The Best Outdoor Adventures in California

Although states like Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Montana and Florida are hailed for their wide array of outdoor adventures, the massive state of California also has plenty to offer nature lovers.   From pristine mountain lakes and flourishing redwood forests to sunny beaches and sandy desert dunes, these are the best spots for outdoor exploration in More »

The Beauty of Okinawa Japan

I must admit, I don’t know a lot about Japan. It’s on my bucket list to be sure, but beyond Geishas, snow monkeys, and the bright lights of Tokyo, I’m not that fully versed in the country and what else it has to offer. Blame it on action films and nature documentaries, but the Western More »

5 Important Motorcycle Laws

If there’s a road trip in your future, why not consider leaving the car at home and riding across country on a motorbike? It’s better on gas, you’ll love the feel of the breeze against your skin, and you’ll meet plenty of like-minded souls who crave the open road as much as you do. Although More »

Tag Archives: Austria

Breathtaking Lakes You Can Visit by Rail

Lake Offensee, Lake District, Austria

Landlocked? No wheels to get you around? Got a hankering to experience some water activities this summer? Fear not, millions of Europeans are in the same boat (see what we did there?) Mercifully, much of Europe sports a stellar railway system, so even if you are not blessed with the luxury of lakeside living, there are plenty of gorgeous lakes that are merely a short train ride away.

So get your water wings and inner tubes at the ready, and check out these breathtaking lakes you can visit by rail.

Lake Garda

Lake-Garda-Italy

Italy’s largest lake (and some would argue its most beautiful) is served by no fewer than three train stations — Desenzano and Peschiera del Garda in the south, and Rovereto in the north. Each acts as a gateway to some pretty fabulous activities in the region. Take for example the Medieval Market in Tignale. Accessible by bus from the Rovereto train station, the yearly summer evening market features acrobats, fire-eaters, and period costumed townspeople offering everything from local handicrafts to jam and liqueurs.

 Windsurfing Lake Garda, Italy

If it’s the water you’ve come for, windsurfing is available year-round at Lake Garda. Gardasurf Water Sport School is located in Brenzone, which is linked by bus to the Peschiera del Garda rail station, offers windsurfing classes for both young and old, and if windsurfing doesn’t quite suit your fancy, the facility also offers dinghy, sailboat, and catamaran rentals.

Although most folks think of the ocean when they think of diving, Lake Garda offers some stellar fresh water diving opportunities for those up for the challenge. Many of the dive shops are situated in the southern lake resorts of Arco, Riva del Garde, and Malescine (served by the Rovereto rail station.) Ambiente Acqua in Arco offers PADI diving certification courses as well as day and night dives for those already certified.

Austrian Lake District

While technically it’s proper name is Salzkammergut, this area is more popularly referred to as simply the Austrian Lake District. And with a total of 76 lakes in the region, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied, and of course plenty of rail options serving the Lake District.

 Lake Traunsee, Lake District, Austria

Holding the distinction as Austria’s deepest lake, Lake Traunsee can be accessed from the train stations at Gmunden in the north as well as Ebensee in the south. For history buffs, a paddleboat steamer from the 1870s still plies the waters offering tours of the lake for visitors. There are plenty of free beaches along the 12km shore as well for those looking to take a dip on a budget.

 Lake Offensee, Lake District, Austria

Although the water temperature can be a bit chilly chilly (it’s worth checking), sunny days are the perfect time to visit Lake Offensee for a refreshing dip. The scenery here is amongst the best in Austria, and since it attracts fewer visitors than some of the larger bodies of water in the Lake District (Lake Offensee takes only 90 minutes to walk around), there are days that seem like you have the whole place to yourself.

Day Trips from Vienna

Home to Freud, opera, classical music and associated with plenty that just screams “fancy,” Vienna is one of the most elegant cities on the planet. The thing is, it’s still a city. And sometimes you just need to get out of the concrete jungle (as beautiful as this one happens to be) and explore what’s beyond the hustle and bustle.

Here are some worthy options if you’re contemplating your choices for day trips from Vienna.

Liechtenstein Castle

A mere 20 minutes outside of Vienna’s city centre will find you in the wee little town of Molding, known for that behemoth on the edge of town — Liechtenstein Castle. Just don’t confuse it with the taller, cliff-hugging Lichtenstein astle in neighbouring Germany. Built in 1130 as a tribute to the then current Prince, this sprawling castle housed the royals for over 200 years. It’s now privately owned (one of the few in Austria) and a guided tour takes about 50 minutes. 

Salzburg

Salzburg Austria at night, day trips from Vienna

Consistently lauded as one of the most picturesque cities in the world (believe me — it is!), Salzburg really deserves more than just a day. But if you’re intent to see it in one, leave early — it takes about 2 and a half hours to get here from Vienna. Alternatively, you could conceivably book a flight that would get you there in about 45 minutes (check fly.co.uk for flights from Vienna.) Once you do make your way there, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to things to. Salzburg’s beautiful old town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) competes with attractions such as its imposing fortress, and the nearby Sound of Music sites for your time.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava Slovakia

One of the great things about Europe is that everything is so close — and that goes for countries too. The Slovakian capital of Bratislava is only an hour train ride from downtown Vienna, so if you’d like to add another country to your bucket list, you may want to consider this day trip. Bratislava’s Old Town is grittier than Salzburg’s, but its astonishingly beautiful nonetheless. A short public bus ride will take you to Delvin Castle on the city’s outskirts, and the views from the these ruins are well worth the short climb — it’s unparalleled in this region. 

What other day trips from Vienna do you know about?