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As an independent travel agent, one of your most important tasks is to go beyond the ordinary vacation destinations and highlight some of the lesser-known spots around the world. While many travelers might seek out warmth and beaches for their next getaway, some of your clients might be more interested in exploring a different side of Europe.
The Alps, an enormous mountain range stretching across Europe that is known best for world-class skiing, is an intriguing destination. Although the Alps are located in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and even Slovenia, the Austrian Alps are one of the most under-appreciated spots on the globe.
Whether for a winter wonderland experience full of snow or a summer hiking adventure, these cities are some of the top destinations to explore within the Austrian Alpine Region.
When the weather is cold and there is snow on the ground, there are few better places to be than Innsbruck, Austria. The Winter Olympics have been held in Innsbruck twice, and it has earned a reputation for being the largest ski resort in the Alps.
That is because Innsbruck is not just a resort: it is also the fifth-largest city in Austria. Along with being the perfect base for skiing and snowboarding during a winter getaway, Innsbruck has a number of historic attractions as well as plenty of architecture from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Those who want to explore the culture as well as the slopes might want to visit the Schloss Ambras, a stunning Renaissance-era castle that boasts furnished rooms as well as an extensive art and armor collection.
As the birthplace of Mozart, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, a city with a population of more than 150,000 and the home of the famed film The Sound of Music, there is no question that Salzburg has a tremendous amount to offer visitors.
Arguably the number one landmark in the entire city is Hohensalzburg Fortress, a beautiful castle located on top of a mountain just outside the city. From the fortress, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city as well as the Alps. Other attractions include the Schloss Hellbrunn, the home where Mozart was born and the Salzburg Cathedral.
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If the weather is warmer, you might also want to try a tour of the salt mines, which is where the city got its name. Of course, those who loved the Sound of Music will also want to join in with a tour to spot places where the movie was filmed.
Although Bregenz is just a stone’s throw from the Alps, it is best known for its other natural attraction: Lake Constance. During the summer months, Bregenz is a retreat for Europeans who want to swim, hike, kayak, sail or otherwise enjoy the warm temperatures of the lake.
The small city, with a population of just 28,000, is incredibly friendly, and it is an affordable place to relax, unwind, enjoy the natural beauty of Austria and try out the country’s culinary specialties like Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel.
The small city of Feldkirch is often skipped over by travelers seeking out the bigger destinations in the Austrian Alps. Feldkirch may be small, but it can be a delightful way to steep yourself into the culture and history of the region.
Feldkirch is home to the 13th century Schattenburg Castle, a stunning structure that now houses a museum and a restaurant with spectacular views. Feldkirch is also just minutes from the Lichtenstein border, making it a perfect gateway for further exploration.
A host agency like Travel Planners International can be an invaluable tool for a travel agent. With the right resources and recommendations, you can plan amazing trips for your clients to places like the Austrian Alps.