Austria may be small but it's also packed with variety, from grand Hapsburg palaces to mountain-framed alpine-green pastures. Stick to the cities to sip cream-smothered Viennese coffees in chandelier-lit cafes or trawl contemporary art galleries in fast developing Linz. Head for the great outdoors for lively aprs-ski chalets or ski down Tyrol's snowy Alps.
From Graz to Linz on the River Danube, Austrian cities share a love of coffee houses, otherwise known as temples to sinful Sachertorte chocolate cake and sacred Gemtlichkeit, literally cosiness. Trace the winding River Danube to Austria's cultural centre and capital city, Vienna, or visit Mozart's Birthplace in Salzburg, backdrop to legendary film The Sound of Music. Head west to the Vorarlberg and Tyrol regions to snuggle in wooden alpine chalets and nibble on farm-fresh cheese. You'll find glacial wilderness in the Hohe Tauern National Park, east of the Brenner Pass.
Admire 21st-century art in Vienna's vast MuseumsQuartier collection of museums. Or try local speciality Sachertorte cake with apricot jam filling in an elegant 19th-century coffee house. Then take a night-time stroll along the twinkling Ringstrasse boulevard that wraps itself around Vienna's centre. For new perspectives climb Innsbruck's futuristic Bergisel ski jump or Graz's medieval clock tower, looming above a jumble of red-roofed townhouses. Head north to Linz, the pulse of modern-day Austria with cutting-edge art galleries and a vibrant nightlife scene.
The Eastern Alps steal the limelight in the Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Salzburgerland areas. Head here for summertime rambles through meadows dotted with tiny white edelweiss flowers. In the winter, set up camp in a popular ski resort like Kitzbhel or Mayrhofen. Gaze up at Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner (12460 feet) or hear the thundering crash of 1246-foot-high Krimml Falls waterfall in Hohe Tauern National Park. Moving east the scenery shifts to rolling woodland, vineyards and shady apple orchards in Upper and Lower Austria. Share Most cider with down-to-earth locals in rustic Heurigen wine taverns.