Austria’s Lake District, Sound Of Music Country

Austria’s Lake District is familiar to many people even if they have never traveled to Austria. The beautiful green pastures, hills and mountains in the opening scenes of the movie “The Sound of Music” were all filmed in the Salzkammergut, as this area is called in German. Its crystal clear lakes, quaint villages and enchanting landscapes make it one of the most popular destinations in Austria.

Click on any photo in the galleries below to enlarge and see a slide show.

The historic city of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, also provided many of the scenes for the famous film. Whether you want to follow in the footsteps of Maria, Captain von Trapp and his family or not,  the Lake District should not be missed.

My husband and I enjoy staying at Fuschl am See, a short thirty minute drive from Salzburg, at Ebner’s Waldhof am See located directly on the lake. We find it an ideal starting point for day trips to the other lakes in the area.

We have stayed at Ebner’s during the Christmas holidays as well as autumn and enjoyed both seasons although summer is the busiest time. Outdoor activities such as boating, hiking, biking, horse back riding and carriage rides are all available to the guests so the hotel is very popular with families. There is even a daily kids camp and from what we have seen, all the children seem to have a great time. One of the things that keep us returning to Ebner’s is its wonderful spa, the largest private spa in the region.

Mondsee is a popular lake if you enjoy swimming as it is one of the warmest lakes in the region. The town of Mondsee, located at the water’s edge, is well known for St. Michael’s church. The splendid interior of this former Benedictine abbey was used in “The Sound of Music” for the scene where Maria and Captain von Trapp exchanged their wedding vows.

Ten minutes away from Fuschl am See, Wolfgangsee has three charming towns, St. Gilgen, Strobl, and St. Wolfgang. Each has a different feel and all should be visited. St. Gilgen is the birthplace of Mozart’s mother and home of his sister after her marriage.

Strobl, the next town on the lake, is small in size but I love its mix of old traditional buildings and contemporary sculpture along its promenade.

St. Wolfgang is the largest town on the lake and has two famous landmarks, its pilgrim church and the Weisses Rössl, The White Horse Inn, the back drop in a famous operetta of the same name.  It is fun to stroll along the back streets and along the waterfront.

The village of Hallstatt on the Hallstätter See may be the most photographed village in Austria. It is on the UNESCO world heritage list and its location is beautiful. Known for its salt production since 800 BC, the salt mined here and in the rest of the Salzkammergut made this region wealthy. Salzkammergut means “the land of salt mines” in English.

Hallstatt, A UNESCO World Heritage Sight
Hallstatt, A UNESCO World Heritage Sight

The Lake District is not just about lakes. The winding back roads offer up not only wonderful scenery but some delightful surprises as well, like the straw people and animals that we have seen in this region.

We took a one lane twisty mountain road while heading to Werfen for lunch one afternoon. Werfen is known for the fortress high above the town and one of the best restaurants in Austria. During the interesting drive (read into it meeting other cars where one would have to find a wide spot in the road so the other could pass) we saw the cutest firewood shed I have ever seen. I had my husband stop the car in the middle of the road, hoping no traffic was heading our way, and quickly took a photo.

A Firewood Shed With Curtains In Its Windows
A Firewood Shed With Curtains In Its Windows

All good things must come to an end at sometime and this trip is one of them. My husband and I think this may have been our best trip yet. We had great weather, enjoyed beautiful scenery, stayed in lovely hotels, and ate delicious food…all things that make for a memorable trip. Now it is on to Munich and a flight home to New England. I want to thank all the readers who have followed along on our travel adventure. I hope you have enjoyed experiencing Germany and Austria through the lens of my camera and my words.

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

173 thoughts on “Austria’s Lake District, Sound Of Music Country

    1. Hi Maureen, I do appreciate that you have followed along on our journey. I do have to agree with you about how beautiful this part of the world is. I’m glad you like the photo of the wood stack…it was so cute. 🙂

    1. Hi Donna, I do hope you get to take this trip…the countywide, the hotels, the food were all wonderful. I’m happy that you enjoyed the posts.

  1. Oh please please please adopt me. Really–I’m a good person. My only bad habit is I talk….a lot–says my hubby-LOL!
    Gorgeous photos. Oh, I’m so happy to follow along on your trips. It’s heavenly!
    Have a safe trip home, Karen!

    1. You gave me a chuckle Sue, my husband thinks I jabber so it sounds like we would get along just find. I’m glad that you enjoyed following along on our travel adventures…it wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish.

  2. Karen: I’m thoroughly enjoying your trip. Your photos are wonderful–why not with such interest and beauty all around.

    Best,
    Bonnie

  3. Your travels and photos were so very wonderful. Austria is home to my Mother’s people and I so love visiting there. Our latest European journey did not include Austria and I longed to go. Thank you for taking me back once again. The firewood shed was such a beautiful way to store firewood, leave it to the people with music in their souls to create something like this.

    I have never been to the village of Hallstatt ……….it will definitely be on the list next time!!! Thank you for this most beautiful and enjoyable visit.

    1. Hi Tin Man, It has been nice to have you following along on our travel adventures. You have had some great travels yourself but I do hope you get back to Austria. I know you would enjoy Hallstatt as you are so interested in history. Don’t you just love the firewood shed…so clever, it gave me a big smile. 🙂

  4. Thank you Karen for bringing me to this magnificent country with your photos and writing. Definitely in my next Europe itinerary. Hows the food there? 🙂

    1. Hi Danny, Nice to know that you settling in and blogging again. I believe you would enjoy Austria on your next European trip. Check back on some of my earlier posts to see photos of the terrific food that we have enjoyed…it was all wonderful.

    1. Hi Larry, The weather was so nice this trip and I was able to get some nice photos. We do think this was our best trip…everything was perfect and that doesn’t happen often.

  5. Karen, all of the photos are so vibrant and beautiful that they almost don’t look real. I think my husband and I need to add Austria to our “places to visit” list. I have to go back and visit your other travel posts as well. 🙂

    1. Thank you Allison, for your lovely compliment…I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. I do think you would enjoy visiting Austria. The scenery, the welcoming people, great spa hotels and wonderful food keep us returning to this beautiful part of the world.

    1. Thank you Sylvia, for your nice compliment. You have picked two of my favorite photos. Both the sculpture and firewood shed brought a big smile to my face when I saw them.

    1. Hi John, I do like the little town of Strobl. I love the way the town has combined contemporary sculpture with the traditional buildings…they seem to fit into the beautiful landscape perfectly.

    1. Hi Debra, The Lake District of Austria is a beautiful region of Austria. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos…thank you for your lovely compliment.

  6. Amazing pictures. Tom and I are thinking about taking a European trip this summer, and I might have to add Austria to the contender list!

    1. Hi Emilie, I do think that you would really enjoy seeing Austria. Each region of the country that we have visited is absolutely beautiful. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. Thank you for your nice compliment. 🙂

  7. Thank you Karen, for all your wonderful pictures and full descriptions of your trip through Germany and Austria. Even if I never get to visit any of these beautiful places I feel like I’ve been there, thanks to your camera.

    1. Thank you Barbara, for your kind words. I’m happy that you enjoyed following along on our travel adventure through Germany and Austria. Hopefully you will get a chance to visit someday.

    1. Hi Meg, I agree with you about Salzburg being a pretty town to visit. We especially like it during the Christmas holidays…they have two nice Christmas markets. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos…thank you!

  8. The straw people are charming. I can’t help wondering if they’re the home of little mice. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing Germany and Austria with us though I really wish I could see them myself one day.

    1. Hi Boleyn, Don’t you just love the straw people…they are all so creative. I’ve seen them in this region of Austria several times. I have appreciated all your kind words during our travels, thank you for following along.

  9. Your pictures are just breathtaking and they could definitely persuade a person to visit Austria! They have me! Your posts have been so interesting as well. Thanks for taking us along with you, Karen!

    XO,
    Jane

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jane. I’m happy that you enjoyed following along on our travels. I believe that anyone who travels to Austria will love it, we certainly do.

  10. It does sound like an amazing trip. I marvel at the beauty of these areas and love the architecture. It’s such a shame that new buildings have no character and just get slapped up as quickly and cheaply as possible.
    Those straw people are fantastic! Safe trip home.

    1. Hi Diane, My husband and I keep saying this has been our best trip yet. I agree with you about new buildings having no appeal compared to the beautiful architecture of the old buildings. I’m glad that you enjoyed seeing the straw people…they are just great. I appreciate you following along on our travels and thank you for your wish.

  11. Karen, I have loved every moment of your travelog… thank you for sharing this. The Sound of Music is my most favourite film ever, in all my life! And I would really like to travel to this part of the world sometime. You have given me some great information, thank you kindly. Beautiful snaps too!

    1. Thank you Lizzy, for your kind words…they are very much appreciated. Most all of the photos in this post were from areas that were featured in the aerial scenes in the being of The Sound of Music. I hope you get the opportunity to visit the Lake District, I know you would love it.

    1. Hi Linda, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos and that my post has you considering adding Austria to your bucket list. Don’t you just love the fun little firewood shed…the curtains and flowers made it too cute. 🙂

  12. Your photos are spectacular Karen. We loved Salzburg and enjoyed all of the Mozart history associated with the city. I’m thinking you made a great choice to travel in the fall, after the summer tourists have gone home and before winter sets in. I’ve learned from you.
    Sam

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Sam. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. The weather in the fall is usually nice, the scenery is beautiful and as you said there is no problem with large groups of tourists. We have spent two Christmases in Austria and they were wonderful but you always have the possibility of problems at airports when there is a snowstorm.

    1. Hi Linda, I believe Austria is one of the most beautiful places you could visit…it certainly keeps us coming back. We have only had a couple of rainy days on the whole trip….the weather has been fantastic.

    1. Hi Michelle, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back memories of your recent visit to Austria. I totally agree with you about how beautiful this country is.

    1. Thank you Brydie, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. I hope that you get the opportunity to visit this lovely part of the world someday and take the same photos. 🙂

  13. I’ve really enjoyed following this trip with you Karen. The Salzkammergut region is one I’d love to visit one day. I’ve been to Salzburg and even to Grossglockner but otherwise have seen little of Austria’s lovely countryside. Love the routes you took – such great tips for hotels too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Cathy, I’m glad that you have enjoyed following along on our trip and found the posts interesting. This was our third visit to the Salzkammergut region…I believe you would really enjoy the area.

  14. I’m glad you’ve had a wonderful holiday. It’s been lovely viewing all your images of such a beautiful country. I think everyone would like to go to the town where ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed xx

    1. Thank you for your kind thought, Charlie. This holiday was special because we had great weather while traveling through the beautiful countryside.

  15. Thrilled that you had really good weather, as at this time of year it would make such a difference. The only time I’ve been to Switzerland it was their Indian Summer, with haze everywhere. The only scene I remember was of Lake Geneva, and even then the other side wasn’t visible. And not a mountain in sight! Safe journey, home!

    Love that wood shed 🙂

    1. Hi Johnny, This year’s trip was really special because of the weather…last year we had so much rain. We have driven through the Alps several times not being able to see them at all because of cloud cover. I loved you the woodshed…it was so cute. I’m happy that you have enjoyed my posts and thank you for your wish.

  16. The contemporary art is a nice surprise. I wouldn’t have expected it in the almost storybook surroundings. The photo at Hallstatt almost doesn’t look real! Those colors! It looks like you’re enjoying wonderful weather–and a nice, long trip! Marvelous, Karen. 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, I was surprised with the contemporary art pieces myself but I think they blend in perfectly. We were really lucky with the weather this year…only a few grey or rainy days on our trip. 🙂

  17. I can’t wait to go to Austria. We made it as far as Bavaria last year and visited Schloss Neuschwanstein. The Alps are truly spectacular. I love your pictures. Keep then coming.

    1. Hi Fatima, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I know you will enjoy visiting Austria…it is a lovely as Bavaria. You are so right, the Alps are spectacular. 🙂

  18. This is one of my favorite parts of Austria. The scenery is divine and I happen to be a big fan of the movie The Sound of Music too. My first time to Salzburg and the surrounding areas I made Thomas take me to all the famous filming spots for the movie, the von Trapp’s house, the gazebo etc. Not to mention the amazing backdrop of lovely snow capped mountains juxtaposed with all those beautiful fresh water lakes! Truly a unique and wonderful place to visit. I’m glad you and your husband had a wonderful time!

    1. Hi Laura, We did have a wonderful time…thank you. I’m glad to know that you like this area of Austria as much as I do. We have visited in autumn and during the Christmas holidays, it is lovely.

  19. Great post Karen – loving some of the composition on these photos. We’re going to try and head over next year. It’s one of the few European countries I’ve yet to visit and, being European, I really should remedy that….

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Phil…I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I do hope you get to Austria next year. It is such a beautiful country, the people are wonderful and the food is great.

    1. I’m so glad that you have enjoyed following along, Lisa. Germany and Austria are such lovely countries to visit. I’m happy that you have enjoyed seeing them through my photos. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  20. So lovely, Karen! The straw people are intriguing…is it part of a festival, or just a fun tradition?
    Anyway, hope your trip home is uneventful, and you get the fire going before the snow flies on Tuesday!

    1. Hi Marie, I love the straw people…I can’t believe how creative some of the displays are. I wish I knew more about them as I have only seen them in this region of Austria.

  21. Your post brought back great memories of my time in Europe – 1972 to be exact. My travels crossed many of yours and you have captured what I remember, both in your words and in you photos. Well done and thank you.

  22. Love the straw people and the firewood house…never seen anything like that before! What stunning images, Karen. Your eyes must be popping as you try and take in all of this beauty. Thanks for showing it to us and “taking us along” on your trip. I’m sure it’s bittersweet coming home after a trip like this.

    1. Hi Betsy, Don’t you just love the straw people. I’ve only seen them in this region and I would love to know more about the tradition. The firewood shed reminds me of a little girls doll house…it was too cute. Yes, I’m always sad to know that our European adventure had to come to an end but it was great while it lasted. Thank you so much for following along!

  23. I have never been to Germany or Austria, clearly there are some incredible sights. Thank you for all the fodder for daydreams of future trips! My wife does speak some German and spent a summer in Bavaria when she was in college. Perhaps she needs to go back!

    1. Hi Jason, I hope that you and Judy get the opportunity to visit Germany and Austria someday…both countries are beautiful. Neither my husband or I speak German but it really isn’t a problem as most people speak English.

  24. Oh no, this is coming to an end too soon. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey with you and learned a great deal about the places, the people and the cultural. Thanks for taking me along.
    Safe and pleasant journey home. Hope you arrive ahead of the snow.

    1. Hi Madonna, I’m happy that you enjoyed following along. We arrived home but now there is all the unpacking, laundry, etc. and catching up on everyone’s blogs. 🙂

  25. Your photos are absolutely wonderful and have brought back so many happy memories for me. 🙂 I can’t wait to return to this part of the world. Hopefully next Spring or Autumn. 🙂

    1. Thank you Krista, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos and that they brought back nice memories. I do hope you get to return next year…that would be so nice.

    1. Hi Cathy, I do think you should add Austria to your travel plans one year. I’m happy that you enjoyed my photos but they really can’t do justice to the beauty when you see it in person. 🙂

    1. Thank you Gintare, I’m happy to know you enjoyed the photos. I’m sure your friend would love sharing her lovely city of Salzburg with you. I enjoy the city and the beautiful countryside of the Lake District.

    1. Hi Amy, I do hope you get a chance to visit someday, I know you would enjoy Austria. I think what made this trip so nice was that we had great weather as we toured such a beautiful part of the world.

  26. All your shots are so beautiful but I especially loved the sculpture of the couple lying on the grass. Ah 🙂 And now I’m off to whip up a complete wardrobe for me and Big Man out of some old flowery curtains 😉 Safe trip home to you both.

    1. Thank you Tanya, for your nice compliment. I just love the sculpture of the couple…it seems so appropriate for that lovely view. I appreciate your wish, we arrived home safely. 🙂

  27. I so enjoy reading your posts – despite the twinge of envy ;-> it is just so wonderful to see all the amazing place you are visiting. Stunning pictures!

  28. Stunning, Karen! I visited this region when I was 18 and took the Sound of Music tour – so much fun. Thank you for sharing so many of your gorgeous photos – truly a pleasure to travel along with you.

    1. Hi Dedy, The scenery is indeed beautiful in this area. Since you are from Indonesia, I know you wouldn’t need wood to keep your home warm but Austria gets lots of snow each winter. This stacked wood is only part of what they would need to keep their place warm. You sometimes see wood like this stacked all the way around a home.

  29. So pretty…these pictures feel like from a story book…thanks you so much for sharing this, you just made my day brighter.
    Have a wonderful week Karen, and yes, I am back 😀

    1. Hi Juliana, I’m happy to see that you are back blogging again. I do appreciate your lovely compliment…I hope you have a nice week as well.

    1. Hi Carol, It was a wonderful trip to some of the loveliest regions of Europe. I’m happy to know that you have enjoyed following along on our adventure…thanks.

  30. I’ve scrolled through your past several posts and am amazed at the beautiful scenes you’ve captured. What a great trip!

    Thanks again for your kind comments recently.

    1. Hi Susan, I appreciate you taking the time to look back at my posts on our travels through Germany and Austria. It really was a memorable trip…we think our best.

    1. Hi B, We are safely back at home and thank you for your kind thoughts. I appreciate that you enjoyed following our journey through Germany and Austria. We were so lucky to have had such lovely weather this trip…it makes such a difference. 🙂

    1. Hi David, The Lake District is lovely…I hope you will get a chance to visit it. You are right, our weather was perfect this year with only a couple of rainy or gray days. We were so lucky!

  31. Spectacular post & scenery. Once more I am struck by the beauty and picturesque qualities. Especially around Salzburg and the history with The Sound of a Music and the birthplace of Mozart.

    I love your pics Karen, the one especially looking through the wrought iron window & out to the lake. The framing is just perfect!

    1. Thank you Alli, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. The lake seen through the ironwork is one of my favorite photos as well. 🙂

  32. Definitely reminds me of the scenery in the Sound of Music! Beautiful. I love the little straw people – too cute and whimsical! That log house is adorable, too. Glad you had a nice trip and hope your travels home are uneventful:-)

    1. Hi Becki, Thank you for taking the time to follow along on are travels…we had a wonderful trip. Don’t you just love the straw people and the wood shack, they put a smile on your face.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, MJ. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. I just wish my camera could capture the true beauty of this area.

  33. Wow, it’s been *far* too long since I’ve been back here to visit, and I have now RE-subscribed (my Follow somehow spontaneously disappeared ages ago and I didn’t realize I needed to change the setting to fix that!). This post is exactly the kind of reason I love visiting here! Great photos, wonderful attention to details others might not know or simply might miss in passing, and full of the joy of discovery in seeing what a wonderful region has to offer. Thanks, Karen!

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