Picture yourself in an Alpine meadow with your feet in glacial meltwater and your face in the sun. The hills aren’t alive with the sound of music. You’ll more likely hear chattering hikers or the soft burr of a freewheeling bicycle. Holiday in the Alps in summer: they’re sublime.
Fly into Salzburg, Austria and drive just half an hour out of the city to be within reach of three beautiful lakes in the Salzkammergut region. Many visit Wolfgangsee; it’s one of the area’s clearest lakes. Hire a motorboat to carve up the water. A cable car from lakeside village St Gilgen takes you to the top of Zwölferhorn – a green, pleasant hiking peak from which the surrounding lakes look like little puddles. For a quieter stay, pretty Lake Fuschl next door has a ban on motor boats and a reputation for hosting the rich and famous. Fuschlsee, home of the Red Bull HQ is the site of choice for many fancy summer homes.
Schloss Fuschl is so historic that it has its own museum. There’s also an in-house fishery where you can lunch on smoked fish. You can also dine on the terraces of the two lovely restaurants. A bus stops nearby to take you to St Gilgen, but you could happily spend your days lazing on the lake, paddle boarding, or in the indoor pool and spa.