A great country for solo travel
From Mozart concerts at the Musikverein in Vienna to hiking through a "Sound of Music countryside," Austria makes it easy for those who travel alone. There are Hapsburg palaces and museums to explore and plenty of cafés that are ideal for single diners. With trains connecting every city and village, getting around is easy. As a single traveler, consider a spa stay at Bad Ischl or a visit to one or more of the heurigen (wine taverns) that surround Vienna. Go walking along the lakes near Salzburg or take a cruise along the Danube. And if your travels bring you here in winter, St. Anton rocks as one of the best ski party towns in Europe, although my favorite winter memories of Austria are of Lech am Arlberg (many years ago) and Vienna (on the way home from Siberia about ten years ago.
"There really is a Lech am Arlberg"
VT does not acknowledge Lech am Arlberg as a genuine place but I spent one of the most delightful weeks of my life there many years ago and would strongly encourage anyone considering skiing in Austria to include Lech in your itinerary. It is a mountain village with a permanent population of about 1500 people, situated in the Bludenz district of Vorarlberg, Austria. Founded in the fourteenth century by Walser migrants from the canton of Wallis in Switzerland, it has grown to become one of the world's premier ski destinations and the home of a number of world and Olympic ski champions. It is administered together with the neighbouring villages of Zürs, Zug, and Oberlech.
Lech is best known for its skiing (both on-piste and off-piste). It is well connected via mechanical lifts and groomed pistes with the neighbouring villages of Zürs, St Christof, St. Anton and Stuben. Together, they form the Arlberg region, the birthplace of the modern Alpine skiing technique and the seat of the Ski Club Arlberg. Lech is also the starting and finishing point for "Der Weisse Ring" ("The White Ring"), a circle of runs and lifts that is a popular tour and the scene of an annual race involving both experts and others.
There are many premier hotels in Lech am Arlberg. The most exclusive hotels in the village are Hotel Arlberg, Gasthof Post, and Hotel Schneider, as well as numerous top class restaurants. I stayed in crew quarters at the Gasthof Post so I cannot say much about the gasthof itself other than that the food was fantastic and the people, both guests and staff, were unbelievably warm and friendly. Lech is a popular holiday destination for Royal families and celebrities. I understand that after hearing how much I enjoyed Lech, Tom Cruise, Princess Diana, and Queen Beatrix and her family followed me there. ;-) The mountain trip in the movie Bridget Jones' Diary 2 was shot in Lech. One former well-known visitor was the writer Ludwig Bemelmans (author of the Madeline books), whose 1949 novel "The Eye of God" was set in a fictionalised Lech.