Featuring spectacular scenery and located near Salzburg in Austria, Salzkammergut is a popular destination because of its magnificent lakes and soaring mountains which allows Salzkammergut to be able to offer visitors a range of activities during all seasons.
Salzkammergut covers a reasonably-sized area, encompassing 52 municipalities in three of Austria’s states. East of Salzburg are the Salzkammergut Mountains which rise to a height of 2,027 m (6,650ft) to the peak of Mt. Gamsfeld. The best known mountain in the region is Schafberg which has a stunning location on the lake Wolfgangsee which, on a clear day is bathed in the reflection of Schafberg.
Reaching the top of the mountain is also exciting, as the schafbergbahn, a narrow gauge rack and pin railway, runs from the town of St Wolfgang right to the summit of Schafberg.
Train isn’t the only way to reach the tops of the mountains. Further along the Wolfgangsee is the Zwolferhorn Gondola, a cable car which ascends to the top of Zwolferhorn Mountain. This cable car leads up to one of the most beautiful panoramic mountain views in the Salzkammergut. Once at the peak enjoy panoramic views or stride out to try the various hiking trails around the mountain.
The cable car departs from St Gilgen, one of the many attractive villages in Salzkammergut. These villages, which are brimming with houses and hotels that are constructed in the traditional style, are nicely sequestered between the steep mountain slopes and the calm waters of the lakes.
Salzkammergut means “Estate of the Salt Chamber”, and the salt mines were one of the main income-producing industries in centuries gone by. You can still visit the Hallstatt Salt Mines which were operational for almost 7,000 years. There are a couple of excellent caves to visit as well, one being the Dachstein Ice Cave which features gigantic cave glaciers, vast icebergs and frozen cascades of blue-coloured ice.
Skiing and snow-boarding are popular sports during the winter months and during the warmer months, thousands of people flock to the area to enjoy hiking along the many lake and mountain trails. Mountain bike riding has also gained much popularity in recent years.
Because the Salzkammergut has been a popular vacation destination for hundreds of years there is a good range of accommodation from which to choose, and the area is famous for the quality of tis cuisine.
Salzkammergut is “picture perfect” country at all times of the year and a great drawcard for European visitors who become enchanted with the area’s impressive beauty.