Just 26 mi/42 km from the Italian border, Lienz, Austria, is a pretty town in the scenic alpine region of East Tirol. It's easily reachable by train to Salzburg (70 mi/110 km), and a short drive (16 mi/27 km) to the spectacular Hohe Tauern National Park.

Once a center for trade in a region known for its iron ore, copper and even gold mines, Lienz itself makes for a pleasant afternoon of sightseeing—in the summer, its main square is closed to automobiles, so visitors can linger at a cafe, or shop at the Friday market. An impressive castle, Schloss Bruck, overlooks the town, and nearby is the fascinating Aguntum archeological museum, set next to an active Roman excavation site.

Nearby Zettersfeld peak offers downhill and cross-country skiing during the winter. In the summer, try hiking Grossglockner peak, Austria's highest at 12,455 ft/3,797 m.

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