Only 30 miles east of Salzburg, Austria's Lake District is a bewitching contrast of soaring mountain peaks and undulating lowlands, laced with necklaces of sparkling rivers and lakes. It's the perfect destination for a self-guided walking or cycling holiday. It is known as the 'Salzkammergut', literally the 'Treasure Trove of Salt', and as a result it was spectacularly wealthy in the 17C when salt was as valuable as gold. Rich in architecture, history and culture, this is where Kaisers and Empresses traditionally came to take the waters and enjoy the famous Summer Opera season - still celebrated in Bad Ischl today.
Near Lakes Mondsee, Attersee and Traunsee, the gentle landscape is sprinkled with Tyrolean homesteads and tiny fields of rustling corn and wheat, interspersed with rows of colourful tulips where passers by pick their own flowers and drop money into honesty boxes. This a wonderful region to explore on a relaxed activity holiday, with gentle flat cycling routes to explore and a wealth of walking routes on offer too.
Further south this open country collides spectacularly with the dramatic ragged mountain peaks of Zwolferhorn (1521m) and Schafberg (1782m), whose shimmering reflections can be seen in the surfaces of the cleanest and bluest lakes in all Austria - Wolfgangsee and Fuschlsee. The famous composer, Gustav Mahler, was so inspired here he declared he had 'Set the landscape to music'; Gustav Klimt painted local castles, and Mozart's mother, was born in tiny St Gilgen. Pilgrims come to pray in St Wolfgang's medieval lakeside church, while others follow in the foot.
But don't just take our word for how amazing it is - you must see it for yourself. If you're about to plan your next holiday and have any questions about one of our activity holidays in Salzburg and Austra's Lake District, one of our experienced team will be able to help.
Stay in a luxury 4 star hotel - with top-of-the-range wellness centre - and choose from a whole host of activities: walking, cycling (route notes for both provided), water sports, boat trips, ice caves. Complimentary Headwater bikes included for the duration of your stay.
Discover the lakes and rivers of the Salzkammergut region of Austria on a self-guided cycling tour from your base at the family-run Hotel Goiserer Muhle in Bad Goisern. Explore the Imperial city of Bad Ischl and the World Heritage area around Lake Hallstatt and marvel at the surrounding landscape of peaks, lakes and rivers.
This tour combines pleasant walking with culture and places of interest. Discover the UNESCO region of Hallstatt, the riverside spa town of Bad Ischl and lakeside St Wolfgang.
A glorious mix of spectacular scenic views, wooded forest trails and picture-perfect 'chocolate box' villages await as you pass crystal-clear lakes, babbling streams and secluded bays.
Scenically stunning, immerse yourself in the beauty of flower-filled meadows, looming mountains and quaint villages dotted around the glimmering lakes and enjoy pleasant walking mixed with culture and places of interest.