While lesser-known than the mountainous terrain of Tyrol or the culture-rich cities of Vienna and Salzburg, the southern provinces of Carinthia and Styria with its capital Graz—located directly above Italy and Slovenia and 2½ hours by train from Vienna—beckon visitors with spectacular mountain ranges, abundant forests, and glass-clear lakes.
Art lovers gravitate to such architectural
landmarks as the Romanesque Gurk Cathedral, a host of Baroque town halls, and the medieval fantasy of the 9th-century castle Hochosterwitz. The provinces' summer season is custom tailored for bicycling, fishing, hiking, and water sports.
The area has a rich history and a distinguished musical past, and the sophistication and beauty of Graz may surprise you.