Summer holidays to Austria don’t get better than the lakes and mountains of Salzburgerland. Also known as the state of Salzburg, this region is made up of an area of more than 2,700 square miles, and is filled with sparkling waters, a wide range of walking routes and a collection of traditional farming towns.
St Wolfgang sits of the shores of Lake Wolfgang in the north-eastern part of the state. The authentic market town oozes charisma and local history – colourful frescoed buildings surround the pretty lakeside church and give way to the peaceful promenade below.
The legend is that the town is named after Saint Wolfgang himself, who threw an axe down the mountain and built his church where it landed.
Things to do in St Wolfgang
- Take a ride on a traditional horse-drawn carriage through the historic town centre.
- Hop on the Schafberg cog railway – Austria’s steepest cogwheel railway – and head to the Schafberg summit for spectacular views and a coffee stop at the Hotel Schafbergspitze, the oldest mountain inn in Austria.
- Visit the nearby lakeside town of Hallstatt and whizz down the original miner’s slide into the oldest salt mine in the world.
At the north of Lake Wolfgang sits quieter St Gilgen. Like St Wolfgang, it’s a historical town with all the Austrian trimmings: flower-filled balconies, onion-domed churches and painted houses.
The town is known for its strong connections to Mozart, whose family were born and lived here for many years. And now it’s dotted with streets and fountains dedicated to the composer.
Things to do in St Gilgen
- Relax on a public lakeside lido where you can swim, splash and paddle in the clear waters.
- Hop on the charming paddle steamer to neighbouring towns like St Wolfgang and Strobl to go for a wander.
- Rise above the lake on the original Zwölferhorn cable car for breathtaking scenery, fresh mountain air and wooden huts for a mid-morning coffee.
Fuschl am See
A short bus ride from Lake Wolfgang is the smallest resort of the area, Fuschl am See – a sleepy, relaxed farming town, perched on the edge of Lake Fuschl. Known for its calm, peaceful waterfront, days here are spent walking alongside the lake through the pine trees to local villages and beaches, and taking a ferry to the nearby castle ruins and mill.
Things to do in Fuschl am See
- Hire a bike and cycle the 11.8km path around the lake. With villages and beaches along the way, you can stop for a drink and dip your toes in the water.
- Deep in the woods is the Ruming Mill, with its working water wheel that grinds flour. See the children bake bread over the open fire, and enjoy a wide selection of delicious cakes in the mill’s café.
- Get out on the water in a hired rowing boat and explore the lake shores nearby.
Zell am See
In the middle of Salzburgerland lies Lake Zell and the waterfront town of Zell am See. The town is exactly how you’d imagine an Austrian town to be – narrow cobbled streets are lined with decorated buildings and lead to bustling squares filled with pavement cafes. Spend your time taking trips on mountain lifts, visiting impressive waterfalls and tranquil Alpine dams, or sitting back and getting to know the café culture.
Things to do in Zell am See
- Catch the Magic Lake Show – an evening display of water, lights, music and lasers – that take place at the lakefront several nights a week.
- Visit Austria’s highest falls, the Krimml waterfalls, set in the beautiful Hohe Tauern National Park.
- Be whisked up to the mountain summit on the Schmittenhöhe summer lift for panoramic views and a network of hiking trails.
Take a look at our Austrian holidays and see the best of Salzburgerland.