Austria is so much more than the Alps, ski resorts, and Tyrolean houses. The nature, sunny climate and cultural landscape of Burgenland in the easternmost part of the country, is made for slow travel.
Southern Burgenland does not feature the same dramatic landscapes as the rest of Austria, where the Alps dominate. This in no way detracts from the region’s charm. Furthermore, the mixture of oak and beech forests, rolling hills and open cultural landscapes as well as a unique culture makes this part of Austria an interesting destination.
Short distances and good infrastructure makes this region perfect for slow travel. Make a lot’s of stops to enjoy the local scenery, wine and culinary delights. Leaving the beaten path is easy in Burgenland. We have often traveled the region by car venturing off the mains roads, exploring the countryside on the narrow (but often paved) farm roads. Moreover, we have also traveled by bus between some towns and villages. The Postbus company offers extensive network throughout Burgenland and Austria. This is a great way of allowing impressions to sink in and enjoy the moment.
Click on the images to enlarge >>
Austria’s eastern most state is often bypassed by foreign tourists. Except by those who are slightly above average interested in wine. On the south and east slopes at the border with Hungary you will find several wine districts; Eisenberg, Deutsch-Schützen, Moschendorf and Heiligenbrunn. Furthermore, the small wine district Eisenberg (DAC) located on the south and east slopes of the transition between the hill landscape and the Pannonian flatlands on the border with Hungary. Here they produce red wines from the Blaufränkisch grape, which is fruity and rich in minerals. In idyllic Heiligenbrunn you can stay in the middle of the wine landscape in a so-called Kellerstöckl, which are old wine cellars that have been converted into small cabins and restaurants. Moreover, this region also produces the unique Uhudler wine. Don’t leave without a bottle or two.
The small village of Heiligenbrunn in Burgenland is located in the transition between the rolling hills that characterize the south-eastern Austria and the vast plains that dominates western Hungary. Forests and vineyards dominate the landscape around Heiligenbrunn. Also the architectural traditions in this part of Austria differ greatly from the well known Tyrolean style houses […]
Although parts of the state are mostly flat it still hosts Burgenland’s highest “mountain”, the Geschriebenstein with its peak at 884 meters above sea level. For those who like to add hiking to their travel itinerary, there are fantastic hikes around the Geschriebenstein. The Geschriebenstein-Irottkö Nature Park spreads out on both sides of the border in Austria and Hungary. Large continuous forest areas cover the mountain landscape and offer great nature experiences. What’s more, over 500 km (310 mi) of marked hiking trails provide good opportunities for enjoying the nature and wildlife of the park.
Apart from a few kilometers border with Slovakia in the north, and a few kilometers towards Slovenia in the south, most of Burgenland borders Hungary. This characterizes the culture as well as the architecture of the area. From 1648 to 1921, the area which made up most of Burgenland belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary (which again was part of the Empire of Austria-Hungary). The first thing you notice when driving through the villages of Southern Burgenland is that they differ from the rest of Austria. Predominantly single-story houses are lined up along the main street, where there often are green stripes between road and house rows. Furthermore, the architecture is also different. The houses are often built with the long side towards the road and are located next door with few cross streets.
Castles and historic sights
Although the name Burgenland does not actually have anything to do with castles (burgen in German), there are of course plenty of medieval castles also in this part of Austria. Burg Schlaining and the small town of Stadtschlaining are well worth a visit. Other castles to visit are Bernstein Castle, Lockenhausen Castle and Gössing Castle. For some insights in the newer history, check out the guided tour along the “Iron Curtain” that was between Austria and Hungary, where you can see remnants of World War II bunkers, trenches, border bridge and border guard towers.
Southern Burgenland is also known for its spa resorts. The classic spa resort Bad Tatzmannsdorf and the newer resort town Stegersbach offer a range of wellness and thermal spa holidays. A great way to round of your slow travel trip is by relaxing a few days in a thermal spa with the beneficial and healing effects on body, mind and soul.
For more info: Burgenland Tourism
Temperatures fall and the days get shorter, but Vienna never falls asleep. The weather can vary between 10 °C and -15 °C in January. Within a few days you can experience sun from a clear blue sky to bitterly cold snowstorms. Nonetheless, there are plenty of activities to enjoy whatever nature throws at you. Furthermore, […]
All the airports in Austria are well connected to major cities and central trains stations. We have put together a list of cool ski resorts that are easily reachable by train together including some info on how to get to get there from the airport. Moreover, many ski resorts offer inexpensive or even free transfer […]
Our first visit to Burg Deutschlandsberg was on a gray and cloudy day, which gave the castle a slightly scary appearance. This is probably the meaning of a castle anyway. We later visited the castle several times on lovely sunny summer days, when it showcases itself from a more welcoming side. Hotel, restaurant and museum […]
The contrasts in the Salzkammergut region are large. Not only because the landscape alternates between massive mountain ranges, glaciers, lush valleys and a plethora of lakes. But also, because the region offers a rich cultural landscape that has been characterized by more than 5,000 years of human activity. The Salzkammergut holiday region covers 58 municipalities […]