Arrival in Vienna
Vienna is a city whose history stretches back over 2,000 years. By 1155, the Babenbergs declared Vienna a “civitas” indicating that it was developing into a well-ordered community. From this time forward Vienna grew under the influence of the Byzantium Empire, the Orient, Martin Luther, the threat of the Turks, Emperor Franz Joseph, Maria Theresa, Richard the Lion Heart, Karl Marx, and a host of other fascinating events and people, creating one of the world’s great cultural centers.
Enjoy this afternoon at your leisure. Your hotel is just across the street from the vibrant MusuemsQuarter – home to museums and cafes – the perfect way to spend your first afternoon.
Vienna to Dürnstein
Exeter International Extraordinary Experience
Today you will have a tour using public transport (and walking) of her favorite local markets and unique Vienna food producers. These aren’t big productions, but local family-run businesses. During the walk, you will not only taste samples of the food, you will learn more about Austrian everyday life and food culture.
Afterward, head to the countryside. Your drive today is, in total, around 60-90 minutes. You could head straight to your hotel and enjoy some of the outdoor pursuits offered, including boat and bike rentals.
If you’re interested, it’s possible to stop along the way for a visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Melk.
Dürnstein & the Wachau Valley
Exeter International Extraordinary Experience
This morning, your special wine expert will meet you to explore the UNESCO-protected Wachau Valley. Your guide is the grandson of one of the area’s original vintners and he knows every little winery and vintner along the way. Your excursion today will take you literally up into the hills bordering the Danube as you drive through vineyards and small villages. Your guide will explain a bit about how the region was developed, the type of wines that are the specialty of the region and how different terrain makes different wines, even of the same varietal.
Your trip would not be complete without tastings at two local wineries.
Dürnstein to Gosau
Today you’ll head out of the Wachau Valley and begin your journey to the small town of Gosau, located in the Dachstein region of Salzburg.
This area is of stunning natural beauty and Hallstatt is a village nestled upon the shores of a lake. It was actually only accessible by foot and by boat all the way to 1890. Today it looks like a little dream village and is known worldwide. Don’t miss the funicular ride to the Dachstein Skywalk for fantastic views over the landscape. On a clear day you’ll see all the way to Slovenia and the Czech Republic!
It’s also possible to visit the Hallstatt Salt Mine. It dates from the 15th century, making it on the oldest in the world. In fact, it only stopped operation in 1960! Today it allows guests to see the history of mining and learn about the lives of miners.
Today is at your leisure to explore the region. If you want to be active, numerous hiking opportunities are available within a short drive.
Otherwise, for more of an enchanting village day, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore some of the local villages of the Salzkammergut.
Bad Ischl worth some time to explore. This imperial town was frequented by the Hapsburgs. Today you can stroll the ancient streets of the village and, if you’re interested, stop into the Imperial Villa for a visit to this Hapsburg family summer residence.
Hallstatt to Seefeld
Today you’ll continue on your drive to Seefeld, outside of Innsbruck.
If you want to make a full day of it, there are lots of scenic options for stops. St. Wolfgang is worth a stop to take a ride on the Wolfgangsee lake. There is also a nostalgic railroad here that is the steepest cogwheel railway in Austria and it takes you up the Schafberg mountain (featured in the Sound of Music)
Also enroute is the truly enchanting medieval town of Kufstein. This often-overlooked town features a reconstructed fortress from the 1300s, amazing organic local cuisine, hiking routes and more.
Afterwards, head to your resort in the mountains outside of Innsbruck.
Seefeld & Innsbruck
This morning, head to the town of Innsbruck, where your guide will meet you and will take you on an overview walking city tour through the Old Town. Innsbruck has a long and eventful history and the charming Old Town is more than 800 years old.
Later, take a short drive with your guide for a visit to the Grassmayr Bell Factory. This is the oldest Austrian bell factory and it was established in 1599. This is a family-owned operation and many bells have been made that can be found all over Tyrol in fortress, castles, and churches.
Our process is high-touch, and extremely personalized. Let us walk you through the steps when you decide to travel with Exeter.
This morning, you will be transferred to Buzet in Croatia where you will meet a truffle hunter and his dogs. This is a family truffle business located in a small village. Head into their private woods to see how the dogs find the truffles!
Afterward, bring your find back to the farm and learn how to wash and prepare them. Your hostess will create a special truffle- focused lunch for you.