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YOUTH BEAT

Follow the Map to Austrian Hostels

March 18, 1990|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

For young visitors seeking inexpensive lodgings in Austria, a new detailed map of the country is designed specifically for travelers seeking budget accommodation.

The map, produced with the assistance of Austria's Youth Hostel Assn. (YHA), indicates the location and gives details about the 99 youth hostels that provide low-cost, dormitory-style lodgings in Austria.

Free copies of "Youth Hostels in Austria" are available from the Austrian National Tourist Office, 11601 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2480, Los Angeles. 90025, or by calling (213) 477-3332.

One of the drawbacks in countries where travel is expensive is that there is such demand for hostel accommodations that you often have to rush to reach the next hostel early in the day to claim a bunk. That is changing, however.

Several years ago a telex reservation system was introduced by some of the European youth hostel associations, including Austria. If you stay at a Vienna hostel, for example, and plan to move on to Salzburg, the Vienna hostel will make your reservation at one of Salzburg's six youth hostels for a small fee.

Dining in Salzburg need not be expensive, either. The Austrian YHA has an arrangement with a small restaurant, ImbiBstube zum Nonnberg at Kaigasse 24 in the center of town. It will provide special meals at reasonable prices for guests with student identification or a youth hostel membership card. Most youth hostels also have kitchens where guests can prepare their own meals.

One of the newest hostels in Austria is scheduled to open in May near Lake Atter, 40 miles southwest of Linz. It is a popular area for water sports, tennis and biking, as well as hiking the 49-mile trail around the lake. The new youth hostel will be open only in summer until Sept. 15.

In Vienna you can get English-language information about the services by calling 34 7526-21.

The Austrian National Tourist Office in Los Angeles also has available another free publication, "Youth Scene," which focuses on the young traveler in Vienna. In addition, the office can provide information on a free guided hiking program that operates each summer in Innsbruck. Anyone who stays at least three nights in Innsbruck can become a member of Club Innsbruck at no charge.

Club members are welcome to join guided hikes. Boots and backpacks can be borrowed. The only thing you have to pay for is cable car transportation and meals at mountain huts. Evening hikes are held on Tuesdays, and hikes on Sunday and Monday are video-taped. The tapes are shown each Monday at club meetings, at the Hotel Grauer.

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