Just an hour’s ride from Vienna lies Burgenland, Austria’s easternmost province, and often overlooked by holidaymakers in favour of its more mountainous provincial counterparts to the west. But, isn’t it often the case that it’s those hidden treasures that make some of the most fulfilling and memorable travel memories?
So, let’s let you in on a little secret (or two)…
Your ‘best of’ experience in Burgenland takes you to the topographically unique lake-land region that’s home to Lake Neusiedler-Seewinkel National Park. This part of Austria, situated between the eastern border of the Alps and the Small Hungarian Plain, is particularly noteworthy for its shallow steppe lake, some 45 salt water lakes (a rarity within inland Europe), and over 300 species of birds that migrate through the area annually. The warm Pannonian climate (over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year!), together with moist soil conditions, also creates ideal grape-growing conditions, with some outstanding Burgenland wines garnering industry attention.
You’ll stay at the first lodge in Central Europe, the wondrously lakeside-situated St. Martins Thermal Baths and Lodge, where you’ll enjoy luxury 4-star accommodation right at the edge of the national park. A guided outdoor adventure ‘safari’ will introduce you to just some of the varied plant and wildlife species that make this their home. Of course we wouldn’t just mention the fine wines of this region without offering a sample! You’ll visit the Umathum wine estate which continues to practice organic methods, including hand-picking all grapes used in production. Well-known for its red wines, this vineyard has consistently ranked amongst the best wine-growers in Austria since the early 1990s. Finally, explore this UNESCO World Heritage area with a visit to the ‘Eco-tourist Centre for Renewable Energy’ at the Villa Vita Pannonia, and the village of Illmitz, on the eastern shore of Lake Neusiedl.
Tags: Burgenland, Food & Wine, Nature, Summer, Wellbeing