Are you ready to pack your bags and go on an adventure? If its outdoor activities you’re looking for, look no further. Villach, one of the largest cities in Austria, is the perfect destination. With the Gailtal Alps on the backdrop, and Lake Ossiach in the north-east, it offers a variety of outdoor activities from hiking, skiing, and ice skating in the winter to swimming, golf, sailing, surfing, and climbing in the warmer months. You can also time your vacation for the Villacher Kirchtag (Villach Church Day), an exciting one-week festival in August full of drinking, entertaining parades, traditional costumes, and folk dances.
Location: The Gateway to Austria and the Italian Border
Villach is the seventh-largest city in Austria, and the second-largest city in the state of Carinthia, Austria. Located on the Drava River, it spans from the slopes of the Gailtal Alps to Lake Ossiach in the north-east. It is known as the “railway gateway” to the rest of Austria, up to the Italian Border. With great awareness for the environment, Villach was also the first town awarded “Alpine Town of the Year” in 1997 for sustainable development.
Culture: What to See in Villach
With the city’s historic Roman past, there’s much to see in terms of historical architecture. First up is the Parish Church of St. Jacob, a three-aisled Gothic hall church built in the 14th century. It boasts a canopied altar in the baroque style, a Gothic crucifix, and 94-meter high bell tower, built in 1847. Another site to see is the Landskron Castle, the remains of and old fortress on top of a hill. 676 meters high, it offers a great view of the Slovenian Alps. A part of the castle has also been turned into a home for birds of prey. To get an even better idea what life was like back in the day, don’t miss the Hauptplatz or Main Square, where Medieval and Renaissance courts used to be. You can shop and sample the local delicacies there while enjoying the architecture.
Activities: What to Do in Villach
You will never run out of things to do in Villach. With its natural resources, the city offers a variety of outdoor activities as well a thriving metropolis. If you feel the need to relax and luxuriate, there is the Warmbad Villach, a spa with radioactive mineral springs, pools, and saunas. Do you want to go hiking? Mount Dobratsch is most popular hiking destination in the city. Have a quiet day walking along the Alpengarten, a 10,000-square meter garden devoted to the flora of the Alps. Feeling adventurous? Don’t miss Faakersee, a lake with the cleanest water in Europe. Here, you can swim, sail, fish, surf, play tennis, climb, cycle, or ride to your heart’s content.