Friday, June 14, 2013

Fantastic Shopping Opportunities in Austria

Those who think that Austria for tourists and visitors, is mostly only about skiing, couldn’t be more wrong. If shopping is your thing then you are likely not to be disappointed on your Austrian holiday. Not many people may be aware of this – but Austria is more than a skiing paradise and cultural landmark, it’s also an amazing shopping destination! 

If you are heading on an Austrian holiday and have the hopes of turning it into a shopping break, your aspirations certainly will not be crushed. Not only will you witness world class shopping facilities, flaunting all the right names in retail and fashion, but may stumble upon shopping opportunities that are unique to Austria. Ultimately, you will be spoilt for choice. Right! Now on to the details. 

Every popular tourist destination is filled to the brim with ‘souvenir’ shops that stock all kinds of knick knacks, usually defined by the words, useless and overpriced. However, while you will encounter many of these, rest assured that you will also find many genuinely valuable and uniquely Austrian items. If you enjoy indulging in culinary culture, you may find Austrian liquors and wines, especially dessert wines, very interesting. If you are a foodie, do not miss Austrian speciality foods. Some good examples would be Austrian ginger bread known as Lebkuchen or the highly aromatic Styrian pumpkin seed oil. 

Coffee is another excellent thing to invest in while in Austria. Austria, of course, is not a coffee growing country, but the fact that Austrians adore coffee may have something to do with the quality coffee being available in abundance here. Another item related to food and drink, that you can pick up are cook books, of which you will find many, especially in old book shops and flea markets. 

Austria has an immensely rich cultural heritage, and is well known for antiques, artefacts and different crafts. Austrian glass and porcelain are renowned across the world, so if you like a locally made glass ornament, be assured that it will be top quality. 

This is just a tiny glimpse into the world of unique shopping opportunities in Austria. If you prefer more mainstream high street shopping, there are no shortage of world class malls and boutiques in Vienna and other major cities across the country.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The best of Austria

Austria, just as the other alpine countries, is a great travel destination. We traveled to Austria lots of times, to Carinthia, Lake Ossiach, the Salzburgerland, Lake Fuschl and to the Wipptal Valley, which is a great destination if you like mountain biking or hiking, and skiing in the winter on the Bergeralm. Every time we went, we tried to get information about our destination, before we went, but every time there was little information available on the internet. Of course, we drove from the Netherlands to our destination, and still had a great holiday, but the lack of information made us go to the same holiday destination, over and over again. Sure, we still had a wonderful holiday, we enjoyed ourselves during hiking through the countryside, enjoyed the food and the local beers, but we discovered that a lot of travelers had the same problem.

 Everyone was seeking information before going on a vacation to Austria, but almost nothing was available. Sure, there was information about the famous destinations as the cities of Innsbruck or Salzburg, and the big winter sports destinations as Sölden or St. Johann. But on the other villages, mostly great holiday destinations with lots of sights and attractions, there was nothing. So, now almost five years ago, we decided to put up a website, with all those information everyone was looking for, but could not find. We moved from the Netherlands to the Oetztal valley, to the small village Sautens, and we started to write about all the other villages, the holiday regions and all ski resorts in the alpine countries, and not just Austria, but all alpine countries.

 Our site now has over 8.000 pages, with information on (almost) all destinations and holiday villages in Austria, all ski resorts in the Alps, and every week new destinations come available on our site. And during our search through the villages in Austria and beyond, we discovered lots of small villages with a rural character, lots of hiking opportunities, no one ever heard about. Real pearls, and really good travel destinations. Moreover, we are very glad we moved to Austria. What a difference, when you have lived your entire life in the Netherlands. Here, everyone is friendly, everyone helps anyone, and the great mountains in the Oetztal valley are great for hiking and mountain biking. We indulge ourselves in the beautiful life in Austria, visited many great events, we learned to ski in the first winter, we visit lots of villages and cities, and we offen go to the culture capital of Tyrol, Innsbruck, to visit the great events that take place here, or visit the Alpenzoo with our kids.

 Traveling to Austria is something we gladly recommend to anyone seeking a great and versatile holiday destination, and if you ever need any information about a destination in Austria or one of the other alpine countries, just visit our site Wilhelmus Hengstmengel Main site: Austria: