03 May 2019
Where To Enjoy A Breath of Fresh Air in Austria
When you're feeling stressed, finding time to enjoy a much-needed breath of fresh air in a land of unbridled nature is just what the doctor ordered. But where should you turn?
Have you ever escaped to the coast or the countryside for a few days, only to realise that they air feels totally different outside of the big city, in a way that you can’t quite explain? Everything just feels cleaner, heathier. You probably slept better too. In an instant, it becomes clear that finding time to enjoy a much-needed breath of fresh air in a land of unbridled nature is just what the doctor ordered.
But where should you turn? Well, with nearly half of the country’s total area covered by trees, Austria is a fantastic place to start. Less than a two-hour flight from London, even the capital Vienna is delightfully green, with woodland covering more than 20% of the city. Here, we highlight Austria’s naturally rejuvenating spots to camp out and breathe deep.
Embrace The Perfume of The Pines
Often referred to as “The Green Heart of Austria”, Styria is Austria’s most densely wooded province, with over half of its area covered by thick woodland. The fragrant pine trees that line its stunning mountain paths are considered a natural stress reliever; when combined with the fresh air and wonderous views over rolling vineyards, it’s almost impossible to feel tense.
After a long day of exploring, return to Styria’s biggest city, Graz, for a glass of wine and a spot of alfresco dining - how better to choose a restaurant than the scent wafting from it?
Further west, in Tirol, you’ll find the Pitztal Valley, home to a welath of pine trees known as Zirbe, Arolla pine or just stone pine. Having been valued and used in this region for centuries, the pleasant smell of this particular pine is said help reduce the heart rate, improve sleep and promote a general feeling of wellbeing. Suddenly all those cosy pine cabins make perfect sense!
Follow your nose on herbal trails in SalzburgerLand
In Austria’s SalzburgerLand you can follow your nose on an herbal hike through the Hochkönig region, visiting 16 hillside herb farms to soak up their fresh aromas and learn how they’re used, as well as sampling the products and produce that they eventually become.
When you head home for the day, mix up an “alp herb smoothie” from medicinal herbs to relieve aches and pains. Afterwards, be sure to delve into local delicacies, many of which are made using local herbs. There’s little doubting that the mouth-watering aromas stirred up by good wholesome home cooking can do wonders for the soul.
Breathe deeper at Europe’s most breathtaking waterfalls
At 380 metres across three drops, the Krimml Waterfalls in the Hohe Tauern National Park, SalzburgerLand, are the biggest in Central Europe. But they’re not just spectacular to look at. They’re also renowned for providing a unique natural remedy for asthma and allergies, owing to the fact that the fine spray mist around the waterfall allows tiny water droplets to be breathed in and penetrate deep into the lungs, providing a gentle cleansing effect.
The nearby Gastein Healing Caves, which have a naturally high radon climate, also provide a therapeutic solution for respiratory ailments, thanks to their healing anti-inflammatory effects on the immune system. Even the healthiest of visitors will leave feeling that little bit fresher!