Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Eisenstadt is one of the smallest cities in Austria’s Burgenland, and also the provincial capital of the area. Burgenland itself is situated in the Eastern Austria at the border with Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. The area is known from its rich history and culture with Eisenstadt itself tracing roots back to Celtic and Roman eras. It later became an important part of Austro-Hungarian history and diplomatic. The city has been burnt down and rebuilt many times during the imperial conflicts of the age, but has since then remained largely unscathed. Testament of this is the Schloss Esterházy palace built in the 13th century and converted to its current form in the 18th century by the then Hungarian owners.

During modern times the palace was repurposed in other ways, as it became a tourist and cultural location. It houses several museums, and is adjacent to restaurants and other entertainment. The house also briefly housed a seat for local government during the turbulent years after Second World War. The building itself is known from the large dancehall, that was originally used to host festivals and banquets.  It is also ranked as one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls in the world. The gardens and countryside around the palace have always been frequented by painters, and naturally the site also hosts several galleries.  Murals, ceiling paintings and other art collections add to the internal and incorporated ones.  Tours are available onsite and this ancient castle often hosts classical concerts such as the Haydn Festival.

The city around the castle also dates back thousand years, and despite often hosting considerable political power it has remained in its small size. Like the castle near it the town therefore has lots to offer culturally and historically despite its small size.  The unique flair is what makes the place worth visiting for every traveler. Small peculiarities such as the local wine, gothic churches and even older castles, the old city and the warm and friendly inhabitants, make the place a sure hit for a weekend visit.  Hiking, cycling and walking around Lake Neusiedl presents the same beautiful countryside and nature that most of Austria is known.  It’s also possible to take a boat tour, or visit national parks around d the area. Good connections also guarantee easy access to other regional locations which make Eisenstadt perfect even for a longer visit.

Mostviertel (You better like Cider)

Mostviertel is an area set in the rolling foothills of the Alps, the name itself coming from the pears and apples grown for cider in the orchards of the area. In a stark contrast to rest of Austria and the beer producing countries around it, Mostviertel has the largest continuous area of peach orchards in Europe. Not only does it then offer excellent local ciders for all tastes but also an excellent location for travel and tourism with many natural attractions including a 200 kilometer Cider trail. With most of the other local industry concentrating around heavy machinery and mining, it is understandable that the beauty of cider, or most as it is called, has been incorporated heavily into the local culture, cuisine and events. The region is a perfect location to combine culture and nature with a weekend vacation. During winter the area also offers excellent sport activities like skiing and snowboarding.

The panoramic Cider trail is an excellent choice for friends of good food, drink and dining as well as nature. It offers several local farmers markets, restaurants, orchards, cider pubs and farms to browse through and enjoy along its 200 kilometer length. The local food culture is heavy in game, organic products, heavy dining, meat and of course famous Austria pastries, bakes and cakes. Be sure to try dumplings as they are a typical delicacy in the area. Also visit as many locations as possible as the area is known to have the most diverse local cuisine in Austria and the variations are all well worth tasting.

Same applies to the different ciders produced in the region. Worth noting is that the locals favor the sweeter tastier pear than the slightly more bitter apple ciders. Desserts and coffee are well appreciated by all Austrians and there is no better way to enjoy the afternoon hours. The best season for Mostviertel is of course autumn when the cider is prepared locally. During this time the area is in full festivities with the Salon des Mostes cider festival leading the way. Nature itself joins in as it comes once again in full bloom with autumn revealing all of its colors. The breathtaking views this creates from the highlands alone are well worth the trip. Winter in the region is no worse time to visit as winter sports are easily available, and all that cider that was pressed, prepared and bottled is ripe for drinking and tasting during the warm and hearty winter dinners. Skiing, be it downhill or cross-country is possible, and in stark contrast to the prices of the more traditional high class Alpine locations. Spring and summer should not be forgotten either, as Mostviertel has a lot to offer throughout the year. The blossom and bloom of spring is the perfect counterbalance of life to the deathly blossom of fall and gives an exciting time to visit when nature is coming alive. Expect game and fish to feature heavily in cuisine during this period.

Walking and biking tours are available throughout summer and are offered in all varieties from history and culture to nature and sports. Mostviertel is a must visit location for any cider fanatic, and offers far more for anyone who is looking for an excellent travel location to enjoy cuisine, culture, festivities, nature and of course a good time. Lower Austria offers a different kind of holiday that most travelers will be pleased to experience and others to enjoy. As an unexpected location it has a great opportunity to crate unforgettable memories that you are sure to remember when recommending the place to your friends.