Ask an Austrian about mindfulness and they’ll look at you with amused bewilderment. When you’re a native of this wild yet tranquil place, it seems that mindfulness is not something you chase, it’s something that’s all around you, a natural gift that’s woven into your very existence.
You don’t have to spend very long in Austria before you experience this. Let your eyes feast on the majestic scenery, hear the early morning melody of bird song, smell the heady fragrance of alpine flowers, feel the cool, crisp air on your face, or taste the freshness of a mountain spring. With your senses working overtime in nature, there’s no place for the stresses and strains of modern life.
Heavenly and holistic
To really get the most from Austria, forget being a tourist and trying to pack in as much as you can. This stunning European destination really comes into its own when you have the luxury of not having to think about anything at all,to take your time, soak up your surroundings and immerse yourself in the here and now.
In Austria, it’s nature that takes centre-stage. There’s no need for theme parks or tourist attractions, just let the glory of the natural world fill up your senses, get your heart pumping and leave you breathless. Just remember to keep each and every precious moment safe – you can take them home as the most wonderful souvenirs, ones that will stay in your heart forever.
When the fog of the daily routine grows even thicker, it’s time to head for the mountains.
See the possibilities
It’s hard not to feel in awe of your surroundings when you’re in the Ötztal Nature Park in Tirol. With more than 200 impressive peaks, including 67 glaciers and more than its fair share of waterfalls, you’ll just want to stand, stare and marvel at its majesty. Or soak up the marvellous colours as you walk along the Thumersbach hiking trail that leads you high above the glorious Lake Zell in SalzburgerLand.
There are so many tactile pleasures to be found here. Dip your toes into a mountain stream to feel the silky-smooth water relaxing and refreshing your feet. Or touch the wonderful wood used to build the timber houses that shape the beauty of the landscape in the Bregenzerwald or Alpbachtal regions. It’s a lovely reminder of the care, mindfulness and sensitivity needed to build with our most natural material.
Mindful eating comes naturally in the restaurants within the Arlberg region. At the arlberg1800 Resort you’ll find exquisite cuisine in the most arty and stylish surroundings, with the focus on pure enjoyment and taking it slow. In Oberlech, Hotel Sonnenburg does great traditional Austrian cooking, but it’s the six-course vegan menu that’s a winner for plant-based food fans.
Smell the joy
Breathe deeply and fill your lungs with the pure, crystal-clear air that Austria is so famous for. The crispness of it will stop you in your tracks and refresh your inner soul. By contrast, when you get a heady burst of alpine flora while crossing a lush meadow, a dazzling dose of pine on the Zirbenweg Trail in Tirol, or a hit of Edelweiss, it’s a scent that will linger long in your memory.
There are places in Austria, like the long-distance trails in Hochkönig, SalzburgerLand, where you can literally hear a pin drop. Where the only sound is the babbling of a brook, the wind sweeping across an alpine pasture or the breeze gently toying with your hair. It’s a very special experience to embrace the peace and quiet you’ll find here – sometimes it’s so quiet you can even hear yourself think!