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Enjoy the alpine lifestyle between the mountains and lakes

5 things to look forward to when summer hiking in the Salzkammergut
Wolfgangsee distant view backpack

With its majestic mountains, clear lakes and picturesque valleys the beautiful Salzkammergut in the heart of Austria offers a plethora of hiking trails with breathtaking views. The fresh mountain air and the unspoiled nature will awaken your senses and give you a feeling of freedom and connection with nature. You can walk in the footsteps of Austrian Emperor Franz-Josef and his Sisi and experience the wonder that inspired the work of countless artists and creative people.

Wolfgangsee distant view backpack

What is the Salzkammergut exactly? The region between the Dachstein massif and the Toten Gebirge and Höllengebirge is named after salt (‘Salz’), because between the 5th and 8th Centuries B.C. salt was mined here. Hallstatt was the trading centre, as Rome wasn’t built yet! The white gold from the centre of the mountains made the Salzkammergut prosperous, but its real treasures are the lakes, to whose shores people have been drawn for centuries, and the mountains, on whose peaks you feel so close to the sky.  

Here are five things that hiking lovers and outdoor enthusiasts can look forward to when summer hiking in the Salzkammergut.

1. The impressive variety of nature

The Salzkammergut is known for its varied nature, that you can explore step by step on your holiday. On the well sign-posted paths you travel through dense forests, hike over lush alpine meadows and walk along crystal clear lakes. The region is home to many animals and plants, that you can admire in their natural habitat. If you spot a leaping chamois, it will make you hold your breath for a moment! Also enjoy when a fire salamander with its typical yellow-black markings crosses your path or a fish approaches the shore in the crystal-clear water. And speaking of fish: the so-called ‘Steckerlfisch’ is a traditional delicacy of the Salzkammergut. Freshly caught, crispy grilled over charcoal, tender on the inside, with few bones and butter-soft, wrapped in paper - a delight!

2. Panoramic views and breathtaking vistas

A big attraction when hiking in the Salzkammergut are the breathtaking views, a reward when you reach a summit or walk along a ridge – and the scent of freshly mown hay wafts in your nose. The majestic mountains of the Dachstein massif and the Höllengebirges offer spectacular panoramic views, a treat for the eyes and soul. From the summit you can see over the whole of the Salzkammergut, with its sparkling lakes and green valleys stretching to the horizon. The views are numerous and offer unforgettable memories. An absolute highlight: experiencing a magical sunrise on one of the mountains, when the rising sun bathes the peaks in warm light! Pure postcard idyll!

  • Our tip: Especially from the Schafberg, the view is vast.   


3. Explore cultural treasures

The Salzkammergut offers not only natural wonders, but also a rich cultural history. Along the path you meet charming villages and countless historical sights. You will see wonderful villas with opulent balconies and huge windows, which are a stark contrast to the traditional Alpine-style houses of the locals, which are modest, with steep roofs and small windows. You can follow in the footsteps of great names in art and culture here - Johann Strauss, Friedrich Torberg, Gustav Klimt and many more.

You will feel it: the atmosphere in the Salzkammergut is wonderfully relaxed, even though the glamorous, magnificent past is omnipresent. The locals create crafts, customs and their traditions in a special way. They wear Dirndls and Lederhosen with pride and if you are lucky, you can even listen to a ‘Tanzlmusi’ at one of the numerous festivals, accompanied by the "Paschen", the rhythmic clapping that probably only exists here. It's a fact: in the Salzkammergut it's simply "gschmoh" - which means "cosy and perfect"!

4. Refreshing bathing spots

The lakes in the Salzkammergut are not only beautiful to look at, they also offer a welcome chance to cool down on hot summer days. There are over 70 lakes in the region – some world famous and some unknown, shallow and deep, small and big, green or turquoise blue. Some of them look like a painting with an almost surreal, kitsch beauty.

The Wolfgangsee is probably one of the most famous lakes and captivates with its almost Caribbean flair due to the shimmering turquoise water. The location is also perfect between Schafberg, Postalm and Zwölferhorn and combines the best of both worlds for those who just can't decide between lake and mountain. What could be more refreshing than diving into the cool water after a long hike and recharging your batteries?

You can enjoy even more hiking pleasure and time for the wonderful cooling off on our walking holidays lake Wolfgangsee with charm. Here you stay during the entire tour in the same feel-good accommodation with charm, save the daily hotel change and have even more time to relax and enjoy the Salzkammergut.



5. On the plate

Regional products take a central role, people appreciate high quality products here, that grow practically on their doorstep. On the menu in the Salzkammergut you will find fresh fish (largely wild caught), magnificent dairy products and specialties from the region, that have been created traditionally by hand for many years. Sheep and goat's milk products in particular are often found on the plates! At the alpine pastures you can enjoy a hearty Brettljause with alpine cheese, bacon and freshly baked bread. And a sip of home-made schnapps rounds off the experience!

Cheese snack

Delicacies from the region:

Pofesen: Traditional pastry made from slices of white bread fried in fat, filled with Powidl jam and wrapped in baking dough - tastes especially good on the alp!

Zaunerstollen: Legendary dessert made of nougat, wafers and hazelnuts, covered in chocolate and cut into slices - the perfect souvenir from the traditional confectionery Zauner in Bad Ischl.

Ausseer Lebkuchen: Gingerbread made from honey, rye flour, nuts, fruits and spices according to a 400-year-old recipe, delicious all year round


Conclusion: The Salzkammergut is a real hiking paradise in summer and offers many experiences to look forward to. From the spectacular views over countless hiking opportunities to the refreshing crystal-clear lakes to take a dip – this region as something to offer every nature fan. The experience is enhanced by the cultural and culinary delights, that make hiking in the Salzkammergut an unforgettable experience. Pack your hiking boots and let yourself be enchanted by the beauty of this unique region!

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