Lake Walking in the Salzkammergut: Self-Guided

East of Salzburg, you find a breathtaking region dotted with many lakes called the Salzkammergut. The landscape includes fjord-like steep rocks and cliffs bordering lush, green mountains and pristine green-blue mountain lakes. This stunning panorama of natural beauty has drawn European tourists for centuries and was the favored summer resort of the Habsburg monarchy. Note that the Hallstattersee region was recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its great natural and cultural heritage. The idyllic village of Hallstatt is “the jewel of this region” but Bad Ischl, Bad Goisern, St. Wolfgang and St. Gilgen are some of our other favorite villages you will visit. Tours are 8 days and 7 nights in length. Two nights each in Bad Ischl and Bad Goisern, three nights in Abersee or St. Wolfgang (depending on group size).

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Individual arrival in your hotel in Abersee near St. Wolfgang

Day 2: St. Wolfgang-St. Gilgen
Begin the day with a short boat ride from Abersee to St. Wolfgang. Here we’ll walk along the lake and then gently up the pilgrim’s path to “Falkenstein Mountain”, really a cliff with a very nice view over the lake and the small villages. The idyllic ‘Fürberg Walk” brings us to the village St. Gilgen, where Mozart’s mother was born. Gilgen is smaller than neighboring St. Wolfgang, just across the lake, yet presents a unique baroque and rococo character with plenty to do. Colorful streets, lined with cafes, pubs, fascinating shops and old frescoed houses lead to the enchanting Mozart fountain. Return by boat to our hotel in Abersee.

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)
Up and downs: 354 meters up and 354 meters down
Walking hours 4 hours

Day 3: Schwarzensee and Strobl
Another morning boat ride to St. Wolfgang. First we’ll walk up to shimmering Lake Schwarzensee, where we’ll rest in a nice mountain hut with a terrific view over the surroundings and enjoy some tasty local specialties. We’ll walk down on a small footpath into the valley next to a gorge and around the Bürglstein, a rock outcrop jutting into the lake. In the afternoon we end in Strobl and transfer to the “Emperor’s Town”, Bad Ischl.

Distance: 7.3 miles (11.8 km) with an optional additional 3 miles
Up and downs: 395 meters up and 395 meters down
Walking Hours 5.5 hours

Day 4: Rest Day in Bad Ischl
Emperor Franz Joseph’s favorite town was Bad Ischl, the cultural and geographic centre of the Salzkammergut, where he and his wife Elisabeth (the captivating “Sissi” of the famous film) usually spent their summers. Visit the Emperors Villa, Café Zauner and the Hotel Austria.

Day 5: Bad Ischl to Bad Goisern
Salt always has been an important raw material of the Salzkammergut. Today we follow the “historic salt water path”, the world’s oldest pipeline, which was established in 1607. In order to make the brine flow, the pipeline (as well as the path) slopes down slightly, and therefore it is a relatively easy walk to Bad Goisern. This lovely village was once known as the “Monarchy’s prettiest town” and retains all its charms today.

Distance: 7 miles (11 km)
Up and downs: 260 meters up and 180 meters down
Walking hours: 4 hours

Day 6: Walk to Hallstatt
Today’s walk is slightly ascending and offers beautiful views on the quaint little town of Hallstatt and the marvelous, massive Dachstein Mountain (the highest in Upper Austria). Hallstatt owes its prosperity to the salt mines (‘hall’ is a Celtic word meaning ‘salt’). In the afternoon we’ll cross the lake by boat and return to Bad Goisern.

Distance: 9 miles (14.5 km)
Up and downs: 455 meters up and 90 meters down plus cable car!
Walking Hours: 4.5 hours

Day 7: Bad Ischl to Lake Wolfgangsee
Transfer by train to Bad Ischl, where we follow the “Elisabeth-Walking Path”, one of Sisi’s favourite hiking and riding tracks. We’ll admire the idyllic Lake Nussensee and then continue along the River Ischl to Strobl. From late medieval times to the 17th century Strobl was a center for pilgrims. In Strobl we’ll have gorgeous views on St. Wolfgang, Schafberg and the lake itself. Along the lake and through the Blinking moor you will walk to the peninsula of Abersee, admiring the beautiful view of St. Wolfgang, Schafberg, and the lake.

Distance: 12 miles (19,5 km) (can be shortened by coach or boat)
Up and downs: 210 meters up and 140 meters down
Walking Hours: 6 hours

Day 8: Departure after breakfast

Getting There

Fly into Salzburg, Vienna (three hours by train to Salzburg) or Munich (two hours by train to Salzburg). For last minute train schedules visit the website of the Austrian Railways beforehand on line at www.oebb.at or at www.eurail.com. Make sure you use the German city names (Wien for Vienna, Munchen for Munich etc.) Our hotel in Aberseeis a one hour bus ride away from Salzburg. You will find the public bus (bus number 150) opposite of the train station. We can also organize a transfer from Salzburg (airport or train station) to the first hotel in Abersee or St. Wolfgang.

Meals

7 buffet breakfasts are included. Dinner and lunches are on your own. You will find enough restaurants in the area to have a nice meal, or you can always pack a picnic lunch from the grocery store!

Prices and Dates

Check out our Tour Calendar

Tour Length

8 days/ 7 nights

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Included
      – 7 nights of lodging in charming 3-star hotels with private facilities
      – 7 buffet breakfasts
      – Luggage transfer
      – All transportation during the tour except but from Strobl to Bad Ischl (3Ä)
      – Road book in English
    – All taxes for the hotel and restaurant portions of the tour
Level of Difficulty

Agreeable walking distances of 3 to 6 hours per day. The terrain is moderately rolling with some short steep hills, upwards and down wards; walking is mostly on small footpaths and some country roads. Well fitting, supportive “broken in”, hiking boots are very strongly recommended for this tour, not because it involves dangerous mountain hiking but because they give a better grip on the occasionally loose, rocky surface. We rate the difficulty level of the tour as moderate.

Excluded

– Air fare
– Alcoholic and bar beverages
– Lunches and dinners
– Transportation other than scheduled VGT transfers

Weather

Austria has a land climate. Average High and Low Temperatures in Salzburg: April: 58/39, May: 68/47, June: 72/53, July: 76 / 56, August 76 / 56, September: 68/50, October: 59/42. Average rainfall is about 8 days per month, with less rain in the spring, and more in the summer and early fall.

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