There are some lovely areas in Europe which don’t get too much publicity and Burgenland in Austria is one of them. This region in eastern Austria borders Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. I flew into Bratislava in Slovakia with Ryanair on a direct flight from Edinburgh. It took less than one hour to drive to Burgenland from there in my hire car.
The region is popular with Vienna residents as the largest lake in Austria, the Neusiedl See, is in Burgenland. The lake is a paradise for birdwatchers, as it’s a central European resting point for many birds on their journeys north and south.
Speaking of birds, if you visit the town of Rust you’ll spot storks’ nest on nearly every chimney. The houses in Rust are also very pretty, all different colours. The pedestrianised town square is full of cafes. The lakeside is around a mile from the town square and you can take a pedal boat out for a spin.
Cycling is popular in the area as it’s quite flat and there are cycle/walking roads at the side of most of the main roads, so you don’t have to worry about the traffic. There are cycle hire points dotted everywhere. If you want to cycle around part of Lake Neusiedl you can take your bike on the lake ferries.
The area produces a lot of red wine, much of it in small family wineries. I parked in one street and there were at least 5 different wineries within a couple of hundred yards. Many also sell other products such as straw wine and dried berries and offer accommodation.
Esterhazy Castle in Eisenstadt is very grand and just opposite there are two wine shops where you can sample some local wine. Many visitors to Halbturn Castle come to eat at the restaurant there which has outdoor seating in the courtyard.
Image credits: europealacarte
Posted : Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 11:00
Karen Bryan is the founding editor of the UK based, multi author Europe a la Carte Blog which features Europe travel tips about the best places to visit in Europe.