20 Schilling view of Semmering, © Niederösterreich-Werbung/ M. Liebert

The Vienna Alps

Between summers in the country and winter holidays, the Vienna Alps in Lower Austria has a long and venerable tradition as a holiday region.

Just an hour’s drive south of Vienna; the Alps show themselves yet again in all their glory with an abundance of high alpine terrain. In the summer this region is popular among hikers and known as “Panorama of Paradise” because of the many wonderful panoramic views of the Alps. Following an idyllic and colorful Indian summer it turns into a winter paradise with the largest resort for night skiing in Europe!

Panorama of paradise
The gently rolling hills of the Bucklige Welt and the splendid Alpine scenery around Semmering, Rax, Schneeberg and Wechsel have been beloved excursion destinations since the days of the Hapsburg Monarchy. It was fashionable to spend summers in the country there, especially after construction of the Semmering Railroad, now a UNESCO World Heritage structure. Other railroads also draw visitors to the Vienna Alps in Lower Austria today, e.g. the cog railroad on Schneeberg and the Rax aerial cableway, which became Austria’s first aerial cableway for passengers in 1926.

Alpine activities
The Vienna Alps in Lower Austria keep visitors up to speed every season of the year. In winter, there is plenty of fun and action skiing on slopes and cross country trails, especially the 100 km long Wechsel-Semmering panorama trail. In summer, there are countless well-maintained and clearly marked hiking and mountain biking routes plus relaxing cycling tours like the Biedermeier Bike Trail in romantic Piesting Valley. And the flair and clean air of traditional health resorts such as Semmering, Reichenau and Bad Schönau also beckon. Finally, the region’s down-to-earth qualities can be experienced most tastily enjoying one of the many culinary delicacies, solid and liquid.