Independent Families: 'We'd like a culture-and-lake break in August'
Saturday 29 March 2008
Q. We are a family of three generations – two senior citizens, our daughter and her two teenage children. We would like about three full days in Vienna and about 10 days in the sun, perhaps at one of the north Italian lakes. We like our comfort, and would also prefer a package holiday or tour operator to do all the paperwork.
E Brent, via email
A. Since you enjoy the comfort of a good hotel, consider the Ring Hotel in Vienna (00 43 1 22 1 22; www.theringhotel.com). It is located on the site of the former Merkur bank. Its historical façade conceals a contemporary interior, with some rooms offering a view of the historic Ringstrasse, the circular road surrounding the inner city.
There is plenty to occupy you in Vienna, from great museums to leafy parks to glorious architecture. Take the No 1 or 2 tram along the Ringstrasse to find such magnificent buildings as the Hofburg Palace, the Parliament and the State Opera.
Nearby, just off Michaeler Platz, you could watch a performance of the Spanish Riding School, with its majestic Lipizzaner stallions, or go to one of the classical concerts, recitals or operas that are an integral part of Viennese life. Climb to the top of St Stephen's Cathedral or take a ride on the Ferris wheel in the Wurstelprater amusement park, and enjoy the view of the city plus the Danube spread out below. A Vienna Card (info.wien.at; €18.50/£14.20) offers unlimited use of public transit for 72 hours, plus discounts on events, shops and restaurants.
What's sometimes called the "Italian Lake District" is in the north of the country, not far from the Alps. Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore are particularly attractive. The tour operator Kirker (020-7593 2288; www.kirkerholidays.com) can organise a two-centre trip for you, combining four nights at the Ring Hotel and nine in Pallanza, Lake Maggiore, for £2,406 per person with a single supplement of £1087 in July/August, including flights from Southampton. At the four-star Grand Hotel Majestic in Pallanza, you'll have views of the mountains, Lake Maggiore and the picturesque island of San Giovanni; the hotel has an indoor pool, tennis court and private beach. The total price works out to £13,117.
If you can fly from Heathrow, Kuoni Travel (01306 747001; www.kuoniworldclass.co.uk) can offer four nights at the Ring Hotel with 10 in Lake Garda for £10,125 for three adults (one in a single room) and two teenagers, including flights, transfers and accommodation.
The Parc Hotel Gritti (00 39 045621 511; www.parchotels.it) is a four-star hotel in the town of Bardolino, Lake Garda, and has a swimming pool for the teens and a spa for the adults. It's a short walk from the bustling resort centre; Bardolino is also at the centre of a wine region famed for its reds.
To keep the cost down, you could base yourself in Austria. Its lake region tends to be quieter than the Italian one in July and August, and it's a few degrees cooler, which may be more pleasant for the older generation.
Crystal Lakes (0871 230 8180;www.crystallakes.co.uk) offers a twin-centre stay in Vienna and the Austrian lake district for £8,486 for the five of you, including flights from Gatwick or Bristol, transfers and accommodation at the four-star Hotel Kummer (00 43 1 588 95) in central Vienna, and 10 nights at the four-star Hotel Im Weissen Rossl in St Wolfgang.
The teens will like the outdoor pool floating on the lake (heated so it has warm water on top of the colder lake water), and outdoor activities include walking, cycling, waterskiing, wakeboarding, banana boat rides, sailing-dinghy hire and windsurfing. Or you could decide to celebrate in style with a hot air balloon ride, with the St Wolfgang Balloon & Airship Company (00 43 6138 3027; freiheit.at), costing €300 (£235) per person based on five people.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To work within the Visitor Experience Departm...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...