Grantourismo in Austria

Snowboarding in Zell am See and truffles in Vienna

Snowboarder Choosing a ski destination in Austria that was affordable and had reliable snow early in the season proved to be one of the trickiest decisions to make when planning this year's grand tour. In the end, our Grantourismo team decided to stay one week in Zell am See so Terry could assess the snowboarding and one week in Vienna. Although the snow was good, they found Zell am See was quite quiet during the early season, but after a week in Vienna they were desperately wishing they had more time in Austria!

Read all Lara and Terry's posts on their trip to Austria

Early season snowboarding at Zell am See

Located in the Austrian state of Salzburg, Zell am See is a small, touristic ski town and the capital of the Zell am See district. Having arrived there quite early in the season, Lara and Terry didn't find the buzzy and lively atmosphere one would expect in a ski resort, but Terry did enjoy several glorious days of snowboarding, especially considering the location of their apartment, only 100 metres from the gondola (CityExpress). The area is well worth a visit, particularly for intermediate skiers, as well as snowboarders looking to improve and families with kids.

If you are a foodie however and eating out is high on your list of priorities, Zell am See might not be the place for you. Although the town has several Italian eateries, it doesn't really have tons of choice when it comes to restaurants. But that's the beauty of staying in a holiday rental though: you can just go shopping and cook at home!

Read all Lara and Terry's posts on their trip to Zell am See

Property 90630 Property 90630 - Lara and Terry's 'HomeAway from home' in Zell am See was a spacious, modern and comfortable apartment, located only 100 metres from the gondola (CityExpress). With two bedrooms, as well as a large sofa in the living room that converts into an additional bed, it sleeps six in total, making it ideal for a family, group of friends or two or three couples. The property also features a small 'ski room' with a heater in it, perfect for drying out wet boots and clothes.

The property is available to rent on (Property 90630).

Read Lara and Terry's full review of the property in Zell am See

Markets, truffles and coffeehouses in Vienna

Lara and Terry had been to Vienna before and on their first trip they ticked off all the top ten sights. In keeping with their local travel mission, they wanted to keep it real this time and the 5th district, their home for one week, was about as local as neighbourhoods can get. And when they realised that Vienna’s mouthwatering Naschmarkt was just down the road from their apartment, they knew this was the perfect location.

As Vienna’s largest inner city market, Naschmarkt offers plenty of key ingredients such as meat and fish, bread, cold cuts and cheese, however Lara and Terry were surprised to find there an array of foreign food too, like Turkish mezze, Japanese teas, Eastern European style pickles, Middle Eastern spices and more. It was at the Naschmarkt were the couple also found fresh black winter truffles, which Terry used to cook three delicious dishes, including the Vienna edition of Weekend Eggs.

There can be few activities more ‘local’ than spending time lingering over a book or leisurely drinking coffee in a café. For visitors to Vienna, where there is a strong coffeehouse culture, the city’s historic cafés have long been identified as must-do sights; however this means that the locals have moved on and with them, the atmosphere that made the cafés so appealing in the first place. So, if you are looking for an authentic experience, like Lara and Terry did while in Vienna, then you should avoid the cafés on the top ten lists and instead kick around the backstreets of the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Districts where you can find similarly atmospheric coffee shops, where locals still like to spend their time over a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

Read all Lara and Terry's posts on their trip to Vienna

Property 530541 Property 752889 - Lara and Terry's 'HomeAway from home' in Vienna was a freshly renovated, light-filled apartment located in the 5th district, yet within a ten-minute stroll from major touristic attractions. The property features a spacious living-dining-kitchen area, a big bedroom, a decent-sized bathroom, as well as a fully equipped kitchen.

Read Lara and Terry's full review of the property in Vienna

Next stop ... Poland, stay tuned! currently lists 2,600 holiday homes in Austria, including more than 200 in Vienna and over 2,100 ski properties.

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