The lake region of Salzkammergut is a great place for people who like biking, water sports, hiking or just for people who want to escape from daily bustle of the city. In surroundings of Salzkammergut region - there are a lot of family owned gasthauses and tiny pensions in nearby towns and on the lakes. The lakes are very beautiful, clean, with crystal clear water.
Local cuisine is just delicious, among fresh lake fishes, restaurants here offers you a great deal of varied cuisine of the region and local cheeses. In this area English language is very well understood and many menus in the restaurants are in English. Also very interesting thing about this area is that they have less than 5 % unemployement, which is very good.
Bad Ischl is a small town with a few interesting things to see and a hot water spa. It is also conveniently located to use as a base to visit the entire Salzkammergut area.
The best way to come to Bad Ischl is by train or bus. The region is full of lakes, so tourists usually need to go on a ferry to their destinations. Hired rooms in so called gasthauses are very idylic and charming with calm aqua waters and with balconys. Owners will also give you tour tickets for the ferry to lake trips. In gasthauses are lots of things available to guests like bikes, fishing equipment and row boats. Outdoors here are amazeing beautiful a bit removed from any groups of tourists and traffic. At you can open your balcony doors and enjoying the cool air over the water. At the beginning of the 19th century, the medicals explored the curative effects of water saturated with salt. They began on adapting the town to the needs and requirements of a spa resort.
The Habsburg couple Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Franz Carl sought the emerging spa as their desire to have children and to give birth to the throne heir had not been fulfilled by then. The so-called salt princes – with Franz Joseph as firstborn and throne heir – were the result of annual residence and curing at Ischl.
The word "Salzkammergut" translated to english language means something like Salt Stronghold or Salt Treasury. Today salt mining is almost gone here but it used to be the key to the whole region.
If you go on a trip to Lake Mondsee you must visit church from the movie »Sound of Music«. Afterwards you travel along the lake and meadows towards the mountain "kite wall", where you can see the remnants of the castle Wartenfels. Hiking paths here are lovely, but they arent so good marked. A great walk or bicycle tour is also around Mondsee. The Salzkammergut is the area of lakes to the east and southeast of Salzburg. It doesn't have the grandeur of the Alps, but the area is very beautiful and there are lots of great places to see.
Also another setting is the beautiful lakeside town of St. Wolfgang, with forest tracks and relaxing lakeshores trails. In Salzkammergut region you can discover salt mines, ice caves, lovely pilgrim chapels and luxurious royal villas, which are all a great playground for walkers.
One of very known sights of Salzkammergut is Bad Ischl, which was 200 years ago only a rural Ischl. Here dominated salt and timber industry. Because of healing effects of salt, Bad Ischl is today a very important spa resort and known for health tourism.
Dachstein Ice Cave and the Gigantic Mammoth Cave are two of the largest ice caves in the world . They are also the biggest attractions in the Hallstatt-Dachstein region and must see attraction. The starting point is in the middle station of the Dachstein Railway at Obertraun. You can reach railway station in just 15 minutes. Trip to one of cave and back takes around two and a half an hour.
Trip to Gosauern Lake which is about 10 minutes from the little village of Gosau offers you great hike around Lake. The view to the lake and the Dachstein mountains in the background is stunning. Hallstatt is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. Cars are not allowed in town, bike could be just right. If you want to stay here, keep in mind the parking problem and the many stairs in all the buildings. From here, you can take a cable car and visit a salt mine. Obertraun is located about 5 minutes from Halstatt. There is an unusual attraction - the Dachstein Eishole - ice caves. Tempearture in the have is about -2 degres C.
St. Giligen is another delightful town on the Wolfgangsee. A nice way to visit both St. Wolfgang and St. Gilgen is to drive to one and take a boat to the other. There is a variety of boat lines to take between the towns on the lakes.