent breweries in Austria, along with the largest hop-growing region and the first beer sommelier world champion. This dedication to preserving our traditional brewing practices has given rise to a raft of outstanding speciality beers.