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Carinthia: Spotlight on - Lakes and Mountains
One area ideal for those considering Austria holidays is Carinthia. This part of the country is located on the borders with Italy and Slovenia and is known in German as Kärnten. It boasts a total of four mountain ranges, more than 1200 lakes and two national parks, making this the perfect destination if you are fond of walking and other outdoor activities.

The Central Alps region, of which Hohe Tauern is part off, is famous for its mountains and lakes and it is these attractions which draw in thousands of visitors each year. The Nockberge National Park is located at more than 1300 metres above sea level and this part of the Austrian Alps is particularly popular with walkers. The Karawanken Mountains has a number of high peaks with fine walking trails.

The area is also ideal for those who need to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Parts of the region are isolated and the locals have a laid back way of life which will benefit those escaping the stress of their own. If walking, most hotels and B&Bs in the region are happy to cater for those who want to spend their days out and will provide packed lunches.

Must-see areas of the region include Heiligenblut and the Mölltal Valley. This lovely valley is part of the Hohe Tauern national park and attracts skiers and hikers. The village of Heiligenblut has its own pilgrimage church and welcomes visitors from all over the world.

The lakes of the region – sometimes referred to as the Carinthian Riviera – are one of the biggest draws for those considering Austrian holidays in Carinthia. Lake Wörthersee in particular sees many people in the summer spending the day swimming in the lake which is warmed by thermal springs and enjoying the sun. There is also a popular walking trail around the lake which is 34 miles long. Lake Faakersee is close to the Karawanken Mountains and the town of Villach will give you a good base from which you can explore the region.

The spectacular High Alpine Road at Groβglockner runs for 3.7 miles and winds its way from the valley floor before ending at Pasterze, Austria’s largest glacier. The road has been designed for those who want to make the journey by car and there are a number of places to stop along the road for viewing the scenery, collecting information and walking some of the many nature trails. This is only open during the day in the summer.

For those who like walking, Austria has many towns and cities which are ideal starting points and one of these is Klagenfurt city, the Carinthian capital. It is one of the largest cities in the country and is located nearly 1500 feet above sea level. It is the perfect starting point for those who want to walk in the area of Lake Wörthersee.

Carinthia may not be first place you think of when considering Austria holidays and there are many who have never heard of it before, but the area is rich in history, culture and natural beauty, and should be at the top of your list of places to see.
About the Author
Lena Seifert writes for TouchingNature.co.uk, a travel destination website with many useful tools to help you plan (or at least dream...) about your next walking holiday or hiking vacation in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Italian Dolomites and South Tyrol. Visit them online at www.touchingnature.co.uk.
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