There’s no place like Tyrol for the ‘wow, I’m in Austria’ feeling. Nowhere else in the country is the downhill skiing as exhilarating, the après-ski as pumping, the wooden chalets as chocolate box, the food as hearty. Whether you’re schussing down the legendary slopes of Kitzbühel, cycling the Zillertal or hiking in the Alps with a big, blue sky overhead, the scenery here makes you glad to be alive. Welcome to a place where snowboarders brag under the low beams of a medieval tavern about awesome descents; where Dirndls and lederhosen have street cred; and where Volksmusik (folk music) features on club playlists.
The Arlberg Alps give way to rolling dairy country in pleasingly low-key Vorarlberg. Spilling east to the glittering expanse of Bodensee (Lake Constance), this eastern pocket of the country swings happily between ecofriendly architecture on the cutting edge of design and deeply traditional hamlets with more cows than people.