For those seeking to get back in touch with nature and escape the stresses of everyday life, there is no place better than the region of Salzkammergut. This is a geographically ambiguous, yet popular resort area, roughly starting in Salzburg and running south east along the alpine foreland to the peaks of the Dachstein mountains.
The lakes of this region are renowned for their astounding beauty which can have you doubting your very eyes. Here, crystal clear blue waters and luscious greenery are both cradled by the exciting promise of mountains to climb, in the not too far distance.
The most mesmerising lakes are Fuschl, Wolfgang and Hallstatt. The largest is Lake Wolfgang and on its shores you’ll find the market town of St Wolfgang, from which it received its name. Dating back to the middle ages, the town was a place of pilgrimage and here you’ll find traditional shops and quaint local cafes to sip away the afternoon.
To experience the most breath-taking views of the lake, be sure to brave a ride on the Schafbergbahn. This the bright red cog railway train that transports you up to the top of Schafberg mountain. The smallest of the three lakes, Fuschl, is where you’ll find Schloss Fuschl, a late medieval castle perched on a peninsula at the western end of the lake.
Arguably the most beautiful of all the lakes is Halstattersee. Picturesque pastel houses decorate the hillside and lake front, reflecting in the dazzling waters below. After relaxing around the lake, head over to the small nearby market town of Hallstatt. Here you can visit the salt mine museum detailing the town’s fascinating history in salt mining, dating back to the prehistoric times.
It is unsurprising this region remains so popular among visitors. Yet despite this, the great expanse of the lakes and mountains ensures it never feels overcrowded. Rather, it remains a sanctuary like no other.
The lake district in Austria is food for the soul. Enchanting green hills roll down towards sparkling waters, colorful flowers cascade from wooden balconies, the air fills you with energy and you won’t want to be anywhere else.
What to do
- Hike up one of the many surrounding mountains
- Cycle around the lakes
- Sail across the lakes and try out a variety of watersports
- Ride the Schafbergbahn cog railway train up Schafberg mountain
- Enjoy coffee at one of the quaint cafes in St Wolfgang
- Visit the salt mine museum in the market town of Hallstatt
- Visit the late medieval castle of Schloss Fuschl on Lake Fuschl
Accommodation in Austrian Lakes
Here are some of our travel designers' favourite options