Journey to the West

P1010125This summer we explored the province most west of Austria – Vorarlberg. As it will take you around 6 hours to go there from Vienna it’s a good choice to split up the journey. On the way there we stopped in Salzburg and on the way back in Tyrol. Another possibility is to pack your car on the railjet and enjoy the children’s cinema to Feldkirch (Vorarlberg) or take the overnight train.

P1010123Our first stop was the province capital Salzburg, the town of Mozart and the Salzburg Festival. The kids enjoyed most Palace Hellbrunn with its trick fountains. Then we explored the world’s largest ice cave, the Eisriesenwelt at Werfen. Even walking up and riding on Austria’s steepest cable car was an adventure with a stunning panorama view. The tour through the cave took 70 minutes taking 1,400 steps at a temperature below 0°C.

P1010149We stayed a couple of days in St. Michael im Lungau with its beautiful flowery houses and friendly people. With the free Lungau card you can take several cable cars going up different mountains and visit several castles and other attractions without charge. On foot of the Mauterndorf cable car e.g. there is the children’s park Smarty Land. In bad weather, Therme Amadé at Altenmarkt offers the only water looping slide in Austria.

P1010180Our next stop was Bregenz, the province capital of Vorarlberg lying on Lake Constance which seems like an ocean bordered by Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Bregenz is the second smallest province capital with 28.000 inhabitants, but has a middle-aged old city center with a pedestrian zone and a mountain with cable car: the Pfaender.

P1010167In summer celebrities of the neighbor countries visit the world-famous Bregenz Festival staged on the lake. If you would like to see the Magic Flute next year, you got to order now. From Bregenz it takes just 20 min. to go to Germany, Switzerland or Liechtenstein. We made a beautiful trip to St. Gallen in Switzerland to visit the Abbey Library with the oldest books in the world.

P1010195In the nearby mountains we stayed at Jufa Montafon near Schruns with a big indoor playground and a Plus Card with many advantages, highly recommended for children. The whole Montafon valley offers many attractions for children like the Montafon Aktivclub. At the adventure mountain Golm a children’s trail with English explanation, a flying fox, a forest rope park and the Alpine Coaster are located at the center.

P1010310Another beautiful province capital, we took on the way back is Innsbruck, surrounded by mountains reachable by cable car and famous for the Golden Roof in the city center. The Winter Olympic Games were held twice at Innsbruck: 1964 and 1976; the Youth Olympic Games only in 2012. With a shuttle bus you can reach the Swarovski Cristal World within 20 min. introducing you to a magic world.

P1010267Our last stop was Jufa Wipptal at Steinach am Brenner with the Bergeralm cable car just next to it. A paradise for mountain-bikers in summer and for skiers in winter. On top of the mountain there is a children’s playground with many stations called Baerenbachl. Steinach is only 15 min. from South Tyrol, which once belonged to Austria and is now a bilingual part of Italy. We made a trip to Sterzing/Vipiteno, which is said to have one of the most beautiful main roads in Tyrol. With the railjet it just took us 4 hours and 15 min. from Innsbruck back to Vienna.

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