Hof bei Salzburg (Land Salzburg): Lying on Lake Fuschl (Fuschlsee), this chic resort is only a 15-minute ride from Salzburg; it boasts a breathtaking alpine backdrop of blue clear-but-chilly waters, mountains, and evergreen forests. Based here, you can also easily get to Fuschlsee, Wolfgangsee, and Mondsee. The town offers some romantic places to stay, notably the Hotel Schloss Fuschl (tel. 06229/22530; www.starwoodhotels.com).
St. Wolfgang (Upper Austria): On the Wolfgangsee, one of Austria's loveliest lakes, St. Wolfgang lies in the mountains of the Salzkammergut. It's the home of the White Horse Inn (tel. 06138/23060; www.weissesroessl.at), which served as the setting for Ralph Benatzky's operetta of the same name. Lying 50km (32 miles) east of Salzburg, the resort is a summer paradise, with lakefront beaches and cafes, hiking opportunities in all directions, and skiing in winter.
Mutters (Tyrol): On a sunny plateau above Innsbruck, this little resort has been called the most beautiful village in Tyrol (quite a compliment). Mutters, a central base of the 1964 and 1976 Olympics, attracts visitors year-round. The most romantic place to stay is the Hotel Altenburg (tel. 0512/548524; www.altenburg.com), which was a restaurant in 1622 and later a farmhouse before it converted into an elegant hotel.
Stuben (Vorarlberg): The rich and famous might flock to Vorarlberg's stellar ski resorts, Zürs or Lech, but we think you should sneak away to the little village of Stuben, 10km (6 miles) north of Lech on the west side of the Arlberg Pass. A way station for alpine travelers for centuries, Stuben was the birthplace of the great ski instructor Hannes Schneider. In winter, you can take a horse-drawn sleigh from Lech to Stuben. Once here, stay at Hotel Mondschein (tel. 05582/511; www.mondschein.com), a 1739 house converted to a hotel.
Pörtschach (Carinthia): Many wealthy Viennese have lavish summer homes in this resort town on the northern perimeter of Lake Wörther. Known for its lakeside promenade, it attracts a sports-oriented crowd who want to hike, play golf, ride, sail, water-ski, or just enjoy scenic drives through the countryside. Lake Wörther is Carinthia's largest alpine lake, yet its waters are warm, often going above 27°C (80°F) in summer. We recommend staying and dining at the romantic Hotel Schloss Leonstain (tel. 04272/2816; www.leonstain.at), where Johannes Brahms composed his Violin Concerto and Second Symphony.
Bad Aussee (Styria): An old market town and spa, in the "green heart" of the Salzkammergut, Bad Aussee is 80km (50 miles) southeast of Salzburg. In the Valley of Traun, it's set against the backdrop of Totes Gebirge and the Dachstein massif. June is a lovely time to visit, when fields of narcissus burst into bloom. Bad Aussee lies only 5km (3 miles) north of the lake, Altausee, and is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Austria. Long known as a summer spa resort, it's also developing into a winter ski center. The best place to stay is the City Hotel Erzherzog Johann (tel. 031622/52507; www.erzherzog-johann.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.