ABOUT Austria is full of such rich cultural offerings and traditions, many of them left over from the time when Vienna was the seat of a powerful empire. These days, the capital's imperial buildings may seem a bit grand and oversized for this small country. But there is nothing diminished about the country's romantic streak or its passion for rituals, whether in the coffeehouse, the church or the grand ballroom. Austria seems to blend a kind of Italian romanticism with a Germanic love for order. And that orderly romanticism can be quite captivating, particularly when experienced by way of a Sacher torte, a hike through the mountains of Tirol or a stroll along Vienna's Ringstrasse

CLIMATE The climate of the Mountainous Regions of Austria can be classified as a humid Snow climate with the warmest month between 10°C and 22°C, the coldest month below -3°C and at last four or more months above 10°C. Although Austria is cold in the winter (−10 – 0 °C), summer temperatures can be relatively high with average temperatures in the mid-20s and a highest temperature of 40.5 °C (105 °F) in August 2013.

BEWARE There is a low rate of crime, but petty crime does occur and you should take the usual precautions to avoid becoming a victim. There are complex driving laws in Austria, especially for caravan and motor-home owners. When driving in Austria, you should always carry your full British licence, ownership documents and insurance details. You must be at least 18 years of age to drive in Austria. Carry your passport with you at all times as proof of identification.