When to Go

Because of the bulwark of mountains that protect it from the cold winds of the north, the Carinthian and Styrian climate is milder than that of the rest of Austria, and it also boasts more sunshine. Consequently, the lakes maintain an average summer temperature of between 75ºF and 82ºF.

To see the province in its best festive dress of blue and emerald lakes framed by wooded hills and rocky peaks, and also do some swimming, come between mid-May and early October. Early spring, when the colors are purest and the crowds not yet in evidence, and fall, are perhaps the best times for quiet sightseeing. Christmas in Graz and Klagenfurt is a visual spectacle, with whole sections of the cities turned into a Christmas market. Winter in the area is an enigma: the Semmering mountains mark the eastern tail end of the Alps—north of the divide can be overcast and dreary while the area to the south basks in sunshine.

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