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17 Ultimate Places to Visit in Salzkammergut

by Foodie

This Post is a Collection of Free Public Information about the Top Sights, Attractions and Places to Visit in Salzkammergut Region in Austria (Sources: Personal Travel Account, Local Residents’ Information, and Online Free Information Platforms)

Historical Facts about Salzkammergut based on Public Information

Salzkammergut is a beautiful and picturesque region in Austria that is known for its breathtaking alpine scenery, crystal-clear lakes, and charming historic towns. The name Salzkammergut translates to “salt demesne” (or “salt domain”), Kammergut being a German word for territories held by princes of the Holy Roman Empire, in early modern Austria specifically territories of the Habsburg monarchy. In other words it simply means ” Salt Territories” and refers to the region’s rich history of salt mining, which dates back to the Celts and Romans. Overall, the Salzkammergut region is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring Austria’s natural beauty and rich history.

Top Places to Visit in Salzkammergut

The Salzkammergut region extends eastward from Salzburg over the Alpine Foreland and the Northern Limestone Alps to the Dachstein Mountain summits. The Traun, a right tributary of the Danube, is the principal river in the area. From 1745 to 1850, the Imperial Salzoberamt in Gmunden oversaw the Salzkammergut salt mines.

In 1997, the UNESCO classified a portion of the area as a World Heritage Site. 58 municipalities make up the Salzkammergut tourist region, the majority of which are in Upper Austria (Gmunden and Vöcklabruck districts), with minor amounts in Styria and Salzburg. The Salzkammergut Region is divided into the following 10 sub-regions :

  1. Bad Aussee,
  2. Wolfgangsee, Salzburg
  3. Fuschlsee, Salzburg
  4. Hallstätter See, Bad Goisern, Hallstatt, Obertraun and Gosau, Upper Austria
  5. Traunsee, Upper Austria
  6. Attersee, Upper Austria
  7. Mondsee (town), Mondsee, Irrsee, Upper Austria
  8. Bad Ischl, Upper Austria
  9. Attergau, Upper Austria
  10. Almtal, Upper Austria

Here are some of the top places to see in the Salzkammergut region:

1. Hallstatt

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most famous towns in the region and is known for its picturesque lakeside setting, historic salt mine, and charming alpine architecture. Another popular attraction in Hallstatt is the Hallstatt Skywalk, a viewing platform located high above the town that offers breathtaking views of Lake Hallstatt and the surrounding mountains. The skywalk can be reached by a cable car and is a popular destination for photographers and nature lovers. In addition to these historic landmarks, Hallstatt is also known for its charming streets lined with traditional Austrian houses, as well as its beautiful lakeside promenade and public beach. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities in the area, including hiking, cycling, and boating.

The Hallstatt Museum is also a must visit, that has an unrivalled collection of discoveries from the local salt mines and from the cemeteries of Iron Age date near to the mines, which have made Hallstatt the type site for the important Hallstatt culture. The museum, the salt mines, and the Dachstein Ice Cave are designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 2002 the museum has occupied the former Hallstatt parsonage, and the previous holdings of the museum have been reunited with many of the objects which had previously been on display at the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna.

2. Wolfgangsee

This stunning lake is surrounded by majestic mountains and offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and boating. Lake Wolfgang stretches about 10.5 kilometres from the northwest to the southeast. It is divided into two parts by a peninsula, called die Enge (the Narrow), situated roughly in the middle of its southern shore opposite St. Wolfgang, where the breadth is no more than 200 metres. The western portion of the lake at St. Gilgen is known as the Abersee. The lake has an area of about 12.9 to 13.1 km² and is surrounded by the Salzkammergut mountain range.

3. Strobl

This charming town is located on the shores of Wolfgangsee and is known for its beautiful parks, gardens, and historic architecture. stunning views of Lake Wolfgangsee and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade, relax on the public beach, or rent a boat or paddleboard to explore the lake. Strobl is also known for its scenic hiking trails, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. There are several trails that start from the town, including a trail that leads to the top of the Zwölferhorn mountain, which offers stunning panoramic views of the Salzkammergut region.

4. Bad Ischl

This charming spa town was once the summer residence of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph and is known for its thermal springs, beautiful parks, gardens, and historic architecture. One of the most popular attractions in Bad Ischl is the Kaiservilla, a beautiful villa that was once the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife Empress Elisabeth (Sisi).

Visitors can tour the villa and learn about the history of the imperial family, as well as explore the beautiful park surrounding the villa. Another popular attraction in Bad Ischl is the EurothermenResort, a spa complex that features several thermal pools, saunas, and wellness facilities. Visitors can relax and rejuvenate in the thermal waters, or enjoy a variety of spa treatments and massages.

5. Sankt Gilgen

This picturesque town is located on the shores of Wolfgangsee and is known for its colorful houses, traditional market square, and historic church. Another popular attraction in Sankt Gilgen is the Mozartplatz, a beautiful square in the center of town that honors the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in nearby Salzburg.

The square features a statue of Mozart, as well as several cafes, restaurants, and shops. It also has a beautiful lakefront promenade, which offers stunning views of Lake Wolfgangsee and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade, rent a boat or paddleboard to explore the lake, or relax on the public beach.

6. Schafberg

It is a mountain located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, near the town of St. Wolfgang. At an elevation of 1,783 meters (5,850 feet), it offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lakes, including Lake Wolfgangsee. One of the most popular ways to reach the summit of Schafberg is by taking the historic Schafbergbahn, a cogwheel railway that has been in operation since 1893. The railway starts in the town of St. Wolfgang and climbs 1,190 meters (3,900 feet) to the summit in just over an hour. Along the way, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, including forests, meadows, and lakes.

7. Dachstein Ice Cave

The Dachstein Giant Ice Cave is a large ice cave located in the Dachstein massif in Obertraun, a town in the Salzkammergut’s Upper Austrian region. The cave is 2700 metres long overall, 800 metres of which are accessible to tourists as a display cave. Over 150,000 people visit the Dachstein enormous ice cave each year, making it a popular tourist site in Upper Austria. This stunning natural wonder features a series of ice formations and underground lakes that are illuminated by colorful lights.

The Dachstein Giant Ice Cave is situated high above the Trauntal valley and can be reached with a short walk from the Schönbergalm. The cave is located in the UNESCO World Heritage area of ​​Hallstatt – Dachstein / Salzkammergut. The cave’s ice formations are created by water that trickles from the Dachstein plateau and seeps into the cave through small cracks and joins in the cliff. Despite outside temperatures being above freezing, the cold air in the caves causes the water to freeze, resulting in stunning ice formations that make the giant ice cave a magical place to visit. Although the water that seeps into the cave may be warm during the summer months and cause a slight melting of the ice, the overall balance is one of growth. The amount of ice that forms during the winter and spring months exceeds the amount lost during the summer and autumn months, ensuring the survival of this spectacular natural wonder.

Salzkammergut Top Sights

8. Gosauseen

These are 3 small lakes (Vorderer Gosausee, Gosaulacke, Hinterer Gosausee) surrounded by the majestic Dachstein mountain range offering stunning views of the surrounding scenery. These three lakes are in the south-western, Alpine part of Upper Austria. Gosauseen consists of two connected lakes, the larger Vorderer Gosausee and the smaller Hinterer Gosausee, which are both fed by the melting snow from the Dachstein glacier (while Gosaulacke is the middle of three lakes). They are situated near the town of Gosau, which is close to Salzburg. The mountains that encircle the lakes are called the Dachstein Mountains, whose glaciers partially shaped the landforms and still influence the hydrology of the area.

9. Traunsee

This is one of the largest lakes in the region and is surrounded by mountains and dotted with charming historic towns and villages. It is the deepest lake in Austria, with a maximum depth of 191 meters, and has a surface area of around 24 square kilometers. The lake is fed by several mountain streams and rivers, including the Traun River, which flows out of the lake. The lake has several beaches and swimming areas, and boat rentals are available for exploring the lake and its surroundings. The lake also hosts several events throughout the year, including sailing and windsurfing competitions. There is a local legend that speaks of a Waterhorse that lives in the lake. Records mention a mermaid riding on the back of a creature who lives in the waters. Locals refer to it as “Lungy” and photographs have been taken of the creature.

10. Traunkirchen

This picturesque town is located on the shores of Lake Traunsee and is known for its beautiful baroque church, historic castle, and scenic hiking trails. The Town has a long history that dates back to the establishment of a monastery there in the eleventh century. One of the most well-known attractions in the town is the Traunkirchen Parish Church, which is situated on a hill overlooking the lake. The church, which was built in the 17th century, has exquisite interior design and Baroque architecture. Several hiking trails with breathtaking views of the lake and the surroundings are available in the nearby mountains. Visitors can also enjoy water sports on Lake Traunsee, such as swimming, boating, and fishing. The Fischerkanzel (also known as the Fisherman’s Pulpit), which is housed in the parish church and was carved in 1753, is a famous landmark of the town.

11. Gmunden:

This historic town is located on the shores of Traunsee and is known for its beautiful historic buildings, colorful market square, and stunning lakeside promenade. Gmunden is also home to the famous Gmundner Keramik pottery factory, which produces traditional Austrian ceramics that are sold throughout the world. The town has a rich history dating back to Roman times, and visitors can see evidence of this history in the town’s architecture. The Orth Castle, which goes back to the 10th century and currently houses a ceramics museum, is one of the most well-known sights in Gmunden. The town is home to a stunning town hall, a number of churches, and a wide array of vibrant structures. Several yearly occasions are also held in Gmunden, such as a ceramics market and a classic Christmas market.

Gmunden Website

12. Mondsee

Mondsee is a town in the Vöcklabruck district in the Austrian state of Upper Austria located on the shore of the lake Mondsee, which is about 11 kilometers long and up to 1.5 kilometers wide.. The town is home to the medieval Mondsee Abbey, whose cloister church was used for the site of the wedding in The Sound of Music. The SKGLB railway museum and the prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) communities of Mondsee are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The St. Michael Basilica, a stunning church in the town of Mondsee’s old district, is a well-known landmark. This chapel served as the backdrop for the wedding scene in the well-known film “The Sound of Music.” This charming lake is well-known for its crystal-clear waters and is a well-liked spot for boating, swimming, and fishing.

13. Attersee

This is the largest lake in the region and is known for its clear waters and scenic beauty. It is a beautiful lake and is surrounded by several charming towns and villages. Attersee am Attersee is a popular tourist destination and offers a range of outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, and hiking. The town is also known for its beautiful historic buildings, including the Villa Paulick, which was designed by the famous Austrian architect Otto Wagner.

Unterach am Attersee, which is located on the southeastern shore of the lake. This charming town is known for its beautiful alpine scenery, crystal-clear waters, and historic buildings. Unterach am Attersee is also a popular destination for water sports and is home to several sailing schools and boat rental facilities. Other notable towns at Attersee include Steinbach am Attersee, which is known for its beautiful lakeside promenade and historic church, and Nußdorf am Attersee, which is known for its picturesque location at the foot of the Höllengebirge mountain range and its beautiful hiking trails.

14. Ebensee am Traunsee

At the southernmost point of the Traunsee, in the Salzkammergut Mountains of the Austrian state of Upper Austria, is a market town called Ebensee am Traunsee. The closest towns are Gmunden and Bad Ischl, which are located roughly 90 kilometres (56 miles) to the north of the regional capital Linz. This charming town is located on the shores of Lake Traunsee and is known for its beautiful historic buildings and picturesque setting.

It is known for its natural beauty, historic landmarks, and cultural attractions. Traunsee, Offensee, and Langbathsee are three beautiful lakes that encircle the town of Ebensee. The other two lakes, which are all protected natural areas, are smaller, surrounded by mountains, and only used for bathing, whereas the Traunsee is big enough to be utilised for boating. A hunting lodge built in the 19th century at the request of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I can be found on the coast of the Langbathsee.

15. Tauplitz

The Styrian portion of the Salzkammergut area of Austria is home to the small community and ski resort of Tauplitz. It is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and picturesque alpine scenery and is located at an elevation of roughly 900 metres above sea level. With numerous ski lifts and more than 40 kilometres of ski slopes, the village is renowned for its skiing and snowboarding opportunities. Tauplitz also provides additional winter sports like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding in addition to skiing.

Tauplitz is a popular mountain biking and hiking venue in the summer. Visitors may explore a variety of hiking trails and mountain biking routes in this area, which is noted for its stunning alpine meadows, forests, and lakes. Tauplitzalm, a high plateau at a height of around 1,650 metres above sea level, is one of Tauplitz’s most well-known landmarks. Tauplitzalm has become a popular location for hiking and skiing and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

16. Gosaukamm

In the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria, the Gosaukamm mountain range is part of the Austrian Alps. The range is famous for its craggy peaks, glaciers, and breathtaking alpine landscape. It is a part of the broader Dachstein massif.The Austrian states of Salzburg and Upper Austria are divided by the Gosaukamm’s main crest. It is a portion of the Dachstein Massif and a part of the Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated northwest of the Hoher Dachstein summit.

On its base, the Vorderer Gosausee is located along the northern side. The Große Bischofsmütze, which rises to a height of 2,458 metres, is the highest peak in the range (8,064 ft). Gosaukamm is well-known for its glaciers, such as the Dachsteingletscher and Hallstätter Gletscher, in addition to its craggy summits. The glaciers can be visited with tour guides or independently explored by visitors with specialised gear.

17. Fuschl Am See

Fuschl am See is a picturesque village located on the northern shore of Lake Fuschlsee, in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. It is a municipality on Lake Fuschl in Salzburg’s Flachgau Region. It has 1591 inhabitants It is located about 25 km east of Salzburg and is known for its turqoise blue and crystal-clear Fuschl See water, and outdoor recreational activities. It is also home to the Headquarters of the Famous Energy Drink Company, Red Bull. Fuschl am See became an Important Transit Stop during the Medieval Ages in the salt trade between Salzburg and the Salzkammergut. The community expanded around the Castle of the archbishop of Salzburg castle, which was completed in the 15the Century. Later, in the early 20th century, the castle was transformed into a hotel, and it is still in use today. Fuschl am See became a Favourite of the painters and authors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a result of the area’s stunning, pristine and picturusque surroundings and peaceful atmosphere.

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