• Photo: Tamas Vasko / Shutterstock

Heiligenblut

One of the most photographed places in the country, Heiligenblut remains one of Austria's most picturesque Alpine villages. With the majestic Grossglockner—Austria's highest mountain—for a backdrop, the town cradles the pilgrimage church of St. Vincent. Nowhere else does a steeple seem to find such affirmation amid soaring peaks. Some say the best time to experience this little slice of Alpine nirvana is after a leisurely dinner at one of the many Gasthöfs, gazing out at the starry firmament over the Hohe Tauern range. Others relish standing around an early morning fire used by hikers setting out to conquer the mighty foothills of the Grossglockner peaks. It's the famed mountain-climbing school and climbing and skiing possibilities (there are 40 peaks higher than 3,048 meters [10,000 feet] here) that draw flocks of all-out active types.

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