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The following itinerary is an example of a possible route with various activities.
It can reorganized to fit your interests, budget and schedule. It can also be combined with any of the other programs on our website.
Your trip starts in Salzburg. Arrive Salzburg International Airport or central Train Station and private transfer to your downtown hotel. Pick up your Globe Trotter Travel documents at the front desk as you check in. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Salzburg - 1° Overnight
A whole day is more than enough to fall head over heels in love with Salzburg. This short stay should begin with a delightful breakfast at one of the many coffee houses with their cozy niches and picturesque terraces.
Fortified by a plentiful breakfast you are ready to spend the day enjoying a myriad of activities: if you want shopping you'll can stroll along the Getreidegasse, full of some great shops. For those who "aim high", they have two city mountains to choose from the Mönchsberg or the Kapuzinerberg, different from each other for what they offer to their visitors: while the Kapuzinerberg promises especially peace and tranquility of nature, the Mönchsberg has various attractions including the Museum of Modern Art, the m32 Restaurant and Hohensalzburg Fortress. Or you can head south to Hellbrunn Palace with its Trick Fountains or take a cable car to the top of the Untersberg.
A long walk necessarily includes these attractions: Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Cathedral, the Franciscan Church, St. Peter's Monastery, Church and Cemetery, Mozart's Birthplace in Getreidegasse, the Residence and its magnificent State Rooms and the Mirabell Gardens on the other side of the Salzach River with its Pegasus Fountain, Dwarves Garden, Hedge Theater and Rose Garden.
All those who want to end the evening in peace and in a pleasant atmosphere, you can enjoy a glass of wine at one of the bars or eat a würstel at one of the sausage stands or stroll through the Romantic Old City at night.
Salzburg - 2° Overnight
After your breakfast at your Salzburg's hotel and driving west, the Salzkammergut lakes are the first stop, a corner of a old-time Austria and Styria. As into a idyllic bucolic scenery, you travel between rolling hills and stretches of water nestled in the green.
The places have not changed since the nineteenth century, when emperors and Habsburgic nobility spent here their holidays. First, you find the small Lake Fuschlsee: on the top of a isolated promontory, you see the white and red profile of the castel Fuschl, turned into a luxury hotel: here movies dedicated to Princess Sissi were filmed, starring Romy Schneider. Worth seeing is the bar-restaurant over the water to admire the view: on the river bank, the fish shop of the Castle produces handmade delicious smoked fishes.
Driving southeast, you reach the crystal clear waters of the Wolfgangsee lake: on the northern shore lies the St. Wolfgang village characterized by its typical houses with flowering balconies and sloping roofs. After a visit to the pilgrimage church, on the shore, with a late Gothic altarpiece, worth seeing is also the Zum Weißen Rössl hotel & restaurant (White Horse Inn), became famous for being the setting of the homonymous operetta. Mount Schafberg stands above the small village: you reach the summit by a rack railway, the view extends extends up to the Dachstein Glacier and the Tauern Mountains.
Later you reach to the spa town of Bad Ischl, where the Hapsburg royal family spent their holidays: just here Franz Joseph met his future wife Princess Sissi. Even today, the town is rich of buildings Belle Époque style and signs that recall the past splendors. The portrait of Sissi stands out in the tea room of the Zauner Café, coffee and pastry shop that was the official supplier of the Habsburgs. Just outside the town you can visit the Kaiservilla, Imperial Villa, which Franz Joseph’s mother, Princess Sophie of Bavaria purchased as a wedding present for the couple.
Traveling south, you reach Hallstätter See lake, where the delicious medieval village of Hallstatt overlooks with its bell tower and houses with sloping roofs reflecting on the crystal clear water. The fairytale atmosphere has turned the village into a true Austrian icon, frequented by tourists all over the world and protected by Unesco. Worth visiting is the parish church, with a polyptych of the XVI century, and the nearby Ossuary, which keeps one of the the most remarkable collections of painted skulls: a singular ritual, dating back to the seventeenth century, wants the dead people are exhumed and their skulls decorated by inscriptions and religious symbols and then exposed.
Hallstatt - 3° Overnight
Taking the 166 state highway and continuing along the 162, in one hour you arrive to Hallein. It is the second largest town of the Salzburg state; here, the salt mines are hidden in the heart of nearby Mount Dürrnberg. The extraction of salt at Hallein became crucial for the economic wealth of the Salzburg Archbishopric In the 11th century. The Celts, founders of the town, was the first to extract the salt: today their civilization is recreated with precious finds in the Celtic Museum (Kelenmuseum).
The Bad Dürrnberg salt mines, no longer in operation, have become a tourist attraction: after wearing a miner’s coverall, you enter into the depth of the mountain aboard the train used by the miners in past time and then you go ahead on foot, taking ramps and crossing also a saline lake on board a raft.
From Hallein, in 20 minutes, you reach via highway Werfen, situated in the valley of the Salzach River, about 40 km south of the city of Salzburg: the Hohenwerfen castle stands out above the medieval town, perched like a eagle’s nest on a high rock. The Castle, dated back to the XI century, is one of the best preserved medieval fortress in the region: in the past it was used as hunting residence by Salzburg’s rulers, the prince-archbishops and as prisons: Hohenwerfen was used as the castle in the 1968 film “Where Eagles Dare”. Nowadays within the fortress there is the historical Salzburg Falconry with the falconry museum. The historic Falconry Centre is a special attraction, offering daily flight demonstrations by various birds of prey.
Nearby, a mountain houses a spectacular secret: a natural limestone ice cave. It is the largest ice cave in the world with its more than 42 kilometers of passageways. The ice formations in the cave were formed by thawing snow which drained into the cave and froze during winter. You can reach the site by a steep cable car and after walking along a short final stretch. Twenty kilometres south, nearby Sankt Johann im Pongau, is located Liechtensteinklamm, a particularly narrow gorge with walls up to 300m high: you can walk through its rocky tunnel and across footbridges above gurgling water up to a waterfall.
Werfen - 4° Overnight
From Sankt Johann, driving east along the state route number 311 you reach the Zeller See, a lake surrounded by a crown of peaks, with a very clear turquoise water and suitable for swimming or diving, but can be chilly. Zell am See, located on the western shore of the deep lake, is a town of medieval origin with hotels renowned, old inns and traditional taverns. Behind the lake, the Mount Schmittenhöhe stands out with its 1,965 m above sea level high: the summit (you reach it by cable car) offers a breathtaking view above the higher Austrian peaks from Grossglockner (3.798 m) to Kitzsteinhorn (3.202 m).
A breathtaking view is also the one that you can admire from the highest panorama platform in the centre of Austria’s highest mountains, the Gipfelwelt 3000 on the glacier Kitzsteinhorn, at the foot of the mountain. At the foot of the mountain, worth stopping is also the charming old village of Kaprun with its Romanesque castle of the XII century, well renovated.
Zell am See - 5° Overnight
You are on the border of the National Park of The Hohe Tauern (High Tauern), which offers visitors magnificent views: several glacial valleys and alluvial fans, as well as extended tundra areas and forests. A excellent introduction to the world of the National Park, is the newly built visitor centre in Mittersill that displays the treasures and the uniqueness of the territory through spectacular images and multimedia interactive installations.
Then you go directly to explore the park: the ideal is to visit the park in the beginning of summer, when the nature unleashes all its life force, with meadows covered with flowers, marmots stretched out in the sun and the sky embroidered by flocks of birds in flight.
A concentrated of its beauties, it’s the Grossglockner High Alpine Road that winds along 48 kilometers, with a difference in height of over 1.500 metres, up to the foot of the glacier Grossglockner. Along the route you find a museum of alpine ecology, the Haus Alpine Naturschau, art exhibitions and outdoor didactic trails; stop at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, the most spectacular point, where you can enjoy a wonderful view directly on the glacier. But you need leave the car and walk to discover another great attraction of the park, the Krimml Waterfalls: they are the highest waterfall in central Europe, with a total height of 380 metres (1,247 feet) that plunges downward in three stages.
Arrive to Mauterndorg for dinner and overnight.
Mauterndorf - 6° Overnight
Last stop of your itinerary before returning to Salzburg, to the extreme south-west of Salzburgerland, is the Burg Mauterndorf Castle, built on the site of an old Roman fort in XIII century as a customs station along a trade road that crosses the Tauern Mountains. Nowadays it houses a medieval theme exhibition, with special activities for children and events in local costume.
Salzburg - 7° Overnight