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The Travel Well Guide
City: Salzburg State: N/A Country: Austria
Salzkammergut is a World Heritage Landscape, famous for its enchanting scenery of lakes, mountains, and picturesque villages. Salzkammergut is a resort area located in Austria. It stretches from City of Salzburg to the Dachstein mountain range, spanning the federal states of Upper Austria, Salzburg, and Styria. The main river of the region is the Traun, a tributary of the Danube. The name Salzkammergut means "Estate of the Salt Chamber" and derives from the Imperial Salt Chamber, the authority charged with running the precious salt mines in the Habsburg empire.With its numerous lakes and mountains, the Salzkammergut offers many opportunities to take part in water sports, bathing, hiking, cycling and golf as well as relaxing around lakes such as the Grundlsee or Toplitzsee. The Katrinalm, an alpine pasture, is found near Bad Ischl. Typical Salzkammergut culinary specialities include dishes such as Kaiserschmarrn (cut-up and sugared pancake with raisins), Krapfen (similar to donuts) or Lebkuchen.The word "salzkammergut" means "estate of the salt chamber"; salt has been quarried here since the Bronze Age without defacing the landscape. In fact, the salt (or "white gold") trade has only added to the region's charm since it led to enormous wealth, reflected in the fine architecture of the historic towns here. The government had a monopoly on the trade and Salzkammergut was banned to outsiders until the 19th century in case they were salt smugglers. The oldest salt mine in the world is here, in the village of Hallstatt. This unbelievably quaint 17th century toy town, with its own waterfall, is squeezed precariously between the brink of the 135 m (440 ft) deep Hallstattersee (Lake Hallstaetter) and the precipitous slopes of the Dachstein mountains.The largest lake in Austria - Attersee - is one of the 76 beautiful lakes in Salzkammergut. It covers an area of 46 sq km (18 sq mi) and is famous for its pure water and easterly "Rosenwind", which wafts the scent of roses from nearby castle gardens across its waters. Perhaps the most scenically beautiful lake is Altausseersee, known as the "ink pot" for its dark blue water. And a visit to the tiny Toplitzsee, hidden deep in the mountain forest, with its murky but fascinating connection to Nazi weapons testing, stashing of gold and counterfeit currency, is a must.
Climate | When to Visit
Visit during: January to December
Directions | How to Reach
The regional train has a comprehensive service running through the heart of the Salzkammergut and on into Styria. This provides easy access to the region from both Salzburg and Vienna, passing through Gmunden, Bad Ischl, Bad Goisern, Hallstatt and Obertraun.