This is Austria’s Salzkammergut region. It’s stunning natural beauty is best appreciated during autumn, when only very few tourists visit the region. Hallstatt is a Salzkammergut gem – many consider it Austria’s prettiest town. One million tourists from all over the world come here each year.
Cristiana Campanile has lived in Hallstatt for seven years. She says social media helped make it famous. Hallstatt’s quaint 16th century buildings and market square are listed historical sites. The tiny town of 800 consists of little more than a main street parallel to the lake shore.
This funicular ride takes visitors up 350 vertical meters to a skywalk above the town. Views from here are nothing short of breathtaking. No wonder the region’s been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The name “Salzkammergut” — roughly translated as salt chamber estate — derives from the region’s copious salt deposits. Harald Pernkopf runs guided tours through a former mine. Locals began mining the mineral over 3,000 years ago. It’s still extracted today.
The region’s verdant, hilly forests are a paradise for hikers. During fall, mushroom pickers can find many tasty morels in these parts. Hans Attwinger knows the best spots.
The nearby lakeside village of Traunkirchen — with Johannesberg chapel — is another regional highlight. It boasts “Bootshaus”, a fine dining establishment right by the water. Head chef Lukas Nagl loves serving locally picked mushrooms.
A few hours earlier, head chef Lukas joined Reinhard Ammer on a fishing expedition on nearby Mondsee lake. A stunning location. Back at the restaurant, Lukas Nagl prepares an exquisite dish with freshly caught charr, spinach and quince marinade. He likes to stray from tradition and try unconventional recipes. Austria’s Salzkammergut region has a lot to offer, with its fine dining, history… and last but not least, spectacular nature.
- tourists from all over the world come here each year
- This funicular ride takes visitors up 350 meters
- guided tours through a former mine
- mushroom pickers can find many tasty morels
- Chapel — is another regional highlight
- Head chef Lukas Nagl serves locally picked mushrooms
- fine dining
Interactive Austria travel vocabulary exercise