Offers from A-Z
Welcome to Austria, the country of beautiful landscapes, rich history and legendary music. Whether you want to go waltzing in Vienna, listen to Mozart’s operas in his place of birth Salzburg or explore the skiing areas around Innsbruck, Austria has everything you want. From the banks of the blue Danube to the white peaks of the Alps there is leisure and fun, arts and culture or fine dining and great wines for you to explore.
Germany’s capital, Berlin, is indisputably Europe’s capital of cool. In the summer you can relax on one of its many ‘urban beaches’, enjoying a DJ set and perhaps a game of volleyball. In Munich, Germany’s economic southern powerhouse, fun comes in a more boisterous form. It hosts a yearly Oktoberfest, where you can sample local beer and sing along to folk music with 30,000 revellers in a single tent. Frankfurt is a business-like city. With its towering skyline, it is one of Europe's financial hubs. But a tower of a different kind dominates the city of Ulm. At 161.5 metres, its gothic Minster is the tallest church in the world.
Since the time of Homer, Greece has been wedded to the sea. Its territory includes a galaxy of islands, each with a distinct character. There are peaceful family hideaways, vibrant party destinations and sites of historical interest. The largest island, Crete, was home to Europe’s first urban civilisation, the Minoans. The vast cellars of their mysterious palaces spawned the myth of the terrible Minotaur in its labyrinth. Later Greek civilisations created such splendours as the Athens Parthenon and the temple of Apollo in Delphi, known to the ancients as the ‘navel of the world’. And in the Christian era, Greece has given the world a host of beautiful churches and monasteries.
Italy is positively overflowing with cultural riches. A drive or cycle ride through Umbria will reveal stunning medieval towns, perched on improbable hilltops. In the streets and squares of Florence, you can’t help but encounter masterpieces of Renaissance art, including Michelangelo’s David. For a country to have one city as beautiful and important as Rome is fortunate, but to have Venice as well! That is truly a blessing. Both cities are treasure chests of art and encyclopaedias of history. But one of the best reasons to visit Italy is, of course, its delicious food and wine – each region’s cuisine is distinct and perfectly expresses the spirit of place.
With its idyllic beaches, Spain is a natural choice for devoted sunseekers. But there are many more sides to this country beyond the holiday "costas". For centuries, Christian pilgrims have travelled overland to the Cathedral of Santiago De Compostela, the traditional resting place of St James. In more recent times, art lovers have been drawn to the galleries of Madrid, home to many iconic masterpieces, including Picasso’s Guernica. In Barcelona, it is the cool vibe and sinewy art-nouveau architecture that visitors are attracted by. But wherever you go in Spain, try to time your visit for a local fiesta, such as Valencia’s fiery street party known as "Fallas".
Ukraine’s national roots run deep. More than 1,400 years ago, it was an important centre of Slavic civilisation. Subsequently, Kiev played an important role in the spread of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, as the many gorgeously decorated churches bear witness. The humbler but equally attractive wooden churches found in the south-west of Ukraine are evidence of the people’s enduring faith. It undoubtedly helped them through the harrowing events of the 20th century until the country achieved independence in 1991. Since then, Ukraine has been reaching out to the world, recently developing a vibrant outsourcing industry.
Iran’s capital city, Tehran, is a modern and bustling centre of business and education. Its many restaurants and cafés are full of the buzz of conversation. Winter is a good time to visit, as the city is only a short drive from the ski slopes in the Alborz Mountains. But it is the old capital, Esfahan, that really steals the show. It has two UNESCO world heritage sites – Naqsh-e Jahan Square, which is surrounded by historic buildings and attracts a host of picnickers on Friday evenings, and the Imam Mosque, which is beautifully decorated with the coloured tiles that are so typical of Esfahan.
Thanks to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, many empires have risen and fallen in the region now called Iraq. In fact, some of the features that define civilisation to this day – literacy, law and government – were born in this ancient land. Iraq’s delicious cuisine mainly comes down to us from its medieval Islamic golden age and reflects the fertility of the land watered by the two rivers. Although the language most widely spoken in Iraq is Arabic, Austrian Airlines flies to Erbil in the north, where Kurdish is generally spoken. This city has seen many tumultuous events, including two sieges by the Mongols.
Religious pilgrims have been drawn to Israel for many centuries, but even from a purely historical perspective, the ancient city of Jerusalem is one of the world’s most fascinating destinations. In fact, there are many archaeological sites worth visiting throughout the country. By contrast, Tel Aviv is the modern business capital of Israel. Financial institutions and cutting-edge technology companies populate the high-rise city centre. As one would expect, there are a great many bars and restaurants to choose from. Even the city’s immaculate beach is dotted with laid-back nightspots. For excellent seafood in an atmospheric setting, visit the ancient port town of Jaffa, now merged with Tel Aviv.
Two thousand years ago, the land that is now Jordan was part of the Roman Empire, and in many places you can see spectacular archaeological remains. There are some fine examples in Amman, including the Roman Theatre and the Citadel with its Temple of Hercules. But Jordan has many layers of history. In the Citadel you will also find a splendid Arab palace and a Byzantine basilica. The desert city of Petra, with its famous rock-carved tombs and temples, is one of the country’s most popular destinations. In addition to historical sites, Jordan offers some exciting outdoor pursuits. How about an unforgettable desert camping trip in spectacular Wadi Rum?
The soaring skylines of Shanghai, Beijing and many other Chinese cities are evidence of the rapid economic transformation that has taken place in this country. But the Chinese people are proud of their history, and one can still experience many of the glories of the past. Beijing’s Temple of Heaven is an impressive complex of religious buildings that saw elaborate court rituals played out for more than five centuries. These days, it is a popular location for Tai Chi and simple activities such as singing and playing cards. When you are tired after a day of sightseeing, traditional tea houses provide a peaceful retreat from the urban bustle.
The spectacular archaeological remains found throughout Egypt tell a story of civilisation that goes back 5,000 years. The Great Pyramid of Giza is considered a wonder of the ancient world, and the Valley of the Kings is famous as the resting place of Tutankhamun. His golden sarcophagus is now housed in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. This long cultural flourishing was possible due to the life-giving waters of the Nile. However, it is the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea that support Egypt’s modern tourist industry. This sun-soaked coastline is a centre for scuba diving, windsurfing and other water sports.
Until the 1950s, Hong Kong was a tiny fishing village. Since then, it has grown to become a global economic force. But this rapid expansion has put space at a premium. The territory’s impressive new airport had to be built 20 miles offshore on an artificial island. It is typical of this energetic city that the project was completed in the space of just six years. Old Hong Kong can still be found in amongst the skyscrapers, with many thriving markets to explore. Don't miss the one in Temple Street, which takes place at night. Quaint trams dating from the time of British rule are also still part of the Hong Kong scene.
Malé is the arrival point for most visitors to the Maldives. Although it is a lively town with a market and plenty of eating places, the majority of tourists transfer by boat to a resort on one of the thousand or so tiny islands. Some are as small as 200 metres in diameter. As you relax on the white coral sand, you could almost imagine yourself marooned on a desert island – a rather luxurious desert island where you can order a cool drink and retire to your comfortable accommodation at any time. For scuba divers, the Maldives are a particularly popular destination, thanks to the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean.
Sri Lanka is an island of great natural riches. The beaches are pristine and the southern coastline has some fantastic surfing spots. But Dondra Point and Trincomalee are better known for whale and dolphin watching. The interior of the island also offers some great wildlife experiences, including the famous Pinnawala Orphanage, which provides a home to baby elephants found wandering in the forest. Visitors can get close to the residents and even feed them. Sri Lanka’s delicious cuisine reflects both the forested interior and the abundant seas of the island. You can enjoy fresh fruit curries as well as a wide variety of seafood dishes.
Bangkok is not just the capital of Thailand, it is also the religious heart of this deeply Buddhist country and home to the Thai royal family. Any trip to the city should definitely take in some of the 400 or so Buddhist temples. The reclining Buddha statue in Wat Pho is 15 metres high, 43 metres long and covered in gold leaf. Visitors who prefer a bit of sun and pampering should head for the southern island of Phuket. It is a world-class centre for water sports, including scuba diving and windsurfing, and offers some of the finest spa experiences imaginable.
North America & Caribbean
Canada’s cities couldn’t be more different from each other. Toronto with its high-rise skyline is a thriving centre of business. Montreal is the nation’s entertainment capital and has an old-world charm. Vancouver, in the West, is a thriving port and a centre for whale watching. Edmonton is thousands of miles from the sea – a gateway to the mountains of Alberta. Beyond the cities, Canada is a hiking, skiing, biking and climbing heaven. The opportunities for adventure are limitless. But for indoor excitement, just head to your nearest ice hockey stadium and experience the nation’s fast-moving favourite sport.
Think you know all about holidays in the USA? Think again. There is a whole country of hidden surprises to discover. Why not check out the amazing harvest festivals of Louisiana? You can get moving to some Cajun music and celebrate the water melon, or the pumpkin, or whatever the local crop is. Or maybe you'd prefer the Villa Vizcaya in Miami – a luxurious mansion built by 1920s industrialist James Deering. It includes a large Italian Renaissance garden and a cavernous underground pool. Talk about The Great Gatsby! Or why not tour some of Chicago’s many brewpubs? There are dozens of them in the city, each selling its own distinctive beer.
LIGHT: For all those who like to travel light and at a low cost
Whether it’s a spontaneous city trip, a trendy shopping spree or a weekend spent with friends: The Light Ticket enables you to travel without hauling heavy suitcases and with just hand luggage and, at the same time, you only pay for what you really need.
CLASSIC: For all those who want everything to be taken care of
The green airbed, an additional two dresses and the latest bestseller: If you like to take everything with you on holiday, the classic fare - with one item of baggage and a seat reservation upon booking - is the right choice.
FLEX: For all those who cannot wait to fly home earlier
Some things are finished faster than expected. This is where a flexible return flight can be helpful. With the Flex Ticket, this is no problem: Simply change your booking free of charge and you’ll be home earlier.