Salzkammergut: A Land of Lakes and Mountains

If you are looking for a destination that combines natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventure, look no further than Salzkammergut, a region in north-central Austria that spans three states: Upper Austria, Styria, and Salzburg. Just a short 30-minute drive from Hallstatt. 

The region is also known as the Austrian “Lake District”, as it boasts more than 30 lakes of various sizes and shapes, surrounded by majestic mountains and charming villages.

I spent a week exploring Salzkammergut, and I was amazed by the diversity and richness of the region. Here are some of the highlights of my trip:

Hallstatt: This picturesque town on the shore of Lake Hallstatt is one of the most popular attractions in Salzkammergut, and for good reason. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a history dating back to the Bronze Age. The town is famous for its salt mine, which is the oldest in the world and offers guided tours and a salt museum. 

The town is also home to the Hallstatt Skywalk, a viewing platform that offers stunning views of the lake and the mountains. Hallstatt is a place where you can experience the past and the present in harmony

Wolfgangsee: This lake is one of the largest and most beautiful in Salzkammergut, and has several resorts and towns along its shore. I stayed in St. Wolfgang, a charming town with a medieval center and a baroque church. The town is also the starting point of the Schafbergbahn, a cog railway that takes you to the top of Schafberg, a mountain that offers panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding peaks. 

Another town worth visiting on Wolfgangsee is St. Gilgen, the birthplace of Mozart’s mother and sister. The town has a Mozart museum and a cable car that leads to the Zwölferhorn, another scenic mountain

Dachstein: This mountain range is the highest in Salzkammergut, and has several attractions for nature lovers and adventure seekers. I visited the Dachstein Caves, a complex of ice and limestone caves that are accessible by cable car. The caves are fascinating and have different features, such as frozen waterfalls, stalactites, and stalagmites. 

The cable car also takes you to the Dachstein Skywalk, a glass-bottomed platform that hangs over a 250-meter drop. If you are feeling brave, you can also walk on the Dachstein Suspension Bridge, the highest in Austria, and step into the Dachstein Ice Palace, a carved ice chamber

Mondsee: This lake is another gem in Salzkammergut, and has a special place in my heart, as I am a fan of The Sound of Music. The lake was featured in the opening scene of the movie, and the town of Mondsee has the church where Maria and Captain von Trapp got married. 

The town is also a good base for exploring the lake and the nearby mountains. I rented a bike and rode along the lake, enjoying the views and the fresh air. I also hiked to the top of Schafberg, which took me about four hours, but was well worth it for the amazing scenery.

Salzkammergut is a region that has something for everyone, whether you are interested in history, culture, or nature. It is a place where you can relax, have fun, and discover new things. It is a place that I will always remember, and hope to visit again.


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