Where are the best places to visit in Salzburg?
Hallstatt is a small, picturesque lakeside village complete with pastel-hued houses wedged between lofty mountains on all sides. Its key attractions are the ancient salt mine, an ossuary, boat rides on Lake Hallstatt, a Catholic church with its mountainside graveyard, the mighty Dachstein glacier and trips to the stunning caves of nearby Obertraun.
You can drive just half an hour out of Salzburg to be within reach of three beautiful lakes in the Salzkammergut region. Many visit Wolfgangsee; it’s one of the area’s clearest lakes, and you can hire a motorboat to go out on the water. A cable car from the lakeside village of St Gilgen takes you to the top of Zwolferhorn – a green, pleasant hiking peak from where the surrounding lakes look like little puddles.
For a quieter stay, pretty Lake Fuschl (Fuschlsee) next door has a ban on motorboats and a reputation for hosting the rich and famous. The lake, home of the Red Bull HQ, is the site of choice for many fancy summer homes. The lake is one of the cleanest in the region with water pure enough to even drink.
Between Innsbruck and Salzburg, in the province of Tyrol, lies the upscale medieval town of Kitzbuhel. Speed demons flock there in winter to take on the Hahnenkamm ski race. The steep slopes conjure images of James Bond fleeing down the mountainside – Ian Fleming was educated here after being ‘removed’ from both Eton and Sandhurst. Head out on the biking trails after breakfast in the local coffee shops. For dinner, famous Rosi’s Sonnbergstuben is a restaurant with tableside yodelling courtesy of local celebrity Rosi.
Zell am See is one of Austria’s prime ski resorts offering spectacular views of Lake Zell and the surrounding mountains. The best skiing can be had on Kitzsteinhorn glacier above the village of Kaprun which shares a lift pass with the resort, while the sizeable town offers a lively apres-ski scene.
There are several other prime ski resorts near Salzburg. Saalbach has 270 kilometres of runs and is ideal for intermediate skiers. Centred around a charming Tyrolean town, it’s renowned for its rocking nightlife. Obertauern has a wide variety of pistes spread across 100 accessible kilometres catering for everyone from beginners to daredevils. There’s night-time skiing here and a dedicated snow park, plus the charms of a mile-long apres-ski scene. The lesser-known gem of Hochkonig offers 120 kilometres of versatile slopes taking in six peaks. Enjoy superlative Alpine panoramas and ski huts serving superior cuisine. Another underrated resort is the Salzburger Sportwelt. It’s spread across seven distinct holiday towns and nine ski areas, so freeskiers and snowboarders get their adrenaline fix here, while novices learn in one of 25 ski schools. A new cable car connects up to 210 kilometres of slopes.