The Salzkammergut Lakes

The Salzkammergut Lakes

Austria » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • Pastoral landscapes and classical Alpine sceneries
  • The most famous hiking region in Austria
  • Visit Hallstat - UNESCO site of incredible beauty
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 575 €

Duration (days): 8

Difficulty grade:  


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The Salzkammergut region is a famous resort area in Austria stretching from Salzburg to Dachstein mountains. It houses 76 lakes, some of them well-known for towns like St. Wolfgang, Mondsee and Gmunden on their shores while others are solitary and hidden. The name of Salzkammergutmeans "Estate of the Salt Chamber" and derives from the Imperial Salt Chamber, the authority charged with running the precious salt mines in the Habsburg empire. Your route takes you over mountains and across lakes, past natural spectacles and famous places.
"There is no more beautiful country in our time…" an old popular folk song says. Well, no other landscape may take this folk song as literally as the Austrian Salzkammergut. It certainly belongs to one of the special treasures of this world. The uniqueness also was recognized by the UNESCO and the region Hallstatt was awarded the predicate of natural and cultural heritage. Some special gems only can be reached on foot – a treat on this walking tour.
The walking paths are good, there are just some short ascents on smaller serpentine paths. We can recommend this tour for families.


Day 1. Individual arrival at Wolfgangsee.
Day 2. St. Wolfgang – Pilgrimage Trail to St. Gilgen
By ferry to St. Wolfgang if you stay in Abersee. Gently walking along the walking trail to the close little mountain of Falkenstein. You will follow the pilgramge trail up to the little pass where you will find an old church. Afterwards you follow the trail to the “Falkenstein wall” which goes straight downwards to the lake. Wonderful view over the Wolfgangsee valley and the mountains. The idyllic Fürberg walk along the lake brings you to the Mozart village St. Gilgen. This trail used to be a very old pilgrimage trail coming from Germany and going to St. Wolfgang. There are signs, chapels and a church on the mountain telling the walker stories about the trail and St. Wolfgang. Return by boat to St. Wolfgang or Abersee. Overnight in Abersee or St. Wolfgang
(Distance: 12 km; Walking time: 3,30 hours; Uphill/downhill hiking: +250/-250 m.)
Day 3. Wolfgangsee – Bad Ischl
Along the cattle trail your walk upwards to the little alpine pasture where you will find the remote lake of Schwarzensee. Next to the lake Madame Lore of the lake hut waits to treat you with local specialities. Downwards you will pass the Wirer gorge where you will find many little cascades after rainy days. Afterwards you will follow the lakeside walking trail around mount Bürglstein to the little village of Strobl. From there you will take the bus to the to the Emperors town Bad Ischl. Overnight in Bad Ischl.
(Distance: 11,8 or 15,5 km (around a little lake); Walking time: 4,30 hours; Uphill/downhill hiking: +300/-300 m.) 
Day 4. Resting day in Bad Ischl
Visit the Emperors villa, Café Zauner or the hotel Austria, where once upon a time the engagement of Emperor Franz Josef and Elisabeth of Bavaria (the Sissi of the famous film …) took place. Or maybe you can consider visiting the Salzkammergut thermal SPA.
Day 5. Brine-pipeline walk to Bad Goisern
Easy start into the walking tour following the historic brine pipeline trail from Bad Ischl to Bad Goisern. This trails runs from the salt mountain of Hallstatt to Bad Ischl where in former times the salt was produced. Nowadays the salt pipeline runs till Ebensee where the new salt factory was build.
Anyway this pipeline belongs to the oldest one in the world but you can see it only on certain spots. There will be signs along the trail telling you more about the salt production in the Salzkammergut. Today your tour will finish in Bad Goisern, know as the gate to the UNESCO World Heritage of Hallstatt Dachstein but also know for handicrafts which are more artist than craftsmen. Nice flat trail close to the river Traun and passing a former pilgrimage village which is called Lauffen. Overnight in Bad Goisern.
(Distance: 12 km; Walking time: 3,30 hours; Uphill/downhill hiking: +200/-100 m)
Day 6. Bad Goisern to Hallstat on the Brine-pipeline trail
Today you will continue following the brine pipeline trail up to the salt mountain of Hallstatt. The trails leads you gently upwards and parts of the trail where build into the rock. Depending on the season you will have nice views to the lake and the mountain ranges around.
Only the last 800 meters will be more demanding because little serpentines leads you up to the salt mountain already passing old mining shafts. On top you will see a nice old tower with a terrace and a restaurant offering an exciting view downwards to Hallstatt, the lake and the mountain. Just round the corner you will find the historic burial field (which is still checked out by the archaeologist). Very interesting is also a guided tour into the salt mine which is fun and interesting. After visiting the salt mountain you will take the cable car downwards to Hallstatt and discover the little streets in the nicest lakeside village of the world (Humbold!). Afterwards you will cross the lake with the ferry to get to the railway station in Hallstatt. With the train you will return to Bad Goisern. Overnight Bad Goisern.
(Distance: 13 km; Walking time: 4,30 hours; Uphill/downhill hiking: +400/-400 m.;
Day 7. Bad Goisern - Wolfgangsee
In the morning you will take the train from Bad Goisern to Bad Ischl. Afterwards you will follow the romantic Sissi-Path trail up to the little lake Nussensee (nut lake). Along the trail there will be different signs telling you stories about artists staying in Bad Ischl during the summer holidays of the emperor family. The trails leads you downwards to the river Ischl which you will follow till the lake Wolfgangsee passing nice houses. You will again come to the village Strobl but this time you will continue following the lakeside trail to Abersee enjoying the views to St. Wolfgang, the mountains and the flowers in the Blinkling marsh. Overnight in St. Wolfgang.
(Distance: 18 km (the tour can be shortened by coach or boat but so far all clients made the whole day); Walking time: 5,30 hours; Uphill/downhill hiking: +250/-250 m.)
Day 8. Individual departure or extension.

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
Family-run pensions and hotels 3*** with en-suite facilities on bed & breakfast (supplement for dinner is extra - see the "Dates, prices & remarks" tab for details); Luggage is transferred from location to location as per program.


Day 1: Individual journey to lake Wolfgangsee
Day 2: From Wolfgangsee to Bad Ischl
Day 3: From Bad Ischl to Bad Goisern
Day 4: From Bad Goisern to Wolfgangsee
Day 5: Individual departure or extra days

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
Family-run pensions and hotels 3*** with en-suite facilities on bed & breakfast (supplement for dinner is extra - see the "Dates, prices & remarks" tab for details); Luggage is transferred from location to location as per program.

Group size: Min. 2 persons

- 8-day itinerary:
575 Euro (+ 45 Euro/person for all July and August arrivals)
- 5-day itinerary: 395 Euro (+ 30 Euro/person for all July and August arrivals)

Halfboard supplement (min 3-course dinner): 155 Euro (8-day itinerary) and 95 Euro (5-day itinerary)
Single supplement: 130 Euro (8-day itinerary) and 85 Euro (5-day itinerary)

The price includes: accommodation and meals as mentioned under Itinerary; detailed roadbook and map in English; luggage transfers; boat fares on the lake Wolfgangsee (8-day tour) and Hallstatter See (8-day tour); train fare Hallstatt - Bad Goisern (8-day tour) and Bad Goisern - Bad Ischl; descent with the Salzberg cable car Hallstatt (8-day tour); Service hotline;

The price does not include: bus ride Strobl to Bad Ischl (appr. 4 Euro/person), flight tickets; transfers different than mentioned in the "included in the price" section; alcohol drinks; personal expenses; visitors' taxes (payable localy if any).

Best travel time: May-August. Easiest arrival to starting poitn through Salzburg and Linz airports. Coming by train from Vienna, Linz or Graz you have to change trains to the Bad Ischl line. From there the bus takes you to St. Wolfgang. From Salzburg there is a bus to St. Wolfgang via Strobl. Private transfers to starting point from Salzburg: appr. 90 Euro per car one way (1-4 pers),  appr. 100 Euro per bus one way (5-8 pers.).