Austrian lakes and mountains – hiking the Salzkammergut trail

Langbathsee-Traunsee-Tourism.jpg


The Austrian lakes and mountains region of Salzkammergut is well known for its gorgeous scenery and on our final day hiking the Salkammergut long distance trail we reached one of the most beautiful lakes – Attersee. Our first day on the Salzkammergut hiking trail had found us on the path of giants and mermaids in our walk to Traunsee, while on the second day we visited the fairytale castle of Schloss Ort and the charming lakeside town of Gmunden. Our third day on the trail took us deeper into the Salzkammergut lake district, passing three picturesque lakes surrounded by mountains, before we ended our day’s hiking in Austria at Attersee, one of the largest lakes, that’s long been a favourite of artists.

Langbathsee on the Salzkammergut long distance trail Photo: Traunsee Tourism

We arrive at Vorderer Langbathsee

As we left our Gasthaus after breakfast, the rain had swollen the river into a rushing torent below the wooden bridge that lead to the forest trail. It was an easy stroll through the forest and within an hour we had reached the first of the Austrian lakes that we would pass on this day’s walk – Vorderer Langbathsee. The shallow water was enclosed by wooded slopes, shrouded in mist which hid the higher Brunnkogel peak that rose in the direction we were heading.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Lake Vorderer Langbathsee in Salkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Lake Vorderer Langbathsee in Salkammergut, Austria

Even in the damp weather the scenery was gorgeous, with the colours of the water shading from pale blue to turquoise, luminous as if lit up from below. As it was Sunday, the cafe was closed but this was clearly a popular spot for weekend hiking in Salzkammergut and we even saw some divers venturing into the lake.

Read about Day 1 of our hike to Gmunden on the Salzkammergut trail

Austrian lakes and mountains: Hinterer Langbathsee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Lake Hinterer Langbathsee in Salzkammergut, Austria

The views at Hinterer Langbathsee in Salzkammergut

Our path skirted along the side of the lake along a flat gravel track which took us a little further to a second smaller lake of Hinterer Langbathsee. We stopped here on the wooden bridge to admire the reflections of surrounding peaks in the green water, with the clouds of mist hanging over the slopes adding an air of mystery.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Lake Hinterer Langbathsee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Lake Hinterer Langbathsee in Salzkammergut, Austria

Backtracking from the lake the path zig-zagged steeply up a slope, until we were looking back down on Hinterer Langbathsee, the lake we had just left behind. From our viewpoint it looked just like a mirror among the dense pine-clad slopes, with the mist rising above the lake.

Read about Day 2 of our hike – Fairytale Schloss Ort and hiking the Salzkammergut trail

Austrian lakes and mountains: Lake Hinterer Langbathsee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Lake Hinterer Langbathsee in Salzkammergut, Austria

After a while the wide gravel track ended and the path took us steeply down through the forest where we lost sight of the trail markings and navigated a frightening stretch of muddy slope through the trees. It was a relief when we spotted another gravel track that wound down to the main road and arrived at the next lake, Taferlklaussee.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Taferlklaussee in Salzkammergut

Taferlklaussee in Salzkammergut

A stop at Taferlklaussee in Salzkammergut

With all the recent rain, the lake was almost overflowing and we stopped here for lunch in the picnic area beside a cafe that had closed for the summer season. After a brief rest to eat the bread, cheese and snacks we’d brought, it was onwards on more forest paths, sometimes picking over slippery tree roots, other times through long grass and brambles. Through the trees below us was a tantalising glimpse of a much easier gravel road, but we persisted with the forest track and reached a junction with the path up to the Hochleckenhaus peak rising to 1500metres above us.

Read about Day 1 of our hike to Gmunden on the Salzkammergut trail

Austrian lakes and mountains: Hiking on the Salzkammergut trail in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hiking on the Salzkammergut trail in Austria

Normally we would have been up for the challenge of the much higher mountain paths, but with the rain it would have been too dangerous to attempt this path. Instead our route through the lower slopes of the forest became gradually easier until at last we emerged onto an open slope of meadow with lake Attersee below us, one of the prettiest in the Austrian lake district.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Hiking to Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Austrian lakes and mountains:: Hiking to Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hiking to Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria

Our three days of walking in Salzkammergut was nearly at an end and it was a relief to be out of the slippery forest trails. Since it was now late afternoon, we hurried down the slope, past farm buildings and houses reaching the lakeside road to Attersee and Hotel Fottinger, where we’d be spending the night.

Read about Day 2 of our hike – Fairytale Schloss Ort and hiking the Salzkammergut trail

Austrian lakes and mountains: Hotel Fottinger in Steinbach Seefeld, Attersee, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

We arrive at Hotel Fottinger in Steinbach am Attersee, Austria

Arriving at Hotel Fottinger at Steinbach Attersee

As you can see from our end-of-walk photo, we rather resembled drowned rats after 3 days of walking in Austria through the rain and were thankful for the chance to dry off and smarten up in the lovely Hotel Fottinger, which was set right by the lake.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Hotel Forringer in Steinbach Seefeld, Attersee, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hotel Forringer in Steinbach am Attersee, Austria

We soon warmed up in our comfortable bedroom with wooden floors and cheery flowered curtains, which gave out to a balcony with red geranium window boxes and views of the lake. Later that evening we enjoyed a meal in the hotel’s restaurant which served excellent local fare, and I tried some of the pan fried lake trout with salad and parsley potatoes.

Hotel Fottinger is a 4 star family owned hotel with 42 bedrooms, overlooking over the lake, with its own marina for you to bring your sailing boat. More information and to book: www.hotel-attersee.at

Austrian lakes and mountains: Hotel Fottinger on the Salzkammergut trail

Hotel Fottinger on the Salzkammergut trail

Sunshine at Attersee in the Salzkammergut lake district

What a difference a day makes! We opened the curtains the next morning to find that the rain of the past few days had blown away to give us blue skies and sunshine sparkling on the lake. There was just time for a wander along the lake shore to see the sailing boats moored in the small marina in front of the hotel.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria

Gustav Mahler at Attersee in Salzkammergut

We learned from the hotel that Attersee was one of the Austrian lakes that was a favourite summer spot for artists and musicians in the 19th century, visited by the composer Gustav Mahler and artist Gustav Klimt. Mahler spent several summers at Attersee with his family between 1893 and 1896 and had a small hut built in a field beside the lake, where he could retreat to compose at his grand piano, away from family distractions.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Gustav Mahler hut by Attersee in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Gustav Mahler hut by Attersee in Austria

The hut is now in the grounds of the campsite in front of Hotel Fottinger, so we borrowed the key from reception to go and look inside at his grand piano and information about the composer and the artistic life of Austria at the time. We also found books to read about Mahler in the hotel and there’s a music festival celebrating Mahler’s music in July – you can find out more on the website www.Mahler-Steinbach.at.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Gustav Mahler hut by Attersee in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Gustav Mahler hut by Attersee in Austria

After all the rain we’d experienced in our walk over the previous three days, it was relaxing to walk by the lake shore, venture out onto the narrow jetty and hear the sailboats clinking in the marina with the morning sun sparkling on the water.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria

Our three days of walking in Salzkammergut was at an end, but the advantage of this long distance hiking trail through the lakes and mountains region of Austria, is that it can be tackled in easy stages. I’d love to return to continue our walk onwards to the other Austrian lakes of Wolfgangsee and Mondsee for more stunning scenery and hiking in Salzkammergut.

Where to stay on the Salzkammergut long distance trail

On this section of the walk we also stayed at Landgasthouse in der Kreh, in a comfortable apartment overlooking the fields where the owner’s horses were grazing. This cosy gasthaus sits in the countryside at the intersection of several hiking routes and offers a hearty breakfast as well as a popular terrace restaurant for lunch in summer.

More information and to book: Landgasthaus in der Kreh website | Facebook

Austrian lakes and mountains: Landgasthof in der Kreh

Landgasthof in der Kreh

More stories about walking in Austria

Read about Day 1 of our hike to Gmunden on the Salzkammergut trail
Read about Day 2 of our hike – Fairytale Schloss Ort and hiking the Salkammergut trail

Visitor information for hiking in Salzkammerkut

There is detailed information on the website for the Salkammerkut BergeSeen or long distance hiking trail, including walking notes and maps that can be downloaded and printed. Take a look at holiday offers for accommodation packages that save you money and make it easy to arrange a walking trip on different parts of the trail, with the possibility to have your baggage transported each day.

For more information on walking holidays in Austria in the Salzkammergut lakes and mountains region, check out the tourism websites for  Salzkammergut (the whole lakes & mountains region) as well as the tourism board websites for each of the lake-regions of Almtal, Traunsee and Attersee that we visited. You can find more information on holidays in Austria on the Austria Tourism website.

Thanks to the tourism boards of Traunsee, Almtal and Attersee in Salzkammergut for hosting my hiking trip in Austria.

See more Salzkammergut photos on Flickr

We walked Section 2 – Ebensee to Steinbach am Attersee

Duration: 6h
Length: 18 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 620m
Altitude difference (downhill): 850m
Lowest point: 509m
Highest point: 960m

About the Salzkammergut long distance trail

The Salzkammergut BergeSeen or long distance hiking trail was inaugurated in the spring of 2017, creating a 350 km long distance route that covers the whole of the Salzkammergut region of Austria. The long distance route brings together numerous local trails that already existed, with new signage and route maps that make it very easy to hike the sections individually or by combining as many stages as you wish. Each section of the trail is planned to be a day’s hiking, and these vary in length from 4 hours to 8 hours, with 20 sections in all, making it possible to walk for 20 days if you want to make the whole trail in one round. Most hikers will probably do as we did and pick a section of the trail to walk for a few days as time allows. With excellent public transport in Austria it is also easy to move between the start points for each stage, if you wish to miss out a section.

Austrian lakes and mountains: Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Attersee in Salzkammergut, Austria

There are also more advanced ‘Alpine Routes’ that can be added to the trail, that take you high into the mountains, although these are for more experienced hikers and should only be undertaken in good weather. Each stage starts/ finishes at a point where there are good accommodation options, with at least one place to stay and normally a range of different accommodation. The Salzkammergut long distance trail is a great way for walkers to get an overview of this beautiful region of lakes and mountains, with interesting and historic towns to visit, stunning scenery and plenty of welcoming guesthouses and restaurants to stop for a drink or lunch on the trail.

 Austrian lakes and mountains: Luftbild Hochlecken in Salzkammergut

Luftbild Hochlecken in Salzkammergut photo: Salzkammergut Tourism

Maps and Guides for the Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail

If you are just walking a few sections of the Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail you can download the walking instruction and maps at the trail website – Click on the numbered section you plan to walk and at the bottom click Create PDF, which generates a document in either English or German with walking instructions and maps that can be printed. You can also buy maps and guides listed below which is recommended if you want to have a good overview of the trail. Maps and guides of the trail are also available from tourism offices and shops along the trail.

Recommended: Kompass hiking guide Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail – Buy on Amazon

Salzkammergut guideThis hiking guide gives instructions on each of the sections of the trail as well as including a map. This guide with map has all you need for the whole trail. Be sure to order the correct language version of the guide as it is available in both English and German.

If the guide book is not available, you can also buy the following maps and use them in combination with printed walking notes that you download from the website.

Kompass 1:50 000 map Salzkammergut BergeSeen Trail – Buy on Amazon

This map covers the whole of the Bergeseen Trail but in individual sections so you don’t get the overview of the region.

Kompass 1:50 000 2-map set no 229 Salkammergut – Buy on Amazon

This 2 part set covers the whole of the BergeSeen Trail

Kompass 1:50 000 map no 18 Nordlisches Salzkammergut – Buy on Amazon

This map covers Traunsee, Attersee and Wolfgangsee including the sections 20, 1, 2 that we walked although the first part of section 20 from Grünau is not covered. 

Pin it

Read about the Austrian Lakes and Mountains - hiking the Salzkammergut trail

Photo credits: Where credited I have used photos from the Traunsee and Salzkammergut tourism board to show you what the area looks like in the sunny weather that is normally experienced through the summer and into September.

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

Click to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, news and reader offers

Subscribe to Heather on her travels newsletter

Top