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Austria

The stunning Alpine scenery and monumental Habsburg architecture of Austria enchant its many visitors. Be at one with nature in its impressive mountain ranges where you can drink from the crystal-clear lakes and breathe in the heady scent of emerald green forests. Then, marvel at the accomplishments of mankind in its sophisticated cities with their rich architecture and varied museums.

The fading imperial glory of capital Vienna, with its wide boulevards and great palaces, offers insight into Austria’s former life as the powerhouse of the Habsburg Empire. Together with Hungary, Austria once ruled an empire that included much of modern-day Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, the Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic. Economic crisis and Nazi occupation led to years of turbulence for Austria, which is today one of the richest countries in the world.

The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is one of Europe’s finest baroque cities, and is the perfect place to enjoy a concert by the great composer. If you are looking to relive your favourite scenes from The Sound of Music, destinations such as Lake Hallstatt and Lake Gosau capture that magical alpine backdrop.

Kitzbuhel is one of the most luxurious ski resorts in the Austrian Tyrol, where a cable-car ride is a must. A favourite of the Habsburgs, the spa town of Bad Ischl is home to the Imperial Kaiservilla, the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph.