Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let's Do the Lungau; (1) Obertauern, Only an Hour from Salzburg and One of Austria's Highest Resorts, Where Savills (020 7016 3740) Has Launched a Development of Apartments Priced from [Pounds Sterling]133,350 (2) from [Pounds Sterling]159,000: Apartments at the Edel: Weiss "Fir Cone" Development. through Erna Low (020 7590 1624)

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let's Do the Lungau; (1) Obertauern, Only an Hour from Salzburg and One of Austria's Highest Resorts, Where Savills (020 7016 3740) Has Launched a Development of Apartments Priced from [Pounds Sterling]133,350 (2) from [Pounds Sterling]159,000: Apartments at the Edel: Weiss "Fir Cone" Development. through Erna Low (020 7590 1624)

Article excerpt

Byline: Cathy Hawker

AUSTRIA is the second most popular European destination for Britishskiers but the littleknown Lungau region is not getting its fair share ofattention. New small-scale developments with prices from [pounds sterling]133,350 could helpattract more buyers to an area described locally as the "sunniest basin inAustria".

The Lungau is a million miles from the tourist hotspots of the Alps. In thisregion, south-east of Salzburg, farmers still live in the mountains with theircows, traditional dress is worn, there is no heavy industry, and the cinema isoften a makeshift screen in the village hall.

Yet the region has good skiingthere are five mountains covering 186 miles of piste, all on one ski pass andlinked by bus. There are three glaciers for year-round skiing, while summeractivities include golf, whitewater rafting, horse riding and hiking.

St Martin Chalets are 10 traditional-style homes being built by Jodi and HerbieBliem. Jodi, originally from Northamptonshire, has lived there for 15 yearswith her master cabinet-maker husband and two daughters. Their small hamlet ofSt Martin, at 3,445ft, links into the Grosseck mountain range, which peaks at7,874ft.

On a one-acre south-facing plot next to their own house, 700 yards from the skilift, the Bliems are building three-bedroom chalets using Austrian wood, andsheep's wool as insulation. They aim to create a selfsufficient eco-communityusing water from the village spring and their own bio-fuels while providingmuchneeded tourist accommodation.

"There is a real shortage of beds here," says Jodi.

"Lungau has higher slopes than the Tyrol but few topend hotels. Gettingpermission for a tourist development in a residential area is difficult butgood rental property is needed and a small-scale development is right for theLungau." Local laws to discourage holiday homes lying empty means that ownersat St Martin have to make their properties available to rent for 46 weeks ayear. Prices start at ?321,000 ([pounds sterling]223,200) for the freehold, including allfurnishings.

Owners looking for ski accommodation with no restriction on rentals shouldconsider the 13 one- and two-bedroom apartments in nearby St Margarethen. …

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