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.
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 the Hotel Goldenes Schiff for 7 nights (Your evening meal is included on the first night)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
NEARBY: 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.
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.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Everything was perfect had a fantastic time
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.
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
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
Dear Mr Fletcher
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your holiday and managed to relax and enjoy the warm autumnal sunshine in Austria.
We do hope that we will be able to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the not too distant future.
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.
Excellent from start to end, great base for walking holiday. Glad we could fly from local airport. Team in Austria - very friendly and knowledgeable.
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 .
Good location, great walks, brilliant food.
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.
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.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 7 night self-guided walking holiday includes:
Single-centre accommodation in a hotel
All continental breakfasts and 1 evening meal
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
Comprehensive route directions provided prior to departure
Standard transfers to/from your hotel (if booking inclusive flights)
How to book:
To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' or 'check availability' button below.
To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'check availability' button below.
We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.
Please call for details and prices
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
All continental breakfasts and 1 evening meal
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.
Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Salzburg airport 10:25 out and 08:15 on the return
To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' button above.
If you need further information before you book simply complete our Holiday Enquiry Form and a member of our sales team will get back to you.
To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'Check availability' button below.