Many of the world`s leading countries without any doubt
would consider football to be the national sport; the efforts of the
teams are the focus of attention during major championships. Huge TV
screens in popular open spaces pump the highs and lows of each game to
the gathered throngs with passion, anticipation and then usually
disappointment bringing the people home - until the next time.
Travel to Austria
and it is skiing that consumes the passion. Seventies ski champion Franz
Klammer is a national idol held in greater esteem in his own
country than virtually any footballer elsewhere on the globe. Simply
put, skiing is the activity in Austria
and everybody is made welcome accordingly.
Winter sports may be a billion Euro industry in Austria,
but generally the resorts are smaller than say in neighbouring Switzerland.
Often the resorts are former farming towns that have grown to
accommodate this influx of tourists, but they retain a local charm and
a warmth and cosiness very attractive to its visitors. It is no
surprise many avid skiers return regularly to these same resorts.
A few Austrian ski resorts, primarily near the frontier with
keep ski lifts open all year round, but the actual ski season runs from
early December through to late March. The best conditions for skiing
coincide with the coldest time of the year which is the middle of
January and come late February the appearance of regular sunshine
brings another wave of ardent devotees.
This beautiful land locked country boasts as its capital Vienna,
one of the most culturally engaging cities in the world with a rich
history embracing the changing nature of continental life but Austria
is much, much more as well. With its searing mountains, shiny blue
lakes and majestic rivers, this is a perfect spot in which to spend
Generally, ski resorts in the regions of Styria
are less crowded than the more popular resorts and offer a richer, more
ambient service to guests. That said, Salzburg,
birthplace of Mozart
and revered for its annual Festival, can offer true Alpine culture at
its finest. The skiing is excellent, with all standards from beginner
is probably the most well known alpine region in the country with its
known as the "City
of Sports". Famous for its enduring charm, its picture
postcard views and an energetic Apres Ski nightlife, it is also home to
the world`s most difficult downhill run. Do not worry as it really
welcomes skiers of all abilities.
Take advantage of the good value that Austria
car hire assures its customers, by flying into
a good four hours away - but what a drive, or the main gateway to the Austrian
Alps at Salzburg.
Either way you will not be disappointed.