Austria : Salzburg

Walking in Austria's Lake District

Trip code: W07SZ 4.9 (15 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2

8.0Kg CO2e


  • Snow-capped peaks, lush green meadows and forest trails
  • Luxury 4 star hotel.
  • Crystal-clear lakes, babbling streams, tranquil shores, secluded bays
  • Picturesque waterfront villages, postcard-pretty castles and cobbled streets crammed with attractive frescoed houses
  • Varied rest day choices: water sports, mountain rail rides, lake cruisers and Mozart's fairytale city of Salzburg


  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 1 evening meal
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Comprehensive route directions


The Salzkammergut area (Austria's Lake District) is one of the most impressive regions in the heart of the country. Boasting 76 lakes and with a beautiful mountain backdrop, it's a perfect place to relax and let the calming atmosphere envelop you.

This 7-night self-guided walking holiday offers a selection of activities, where you'll enjoy a mix of spectacular scenic views, gentle shoreline routes, wooded forest trails and 'chocolate box' villages. There are also some great spots to stop off for a swim or dip your toes after a day's walking. The walks are relaxed, following mainly well-marked routes, and you can extend them on most days.

You'll spend seven nights in the wonderful riverside spa town of Bad Ischl - a favourite summer holiday retreat of Emperor Franz Joseph. Although it's almost 100 years since the emperor was last there, his presence is still felt in the region, and you can explore the Kaiservilla, his former holiday home. Other highlights include walking via the UNESCO village of Halstatt for picture-postcard views, the imperial spa, salt mines, ice cave, the Katrin cable car and the Siriuskogl viewing platform.

Stop off at the town of St Wolfgang, renowned for its beautiful 15th century church (you can sit in the arched windows and enjoy your lunch al fresco from here), and hop on the antique cog railway up to the summit of the Schafberg for unrivalled Alpine views. Visit St Wolfgang's Pfarrkirche with its outstanding Baroque altar created by Michael Pacher.


These walks are mainly easy and follow well marked routes, however there are some forested sections where the terrain is inclined and loose under foot. Walking boots are recommended.




Day 1: Arrive at Bad Ischl

Arrive at your 4 star hotel in Bad Ischl. A typical itinerary is shown below, although you're free to pick and choose your walking each day as there are numerous options available.

You stay at Hotel Goldenes Schiff.

hotel details


Hotel Goldenes Schiff, Bad Ischl


Cash machine

The Hotel Goldenes Schiff boasts a prime location in Bad Ischl's pedestrianised town centre and sits on the banks of the Traun River. Inside, it's modern and comfortable, with first-class facilities including a spa, with sauna and steam room.

Room upgrades: Classic Plus Room or Superior Room.
Classic plus rooms are larger. Superior rooms are larger still with a sitting area. They have either a south facing balcony or a panorama window facing the River Traun.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Kolowratshohe or Jainzenberg (15km/9.3mi or 12km/7.5mi)

Two circular walk options direct from your hotel; one to Kolowratshohe, a lesser-known peak above Bad Ischl, with spectacular views and the added bonus of a mountain restaurant at Hoisenrad. Or, a picturesque walk to the summit of Jainzenberg, rising directly behind the Kaiserpark and the Kaiservilla.

Day 3: Vormauerstein or Schwarzensee (12km/7.5mi or 10km/6.2mi or 12km/7.5mi)

Hop on a local bus to Wolfgangsee, with the option of walking up to the Vormauerstein and the breathtaking views of the Schafberg and Lake Attersee. Picnic on the shores of Monichsee. Alternatively, take a route up, through an impressive gorge, to the stunning Schwarzensee for lunch at one of the restaurants and lake views. This option gives you more time to visit the charming village of St Wolfgang.

Day 4: Hallstatt/Schneidkogel Summit walk (13km/8.1mi or 15km/9.3mi)

Today you have the opportunity to visit the spectacular alpine village of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest inhabited village in Austria as well as the chance to visit the historical salt mine. Take the panoramic funicular railway up the mountain (payable local) to the Skywalk viewing platform. Then either continue up to the Schneidkogel summit (1551m) or walk down to Hallstatt on a beautiful trail which takes you through the Glacier Garden and past some impressive waterfalls.

Day 5: Free day

Options today include a bus ride to the delightful village of St Gilgen. This thriving lace-making centre in the 1700s, today St Gilgen is a delightful village with a busy waterfront, lined with restaurants. Mozart's mother was born here and you can visit her house, which now includes a small museum. The Zwolferhorn cable car also goes from here, if you wanted some spectacular views and a variety of walks. Alternatively go, by bus, to explore the fairytale city of Salzburg, or take the train and tram to the pottery town of Gmunden to visit the ceramic factories or the impressive Schloss Ort.

Day 6: Katrin (14km/8.7mi or 18km/11.2mi)

Walk (2km) or take the cable car from Bad Ischl and visit the three summits of Katrin, Hainzen and Elferkogel. Sure footedness is required, but from the peaks you are rewarded with an incredible 360-degree panorama as far as the snow-capped Dachsteins. Sit and take in the superb vistas from the two restaurants at the top cable car station.

Day 7: Gschwendt or Sparber (14km/8.7mi or 19km/11.8mi)

Today take the bus to Strobl, then you have a choice to head off on a low level lakeside walk, with views across Wolfgangsee to St Wolfgang and the Schafberg. Stroll through the Blinklingmoos nature reserve and on to a lakeside beach at Wassbad before heading to Gschwendt. The longer, more challenging route also takes you to Gschwendt but comes with some stiff climbs and descents and even more spectacular views of the lake and the Schafberg, Rinnkogel and Sparber mountains.

Day 8: Leave Bad Ischl

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Markus Sittikus, Salzburg; Villa Carlton, Salzburg.

hotel details


Markus Sittikus, Salzburg



The 4 star Markus Sittikus is a beautifully presented hotel, based in an 18th century building with a mustard facade located in a quiet side street not far from the Mirabell palace, just a 15 minute walk from the old city.

Inside the hotel the decor is attractive and individual, with bold colours like mustard yellow and red tartan in the comfortable bar area, and some colourful murals painted on the walls throughout the building. Public rooms have period furniture and the upbeat interior, combined with the personal attention you receive from the friendly staff, make a stay here particularly memorable.

The hotel has 39 rooms though it feels smaller, with television (CNN/BBC), direct dial phones and hairdryers. Each one is individually decorated with attractive colour combinations and solid wooden furniture, in keeping with the age and status of the building.

It is also one of the few hotels in Salzburg to have a garden to relax in, if you are looking for some respite after doing the sights.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.


Villa Carlton, Salzburg



A 15-minute walk from Getreidegasse shopping street, this upscale hotel is 14 minutes from Mozart's Birthplace. Featuring elegant modern decor, the polished rooms and suites come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and desks. Some upgraded rooms have balconies and/or in-room tubs, while suites have living areas.


Show prices including flights?  


These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £182.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £182.

There are direct flights with British Airways from Gatwick to Salzburg Mondays to Saturdays which we can arrange, please call for details. Twin-bedded rooms in Austrian resorts are normally one large base with two mattresses/duvets. These are also known as 'Austrian Twins' and are regarded as two beds. Separate twin beds are rare and cannot be guaranteed as available.

  • Flights from Gatwick to Salzburg with British Airways
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Out: British Airways Gatwick to Salzburg, then transfer to hotel 60 minutes Return: Transfer to airport then Salzburg to Gatwick

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am Monday) or email

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.


Megan organised our holiday exactly as requested including the three days we had in Salzburg which were wonderful. Hotel Villa Carlton very good, very stylish and quirky and only a 10 minute walk to the Old Town.

Linda Weyman, 28 Jun 2024


We have had a great holiday ,it lived up to all expectations and everything ran smoothly.

Alison Catt, 19 Jun 2024


There was a bit of confusion when booking the trip as to which hotel was going to be used.

The staff at Headwater were very friendly and helpful and successfully resolved our queries.

The grading of the walks was variable and didn't seem to take into account terrain.

The Headwater general information was very good and helpful.

Andrew Fawthrop, 10 Jun 2024


Friendly staff, great hotels and comprehensive, accurate route notes. Happy to add on city breaks and find the best flight options for you. We've used Headwater many times and will do so again.

Deborah Savory, 5 Jun 2024


I had a nice time.strange I was on my own. I did plan my own itinerary. I was lucky with the weather. I would go back to Austria but it was nice and relaxed and I controlled my day.nice hotel a good breakfast selection happy to go back, but disappointed that I didn’t get the free things on offer displayed in the lift.bad isch was a nice location for bus and train

Andrew Cole, 23 Sep 2023


Everything was perfect had a fantastic time

Janet Offord, 26 Aug 2023


Austria's Lake District is a fabulous area to visit and explore. Wonderful breathtaking scenery, plenty of attractions to choose from, great food & drink and friendly locals.

MOODY, 24 Jun 2023


Austria is a hidden gem! Locals could not have been friendlier. Be prepared for mixed weather. Scenery spectacular. Walking could be challenging especially in damp/wet conditions

Ms Nicolson, 28 May 2022


The walks gave an excellent taste of the area and coming in October we saw the autumn colours at their best yet were able to enjoy warm sunshine!

The walk instructions and timings were spot on for us. We had a really enjoyable and relaxing time

Mr Fletcher, 12 Oct 2019


We had a wonderful holiday which more than lived up to expectations. We loved the location. The lakes and mountains, towns and villages in Austria, were really picturesque and were fortunate to see them in amazingly good weather.

Our holiday Reps, Jill and Colin were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Their knowledge of the area and advice on walk routes were the basis we used to planning what turned out to be a wonderful week of walking.

Mrs Higgins, 14 Sep 2019


Excellent from start to end, great base for walking holiday. Glad we could fly from local airport. Team in Austria - very friendly and knowledgeable.

Dr Barrett, 7 Sep 2019


Excellent hotel in Bad Ischl with very good transport connections to various walks just 10 minutes walk from hotel. All walks suggested were within the grade with some being a little more challenging than others. All with outstanding views. If there weren't so many other places to visit in the world I wouldn't hesitate to return. A friend and I found the walk descriptions easy to follow and going at your own pace gave you the options to take as long as you liked at various places of Interest. Would definitely recommend this holiday to anyone who enjoys walking with a little challenge and stunning views .

Mrs Parry, 6 Jul 2019


Good location, great walks, brilliant food.

Mr Plumridge, 6 Jul 2019


We have had a number of cycling holidays with Headwater but It is our first walking holiday. We were pleased to have chosen a single centre holiday in Bad Ischl and appreciated all the support that the reps Gill and Colin gave us which extended beyond their remit. Even though we happily sort our own walking routes in the UK we thoroughly enjoyed the range of walks available - some of which would have been difficult for us to find ourselves and the updates giving us information about which areas to avoid because of snow cover (unusual at this time of year) were invaluable. Overall, we had an excellent time.

Mrs Rodgers, 1 Jun 2019


We had a excellent walking holiday in the magnificent Austrian Lake District. The weather was kind and we walked every day up into the hills and mountains and were rewarded with spectacular views of the lakes,forests and snow capped mountains. Must give a special mention to our guides Colin and Jill who’s briefings and tips about the walks were excellent, went out of their way to keep in contact via text and helped to make this holiday special.

Mr Ancell, 1 Jun 2019


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2

8.0Kg CO2e

7 nights from £1269


Call: 01606 720199