The most comfortable way to travel in Austria with your family is by staying in one vacation home for a week and from there, travelling to destinations up to 90 minutes away. The ideal place to stay is a charming farmhouse in the mountains, in a place that is peaceful and pastoral on the one hand but close to a main road on the other. It should be a place that is fun to return to at the end of a day of travelling. Even staying around it for the whole day without any driving around should be a fun option.
If you can afford staying 10-14 days in Austria it would be wise to stay in two different places: first, spend 5-6 days lodging in the heart of the state of Salzburg (for instance, in Flachau), then spend another4-5 days in Tirol (near Innsbruck). However, if you only have one week in Austria, it’s best to stay in one central location from which you can comfortably travel to the main attractions of both Tirol and Salzburg state.
An ideal central place from which you can travel to these two beautiful states is the city of Kufstein. This city sits by a main road that connects Salzburg and Munich to Innsbruck.
Kufstein is a lovely, friendly town with a beautiful castle, a large river, an impressive glass factory and a colourful, bustling town centre. It is definitely worth dedicating a full day to this city alone. But for those who would rather stay in a vacation home than a hotel would do better to stay not in the city itself, but in one of the nearby villages. This way you get to enjoy the best of both worlds: On the one hand, living in a central area from which most attractions are easily accessible, and on the other hand, enjoy lodging in a spacious apartment in a quiet place surrounded by nature.
Kufstain also makes a great starting point for a trip to some of the attractions of southern Bavaria, such as the Castles of Ludwig II, the great water park Alpamare, Zugspitze peak, Eagle’s Nest, Konigssee, Munich, and more.
The drive from Kufstein to Munich airport takes about 90 minutes (130km), so there is no need to stay close to the airport on the first or last day of your trip. The drive to the city of Munich itself is even shorter.
Suggestions for star trips in the state of Salzburg:
♦ Eisriesenwelt ice caves
♦ Durenberg salt mines and the alpine slides near it, which are the longest alpine slides in Austria
♦ Hellbrunn Palace and its famous water tricks
♦ The beautiful city of Salzburg: taking the cable car up to the fortress, a tour of the old city, visiting the old market square, walking along the river, seeing Miravel gardens.
♦ A trip following ‘The Sound of Music.
♦ ’Rosenburg castle, which hosts eagle shows
♦ The preserved and picturesque town of Hallstatt, its lake and its Beinhaus (bone house)
♦ Krimml waterfalls (the highest falls in Austria)A cable car ride up to the top of the iceberg at Kaprun (a ski resort, active even in the summer) and a visit to the nearby dam.
Suggestions for star trips in the state of Tirol:
♦ Swarovski Crystal Worlds
♦ A visit to beautiful Innsbruck including a cable car up to the mountaintop, an alpine animal park and a charming old city
♦ Ziller Valley – one of Tirol’s beautiful valleys, which has summer vacation towns, alpine villages and a steam locomotive which you can ride
♦ Climbing to Zugspitze, a peak on the border between Austria and Germany.
Of course, to visit all of these destinations you will need about two weeks. The best thing to do if you don’t have that much time is to pick the attractions you find most suitable to you and your family and leave something for the next trip!
I definitely recommend including a day or two of active vacation for the whole family: a hike along forest and lakeside paths, bike riding, horseback riding, boating in lakes, rafting in rivers, sliding down alpine slides, mini-golfing, hot air balloon rides, and more.