Trip to Salzkammergut region of Austria
22 June 2018 – 3 July 2018
3 nights Bad Goisern, 3 nights Gosau, 3 nights Ramsau am Dachstein, 2 nights Salzburg
Another walking holiday abroad has been arranged! This time it will be in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, about an hour from Salzburg, with two days at the end to enjoy some sightseeing in Salzburg. As before, we will be self-organising this trip rather than using a travel agent, which will keep our costs down and making this a good value holiday. On this holiday our walks will be self-led as well, we will not be relying on the hotels to lead us.
We will fly to Salzburg and then have an hour transfer east to the Salzkammergut area, in the shadow of Mount Dachstein (2,995 metres), with dramatic mountains plunging into sparkling
blue lakes, creating almost fjord-like landscapes with idyllic villages which clamber up the slopes above the lakes. Paths lead alongside the water at the foot of the mountains, and cable cars give easy access to the high mountains, for walks across meadows surrounded by dramatic peaks.
Our first hotel will be Agathawirt in St Agatha, part of Bad Goisern. Run by the Schenner family for several generations, this historic roadside tavern dating back to the 16th century is a typical, traditional Austrian guesthouse. There are pleasant gardens with a covered outdoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room, plus shady terraces where dinner may be served. Situated near the head of Hallstättersee, St Agatha is a well-kept village surrounded by open meadows.
After 3 nights we will move on to Landhotel Koller near the village of Gosau – this is a stunning country house hotel which may provide the highlight of our trip.
We then move on to Ramsau am Dachstein for 3 nights at Hotel Matschner, a 4* hotel in classic Austrian chalet style with lots of pine. The rooms are very comfortable and all have balconies with mountain views. This is complemented by refined, highly praised Austrian cuisine and excellent facilities that include an adjoining leisure complex comprising swimming pools, saunas and jacuzzis.
There is plenty of space to relax throughout the hotel, including a cosy woodpanelled Stube bar, a lounge with large picture windows and an indoor garden in which complimentary tea and cakes are served each afternoon.
Ramsau nestles on a sunny, south-facing plateau between the River Enns and the Dachstein Mountains, which are capped by a glacier of the same name. The range’s rocky peaks are a constant companion as we explore, dramatically framing the views on our walks past mirrorlike lakes, through pine woods, across lush pastures, through twisting gorges and along high ridges. The extensive network of paths is matched by that of the local buses which we may use to access some walks.
For our final two nights we will return to Salzburg, and have time for independent sightseeing.
Walking and other activities:-
There will be two self-guided walks each day, one of 4-6 hours, suitable for the stronger walkers, and the other for 3-4 hours. Members will be asked to lead walks. Walks will be based on the walking programme worked out by us, walking notes at the hotels, and maps provided by the hotels. Much depends on the weather, and walking conditions.
Also please note that most of the walking hotels are above 1100 metres, (Ben Nevis 1333m), and even this altitude has a small effect. On some days, we may go by minibus or use public transport to reach the start points for various walks. We may have one day off walking.
There are some other activities if you do not want to walk, although the price of these is not included in our holiday cost. So from our first two hotels it is possible to visit some interesting salt mines, or to go to Bad Ischl which was the Hapsburg’s summer residence – their villa is now open to the public. At Ramsau, there is a cable car up to the glacier with a spectacular viewing platform and thrilling suspension bridge; or a visit to a nearby town of Schladming.