Styria: A Region of Rolling Hills and Sprawling Forests
If your main point of reference for Austria is the Sound of Music, then a holiday home in Styria is sure to spark your imagination.
Families that like to venture out and explore the outdoors will have plenty of chances to exercise their wandering spirits.
There's a unique character to the region that derives from its diversity of ecosystems. Alpine pastures, forests, mountains, and river banks blend together to offer a wealth of opportunities for climbing, hiking, biking, and more.
Some of the most popular draws for tourists though are the thermal springs. These natural marvels are renowned for their healing properties, and there are over nine in total.
The rivers that cut comfortably through the region are an opportunity for leisurely activities like nature boat tours, but more adventurous families can have a great bonding opportunity by tackling the river canyons in kayaks or tubes. If you're looking for a bit more of an adrenaline rush, there are also a number of adventure outdoor companies that offer ziplining packages.
Those not afraid of heights should definitely take a journey out to the Dachstein Skywalk. This observation deck is one of the most stunning sites for scoping out the nearby glacier. It's undoubtedly a stunning counterpoint to the peaceful green valleys that dot much of Styria's landscape.
But if you're looking to get a little more up close and personal with the region's snowy mountains, strike a path straight to Mount Planai. As the largest and most prominent mountain in the region, Planai has been transformed into a popular ski area for both locals and visitors alike. During the summer months, skiing gives way to hiking trails, go karts, and a host of other fun activities.
The capital of Graz is largely known as a seat of higher education due to its high concentration of universities, but it can be a fun and educational destination for people of any age. The city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it also earned a designation as the European capital of culture for 2003.
A strong public transit system and pedestrian-friendly streets means that families can get around capably even without a car, and simply walking the streets will expose you to a wealth of beautiful buildings. The buildings themselves range in age from the modern to the Gothic, transforming the streets into something of a living museum for architectural history.
Then there's Schlossberg - a charming forested hillside that's topped by a 10th century fortress and has been transformed into a local park. It offers some of the best views of the medieval town center, and it's become a regular Sunday destination for local families and couples.
If you have the will and the stamina, be sure to climb to the top of the park's clocktower for one of the most sweeping views you'll find anywhere in the city.