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As a travel addict who constantly talks about, works in, lives and breathes to travel & have adventures, I often struggle with sitting in one place. Tour guiding for 3 years gave me a wicked case of itchy feet. Plus, with all the incredible travel blogs I follow*, it can be hard not to occasionally be overwhelmed with FOMO and think ‘I need more holidays NOW’. This is normally followed by me descending into a frenzy of last minute booking website searches that will result in absolutely no decisions and a helluva lot of frustration. Sound familiar to you?
Luckily, I have been able to overcome this curse with one simple solution;
Weekend Getaways are my lifeline, a way to soothe those itchy feet and keep my travel inspiration going while living in one place. With so many gorgeous destinations to discover in Austria and the surrounding countries (i.e ALL OF EUROPE) we’re spoiled for choice – all it takes is a bit of planning and motivation. Yes, I could spend the rainy Sunday binging Netflix or finally putting the laundry away and cleaning the bathroom, but lets be real – that’s never going to happen.
I thought it might help other travel-addicts like me to hear about some of the most accessible ‘mini-holidays’ you can have on a weekend, to soothe that FOMO beast and keep your travel bug satisfied. For previous trips you can check out these posts. This week, I’m sharing with you a fairytale getaway just outside Vienna!
We made an impromptu trip to Naturpark Sparbach, located just a short 30 minute drive to the south west of Vienna. If, like us, you don’t have a car, you can take some pretty straightforward public transport options to get there (details below). The bonus of public transport is you get to wait for the local bus in an adorable bus stop like this one in Hinterbühl:
Naturpark Sparbach is within the Wienerwald, otherwise known as the Vienna Woods. There’s no better beginning to a fairytale than ‘I’m off to the woods today’, and I was pretty convinced we’d have our own little fairytale adventure here – I mean, it’s the WOODS right? Home of Little Red Riding Hood and 3 little Pigs and all the good stories!
The Weinerwald itself is a huge area surrounding Vienna and into lower Austria that some call the ‘lungs of Vienna’ because of all the greenery and forest that keeps the city air fresh. The air is so clean out here you can feel the difference. I’m not a country girl at all, so walking through here the oxygen felt different and actually took a bit of getting used to. The walk itself is pretty tame though – even I could manage it.
The always handy park maps – letting you know just how much torture your Austrian guide has in mind.
I’ve been tricked by my Tirolian mister before when going for a walk – he has a habit of massively understating the height of a mountain and the distance remaining during our walk. So ‘one more turn’ often means ‘one more gigantic turn up this huuuuuuge mountain’. (Can anyone verify if this is an Austria-wide trick? Or is it just his ‘humour’?) Because of his terrible
lies habit, I’m always very suspicious when he says ‘It’s just a short walk and a small hill’, but luckily on this occasion it was actually true.
Blessedly flat paths
Our walk lead to the ruins of a Castle Johannstein, and as you guys know I am unable to resist a good castle ruin. Cue excited castle photos and clambering up the crumbling stone walls like a 5 year old. The original castle was built in the 12th Century, as a part of the defences of the Woods, but allegedly housed ‘no nobles of any significance’ which I’m interpreting as ‘some pretty unpopular nobles with a kickass Castle in the woods that everyone was jealous of’.
Our little fairytale walk continued as we explored off the main path and came upon a completely deserted meadow – all to ourselves. If the castle wasn’t enough, the meadow proved it – everyone can have their own fairytale moment in the Woods. This place had no noise, no trace of people or traffic – the perfect antidote to a week spent in the city madly rushing around.
Sometimes just a quiet spot in a meadow can be a living fairytale. Here, we could be still, and enjoy the silence with no expectations – just fresh air, an untouched field and the sky. A perfect happy ending to a weekend getaway adventure.
How To : Naturpark Sparbach
From Meidling main train station in Vienna, take the S1 Strassenbahn to Mödling. From Mödling station take bus 364, direction Grueberau Schusternazl,and get off at Sparbach Ortsmitte.
Total travel time with train and bus appoximately 1 hour from the city. Beware the cost of bus tickets once you get to Mödling!
Alternatively, by car will take 30 minutes and is directly down the A21 highway
Sbahn ticket Meidling to Mödling return:€4.80
Bus 364 return ticket: €9 per person!!
Entry to Naturpark Sparbach is €5 per person
Coffee: €4 for a latte
Total per person: €22.80 – budget €25 per person for snacks, we packed our own.
Huge playground and barbecue area for kids and families
Wildlife, walking tracks and castle ruins for couples and adults
Flat walking paths and areas to sit suitable for older travellers
*I follow a LOT of excellent blogs. Incredible big-name travel bloggers like Adventurous Kate, Legal Nomads, Expert Vagabond, Almost Fearless and the Everywhereist. Inspiring ladies who travel full time like Vik from Chronic Wanderlust, Marta at A Girl Who Travels, Nina at Berries & Passion and Glo at The Blog Abroad. To really get your travel bug fired up I wholeheartedly recommend subscribing to all of these blogs!*