Carinthia is a land of lakes, mountains and sun and the alpine terrain in this southern part of Austria has a gentler feel than the more jagged peaks of the Tirol to the north. In these parts they like to call it the 'sunny side of the Alps' and it’s true they do have more sun than most other areas in the Alps.
In winter Carinthia is snow covered and most of the lakes are frozen, and as in most other parts of Austria, skiing is the main activity. But Carinthia has a more rounded view of wintersports. Cross-country skiing is very popular as is winter walking on cleared paths and snowshoeing. Other diverse activities such as ice golf, curling and skating are also enjoyed.
The mood is markedly more relaxed with a Mediterranean feel - Carinthia borders Italy and Slovenia. Legend has it they once ran out of virgins to satisfy the appetite of a dragon in Klagenfurt because there wasn't a word for 'no' in the local vocabulary.
Carinthia's future, like its weather, is looking bright and sunny. Fun and excitement are abundant throughout the winter on the slopes of Carinthia's ski resorts, the two biggest of which are Bad Kleinkirchheim and Nassfeld ; both are moving rapidly up the rankings of Austria's ski areas. Among the others are Heiligenblut nestling under Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner, Katschberg and the delightful Gerlitzen which provides fabulous slopes for beginners' and families.
There are more than 600-kilometres of cross-country trails and more than 100 lakes. Carinthia is home to the longest gondola lift in Austria, the four-mile three-stage Millennium Express at Nassfeld, and offers guaranteed snow on the slopes of the Molltal glacier. And all the slopes in all resorts throughout the province are covered by the Top Ski Carinthia ski pass.
Prices seem a little cheaper in hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and ski schools than in many other parts of the Alps and access from the UK is easy with Ryanair services from Stansted to Klagenfurt.