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.
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.
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.
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.
When the sun started to poke through the clouds, the rainbow came out. It was a great side benefit of a little rain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We wandered through the narrow streets. Through an opening we caught sight of the Evangelical Church for a closer look.
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.
In the town square we found a central court. And when we looked up we saw the Catholic Church.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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