Discover an unknown summer retreat in the Austrian foothills.

Discover an unknown summer retreat in the Austrian foothills.

Some 150 years after the Austrian Southern Railway started ferrying the well-to-do of Vienna to the banks of Wörthersee – and firmly established the region as the summer retreat of choice for aristocratic Europeans in the process – the area around the town of Pörtschach am Wörthersee is still largely unknown.

My lake hotel & spa, open now for its second year, aims to change that. Its contemporary architecture – all clean lines and enormous windows – is designed to make the most of the lakeside location, and this culminates in an enormous decking area offering incredible views by the water. The hotel can organise bike rentals: a trip around the lake takes around four hours, and there are plenty of opportunities to jump into Wörthersee's warm thermal waters en route.

How to
My lake hotel & spa in Pörtschach opens from mid-April to early November (from £175).

Nearby Velden has the liveliest restaurants and bars, many by the water (woerthersee.com). Trains run from Pörtschach to Velden (£2; around 15 minutes).