This city in the Austrian province of Carinthia is surrounded by mountains and lakes and is a great base for hiking, skiing or snowboarding near the Italian and Slovenian border.
Since Roman times, and especially during the Middle Ages, Villach has been at the crossroads of important European trading routes. With its close proximity to both Italy and Slovenia the city continues to serve as an important transportation hub and railway gateway. Today’s population is about 60,000.
Stroll through the historic city center on foot and stop at cafés, restaurants or shops along the small but busy pedestrian zone. Enjoy a beer from the local city brewery and try some regional fruit, vegetables or meat specialties. Several times a week you can visit a farmers market.
Villach’s medieval main square dates back to the 12th century and much of the historic architecture can still be seen as you explore hidden alleys and courtyards. The Stadtpfarrkirche is the city’s main church. It was built during the 14th and 15th centuries in a late gothic style and towers over the main square. The local Stadtmuseum (City Museum) showcases the town’s long history.
Main draws to the region are the numerous lakes and mountains surrounding the town. Within a half hour drive you can reach the shores of Lake Woerth (Woerthersee), Lake Ossiach (Ossiachersee) or Lake Faak (Faaker See). The scenic lakes are popular recreational destinations, mainly for swimming, boating and cycling.
Hike around the Dobratsch Mountain Nature Park during a ranger-guided excursion. You can reach the Dobratsch mountain via the “Villacher Alpenstrasse” a panoramic toll road with numerous vista stops along the way. The Gerlitzen mountain is best reached via a cable car overlooking Lake Ossiach and is a popular walking and hiking destination during summer, and skiing and snowboarding during winter.
Reviewed on 24 Nov 2019
Reviewed on 22 Oct 2019
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