We left the glorious canals of Italy and made our way to Austria…what a difference 24 hours can make
Before we start this blog, you need to understand that as soon as we drove over the border we completely fell in love with Austria, and I will be shocked and a little disappointed if during my time here we are unhappy about anything we see or do.
Now that’s bit over, lets get to the serious stuff. If you plan on driving through Austria keep in mind that all motorways and highways have a charge, and you will need a vignette sticker to drive these roads. This is something you can’t really avoid as most of the roads will be motorways and highways with it being such a small country.
Villach was a small town but one just over the border from Italy, so we thought this would be the perfect place to stop off and get our first look of Austria. After seeing all of the views of the Austrian countryside, we drove into Villach and parked up. Soon as we got our the car we noticed the difference. Yes it was a Sunday but you didn’t feel the hustle and bustle of what most Italian towns felt like, it was just peaceful. We set our eyes upon our first up close buildings of Austria and we loved them. The wooden houses with the balcony carvings made us want to stay here forever – and it was our first day. In terms of what there is to see, it has a great little map system so you can do a loop around the town to see the church and numerous buildings scattered around. It wasn’t a big place so we only spent the morning here. With it being the first town we came to it will always be remembered by us.
Though the town itself isn’t big, there are plenty of other things around to keep you occupied if you were to visit.
This is the first lake that we came to in Austria. We weren’t sure what to expect as a lot of lakes in Italy are built up and I was so hoping I would see a lake that is just that, a lake. Unfortunately today was not that day. We see faacker see from a distance and it is beautiful, clear waters with nothing but green around it. However up close it is built up with numerous hotels and camping spots, with water sports being the past time. Now this is great if your staying on the lake as you have close up views and have lots of activities to do, though when you just want to drive around or reach the lake it’s not easy. A lot of the lake is for the residents or to who are staying there so I would say unless you are staying there it’s best to see it from a distance.
We decided to take our first look at a Austrian castle so we took a short drive up through the hills. It is a ruined castle so there isn’t much of it left. It hasn’t been used since the 18th century and has not been restored since. We arrived and it was a quiet Sunday morning so not many people were around, so we took a walk to the castle which was open to the public.
Though it was a ruin, it was lovely, you could go to the top and see the views of Villach and the surrounding area below you. They also have a restaurant inside the castle that you can visit when on peak. They also stage shows in the mini amphitheater that is within the grounds which gives it an extra touch to go and see this place.
We left the castle and on the way back down there were loads of walking paths through the woods and surrounding area, we took a little walk and then went off to our next destination.
If seeing one castle wasn’t enough we went to visit another one! This one was well preserved so it was nice to see the difference. Again this one was free to get in so you don’t need to worry about the costs. The only thing you have to pay for it the falconry section which is still being used today. We choose not to go in that bit with the boys so not to aggravate anybody. As we were walking around they did have some birds on the outside of the falconry section to give yourself a teaser to what would be inside.
The castle itself was beautiful and the views around it made it that little bit better. This gave you views of Villach aswell as faacker see.