By Balance Festival Team | Natalie Blow | In Partnership with The Austrian Tourist Board
Take a minute to imagine you’re nestled high up among Austria’s alpine treetops. You take a breath of fresh air, deep into your lungs, and gaze into the vast valley beneath you. Your heart smiles. In this very moment, nothing else matters – you are on top of the world right now. A birdsong serenades you.
Nothing stimulates the senses quite like the famously beautiful country of Austria. This all-year adventure destination offers an otherworldly field trip for the five senses - the chance to embark on pretty hikes, taste culinary delights, soak up the scent of indigenous hillside herbs, get back in touch with nature and listen as the mountains whisper.
Here’s how to invigorate your senses on your next trip to this incredible country.
SIGHT: Experience Nature’s Cinema…
Famous for its breathtaking vistas, Austria is home to some of the world’s most postcard-worthy scenery, with an abundance of soaring mountains, alpine meadows, dense forests and tranquil lakes. Boasting sweeping panoramas and offering something to catch the eye in every direction, it’s never a case of what to look at, but where to look first.
The hiking paths around the pretty village of Zell am See-Kaprun in SalzburgerLand are a real treat; navigating through the ancient forests that wind around the grand Lake Zell, the landscape makes for a spectacular natural cinema. Elsewhere, a sunrise stroll on the trails of the Mohnenfluh Mountain in Lech Zurs am Arlberg, Vorarlberg, is a spectacular way to start the day.
TASTE: Tickle Your Taste Buds with Delicious Cuisine…
Taste buds, are you ready? Your slice of culinary heaven awaits – and let’s start with cheese. Any self-confessed cheese addict will land firmly on their feet in Austria, with delicately made cheeses, sourced from naturally-fed mountain cows, a prime example of the country’s many authentic tastes.
Environmentally-conscious eaters are invited to delve into the incredible selection of sustainable and organic local produce on offer; not only does it feel great knowing you’re eating ethically, but the flavours are divine too. For a delicious voyage to remember, take a trip on the inspiring Culinary Path for Organic Connoisseurs
in SalzburgerLand, where you can graze your way down the trail, meet the people behind the produce, and find out what all the foodie fuss is about.
TOUCH: Feel Grounded in Nature…
The many demands of modern life can leave us feeling a little disconnected from nature, but if you’re feeling the ‘call’ to reconnect with the great outdoors, we can’t think of anywhere better than Austria. Recent findings have suggested there’s a link between time spent among nature and improved wellbeing, so this outdoor playground should prove truly nourishing for the soul.
The Barefoot Path
in Brandnertal, Vorarlberg, is the ideal trail on which to set your feet free and feel the earth beneath them, with gravel, sand and cold mountain water just a few textures to be explored. If that’s not for you, how about nailing your crow pose against the backdrop of a breathtaking mountain? Among many others, serene yoga hotspots include Zell am See-Kaprun
, SalzburgerLand, and St. Anton am Arlberg in Tirol.
SMELL: Enjoy Nature’s Freshest Scents…
Don’t miss the chance to explore Austria’s wild hillsides, which wear a colorful coat of beautifully scented flowers and herbs from spring through to autumn. Not only do these plants possess powerful healing abilities, they’re also a guaranteed treat for the nose.
Embark on a ‘herb hike’ in Maria Alm
, where you can discover the many varieties of the SalzburgerLand region, meet growers and learn treasured traditional recipes, including for the bittersweet herbal schnapps. Led by your nose, enjoy aromas of fresh soil, wet moss, wildflowers, pine needles, fresh wood and wild mushrooms.
One scent seriously worth paying attention to is the stone pine, which is suggested to have many medicinal benefits including reducing heart rate, improving sleep and creating a general feeling of wellbeing.
HEAR: Listen To The Sounds of Nature…
Silence and stillness are two things we often dismiss in our fast-paced lives, but when we do stop for a second, it’s amazing what we can experience. For anybody looking to zone-in and switch-off from all the distractions, Austria’s natural soundtrack takes escapism to a whole new level.
Allow the birdsong to serenade you as you clamber through the mountains. Let the gigantic crashing of the waterfalls remind you of Mother Nature’s impunity. Notice the gentle trickling of a nearby stream.
Or, how about also listening for the sound of silence? A momentous way to enjoy the Austrian wilderness is to head to Tiroler Zugspitz Arena in Tirol
, where you can rent a boat or stand up paddleboard at Lake Heiterwang and enjoy the peace and quiet in the middle of still water. Feel nature’s vastness and your smallness in this very moment.
Ready to pack your bags for your next trip to Austria? Find out all the travel info you need right here!