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Austria, with its mountains and dreamlike roads, is predestined for a holiday with a camper. Especially the lakes in the Salzkammergut and Carinthia with their countless campsites are ideal destinations if you want to rent a camper. Many of the sites are small, family-run facilities with a pleasant atmosphere and short distances.
When you rent a campervan in Austria, you have countless campsites at your disposal, many of which are in prime locations. Almost every one of the many lakes in Austria has at least one campsite, often right on the shore. Most lakeside campsites have their own bathing beach, which is usually only accessible to the site's guests. This way you can combine a swimming holiday with a hiking and adventure holiday in Austria.
Austria is one of the top hiking destinations in Europe. In the country's mountains, you will find countless routes for every level and ability, from easy walks to challenging high mountain tours. Renting a campervan is also ideal for an adventurous hiking and adventure holiday. You are independent and can move to a new place every few days. The mountain regions in the west of Austria are particularly interesting for this.
Austria is an attractive destination for a holiday with a campervan, especially in summer. Then you can take advantage of the numerous campsites on the lakes and supplement your holiday with hikes and excursions. The camping season in Austria usually starts in May or June because the mountains are generally still covered with snow by then. The high season is the months of July and August when Austria is always busiest. If you want a little more peace and quiet, it is better to rent in June or September. Especially September is considered the ideal hiking season with its usually still warm days and stable periods of good weather.
In winter, the focus in Austria is on skiing. Camping is not common in Austria in winter - but that does not mean it is impossible: if you rent a winter-proof campervan, this time of year can also have its own unique charm! Many campsites are open all year round.
Even though there are large flat areas in Austria, the country is, of course, best known for its mountains. These are mainly located in the west of Austria, in the provinces of Tyrol, Salzburg, Styria, and Carinthia. The most exciting destinations for a holiday with a campervan in Austria are the Salzkammergut and the Carinthian lakes. Especially Carinthia, the southernmost province of Austria, is a top destination if you want to rent a campervan. All of the Carinthian lakes - Wörthersee, Ossiacher See, Millstätter See and Weißensee - are excellent bathing waters. There are numerous campsites everywhere, most of which are located directly on the shore. So you can jump almost directly into the water from your vehicle. You can spend the rest of the time with round trips, excursions, sightseeing, and hiking in the surrounding mountains.
Lake Ossiach is considered ideal for camping because one campsite follows another along almost the entire shore. Lake Millstätter See, a little further north, is also lined with several campsites. On Lake Wörthersee, the offer is not quite as large, but there are some excellent sites here too. One of them is on the shore of the provincial capital Klagenfurt; if you rent a pitch here, you can enjoy the lake and the lively life in Carinthia's largest city at the same time. Lake Weissensee, surrounded by high mountains, is a tip for those who like it quiet and want to do a lot of hiking. The somewhat remote lake has three campsites; the one at the eastern end is particularly beautiful.
The second large lake region in Austria is the Salzkammergut, located a little further north. The Salzkammergut is famous for its lakes such as Attersee, Traunsee, Wolfgangsee, Mondsee and Hallstätter See. The Salzkammergut is also ideal for a camping holiday in Austria. Lake Wolfgang offers numerous campsites, most of which are located directly on the shore. The huge Attersee, one of the largest lakes in Austria, is especially popular with water sports enthusiasts. The numerous cable cars in the region are ideal for excursions. For example, the Dachstein cable car near Obertraun on Lake Hallstatt takes you up to an altitude of over 2000 meters. If the weather is not so good, the two salt mines in Hallstatt and Altaussee and the show caves on the Dachstein are excellent destinations.
Further in the west of Austria, there are no larger lakes in the provinces of Salzburg and Tyrol. Still, there are stunning campsites in the valleys that are cut deep into the mountains, which are up to 3000 meters high. The Zillertal and Ötztal valleys in Tyrol are primarily known as winter sports destinations. Still, they are also dream destinations in summer. Here, roads and cable cars lead up to the glaciers at altitudes of over 3000 meters.
For an excursion or part of the journey, Austria's tourist roads, such as the Grossglockner High Alpine Road or the Silvretta High Alpine Road, are fascinating. Here you can experience a unique excursion with a round trip. For example, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, built in the early 1930s, leads up to an altitude of 2500 meters with countless hairpin bends. The highlight of this road is the view of the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountain, and the Pasterze glacier from the Franz-Josefs-Höhe.
If you rent a campervan in Austria, you will, like most visitors, be interested in the mountainous areas in Austria. But also the east of the country with Lake Neusiedl on the border to Hungary is interesting for a camping holiday because it offers an entirely different flair than the mountainous regions.
If you rent a campervan in Austria, you should remember that you are only allowed to park permanently with a camper or caravan on designated camping sites. However, the road traffic regulations allow you to park anywhere at any time to sleep in the vehicle, provided this serves the "temporary restoration of fitness to drive." Actually, this means a short nap in case of overtiredness; however, an overnight stay while passing through is usually tolerated.
In Austria, all motorways and motorways are subject to tolls. For a small to medium-sized campervan (up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight), the passenger car toll is due; for this, you need a sticker on the windscreen, which is valid for ten days, two months, or a whole year. If you rent a campervan in Austria, in many cases, the toll has already been paid by the rental company. For large campervans (over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight), the distance-based HGV toll is due in Austria. Some roads, such as the Tauern Tunnel between Salzburg and Carinthia, additionally cost a special toll, which is charged per passage. When renting a campervan in Austria, Campstar will be happy to assist in finding the details.
Campervans are available for rent in a wide variety of sizes and designs. Which format is suitable for you depends above all on the number of people traveling together. But of course, your demand for comfort during your holiday in Austria also plays a role in the choice of campervan. In general, the following applies when renting a campervan: The bigger the vehicle, the more comfort it offers. However, driving a large model is also more cumbersome and takes more getting used to, primarily if you are used to a passenger car. If you want to be very mobile during your holiday in Austria and travel around a lot, it is more practical to rent a smaller model; if you stay at a campsite most of the time, it does not matter so much.
For couples, a camper van or a panel van is usually sufficient. In a panel van, the living compartment is integrated into the vehicle body, making the vehicle relatively compact and easy to drive even for those who are not experienced. If you rent a camper van and are not used to such a vehicle, you will be better off with a panel van than with a larger camper.
A campervan with an alcove offers much more space than a van. With this design, there are usually two sleeping berths in the alcove above the driver's cabin and two more in the rear of the campervan. The separate sleeping areas make it particularly suitable for families to rent a campervan with an alcove. Children usually enjoy the cozy sleeping areas in the alcove, which are accessible via a steep ladder! The disadvantage of these campervans is their large dimensions, which can be a hindrance on narrow roads, plus you cannot drive into a car park with them. When renting a campervan, you should keep this in mind. However, in the rural areas of Austria, this is not so problematic; there is usually enough space everywhere, even for a large campervan.
A semi-integrated campervan is a good compromise between a panel van and a campervan with an alcove. In this design, the living cabin is only a little wider and higher than the driver's cabin. Due to the length of the vehicle, a semi-integrated campervan still offers a lot of space. There is usually a sleeping area in the rear of the vehicle and another in the middle above the seating group in these campervans. This second sleeping place can be pulled under the vehicle ceiling during the day and lowered at night. Renting a semi-integrated campervan is a good choice for couples who want more comfort. For a family, on the other hand, it can be a bit cramped; here, the fact that the sleeping areas are not separated from each other is a particular disadvantage.