The buildings. The food. The music. The culture in Austria is old world alpine bliss. In fact it’s one of the main reasons we love Austria, and visit her again and again…

1. The sparkly, pretty things.

From the joy of sipping from Austria’s renowned crystal stemware – the thin elegance of Riedel to the magnificently fine Zalto. To wearing one of the world’s most famous sources of glitter — Swarovski… Austria is all about fine craftsmanship and glorious glitter. Our favorite excursion is Swarovski Kristall Welten just outside Innsbruck. Stroll the Chamber of Wonders, enjoy the contemporary art garden, dine in a world of light-filled beauty at Daniels restaurant, and take home a genuine crystal Swarovski souvenir.

2. Sing along. And not only to The Sound of Music.

Austria is the spiritual home of striking the right note. From Mozart to Schubert to Strauss and beyond, these hills, their homes, hearts and concert halls are alive with soul-lifting music. Don’t forget the yodellers and unmistakable beat of oom-pah-pah disco at apres ski either….

3. Alpine tradition.

Looking for a good ski instructor? Look no further than the place where it all began, St Anton. Credited as the inventor of modern ski teaching, the Arlberg’s own Hannes Schneider was a legend on skis – long, wooden and the original form of fun on snow. And what starts well should also end well. Austria didn’t just invent apres ski, they just might have perfected it too.

4. Fine wine, great food and feel-good hospitality.

The swish of pretty pastel dirndl, the firm handshake of your host. Nothing says Wilkommen like the kind received in ski towns up and down the Austrian Alps. Family-run hotels and restaurants are a tradition and a way of alpine life in this part of the world.

5. Getting naked.

It’s the traditional thing to do to relax after skiing in Austria. Known as “textile-free”, once you try it you’ll see how it good it feels. And for shy visitors, most hotel wellness zones offer mixed and same-sex areas. Social, therapeutic and restorative all in one.