The Beautiful Lakes District Of Austria

One of the most beautiful regions of Austria is well known to Austrians and Germans but is not often visited by people from the rest of the world. If you say you are traveling to Austria, people presume you are going to Vienna, Innsbruck or Salzburg. But would you believe that less than 20 miles outside of Salzburg is a wonderful resort area that most of you are familiar with. Don’t know what I’m talking about…read on and you will discover a lovely region that was made famous by the movie The Sound of Music.

Doesn’t This Look Like A Scene From The Sound Of Music

I think this lovely area of Austria will entice you to forget about Vienna…at least for a little while.

The Salzkammergut, more commonly known as the Lake District, is made up of ten large lakes and many, many smaller ones in the rolling foothills of the majestic Alps. Driving on country roads, you pass picture postcard villages  along the shores of crystal clear blue and green lakes where swans paddle by.

Graceful Swans On Every Lake

I wish we could have had a sign on our car saying “this car makes sudden and frequent stops” so that we could have stopped at every beautiful sight that appeared around the bends in the roads. We saw beautiful two-storied homes with attached barns, onion domed church steeples off in the distance and the occasional castle perched on a hill.

Castle Perched On A Hill

The hotel for this part of my husband’s and my stay in this region of Austria was Ebner’s Waldhof in Fuschl am See. We stayed at this family run hotel last year and enjoyed it so much that we decided to return . If you remember my post from last year, it rained and snowed during our stay at the Waldhof…this year we had lovely sunshine.

Ebner’s Waldhof am See

The Waldhof is a “Alpine Wellness” hotel and uses herbs and medicinal plants grown in their own gardens in both their cooking and in spa treatments.

Herb Distillery Kitchen In The Waldhof Spa

The hotel includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and cakes, and a five course meal in their half board rates. The food on their vital menu was delicious, healthy and calorie friendly. Believe me that is important after weeks of eating decadent meals on our tour of Germany and Austria.

Beef Carpaccio With Potato And Pumpkin Seed
Roasted And Smoked Neck Of Suckling Pig With Sprouted Lentils With Cabbage And Bread Dumplings
Lukewarm Chocolate Cake With Banana Salad

Would you believe just over 500 calories for the three delicious dishes in the photos.

Each day at breakfast, there was a newsletter listing daily activities such as guided bike tours, carriage rides, archery and golf lessons plus a complete children’s program.  We took the hotel’s suggestion of an area in the region to tour each day. On our first day’s adventure, we headed a few miles away to Lake Wolfgang.

The lake is beautiful and it’s most visited town is St. Wolfgang. The views from the town’s 12th century pilgrimage church just above the lake were lovely.

View From St. Wolfgang Church

The church’s historic winged altar is stunning. Unfortunately the church doesn’t allow photos of the interior. It was fun exploring the narrow lanes of colorful shops and cafes.

Narrow Lanes Of Colorful Shops And Cafes

The small village of Strobi was less touristy. I love the nice blend of old and new in this pretty little town.

Old And New Adds To The Charm Of Strobi

Everywhere you look, there is beautiful bronze artwork in the grassy green park next to the water.

Wonderful Bronze Artwork In the Grassy Park Of Strobi

St. Gilgen is the third town on the lake. This picturesque town is the birth place of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s mother and the later home of his sister. Now you can see the connection of his name…Wolfgang. The wonderful little town hall has a lovely fountain and sculpture of a young Mozart playing his violin.

St. Gilgen Town Hall With Fountain And Mozart Statue

Colorful buildings line the main street next to where boats take passengers for tours across the lake.

Some Of St. Gilgen’s Colorful Buildings

Our next excursion took us in the direction of Linz, to the town of Kremsmuster, that is known for one of Austria’s most important baroque monasteries. The monastery dates back to 777 AD and is one of the oldest in central Europe. It is known for its art treasures and manuscripts. The church within the monastery is one of the most beautiful that I’ve seen while traveling.

Kremsmuster Monastery Church
The Interior Of The Kremsmuster Church

There are eight 16th century Flemish tapestries that are wrapped around the pillars in the church that I’ve never seen done in any other church that I have visited in Europe.

On the return to the hotel we stopped in Gmunden, a busy town that has a lovely promenade overlooking the Traunstein Lake. The town is known for its ceramic bells at the city hall.

Gmunden City Hall And Its Ceramic Bells

We enjoyed this beautiful region during the fall when it is less crowded. You could spend several weeks in the summer enjoying this lovely area as there is so much to explore and things to do. Picturesque towns, lakes and mountains with hiking, biking, and every water sport that you can imagine.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

159 thoughts on “The Beautiful Lakes District Of Austria

  1. Hi, Those places are so beautiful. You’re so lucky had a chance to enjoy your traveling there. I wish one day I could come there. 😀 And your pictures, they are so gorgeous. 🙂

    1. Thank you Beatrix for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I do hope that you will get a chance to visit the beautiful lakes in Austria on day.

    1. Thank you Jenny, for taking time to stop by and your nice compliment. I do hope that you get the opportunity to visit Austria…it is beautiful.

  2. Pretty bad when I’m envious of a COW. Goodness-what a beautiful meadow that one has to graze. I wish I were there right now!
    Glad you are seeing so many wonderful sights (and sharing them with ME!)

    1. Hi Sue, I had to laugh at your being envious of a cow but I do understand. The meadows in the rolling hills are just gorgeous. I’m glad that you are enjoying the posts on our adventure…thanks!

    1. Hi Karen, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. Austria is such a wonderful country to visit. Can you believe the calories for that delicious meal.

  3. Glad the weather is good. I am so enjoying the trip and the gorgeous sceneries. My favorite photos are the swan and its reflection also the Interior Of The Kremsmuster Church. Can you imagine building that church today?

    1. Hi Norma, I can’t tell you how happy we have been to have nice weather…especially after the rainy start to our trip. I can’t believe how many swans are on each of the lakes we have visited. I can’t imagine the time that went into building such a beautiful church…it is very impressive.

    1. Hi John, The bread and cabbage dumplings were terrific. If I had to describe them, I would say that they were similar in texture to fried potato pancakes…crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

  4. Such a great tour of Austria! The first picture looks exactly like The Sound of Music – my daughter’s all-time favorite movie! Such a clean beautiful country. I love the pig neckbone meal – neckbone (generally beef) is so tender and wonderful to eat – I keep trying to find a way to introduce it to my blog.

    1. Thank you Kelli, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I thought the same thing…it looked like a scene from the Sound of Music. The neck of the pig was indeed tender and very flavorful.

  5. Karen , your photography continues to amaze me – just breathtaking. I am so glad that the weather is nice and warm and sunny too. My favorite picture is the one of the Herb Destillery Kitchen in The Waldhof Spa!

    1. Thank you Andrea, for your lovely compliment. Sunny weather sure does make it easier to get nice photos of this beautiful region. The herb distillery was very interesting. The spa was nice enough to explain how they make and use distilled products for use in the spa. Their herb gardens were right outside the door.

  6. I can see that I have missed a very beautiful part of Austria in past travels, Karen. The tapestry wrapped pillars in the church are magnificent. Seeing this part of Austria is high on my travel list. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos, Cathy. The church with its tapestry wrapped pillars was stunningly beautiful. Hopefully, you will get a chance to visit this area on a return trip as I think you will enjoy it as much as we have.

  7. It looked that I was traveling with you! 🙂 Such beauty! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, dear Karen! 🙂 The 1st picture looked like the scenery of the Sound of Music: gosh, I loved that film!

    1. Hi Sophie, I’m glad to know that it felt like you were with us on this adventure. When I took that first photo, I thought the same thing. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Donna, The lake district was so beautiful…especially with the nice weather we had compared to last year. I think that you would enjoy the Waldhof spa. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Thank you Victoria, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post…it is always my pleasure to share our travels with everyone.

    1. Hi Debra, You are right…it is not all that far. I think you would definitely enjoy visiting the lake district…it is really beautiful.

    1. Hi Mary, I do have to say that Austria is absolutely beautiful. Everything you would think it would be and more. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post.

  8. I’m so glad that the weather has brightened up for your trip! Your camera is just going to break pretty soon from the sheer photographic beauty of the scenes you’re shooting. If you weren’t in the travel business before you retired, Karen, you should have been…you’re a terrific guide!

    1. Thank you Betsy, for your very nice compliment. I have taken friends on our trips with us and they all think I should be in the travel business as well. I think it is just nice being able to share our journeys with my blogging friends.

  9. as they would say in Austria – unglaublich! (Absolutely and exquisitely) unbelievable! From the lakes to the mountains, the rolling countryside, the architecture, pretty much the everything of it all, just so lovely! Happy you’re sharing your views with us! Continued safe and happy travels!

    1. Thank you Spree, for your lovely compliment and wish. I’m happy that you have enjoyed the posts I’ve done on Austria and Germany. It truly is a beautiful part of the world.

  10. Lovely! I haven’t been to Austria. I guess I’ll have to put it on the list. I guess they’re taking tips from the Italians with the “no photos inside” business. I do find that annoying.

    1. Hi Michelle, You should definitely put Austria on you list of wonderful places to visit. This is the first church I have been in that didn’t allow photos. Of course you don’t won’t to ignore rules in a church…you might get struck by lightning. LOL.

  11. Just…wow. Everything from mountain, to lake, to architecture, to swan is just gorgeous. You have reignited my childhood dream of being a Von Trapp (the Hollywood version—who wouldn’t want Christopher Plummer as a dad?). Stunning!

    1. Hi Heather, I’m glad that you enjoyed the beauty of this region…there is always something new to discover. Being a Von Trapp with Christopher Plummer as your dad…not a bad dream.

  12. Another fabulous trip…and once again, I’m touring right along with you. Too bad I just can’t taste all the delicious food! That kitchen looks fun! And certainly a good choice to slip in a “spa” hotel along the way! That church is beautiful, truly a one of a kind.

    1. Hi Linda, I’m glad you are enjoying following along on our trip. Wish I could do something about the “taste” issue. The spa kitchen really was interesting. You are right about the church being one of a kind…it was gorgeous.

    1. Hi Uru, This truly is a beautiful region and you are right about it being fit for royalty. Austrian royalty came to this area for years…especially to Bad Ischl where you can tour their palace.

    1. Hi Eva, The scenery really is beautiful everywhere you look. It has been so nice to have sunshine on this portion of our trip…last year we had snow when we were in this region.

  13. Hello from Austria! Your pictures are very beautiful. I live in Vienna and made a day-trip today to the Lake District to my favourite lake, Lake Altaussee in Styria. It is so beautiful there, and for me it is one of the most beautiful places in Austria. You should stop by if you have a chance. I hope to upload a few pictures later in the evening. Nice greetings from an Austrian reader!

    1. Hello Birgitlikes, I’m happy to have an Austrian reader stop. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos from your lovely country. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Celia, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos…isn’t this a beautiful area of Austria. All of the sights remind me so much of The Sound of Music…I’m glad you agree. We are lucky that the weather has turned sunny.

  14. It’s probably just me, but I’d never say “Lake District” when I could say Salzkammergut! Love that name. And love the pictures – such incredible scenery. It does look like something out of the Sound of Music. Very cool Mozart statue. Such a great vacation you’re having! I’d be green with envy except that you keep plying us with pictures and great info, so we really are right there. Thanks.

    1. Hi John, I thought about using Salzkammergut in the title but I decided that most people wouldn’t have any idea what I was talking about. The scenery in this area is absolutely beautiful. I’m glad that you are enjoying the tour. Thank you for your nice comment.

  15. ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music!’ . . . Weren’t you lucky with the weather: I must have been in Salzkammergut at least 3-4 times during my travels, but it has never quite looked like the film or like this 😀 ! Love the food on the table: but hmm, exactly how many calories over 500 were there 😉 ? As far as I’m concerned both Austrians and Bavarians have some difficulties with that kind of math!!

    1. Hi Eha, The weather was perfect this time…as you we have been in this area several times when it was either snowing or raining. As for the calories…I think it is all about portion control. If you look at the photo of the dessert and compare the size of the banana slice or strawberry with the size of the chocolate cake you can see that the portions are not huge…just the perfect size for several courses. Thank you for your nice comment.

  16. So this is what they mean by “picture perfect”. Your posts inspire me to blog more frequently about my travels, Karen. I have been lazy of late 🙂 Just got back from S. Korea..difficult for a vegetarian, but their kimchis and rice dishes are spicy and delicious!

    1. Welcome back from South Korea, Madame Scientist. I’m glad you are enjoying the posts of our trip through Austria and Germany. It is nice to know that I am inspiring you to write about your travels.

    1. Hi Rita, Last year when we visited this area the first week of October, we had rain and then snow. Not exactly great weather to explore the region…this year we had beautiful sunshine.

  17. Wow, those pictures of the Kremsmuster church are amazing. I love visiting old churches and to see one that is so bright and cheerful is quite inspirational. Too bad St. Wolfgang did not allow picture taking. The photo through the window looks so tranquil.

    1. Hi Ruth, The Kremsmuster church was incredible. Even though it is large and white, there was such a warm feeling about it. The altar of the St. Wolfgang church was amazing…I’m really sorry I couldn’t share photos of it.

  18. Karen, thank you so much. I just showed my kids The Sound of Music for the first time tonight. One hour later I find your post. Tomorrow I will share it with them. I’m so glad you’re having such a fabulous trip.

    1. Hi Little Sis, What a coincidence that you just watched The Sound of Music before reading my post. We are having a wonderful trip…thank you.

  19. So very glad for you, Karen, that the weather has brightened. I cannot imagine touring that area in the rain. That opening photograph is so beautiful as to seem unreal, a computer graphic image, if anything. Thanks for showing me a stunning part of the World.

    1. Hi John, This area looks like something out of a movie, doesn’t it. It took a little doing to get the first photo out in the field but it is real…I had muddy shoes to show for it. The sunny weather has made all the difference in this portion of our trip…thank you.

    1. Thank you Emmy, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you are enjoying following along on our trip. We are having a wonderful vacation.

    1. Hi Tandy, The weather has been so much better than on our last trip to this region. Most all the hotels where we have stayed include half board…it is definitely the way to travel in this area as the food is delicious. The hotels are known as much for their food as for there facilities. Unfortunately, that usually isn’t the case at home.

  20. As soon as I saw the first photo I flashed to The Sound of Music! I love the bronze statuary and photos of the interior Of The Kremsmuster Church. I am quite sure that as you drive you must have difficulty deciding how often to stop for photo shoots. Everywhere you look is a beautiful setting! I want that chocolate cake…low in calories? Wow! 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, Doesn’t it look just like The Sound of Music. There are no shoulders on the sides of the road to pull over so it makes taking photos very difficult. I loved the bronze statue of the couple laying in the grass looking out at the lake. The interior of the Kremsmuster church was outstanding.

    1. Hi Chris, We were very lucky with the weather this year…last year it did snow while we were at the lakes. I don’t mind snow but I would rather have sun while exploring such a beautiful area as this.

  21. Have never been to Austria – I really should! My parents spent a holiday in just the area you post abot today and said it was so beautifuil, like being in a postcard! Love that bronze….very, very lovely 🙂

    1. Hi Tanya, Your parents are right about this area looking like something from a postcard. I do hope that you get a chance to travel to Austria sometime…I know that you would love it. Every part of the country that we have visited is just wonderful. Don’t you just love the bronze of the couple laying in the grass looking out over the water.

  22. Gorgeous Karen! It makes me nostalgic about my childhood in Switzerland……even though Austria is totally different to the part where I grew up, we did a lot of travelling in the Sud-Tirol region of Italy and it is just gob-smacking beautiful with those gorgeous onion dome buildings! And so great that you got some nice weather this year. And about that 500 calorie meal…..I can’t believe it! It looks too decadent to be true, but that just shows how good food doesn’t need to be bad for you! Keep the pictures coming!

    1. Hi Carla, Thank you for your lovely compliment…I’m glad you are enjoying the posts. I know what you mean about this area being so beautiful. We were in the Sub-Tirol last year and it is very similar as is areas of Switzerland that we have traveled to. The meal was small portions of delicious food…we left the table full and happy.

  23. Beautiful pictures, Karen! Looks like you are having a good time! As I am scrolling through your pictures, I have Raindrops on and whiskers on kittens in my head. I loved Austria and one of the places I want to re-visit.

    1. Thank you, Ming for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos of Austria. I do hope that you get the chance to return for another visit. Now I have that song in my head…so that makes two of us.

    1. Hi Anna, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of the lake region. I have not been to the Lungau but knowing how beautiful the rest of the country is, I’m sure your area is lovely.

    1. Hi Greg, I wouldn’t mind having one of those little distilleries also. Instead of just making hard apple cider, I could make apple brandy. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos…thanks for the compliment.

    1. Thank you David, for your very nice compliment. You are going to be surprised to know that I am using a small point and shot for all the photos that you see. It is a Canon S100. It fits into the pocket of a jacket so I can take it anywhere and it’s small enough to not be bothersome to others when I’m in a restaurant. I’m very happy with the photos I get using it.

    1. Hi Larry, You really had me laughing with your comment. I’m sorry to be driving you crazy with the food and the beautiful scenery on this trip. A stop in Germany and then we will be heading home.

    1. Hi Teresa, Thank you for your wish and comment. We are lucky to have the time to travel. There is so much to see while in Europe, so we like to devote a few days to explore each area before heading to another.

  24. That first photo almost looks too good to be true. What a wonderful holiday you are having. I think if I was there my camera would be constantly running out of battery. I’d be taking so many images. Looks magical xx

    1. Hi Charlie, The entire area of the lake district looks like that…picture perfect. You are right…I’m charging my camera battery often. Thank you, we are having a wonderful holiday.

  25. The one thing I remember well from Austria was the pride they took in the appearance of the buildings, with window boxes brimming over with flowers. Just beautiful. Great photos – keep the food coming.

    1. Hi Suzanne, I’m glad you are enjoying the photos of Austria and the food. Austrians really do have pride in the appearance of their homes and land…just beautiful.

  26. The picture of the interior of the Kremsmuster just blew me away. Mr. N even said, “Oh wow.” That is a beautiful piece of architecture. Enjoy Germany! Can’t wait for me and to get caught up on what I’ve missed. 🙂

    1. Hi Kristy, The Kremsmuster church was absolutely beautiful. The tapestries added such color and warmth. I’m glad you are enjoying our journey.

    1. Hi Mandy, It is a beautiful region of Austria. The sun was shining the whole time we were in this lovely area and it made such a difference than on previous trips.

  27. wonderful post… I remember this unforgettable film and also looks like coming from the film, your photographs. Thank you dear Karen, you took me to the far days… Love, nia

    1. Thank you T.W., for your nice compliment…Austria certainly is a beautiful country. Go pull out your books and enjoy the memories of your visit.

  28. I am green with envy. I think Austria is one of my most favorite travel destinations. Helene from has done a guest post for me of a Salzburger Nockerl that I will post this week. I can’t wait to make it myself. Fantastic holiday!

    1. Hi MJ, Thank you for your very nice comment. I glad you are enjoying following along on our trip. Hope you get a chance to visit this beautiful area.

  29. Beautiful photos on a beautiful day in Austria Karen. You are right most of us stay only visiting Vienna, Innsbruck or Salzburg. But this is a lovely place!

    1. Hi Katerina, Thank you for your nice compliment. We did have beautiful weather for this part of our trip. The small towns are so lovely…they are well worth visiting.

  30. Some photos look like from a fairytale… It seems that Austrian cuisine excels not only in heavy, traditional dishes but also in very artistic light nouvelle cuisine!

    1. Hi Sissi, So much of Austria looks straight from a fairytale. I have been please with the Austrian cuisine…it is really delicious. Thank you for your comment.

  31. Wonderful photos. We are discussing an upcoming trip and Austria has been mentioned a few times. We haven’t decided yet. And can you believe I still haven’t seen the Sound of Music. What’s wrong with me 🙂

    1. Hi TBM, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I think you should definitely consider visiting Austria…it is a beautiful country.

  32. How lovely. We saw a glimpse of this area when we were in Salzburg many years ago. Austria is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. As others have commented, it seems like a fairy tale. We were very impressed with the swans. Wow, I haven’t looked at our pictures in years. Thanks so much for sharing yours with us.

    1. Hi Sam, I do agree with you that Austria is one of the most beautiful countries in Austria. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  33. Hi Karen, would you please come home now? Your photos make every place look so delicious. My husband and I have now put this area on our “travel to” list and I want to for sure see the cows, lake and mountain spot – gorgeous!

    1. Hi Linda, I’m glad to hear that you want to put this area on your “travel to” list. I know that you will enjoy it throughly. As to heading home…we will be there before long.

  34. That church looks incredible – truly. Such amazing architecture and the first photo – wow, I see what you mean. I’m expecting people to run up the mountain singing in a big flowing dress, haha 😀

    1. Hi Charles, The church was one of the prettiest that I have visited. The plaster work on the ceiling was just incredible. I was expecting to hear singing in the distance when I took that first photo. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Asmita, It is nice to know how much you enjoyed the photos. I do hope that you get a chance to visit Europe some day in the future…I know you would love it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Liuba, for your nice compliment…I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. The distillery in the spa’s herb kitchen was very interesting.

    1. Thank you Sibella, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos. Yes…other than the first week of rain, the weather has been nice.

    1. Thank you, Dana for your nice compliment. Our weather certainly improved from our first week of rain…thank goodness. Sunshine just enhances the beauty of the regions we have been visiting.

    1. Hi Johanna, Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. Fuschl is such a lovely spot…I’m sure you must have had a wonderful time vacationing there. I appreciate your visit and hope you stop by again.

    1. Hi Arturo, The lake distract is such a beautiful part of Austria. It is definitely worth spending a few days visiting all the wonderful sights in the area. I’m glad you enjoyed the post…thanks for your comment.

  35. HOW FUNNY – I had no idea when I left the comment on the previous post that we would actually be visiting the Von Trapp family homestead! what a fabulous area! The church is SPECTACULAR!

    1. I had to laugh when I read your comment on my last post, Carol. Yes…now you can start singing. This is the area where a lot of the scenes were shot for the Sound of Music. The church truly was spectacular.

  36. What a glorious place! I love your photos. And the church is magnificent!! I love the Chocolate Cake With Banana Salad too 🙂

    1. Hi Judy, We so enjoyed our trip to the Lake District. The chocolate cake with the banana salad was delicious…a nice light dessert to finish a meal. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos…thank you for your compliment.

  37. Hi Karen, I thought I had commented on this beautiful post already, but just wanted to thank you for your postcards.

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