Millions of tourists every year have created a perfect tourism infrastructure in Austria – and horse riding tours are just part of its allure. This country has it all: world-renowned scenery, hospitable and charming people, great food, world-famous desserts, beautiful villages, interesting cultural events, fascinating landmarks, excellent accommodations, an efficient transportation network and a firm preservation policy for its environment. Far away from the usual summer crowds, horseback riders enjoy the best vacations in Austria. Hidden Trails offers a selection of excellent Austrian horse riding holidays, so you can truly experience this magical country.
Horse Riding in Austria
Horse riding in Austria is a time to enjoy majestic scenery – from high alpine ranges, to forests, meadows and lakes. Hidden Trails offer two different Austrian horseback riding holidays. The first is in the mountains of the High Tauern National Park, where you can lap up the stunning alpine scenery. The other is in the Innviertel Woodlands, between Salzburg and Passau, just on the border of Bavaria. The woodlands offer idyllic rides through centuries old forest, lakeside trails and small traditional villages. Lucky riders may even get to ride an Austrian Haflinger horse – a breed developed in Austria and northern Italy in the late 1800s.
Austrian History and Culture
Austria’s glorious architectural riches include reminders of the once-powerful Hapsburgs, who dominated central Europe for seven centuries. The capital, Vienna, is magnificent with its ornate Opera House and the imperial Hofburg. Austria's other cities are similarly infused with historical magic, notably Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg, with stunning baroque churches set before a backdrop of snow-covered peaks, and Innsbruck, in the centre of Austria's Alps.
Austria has yielded people such as artists Klimt and Schiele, composers Mahler and Schubert, psychologists Freud and Rank, and philosophers such as Husserl and Wittgenstein.
Gourmet culture is evident in the cafes where coffee-drinking has been raised to a high art. Nightlife is versatile, offering laid-back taverns, beer gardens and excellent après-ski, trendy clubs and dance venues.
Celebrations marking events such as the recent 250th anniversary of Mozart's death and Haydn's 200th anniversary in 2009 underline Austria's desire to embrace its rich past. Yet it also proudly fosters its contemporary cultural and social scene. Regardless, staring at a classic Austrian landscape is a reminder that some things are timeless.
- Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart. The city pays homage with two museums and the great summer music festival. The Collegiate Church is an outstanding example of Baroque architecture, and the area in front of the church is a popular marketplace.
- Vienna is laid out in concentric circles. Many of the most impressive structures including the Staatsoper (State Opera House), and the Kunsthistorisches and Natural History museums are located on the wide Ringstrasse, which follows along the line of the old city wall. Two opulent palaces away from the city center are Schšnbrunn, built in the late 17th century for the Habsburgs and still used for state receptions; and Belvedere, commissioned by Prince Eugene of Savoy. Excursions can be made from here through the Danube valley to explore ancient castles and abbeys, and to sample some of the best Austrian food and wine.
- Bregenz is in Vorarlberg, the smallest Austrian province and one of the loveliest. Visitors can swim in and water ski on the Bodensee (Lake Constance) or enjoy musical performances on the floating stage during the Summer Festival.
- Linz was vital to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy for its strategic location on the Danube. Patrician houses and Baroque architecture line the largest medieval square in Europe. Today the city is also associated with that delicious concoction, the Linzer Torte.
- Graz, Austria's second-largest city, is an architectural gem, known for its noble palaces, tradition of scholarship, arts and culture with an irreverent bent and great shopping.
Explore more European Horse Riding Vacations