Small but perfectly-formed, Austria is heaven for outdoor enthusiasts, with skiing in the Alps and the Salzburgerland, wonderful hiking in the summer months, and some world-class thermal spas. There are more urban pleasures too; cities such as Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg boast elegant Hapsburg-era architecture, world-class art galleries and musical heritage that encompasses everything from Mozart to the Sound of Music.
As a non-natural skier, if I'm going to hurtle down a mountain at speed, it has to be Austrian. Nowhere in the Alps offers the same levels of hospitality, with many hotels owned by the same families for generations. A post-piste gluhwein and plate of kasepsatzl (Austrian macaroni cheese) in a mountain hut is one of my favourite things on a ski holiday, while in the summer months, a night at the alfresco Bregenz Festival, with its stunning lake stage, is an annual treat.