The Salzkammergut is one of Austria’s oldest cultural landscapes. Due to the enormous wealth from salt, it had been connected for thousands of years with the key trading centers, and one of the most significant pilgrimage goals ended there. Fashionable health spas and the popular summer resorts throughout the area have earned the region the title of being the leading summer destination, and have lured members of the high nobility, money magnates as well as the prominent bourgeois. For numerous artists, writers and composers, it became an inspiration source of unrivaled quality. The wealth of geographic diversity, from glaciers, countless lakes reaching the Alpine Foothill basin, constitutes the ultimate magnetism of this idyllic region.
We want to share with you a better understanding of the scenic and cultural beauty this region generates.
We start from Salzburg through Hof and Fuschl towards St. Gilgen, the birthplace of Mozart’s mother. From here you can take a ferry ride to St. Wolfgang during the summer months. Seeing the spectacular Gothic winged altar is an absolute “must.” The hotel “Weiße Rössl” furnished the idea for an operetta with the same name. There will be time for a coffee break, and afterwards we travel further along the Lakes Wolfgangsee and Mondsee. A brief stopover in the picturesque Mondsee village square may be possible before we return back to Salzburg on the highway.
We drive along Lake Wolfgangsee to St. Gilgen, one of the less renowned gems of the Salzkammergut. From this village we travel further towards Bad Ischl, the former “Kaiserbad” (Imperial Spa) and “Heart of the Salzkammergut.”
Kaiser Franz Josef and his wife Elizabeth, also known as Sisi, spent their vacations here time and again. It’s now possible to visit their private rooms in the Kaiser Villa. A “Gugelhupf Cake” or other delicacies served at Café Zauner are just as tasty nowadays as they were during the Kaiser’s reign.
The return trip follows the romantic Weissenbach Valley and then along lakes Attersee and Mondsee. Before heading back on the highway, there is a brief stop in the Mondsee village square, with its amazing cathedral.
Traunsee and Gmunden
We start from Salzburg and head towards Bad Ischl, and from there we head north to Ebensee and Traunkirchen. Here we admire the unique altar, the Fischkanzel, and will be overwhelmed by the awesome mountain scenery. We pass through Altmünster on the way to Gmunden with its lake palace, Schloß Ort, where we’ll have a short break after a city tour. This provides a great opportunity for you to stop for refreshments and make individual discoveries – Gmunden is famous for its ceramics!
Finally, we drive through Großalm, along lakes Attersee and Mondsee, or directly back to Salzburg on the highway.
World Cultural Heritage, Hallstatt
We drive to Bad Ischl and head south towards Hallstatt. This gem of the Salzkammergut, nestled between mountains and a lake, has a 4500 year history. In 1997, Hallstatt and the surrounding area was honored with a position on the World Cultural Heritage List with UNESCO. The Gothic church with its winged altar and the famous “Charnel-House” are among the numerous attractive sites waiting to be explored. A particularly remarkable exhibit is the Museum of Pre-historic Finds, highlighting the Celtic Period. High above the nearby Gossau Valley is the picturesque Lake Gossausee, at the foot of the Dachstein Mountain. The return trip leads over the Gschütt Pass and through the Lammer Valley, along the Tennengebirge Mountain Range to Golling, and along the Salzach River back to Salzburg.
All of the suggestions mentioned above can be individually adapted or expanded according to your wishes, e.g. by touring the salt mines (Hallstatt or Bad Aussee), one of the ice caves on the Dachstein Mountain Range (Obertraun) or the Ceramic Factory (Gmunden).
Hallstatt and Aussee Countryside
The tour begins in Salzburg, and passes through Fuschl, St. Gilgen, along Lake Wolfgangsee, from Bad Ischl and Bad Goisern on to Hallstatt. With no exaggeration, this village can be described as a gem of the Salzkammergut, with its 4500 year history and nestled on the banks of a lake with the same name. Hallstatt and the surrounding area was honored with a position on the World Cultural heritage List with UNESCO, in 1997. After visiting Hallstatt, with the famous Charnel House, we drive on to the romantic Aussee Countryside. Here we visit the old town center of Bad Aussee before heading towards the enchanting village, Altaussee, situated on a lake with the same name. The return trip passes through St. Gilgen and Mondsee.
Aussee Countryside, the Styrian Salzkammergut
We drive towards Bad Ischl and head south to Bad Goisern. A spectacular view of Lake Hallstattersee unfolds while crossing over the road thorough the Pötschen Pass. The next stage is the idyllic Ausseer Countryside. Here we visit the old town square of Bad Aussee before we proceed to the picturesque Lake Altaussee, given the same name. The return route passes through St. Gilgen and Mondsee.