WHETHER it’s art, music or just some quiet solitude, Austria offers plenty of nourishment for the soul. TTN rounds up three hot spots for all kinds:
Kitzbühel is one of the world’s most famous and most beautiful holiday destinations and recreational centres. Whatever the season, Kitzbühel lives up to its reputation as a cosmopolitan town with its own special flair. shopping in the Old Town, relaxing in one of the many fine restaurants and cafés, trying your luck in the exciting world of the casino, or celebrating and dancing the night away in one of Kitzbühel’s legendary bars or discos – in the summer months, Kitzbühel’s unique ambience has a lively fascination that is particularly refreshing. A wide choice of activities in breathtaking alpine scenery, a full cultural programme and the culinary Tyrolean delights are combined to stimulate all the senses and revitalise body and soul in an atmosphere that is vibrant with life. With its outstanding range of fine hotels and restaurants, and a tradition of hospitality that is part of the local way of life, Kitzbühel attracts the more discerning holidaymaker, many of whom remain loyal to the resort for years or even decades.
The sporting and social centre of the Alps, the town is the centre of a veritable paradise for walking, Nordic walking and mountain biking. The complete network of managed walks and mountain paths is some 200 miles long, with over 90 marked trails of varying length and grade leading across alpine meadows, through deep green woods and up the mountainsides.
For tennis fans, Kitzbühel is generously supplied with indoor and outdoor courts for a game in a setting with a difference. And a location that is known as the ‘golfing centre of the Alps’ obviously has plenty to offer in that direction, too. In fact there are no fewer than four top courses in the area, at Eichenheim Golf Club, Kitzbühel Kaps, Kitzbühel Schwarzsee, and Rasmushof Golf and Country Club, with a total of 54 holes with plenty of variety in outstanding scenery. And if all that is not enough, there are another 19 golf courses in the immediate vicinity to keep even the most insatiable golfer happy. The highlight of the golfing season at the amateur level is the annual Kitzbühel Golf Festival each June.
Within Kitzbühel, the regions of Aurach, Reith and Jochberg offer so many escapes from the physical and spiritual stress of everyday life and so many fine ways to regenerate – from the relaxing surroundings and fine cuisine of an exquisite wellness hotel to the rustic charms of a mountain refuge complete with local fare. The offering includes 25 hotels in the four and five-star categories as well as 32 three-star hotels, while the total number of comfortable pensions, farmhouses with accommodation and apartments can only be estimated. To keep body and soul together, there are 80 restaurants, including award winning restaurants, and over 50 mountain inns and cafés offering everything from full meals to typical local snacks.
Summer is the festival season in Salzburg, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and location for the film The Sound of Music. In addition to the signature classical highlights presented at the Summer Festival, this year will feature interesting dance events, a new Salzburg Museum, modern art and exclusive jewellery and paintings.
Mozart’s city can be explored on foot, by bike or by ship again. As every year, the city’s culture programme is very diversified: the agony of choice for classic fans as well as those who prefer contemporary events.
Museum buffs can look forward to interesting insights starting June 1. The Salzburg Museum (formerly Carolino Augusteum) will opens its doors in the magnificently renovated, 400-year-old palazzo nuovo (the New Residenz). Over 3,000 sqm of exhibition space will offer interesting insight into Salzburg’s history, art and culture. The first floor will be reserved for famous Salzburg residents from the past and present; the new museum will open with a special exhibit and extensive presentation of works by the Salzburg artist, Hans Makart (1840-1884).
Coinciding with the start of the Summer Festival, the archiepiscopal residence will be the venue for beautiful and precious objets d’art presented by 40 sellers of jewellery, paintings and decorative art from July 28 to August 4. Prominent international galleries and antique dealers will display their exclusive exhibits at the Salzburg World Fine Art Fair; the fair, held in Salzburg for the first time, intends to encourage a taste for music, art history and art culture.
The Salzburg Festival will host a range of operas such as Benvenuto Cellini by Hector Berlioz, Eugen Onegin by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, Armida by Joseph Haydn or The Marriage of Figaro by WA Mozart, two concerts at Salzburg Cathedral starring Anna Netrebko and concerts with the star tenor Michael Schade will be on the programme. Plلcido Domingo and Rolando Villazَn will perform at the Large Festival Hall on August 9 and 12, and Everyman will be staged, as every year, on Cathedral Square. The Festival productions will be broadcast daily on a large-scale screen set up on Chapter Square during the Siemens Festival Nights.
Finally, movie fans can visit locations around Salzburg City where The Sound of Music was filmed, including the Benedictine Convent on Nonnberg, Mirabell Gardens and Residenz Square and Fountain. The Sound of Music Pavillion can be found at Hellbrunn Palace.
Summer days and nights can be enjoyed to the full in Vienna, making this Danubian city a perfect destination to soak up the arts and the sun this summer.
Summer at Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier (MQ) — one of the world’s ten largest arts centres — is an enticing mix of action, fun and hanging out at open-air bars and cafés.
Things to do include boules (available for hire), model car racing, guided tours of the Leopold Museum (Schiele), the Museum of Modern Art and the Kunsthalle, as well as open-air chess, backgammon tournaments, weekend DJ events, readings, and children’s activities. And 100 uniquely designed sun-loungers turn the MQ’s courtyards into a great place to lie back and relax.
The Danube Island Festival – Europe’s biggest open-air party – is again set to draw more than three million visitors from June 22 to 24. Acts from all musical genres billed, and the certainty of a fantastic atmosphere vouch for that.
Lovers of classical music can enjoy the best-loved melodies of Johann Strauss, Franz Lehلr, Emmerich Kلlmلn and Robert Stolz, in store during the Vienna Operetta Summer, between July 4 and August 11. And outstanding performances of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus will draw audiences to the Schِnbrunn Palace Theatre from July 13 to August 26. Meanwhile, the Hoch und Deutschmeister will create a colourful spectacle redolent of imperial Vienna every Saturday. The band set off from the Graben, marching to music in their splendid uniforms, and give a concert in the Inner Burghof — just like the changing of the guard in bygone days.
The Vienna electronic scene, which has enjoyed an international reputation ever since the emergence of Kruder & Dorfmeister, is as innovative as ever. Electric Indigo and the Sofa Surfers appear almost daily at clubs like the Rhiz, Flex and Fluc, treating revellers to the sounds of the 21st century.
Fantastic performances are also in store at the ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival, which will turn Vienna into the capital of European contemporary dance from July 12 to August 12. Together with guest performances by international dance stars, the festival offers a wide range of workshops that are open to all comers.
The Summerstage gastro and leisure zone at Rossauer Lنnde underground station is already something of a classic, featuring good food, beach volleyball and exciting events.
For those that like their sights, Schِnbrunn Palace, the former Habsburg summer residence, is one of the most beautiful palace complexes in Europe. The grounds where the imperial family once walked contain Baroque gardens with colourful formal flower beds, imposing tree-lined avenues and a box tree maze. When Empress Maria Theresa had the palace remodelled she set out to emulate Versailles, right down to the Hall of Mirrors. Emperor Franz Joseph was born at Schِnbrunn in 1830, and spent many summers there with his consort Sisi. Magnificent staterooms and sumptuously furnished salons give an insight into imperial life.
Finally, to bring home a souvenir, Vienna’s markets are much more than just places to shop. They are the lifeblood of the districts they serve, attracting a young, creative and lively scene. The Naschmarkt is the uncontested star among Vienna’s permanent markets. Set between Karlsplatz and Kettenbrückengasse, the Naschmarkt is the mainspring of one of the city’s most interesting districts. Culinary specialties, local and exotic are always fresh and available in abundance there. Also only a few minutes’ walk from the Old Town is Karmelitermarkt. The district around this old-style district market has lately seen a renaissance with growing numbers of bars, studios and galleries springing up.
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