Dachstein Salzkammergut: Top Things to Do on Your First Visit

Dachstein Salzkammergut: Top Activities for an Immersive Austrian Holiday

As beautiful Dachstein Salzkammergut is, there's definitely more than meets the eye.

Among the scenic landscapes of Austria, Dachstein Salzkammergut stands with a charm that has enchanted its visitors. Up to its soaring mountains and down to its mystifying salt mines, the region has made a myriad of travellers walk around its lands in a dreamlike state. Yet, the breathtaking sights are just the tip of the iceberg in Dachstein Salzkammergut. As we zoom in on the wonders of the area, we’ll find that it isn’t only a spectacle to behold. With the numerous things to do in Dachstein Salzkammergut, everyone is bound to be mesmerised.

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things to do in dachstein salzkammergut

Lake Hallstatt Panoramic View | Image credit: Viorel Munteanu

1. Behold the natural wonders and panoramic landscapes

Coming from Southeast Asia, we’re no stranger to mountains and beaches. Nevertheless, even the most tropical traveller will undoubtedly fall head over heels for Dachstein Salzkammergut. Across the region sprawl rugged mountain ranges, idyllic rivers, and tranquil lakes. Tied together, the sceneries somehow transform Dachstein Salzkammergut into an untouchable fairytale kingdom, with an irrevocable magic that cradles the lands.

Gosau Lake

Gosau Lake | Image credit: Viorel Munteanu

Gosau Lake stands out among the several natural wonders in Dachstein Salzkammergut. Settling near the majestic towers of the Dachstein Mountain, the crystalline waters of the lake is home to numerous species of fish. Surrounding the small mountain lake, precious flowers blossom in Spring. Whenever the weather permits, some people also bathe in the potable waters of Gosau Lake.

Lake Hallstatt

Lake Hallstatt | Image credit: Torsten Kraft

Near Gosau Lake is yet another natural pool to marvel. Historically, Lake Hallstatt was merely a path for salt distributors from the Hallstatt Mines. But today, the lake has also become famous among tourists for its outrageous beauty. Its lucent waters reflect the lush green mountains and colourful houses built along the lake.

2. Stroll around Hallstatt, a town of superlatives

Hallstatt

Hallstatt | Image credit: Viorel Munteanu

Past Lake Hallstatt, we can immediately find the small medieval town where the lake retrieved its name. In its early ages, Hallstatt literally stood for “place of salt,” as salt was found in abundance in the town. Today, it’s known as the oldest salt mine in the world — a feat that had turned the town into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Indeed, Hallstatt is a vision, which may perhaps be the reason it snagged the title “The Pearl of Austria.” Several people have even hailed it as the most beautiful lakeside town in the world. Traditional houses stand next to one another in the quaint space between the salt mountain and lake, signifying an unbelievable harmony between man and nature.

Giant Ice Cave

Giant Ice Cave (left) and Hallstatt Salt Mine entrance (right) | Image credit: Thisisbossi

Focusing in on the town, we can easily discover an appeal that exceeds beyond the terrain of Hallstatt. Equally as stunning as the overall landscape are its salt caves and ice caves. Of course, the Hallstatt Salt Mine requires a special mention. Underground and inside the cave, you’ll find Europe’s oldest wooden staircase — a beaut that has inspired the Vienna Museum of Natural History to build a multimedia cinema around it.

Finally, there’s the world’s oldest pipeline which lies in between Hallstatt and Ebensee. Since the 1600s, the brine pipeline trail has been responsible for transporting saltwater from Hallstatt. More than its simple function as a pipe, the brine pipeline trail has also served as a status symbol for Hallstatt’s economy. For years, the town has served as a major source of salt in the region.

3. Try out seasonal sports

Skiing in Dachstein West Gosaukamm

Skiing in Dachstein West Gosaukamm | Image credit: OOE Tourismus Erber

Aside from the countless attractions in Dachstein Salzkammergut, the region also offers various activities whole year round. During winter, the Dachstein West ski region operates as skiing and snowboarding sites. Many travellers head over to the Alps, where the snowy mountains await skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

For those who want to forego skis and snowboards, spinning down slopes in a sledge ride is also an option in Bad Goisern. Meanwhile in Obertraun, the Goisern Ice Rink flourishes as a crowd-favourite during the winter season.

Mountain biking in Dachstein Salzkammergut

Mountain biking in Dachstein Salzkammergut | Image credit: OOE Tourismus

As summertime comes along, Dachstein Salzkammergut welcomes people to hike its mountains and trek along its nature trails. Mountain biking is also a popular sport in the area when the sun is out, with bikers moving through the panoramic views of the mountains of Dachstein Salzkammergut.

Paragliding in Krippenstein

Paragliding in Krippenstein | Image credit: Viorel Munteanu

Meanwhile, the lakesides encourage endless swimming in the summer as people bask in the picturesque sights in the region. And, when the clear blue skies allow it, paragliding is also a must-do in Dachstein Salzkammergut.

Rainy days don’t make Dachstein Salzkammergut gloomy, either. Their thermal spas and indoor pools resemble the stunning charm of the region’s natural wonders. Added to this, the numerous museums, craft houses and caves along Dachstein Salzkammergut also act as fun alternative activities when the sun won’t come out.

4. Be inspired to create art and music

A reproduction of Rudolf von Alt’s Der Dachstein im Salzkammergut vom Vorderen Gosausee

A reproduction of Rudolf von Alt’s Der Dachstein im Salzkammergut vom Vorderen Gosausee | Image credit: Mefusbren69

As Dachstein Salzkammergut is captivating in all its sights and leisure pursuits, it’s not a surprise that several artists have let their imagination fly freely in the region. Rudolf von Alt, for example, drew inspiration from the place, as seen in his oil painting reproduction of the Gosau Lake.

Up to now, Dachstein Salzkammergut is teeming with both traditional and modern art forms. In Hand.Werk.Haus alone, several handicrafts that promote the unique culture of the region are available for both viewing and purchasing.

The Craft House in Bad Goisern

The Craft House in Bad Goisern | Image credit: Wolfgang Stadler

Committed to heritage, the locals of Dachstein Salzkammergut showcase their lifestyle in many more creative forms. Besides paintings, fashion and handicrafts, travellers can also catch a glimpse of their culture merely through listening.

Dachstein Salzkammergut has been dubbed as the Centre for Austrian folk music. Numerous concerts have been held in the Lake Hallstatt shore. Sometimes, brass bands perform on the lake as well. Truly enough, music is literally a way of life in the region. With this, it isn’t even surprising anymore that the locals consider singing as natural as speaking.

How to get there

From Singapore, the easiest way to get to the Dachstein Mountains is by flying to Salzburg, Austria via a 15-hour flight with Singapore Airlines. From there, you can take the bus to Bad Ischl, and then get on the train to Hallstatt. This trip will take approximately two hours.

Tip: If you rent a car from Salzburg to Hallstatt, your travel time could be cut in half.

With its beauty, Dachstein Salzkammergut can be dubbed as a land far beyond our dreams. And for sure, with the countless things to do in Dachstein Salzkammergut, no one will ever want to leave the ethereal paradise.

For more information, please visit Dachstein Salzkammergut’s official website and Facebook page.


Brought to you by Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) and Dachstein Salzkammergut.

 

About Author

Danielle Uy
Danielle Uy

If Disney were creative enough to let Mulan and Melody (The Little Mermaid 2) have a baby, Danielle is convinced that that baby would be her spirit animal. From an early age, Danielle’s ultimate goal has been to become a bad-ass female hero and a mermaid. While she hasn't held a sword in her lifetime, she feels powerful enough with her pen. Her creative energy is fueled by many things: the quiet right before the rest of the world wakes up, the orange sky as the sun rises during an uncrowded morning surf, the beautiful bitter taste of black coffee, and the threatening reminder of a pending deadline.

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