Claudio X, famous for his minimalistic instagram account caught up with Travel Junkie Diary, “I run a small business in Austria. It´s all about software development and information design. My daily business is to manage software & information design projects and I can work more or less location-independent. Which is quite good when it comes to travel.” If you ever wanted to travel to Austria, here is where the hidden gems are.
Here is his diary…
Destination I decided to write about a spot here in Austria (a short road trip) called Burgenland (and its Lake Neusiedl) as this part of Austria isn´t on the map of those thinking about Austria or Central Europe. The Hotel I am writing about is on the Hungarian side of the Lake Neusiedl.
The Cyclades is my second favorite destination. An island group with some of the most beautiful islands in the world like Sifnos, Folegandros or Amorgos – the island of “The Big Blue” as a large part of the Luc Besson film was shot there. As Amorgos isn´t just around the corner I´ve been lucky to find some outstanding hideaways around Lake Neusiedl (German: Neusiedler See) where the horizon stretches into the distance for what seems like an eternity. Lake Neusiedl is also the largest endorheic lake in Central Europe, straddling the Austrian–Hungarian border and only a one hour drive from Vienna, Austria.
Stayed in Haus im See (German for “House in the Lake“)
It´s a perfect hide-away with excellent food & wine. A small hotel which is perfectly situated at the end of a wooden walkway in Hungarian part of the Neusiedlersee, open from April till October. Doubles from about €116 (USD 150) per night.
As I am into water sports a small boutique Hotel in the lake (and not only by the lake) is something like the perfect spot. It´s a simple but stylish hideaway where you can spend lonely hours on a sun lounger and to strive for a swim every now and then to refresh. For most of the guests, the highlight of the day is dinnertime, when there is a BBQ with good food accompanied by very delicious wine. For a vegetarian like me there is more or less only one option so most times I decide only to stay for 2 or 3 days;) Which is also a good idea as this place does´t accept credit cards.
For those who are more into luxury travel, they can extend their stay around the lake at the so called “Taubenkobel” which is part of Relais & Chateaux and run by the same family as the “Haus im See”. This Hotel & Restaurant in a charming 19th century vintner’s house is a cosmopolitan haven in a small but charming Burgenland village. The restaurant is renowned for its remarkable cuisine of Grand Chef Walter Eselböck who masterfully crafts local produce into sophisticated creations.
Another good choice is the St. Martins Therme & Lodge on the banks of its own lake next to the Neusiedlersee as it is Central Europe’s only Thermal Baths and Lodge Resort.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site this region is one among 850 natural and cultural heritage sites worldwide. One such protected natural landscape is the National Park of Lake Neusiedl – Seewinkel. With its reed belt, marshy meadows and saltwater lakes, it is definitely one of the most fascinating geological regions of Europe. There you can find the „St. Martins Therme & Lodge“ on the banks of its own lake next to the Neusiedlersee. It is Central Europe’s only Thermal Baths and Lodge Resort. East and West European fauna and flora blend to create a new extraordinary variety of more than 300 bird species.
Month I suggest going there in the off-season in June or September.
Diary On a typical day at Lake Neusiedl, I try to spend most of the day on the water on a Stand Up Paddle Board. Combine surfing with kayaking and you’ve got Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). SUP is the fastest- growing water sport in the world and Lake Neusiedl is the perfect spot to provide it with a try. On a windy day Wind Surfing or Kite Surfing is always a good option especially since the Podersdorf at Lake Neusiedl became a Surf World Cup destination in the year of 1997.
Once a year I also take my bike around the lake at the Neusiedler See Cycle Path. This tour is maybe the best way to explore the Pannonian Lowlands around the lake area.
In the evening, I usually head to the Mole West to enjoy dinner or a drink where you can watch a romantic sunset in style.
So as you can see Austria is greater than the Alps and Skiing. Lake Neusiedl gives life to magnificent vineyards and an average of 300 days of sunshine showcases the wonderfully, mild Pannonian climate of this region. And delicious white & red wines.
Dined in In Burgenland, it´s Mole West especially because of the amazing sunsets which are included in the menu without extra costs.
Shopped If you are looking for high street brands and cheap prices, the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Parndorf close the Lake Neusiedl is the place to aim for. If you are looking for. All others should head to the Stekovics Farm Shop in Frauenkirchen for yummy pickles or a modern winery like the Winery Leo Hillinger in Jois.
Tips Expect a lot of sunshine and sometimes it can get a bit windy. Go there as long as it stays off the catalog of international travel agencies. It´raw, but it isn´t that hard to find it´s hidden gems.