High In The Austrian Alps To Hallstatt

Austrian Alps To Hallstatt From Salzburg Austria.jpg

Heading Into The Austrian Alps To Hallstatt

There was much to see and do around Salzburg. But we really wanted to see some of the countryside. We considered renting a car but then looked at tour options. At the last minute we booked a trip high in the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt.

We found a wide range of booking options. But what we didn’t know was that they all were for the same tour operator Panorama Tours. We booked online with Grey Line and got a confirmed reservation. But when we showed up, we found out that Panorama had not received our reservation. We only got on the tour if there was a free seat.

It was a tense 30 minutes as we waited for the bus to fill. But we finally ended up with the last two seats. The guide Daniel stood on the way up but got a seat coming back when 2 people stayed in Hallstatt. Save yourself some hassle and book directly with Panorama Tours if you head into the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt.

Driving In The Austrian Alps

It was a picturesque drive through the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt and back to Salzburg. The roads weaved their way up, down and around the mountains and lakes.

As we drove out of Salzburg, our tour guide showed us the headquarters for Red Bull. Apparently the owner lived in Salzburg. We saw the lake where Red Bull sponsors the plane races in the summer.

Red Bull Headquarters.jpg

Many of the hills were small green mountains with pastures between them. Farms and farm animals were everywhere. Daniel noted that the cows were pretty content in Austria. Most of the cows were raised just for milk and cheese. We caught sight of many typical alpine views. But we also saw rugged mountains in the distance. Many still had snow in the shadows in May.

Country Mountain Drive.jpg

Country Mountain Drive.jpg

Country Mountain Drive.jpg

We enjoyed a great scenic drive when we headed into the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt.

Heading High Above Hallstatt

The bus went through the last tunnel before we arrived at Hallstatt. You used to only be able to get to Hallstatt by train. But a road was built in the 1970s. And then when Hallstatt was designated a UNESCO site in 1991, a tunnel was built to help get the big buses in. We were not alone in Hallstatt.

Daniel marched us quickly through the town to the base of the funicular that took us high above Hallstatt. Before we left the bus he cautioned us to bring coats and umbrellas. By the time we reached the summit, we needed them.

Funicular.jpg

Funicular.jpg

At the top, we got a great view down the funicular track to one side of Hallstatt. We waited while the rain poured down for about 10 minutes and then passed. Our rain ponchos kept everything dry.

Funicular View Down.jpg

Funicular View Down.jpg

When the sun started to poke through the clouds, the rainbow came out. It was a great side benefit of a little rain.

Rainbow View Down.jpg

We were certainly glad we headed high in the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt.

Standing At The Edge

There was a glass floored platform that jutted out over the mountain. This was the place for the best views.

Welterbeblick Panoramic Platform.jpg

Welterbeblick Panoramic Platform.jpg

When we went to the point on the platform, we looked straight down for a view over Hallstatt. Out across the lake we saw another small mountain town. And everywhere around we saw the Austrian Alps.

Welterbeblick Panoramic Platform View.jpg

Welterbeblick Panoramic Platform View.jpg

Welterbeblick Panoramic Platform View.jpg

For a great view of the Austrian Alps in Hallstatt, we were happy we made it to the viewing platform. We aren’t afraid of heights, so we got our view right from the edge. But the view was still good from further back or from up above the platform.

We were glad we took the funicular up. If we had more time, we would walk down and enjoy the views along the way. The map that showed the route down also had many points of interest marked.

Welterbeblick Panoramic Platform Walk Down.jpg

Walking Through the Quaint Town Of Hallstatt

When we came back down on the funicular, we walked around the quaint town of Hallstatt. From one end we got a view down along the lake. In direction of the small town we saw the distinctive view of the Evangelical Church.

Lake View.jpg

Lake View Evangelical Church.jpg

We wandered through the narrow streets. Through an opening we caught sight of the Evangelical Church for a closer look.

Evangelical Church.jpg

Evangelical Church.jpg

The main street was filled with souvenir shops and places that sold a range of things. There were a number of restaurants and cafés along the way for a coffee stop or to eat. Many people found the ice cream shops. A few of the places had patios with a view over the lake.

Lakeside Cafe.jpg

In the town square we found a central court. And when we looked up we saw the Catholic Church.

Main Square.jpg

Main Square Catholic Church.jpg

Views From Further Down The Lake

We were charmed by the chalet-style houses and knew it would be a quaint town to spend some time in. When we looked up the hill at the chalets, we saw the waterfall as it plunged over the edge of a 90m high gorge. At the foot of the waterfall was the “Glücksplatz” or place of happiness. We did not have time to hike the 90 minutes up to the waterfall on this trip.

Town Chalet.jpg

Town Waterfall.jpg

We kept walking through the town and found the path along the lake. We saw one great view after another. Before we turned around, we looked back to Hallstatt and the Evangelical Church.

Lake View.jpg

Lake View Evangelical Church.jpg

On our walk back to meet the tour group, we made one final stop at a canal that let out onto the lake. Across the water we saw a house that looked like it was from a fairytale.

Lake View Creek Canal.jpg

Lake View Creek Canal.jpg

The rain did not return. It was great to enjoy a stroll along the lake. We were so glad we took a day in the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt.

Plan To Spend More Time In The Lake Region

When we picked our tour to Hallstatt, we had one other tour that we really wanted to do. The Hop-On-Hop-Off Lake District green and red routes provided a great option to see the Lake Region outside of Salzburg. We wanted to get off to walk around Lake Fuschisee. In St. Gilgen, we wanted to take the cable car up. Then we wanted to take the boat ride to St. Wolfgang. And when in Wolfgang, we planned to take the old cog railway up to Schafberg. This was a very full day trip which started at 8am and finished at 7pm.

Hop On Hop Off Bus Lake District Map.jpg

But when we woke up on our second day in Salzburg, the weather forecast looked iffy. So we decided to stay in Salzburg and we headed up to the castle high above the town. But that meant we missed a trip to the Lake Region on our visit to Salzburg. We just didn’t book enough time in this lovely town.

On our trip in the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt, we got a teaser look Lake Fuschlsee. Our tour guide noted that all the lakes in this region were glacial lakes. They were a deep green colour from the limestone bases. And surprisingly the water was drinking quality. Several times when we walked in Hallstatt we saw fountains with flowing spring water that was used to fill water bottles. The whole Fuschisee Lake was now a national park.

The bus pulled over at a viewpoint above St Gilgen. We saw the cable car line that headed up the mountain. And paragliders as the headed down. Far down Wolfgang Lake we saw the small town of Wolfgang. But that adventure to explore more of the Lake Region would wait for another day.

St Gilgen Lake District.jpg

St Gilgen Lake District.jpg

A Great Day To Head High In The Austrian Alps to Hallstatt

A trip into the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt was a great way to spend a day on our visit to Salzburg. We were sorry we missed the chance to explore the lake region. But we saw some great Alps scenery when we visited Interlaken in Switzerland.

Don’t miss a chance to visit the charming mountain town of Hallstatt. We were happy we took the funicular up to the viewpoint. The small town of Hallstatt was a quaint village to walk. We made sure we headed along the lake in either direction from town and got the iconic views of the town. We were sure that a stay in Hallstatt would offer us great sunrise and sunset views.

Have you been high in the Austrian Alps to Hallstatt? Where was your favourite view?

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Austrian Alps To Hallstatt From Salzburg Austria.jpg

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Austrian Alps To Hallstatt From Salzburg Austria.jpg

Austrian Alps To Hallstatt From Salzburg Austria.jpg

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About TravelAtWill 598 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

64 Comments

  1. These are absolutely stunning views! I haven’t been to Austria but all the photos I’ve seen are just incredible. What a fantastic experience, I can’t wait to visit one day.

  2. Although Austria is our next door neighbor, I’ve basically visited only Vienna. However, I’ve heard so much about Hallstatt – and seen those breathtakingly beautiful pictures like yours, hence, as soon as the Austrian border is open again, I think I’ll visit – we’ll probably have to stick to European travel for a while, anyway, so this is a perfect plan 🙂

  3. Love your pictures and description of Hallstatt. Gorgeous😍 I’ll have to add it to my list of places to go when I get the chance to visit the Austrian Alps!

  4. I’ve been to the Swiss Alps, but not the Austrian Alps. If I ever have the opportunity, I’ll definitely visit. Your photos are amazing!

  5. I wish I didn’t miss Hallstatt, it looks so beautiful and reminds me a little of Interlaken in Switzerland. I ended up in Soll Tyrol for my trip from Salzburg. I think I need to head back soon

  6. Definitely spectacular views all around! I wonder if there’s an architect with a visionary when they built the villages around the lake. It is located perfectly around the lake and the buildings – houses and churches – are standing side by side beautifully.

  7. Hallstatt is way up on my bucket list, and I live pretty close now in Switzerland (just waiting for borders to re-open). I’d always seen it as a winter fairytale destination. It’s interesting to see it in warmer months with all the greenery. I guess I’d like to see it in both season, the difference is quite drastic

  8. So beautiful! I haven’t made it to Austria yet, but Hallstatt looks like a place not to miss! I’m glad you were able to get on the tour, I can imagine the anxiety waiting there for 30 minutes!

  9. Such a great post, I had plans to take my mum to Hallstadt last year but then Corona happened 🙁

    I’ll save this for when I can take her (hopefully soon)!

  10. Great photos as always. I have been to Hallstatt, but it was 32 years ago! I’m glad to say it doesn’t look like it has changed too much. Red Bull was definitely not there back then, and I think that viewing platform might be new too. I remember a lovely lakeside lunch and a boat tour. That was my very first trip to Europe and I was such a baby…just 28 years old! Thanks for a walk down memory lane. I’d love to visit again.

    • I am so glad to have taken you for a walk down memory lane. We loved the chance to see Hallstatt from above and on a walk around the lake. Worth a second visit for sure.

  11. Wow Austrian Alps seem so dreamy. Driving on those roads looking at the landscapes must have been so amazing. I always wanted to visit Austria but unfortunately I have not been able to till now. I will definitely add Hallstatt to my list, especially would love to visit the headquarters of Red Bull. That looks awesome.

  12. I visited Salzburg with my dad many years ago. We didn’t spend anytime outdoes the city. This makes me realize I need to return to explore here. It looks quite beautiful.

  13. Wow, it’s so beautiful there! And that funicular! I would totally love to do that. Thanks for opening my eyes to a place I’d never considered!

  14. This sounds like a wonderful day trip. Really pleased you did not miss out because of the booking fiasco! Love the scenery and the landscape in this area and one can see why it is a UNESCO site. Must admit I am torn by wanting Hallstatt to be accessible only by train as it was in the past and pleased that it will be easier for me to get there when I do make it! My only experience of Austria so far is skiing, which is awesome, but I would love to explore more out of the ski season. Hallstatt would be high on my list.

    • If you plan to visit Hallstatt, you might want to consider staying for the night. Like many small tourist towns like this, it can get busy in the day. We were there off season so it wasn’t too back. But an overnight stay would give you more time to enjoy this lovely spot. And lots of hiking around.

  15. I love Austria, but haven’t been to Hallstatt yet. From your article I have learned that there is much more than one iconic sight to see there. I would love to see Hallstatt from above! Thanks for useful information and stunning photos.

  16. Wow.. you managed to get a whole lot of things done while you visited Hallstatt! Ellie and I visited a year before the viewing platform was inaugurated, so missed out on that one. We really loved the quaint village, though, and not least the food. When we visited, 75% of all visitors were South Korean. It turned out that one of the most popular South Korean soap operas is based in Hallstatt.

    • So strange to imagine that Hallstatt was used as the base for a South Korean soap opera! But the town was so pretty I guess I can understand that. We were glad the viewpoint was open on our visit. But I am sure we left much unexplored. All great reasons to head back one year.

  17. There are some places you read about and know you must visit but have know idea how great it will be and do not plan enough time, this is one of them for sure. Not only is Salzburg fabulous, but the area around Hallstatt is amazing too! I took a different cable car ride and went up to the Five Fingers lookout. There were several paragliders at the time and it was gorgeous! I will return for sure to do the salt mine slide and see the frozen waterfalls in the cave. Great tip to book direct, I would have been having a panic attack waiting

  18. What an adventure! This is one of those places that is so incredible, it’s hard to believe it actually exists. I would love to take the funicular up and look out over those sweeping views! Stunning!

    • We would have loved to visit when the skies were perfectly blue for the iconic pictures. But we were glad we got the chance to see Hallstatt from so many spots on this trip.

  19. I’ve heard of this place of course. Who hasn’t?! It looks absolutely gorgeous, and sounds like you had a great day there. It reminded me of the Swiss alps, which is not surprising really. If I ever get there I think I’ll plan to stay overnight.
    Too bad you missed the lakes tour.
    Alison

    • We would plan to stay next time too. So many tourist spots like this are so crowded during the day and take on a magical quality when the last bus departs. Lots to see on a return trip.

  20. Stunningly Beautiful this charming village. I love the photos of the Lake, the Catholic Church, and Road. Wooow…Thanks for Sharing about this place with unknown details.

  21. This is one of my favourite areas to holiday. It’s just so incredibly scenic. Sadly, we didn’t go as far as Hallstatt when we drove the 450-km Alpine Road through German and Austrian Alps. What luck you got the last 2 seats, what luck the rain stopped and presented you with that dewy rainbow view and what luck you got to experience this. Love it.

  22. Yes. While Salzburg has much to do, it is a good idea to explore the countryside. Thanks for pre-booking the Panorama Tour. I didn’t know that the headquarters of RedBull is in Salzburg. Being a UNESCO site, I would love to visit here. The funicular ride is cool. The view from atop is spectacular

    • We had so many tour options we were glad we booked the day trip to Hallstatt. Even if the wait to get on the bus was a bit stressful. Well worth it in the end.

  23. Amazing photos! I have seen so many beautiful photos of Austrian Alps that now I really want to go there. The from the funicular looks crazy scary but beautiful at the same time. I would be nervous to do that but I’m sure it’s worth it. Hope to be able to travel there soon!

    • It was certainly worth heading up in the funicular to get the stunning views of the Alps. If you don’t want to go to the edge of the platform, the upper deck gave us a great view too. And a walk in town will charm you.

  24. The views here are so breathtaking. The funicular sounds like the way to go. I wonder how long it takes to walk back down if you decide not to take the funicular down. The chalet-style houses are so charming. I love walking through towns like this as they have so much character 🙂

    • We would have loved to walk down from the viewpoint at Hallstatt if we had town. But figured it would take more than an hour. Glad we used the time instead to see this charming village.

  25. Your pictures reminds me of Kashmir. So much greenery. I am a mountain bum. Can go to any place with mountains haha. Would like to explore Alps range.

  26. Austria is so beautiful. And we repented not having stayed there longer. Visited just Vienna & Salzburg. Hallstatt is so inviting too. With all the beautiful views.

  27. The views are absolutely gorgeous! That’s not good that your tour booking through a third party wasn’t processed and you almost had to cancel, but I’m glad they let you on to the last two empty seats! I always try to book directly but sometimes it’s very difficult to figure out exactly who the operators are as was the case here. That viewing platform looks like it would give me vertigo but I would probably go for it anyways. The hills near Hallstatt are so lush and I love that the mountains still had a bit of snow on them in late spring.

    • We too were glad we ultimately got on the bus. And it was a good lesson. But so happy we got to see Hallstatt for the day from a high and low perspective.

  28. I had done this trip, kids enjoyed their visit to Hallstatt mines. The display inside the mines was amazing. We got back some salt from there. Your pictures are amazing, rekindled my sweet memories of the visit.

  29. Wow! This place is amazing and beautiful. We did not have the chance to visit Hallstatt during our last trip to Salzburg and after reading this post — I definitely regret it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience and really beautiful photos.

    • There were so many great things to see in Salzburg and the surrounding area. It was hard to choose what to see. But we were sure glad we made it to Hallstatt on this trip.

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