Few regions in Europe match the rugged beauty of Carinthia, and you’ll find that travelling here is often a serpentine journey. Carinthia can also, at times, seem larger than life with its high peaks, gouged valleys and glistening lakes; the flamboyant show of opulence in the capital, Klagenfurt; and the resorts around the more famous of the region's 1270 pristine mountain lakes. The most popular of these lakes, such as the large Wörthersee, have waters warmed to a comfortable swimming temperature by thermal springs.
Carinthia’s deep medieval heritage is another attraction – celebrated in picturesque walled villages such as Friesach and Gmünd, and impressive castles such as the hilltop fortress of Hochosterwitz. Many of the towns and villages nestled in Carinthia’s rolling hills hold an annual summer festival, with roving performers coming from neighbouring Italy and Slovenia to take part alongside the locals.