From the jagged peaks of the Tyrolian Alps to the regimented rows of vineyards that flow through the idyllic Wachau valleys, the onion-domed churches of the Styrian ski towns to the bustling parks of Vienna, Austria beckons with some of Central Europe’s most quintessential destinations and experiences.
The winter reigns supreme for many. The sheer slopes of the Austrian Alps dominate over 60% of the country. Within the Alps lie towns with a long pedigree of winter sporting – this land gave the world the likes of Hermann Maier, Toni Sailer, and Franz Klammer, all legends of downhill skiing. But you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy what the pistes have to offer!
Luxury ski chalet rentals in Austria promise to turn a winter getaway into an unbeatable cocktail with one-part perfect pistes and one-part pure pampering. They come in the form of charming ski-in, ski-out lodges with timber-carved balconies and fire-warmed lounges, or plush modern properties with extra frills like indoor cinema rooms and private saunas.
There are umpteen world-class ski resorts to pick from. Chief among them is Lech. Now a part of the vast Arlberg ski domain, it has 97 lifts, 340 kilometres of marked runs, and 248 individual pistes on its doorstep. Plus, visitors get access to the charming town of St Anton, known as the Cradle of Alpine Skiing, for its pivotal role in developing the sport as far back as the 1880s. Drop in for a lunch of sizzling schnitzel and käsespätze, or visit the illuminating Ski and Heritage Museum.
The Tyrol is another region that hits the headlines. When the winter is in full swing, it proffers some of the finest glacier skiing in Europe, upon the ice-caked ridges of Hintertux or along the broad shoulders of the Stubaier. Below those are fairy-tale towns that look like something plucked from the pages of Hansel and Gretel – think squares of cobblestone watched over by Baroque belfries, beer halls tucked in the cellars, and Austrian wine bars that emerge from centuries-old chalets.
When the summer comes around, the Tyrol blooms back to life. Hikers flock to valleys like Ziller and Ötztal to delve into the low-lying pine forests and clamber peaks more than 3,700 metres above sea level. Al fresco spa complexes are ready and waiting when you return from a hard session on the trails. Or luxury alpine rentals that have private spa facilities of their own!
Of course, an introduction to Austria can only be complete with a nod to the grand and gorgeous capital of Vienna. Once the epicentre of the Habsburg empire, it’s one of the continent’s most ostentatious cities. Impossibly elaborate Baroque palaces erupt on all sides, while the old town unfolds in a patchwork of crooked alleys leading to smoky coffee shops that still remember the days when Freud and Trotsky were regulars.
You might also want to set aside time to trace the footsteps of a certain Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg and glimpse the flower-strewn homes of Hallstatt – some say it’s the single most handsome village in the world! – and taste the delicate, sweet wines of Lower Austria.
Whether you prefer a traditional mountain lodge or a modern luxury ski chalet, see our selection of properties in Austria to find your perfect match.
- The grand palaces of Vienna
- Beautiful architecture in Salzburg
- The idyllic mountain village of Hallstatt
- Ski in one of Europe's largest interconnected ski areas in Lech
- Go wine tasting in Lower Austria
- Hike beautiful alpine valleys in the Tyrol
Explore regions in Austria
Bedrooms: 10, Guests: 22
From 310,000 to 375,000 EUR per week
Bedrooms: 5, Guests: 12
From 45,630 to 74,210 EUR per week
Bedrooms: 9, Guests: 22
From 157,500 EUR per week, to price on request
Bedrooms: 4, Guests: 8
From 66,500 EUR per week, to price on request
Bedrooms: 8, Guests: 16
From 147,000 EUR per night, to price on request
Bedrooms: 5, Guests: 14
From 68,600 EUR per night, to price on request