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Austrian Lakes Walk

from $2,449.00

This 8-night self-guided walking tour takes in the Salzkammergut area also known as Austria’s Lake District. It is one of the most impressive regions in the heart of the country. Boasting 76 lakes and with a beautiful alpine backdrop, this is a perfect place for a walking tour. The glorious mountain backdrop follows you along wooded forest trails and through picture-perfect ‘chocolate box’ villages. Let the calming atmosphere relax and recharge you!

  • Reviews 13 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Austrian Lakes Walk.

Austria’s Lake District is one of the most beautiful regions in the heart of the country. Encompassing 76 lakes all beneath a stunning mountain backdrop, it’s a perfect place to relax and let the calming atmosphere envelop you.
This 8-night self-guided walking tour also offers a selection of other activities. Along with walks with spectacular scenic views and along gentle shoreline routes, you’ll enter wooded forests and pass through ‘chocolate box’ villages. There are also some great spots to stop off for a swim or cool your feet after a day’s walking. The walks are relaxed, following mainly well-marked routes, and you can take the option to extend them on most days.
You’ll spend three nights in the wonderful riverside spa town of Bad Ischl – a favorite summer 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 summer villa. Other highlights include walking via the UNESCO village of Halstatt for picture-postcard views (renowned as the most photographed village in all of Europe!), the imperial spa, salt mines, ice cave, the Katrin cable car and the Siriuskogl viewing platform.
Stop off at the town of St Wolfgang, famous for its beautiful C15 church (you can sit in the arched windows and enjoy your lunch al fresco from here), and jump on the antique cog railway up to the summit of the Schafberg for unparalleled Alpine views. Visit St Wolfgang’s Pfarrkirche with its fabulous Baroque altar created by Michael Pacher. Then, from St Wolfgang, head to Mondsee for a coffee and apfel strudel. And not to be missed, is a trip to Salzburg itself.
You stay in well chosen **** luxury, family-run hotels that are calm and relaxing places to spend time, most with ‘feel-good’ spas, plus high levels of quality and attention to detail. In Bad Ischl, your hotel has a scenic terrace overlooking the River Traun and the Hotel Bergrose in Strobl is a charming, family-run inn.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All breakfasts and 7 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Route notes and maps
  • All baggage transport
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Snow-capped peaks, pine-clad hills, lush green meadows and unspoiled forest trails
  • 4-star hotels throughout; swimming opportunities every day
  • Crystal-clear lakes, babbling streams, tranquil shore and secluded bays
  • Picturesque waterfront villages, pretty castles and cobbled streets crammed with attractive frescoed houses
  • Varied rest day choices: watersports, mountain rail rides, lake cruisers and Mozart’s fairytale city of Salzburg
  1. Day 1 Day 1 - Arrive at Bad Ischl

    Arrive at your **** hotel in Bad Ischl and relax before dinner in the wellness centre. (Staying at Hotel Goldener Ochs, Half Board)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 - Hallstatt walk 11km/7mi/3hr

    Today take a bus to the spectacular alpine village of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest village in Austria. Take the panoramic funicular railway up the mountain and visit the historical salt mine. Use the ferry to cross the lake and follow a beautiful walk to Bad Goisern before returning to Bad Ischl by train. (Staying at Hotel Goldener Ochs, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Bad Ischl

    There is plenty to do today – explore pretty Bad Ischl itself, with its riverside location. Stroll along the esplanade and have coffee and cake in the world famous Zauner cafe, take in some of the imperial history (visit the Emperor’s Villa and gardens) or relax in the EurothermenResort Thermal Baths. A trip to the nearby Dachstein Ice caves and spectacular 5 Finger Lookout is also an option. (Staying at Hotel Goldener Ochs, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Bad Ischl to Strobl 16km/10mi/4hr or 20km/12.5mi/6hr

    Walk (2km) or take the cable car from Bad Ischl to the summit of Katrin (1,393m). There are fabulous 360ree; views of Traun and Hallstatt lakes, backed by the impressive Hollengebirge and Dachstein peaks. From here, your route takes you down the forested Katrin Pass. Tiny violet gentian flowers perfume your route as you pass Nussen Lake, a great picnic spot. Continue along the valley following the River Traun until you reach Strobl. (Staying at Hotel Bergrose, Half Board)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Strobl

    There’s lots to see and do in the village of Strobl, including a summer toboggan run and a wide range of water sports; you can also join one of the many hop on, hop off lake cruisers, visit the natural beach for sunbathing or take the bus (90 minutes) to beautiful Salzburg, with its Renaissance gardens, Baroque palaces and the oldest open air theatre in Europe. (Staying at Hotel Bergrose, Half Board)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Strobl to St Gilgen 14km/8.5mi/4hrs

    Today’s route takes you along the north shore of Lake Wolfgang, a stunning expanse of vivid turquoise waters, popular with yacht owners, kite surfers and fellow walkers. Enjoy lunch in pretty St Wolfgang, renowned for its beautiful C15 church and frescoed houses, before continuing along the pilgrims’ path past the Falkenstein Chapel, curiously built into the cliff face. (Staying at Gasthof Zur Post, Half Board)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At St Gilgen

    A 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. Or follow the official Mozartsteig hiking trail to Fuschl, passing between the Ellmautall and Eibenberg mountains. Heading through the heart of the nature reserve along forested paths you’ll see many multi-coloured butterflies until you catch a breathtaking view of tranquil Fuschlsee – the smallest of the Salzkammergut lakes, but without doubt one of the prettiest. (Staying at Gasthof Zur Post, Half Board)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 St Gilgen (Fuschl) to Mondsee 11km/7mi/3hrs or 15km/9.5mi/4hr

    From Fuschl, head up on a gentle wooded trail to the remains of Wartenfels Castle, from where you catch fantastic aerial views of Fuschlsee, Irrsee and Mondsee. Take the optional walk to the summit of the Schober, at 1,320m you can gaze over to Lake Wolfgang and the Schafberg peaks. Treat yourself to a well-earned Viennese coffee and apfelstrudel in Mondsee’s central square looking out over St Michael’s Basilica, which was famously used in ’The Sound of Music’ wedding scene. (Staying at Hotel Leitnerbrau, Breakfast Only)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Mondsee
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Where you stay
Hotel Goldener Ochs
The Hotel Goldender Ochs boasts a prime location in Bad Ischl’s pedestrianised town centre, and sits on the banks of the Traun River. It features a spa, sauna, swimming pool and sun terraces with mountain panorama.
Villa Seilern
The Villa Seilern, with its state-of-the-art spa facilities, is available as an upgrade to the Goldenes Schiff. It is a perfect blend of the modern and the traditional, featuring a C19 villa along with a modern and stylish accommodation block. The bedrooms are spacious and use a mixture of natural materials and all have a balcony. The spa facilities at the hotel include an indoor pool, whirlpool, Bio and Finnish sauna and steam bath. Villa Seilern is available at a supplement – please contact us for full details and prices.
Hotel Bergrose
This is a beautiful 30-room hotel based a 5-minute bike ride from the eastern shore of Wolfgangsee on the outskirts of the village of Strobl. It is a traditional building with wooden balconies and Gothic script on the exterior, and is located on a river bank next to a meadow. It has a lovely secluded garden, three stories of perfect Austrian wood-panelled luxury inside and an indoor pool and spa area. Rooms here are junior suites with shower or bath – all Headwater rooms have a balcony. The rooms are beautifully decorated with quality pine furniture and comfortable beds. Please note that junior suite twins consist of a double bed and a sofa bed. Parents of children under 10 years old should be aware that some rooms at the Hotel Bergrose have a balcony with a step up.
Hotel Gasthof Zur Post
Literally follow in the footsteps of travellers from the past as the Family Leitner welcome you to the Gasthof Zur Post. The building dates back over 600 years and was at one time a stage coach stop off before becoming a hotel. Inside you have a wonderful blend of history and tradition. Centrally located and just a few minutes’ walk from Wolfgangsee, the Hotel Zur Post makes an ideal base from which to explore the local area, visit the Music and Mozart Museums, hike up Zwolferhorn or be pampered in the sauna and steam spa. The rooms here have been very recently renovated, and contain all the mod-cons you would expect from a **** hotel. Most rooms have a balcony too; please request this at the time of booking.
Hotel Leitnerbrau
The Leitnerbrau Hotel can be found in the very heart of Mondsee, just a stone’s throw from the famous church used in ‘The Sound of Music’ and a 5-minute stroll from the lakeside where there are frequent summer shows and events. A 30-room, family-run property, it is broad, modern and spacious inside whilst retaining the typical Tyrolean architecture outside. Bedrooms are extremely spacious, with queen size beds and traditional wooden furnishings.
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 7 evening meals are included.

Austria is renowned for wholesome, robust food. The cuisine is a reflection of the culinary exchange that went on during the time of empires – French, Spanish, Dutch, German and Croatian cuisine have all contributed to the flavours, to name just a few. You will be set up for the day with a breakfast of cold meats and cheeses, traditional bread, jam and coffee. Austrians tend to eat heartily at lunch time and less in the evenings, but you will be well catered for at dinner. Local specialities include the ever present ‘Wiener Schnitzel’ (breaded veal cutlet) and various stews of beef and pork. Dumplings, potatoes or noodles are all regular accompaniments along with vegetables. Of course, the fresh fish found in the lakes like rainbow trout, brown trout and whitefish will be a feature of many menus, often grilled with butter and herbs, or stuffed with local mushrooms.

Desserts are often fruit based – such as ‘apfelstrudel’ or cream pastries. ‘Rehrucken’ is a traditional chocolate and almond cream cake. ‘Linzertorte’ is a flaky cake lined with currant or raspberry jam, encased and covered by a lattice of cake dough. Mozart’s home town’s speciality is ‘Salzburger Nockerln’, which is a very light dessert souffle dusted with vanilla sugar and sometimes served with strawberries on the side.

Plum brandy is a popular post dinner drink, or you could try one of the various types of schnapps. Austrian wine tends to be white and fairly sweet in the manner of German Mosel wines. Beer is a better known product of the country and you will find a wide variety of local brews. The best known are Gosser and Augustiner Brau and come in light or dark forms.

Grade 2: Leisurely/Moderate
The relaxed walking for this trip follows mainly well-marked routes with opportunities to extend each day. The walks are generally classed as easy but there are some forested sections where the terrain is inclined and loose underfoot. The altitude is low throughout and does not exceed 1500m. The walking is point-to-point and your luggage is transferred between hotels for you. The walking is suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit and healthy, enjoys the occasional weekend walk and can walk 2-5 hours per day.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 30/09/2019
5/5

Mr Collins

Excellent scenery and walking, all linked together by footpaths, trains, buses and cable cars! We were fortunate with the weather with sun and temperatures 20-25 degrees. The reps Colin & Jill kept in touch throughout to make sure everything was going smoothly and offering additional suggestions which we found useful.

Reviewed On 24/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Bray

Well organised with brilliant support from our reps. Lovely hotels and good to have time to explore the towns as we stayed for 2 nights in most places

Reviewed On 29/07/2019
5/5

Mr Franks

This is an excellent trip- it exceeded our expectations, especially as we didn't know anyone who had been to this area before, and we cannot work out why as it is a really stunning area. It is a combination of accessible mountains and lots of beautiful lake views. The walks are varied, the paths well marked, and the walking instructions were very clear. The itinerary gives lots of time to do your own thing and take advantage of various activities in the area. The hotels were all different but all comfortable, with delicious food, and careful attention given to vegetarian requirements. Colin and Jill were the local representatives and kept in touch with us throughout the trip, helping with advise on weather conditions and alternative suggestions-they really couldn't have done more to help make us happy. We would highly recommend this trip to those who want a balanced combination of walking and leisure activities.

Reviewed On 23/11/2018
5/5

Mrs Allen

Excellent easy walking, good to have the extra nights to explore the local towns. All hotels were very good, as was the food. It would be perfered to have a direct flight to Saltzburg instead of having to change at Frankfurt.

Reviewed On 06/11/2018
5/5

Miss Knott

Lovely holiday and wonderful scenery. The hotels were all of a good standard, as was the food. Colin and Jill were always available if we had questions, and we did text them a few times and they came back to us very quickly with suggestions. As it was self-guided it was really up to you if you wanted to do all the walks or just do some more exploring using public transport, which we did.... We did notice how clean everywhere was and everyone was very friendly....

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