Hallstatt, Austria

November 29, 2017 11341 67 104 Comments


I am on a road trip in Central Europe and I’m leaving Salzburg and heading to Hallstatt, the most photographed area of the Austrian Alps. The distance is 73 km southeast and will take me about an hour and 15 minutes to get there. I chose the side roads as I wanted to pass through Wolfgang lake. The road is one lane for each direction and it’s a nice ride, as the landscape is very beautiful.

I pass through Hof and after a little while, Lake Fuschlsee appears in the distance. After passing the lake I climb in altitude, and from some point onward Lake Wolfgang appears in the distance. The view is rather impressive. But as much as I like it, it’s already midday and I don’t want to arrive late at my destination, so I don’t stay here at all. According to what I read online, there are many things to do in this area, while the lake has an interesting mythological history.

So, I think if I ever find myself around here again I will definitely stay a whole day. However, at this link you can find details about the lake and what you can experience here: wolfgangsee.salzkammergut.at

The ride from here to Hallstatt continues with the same scenery. The weather is very good and the combination of green landscapes and the blue sky puts me in a very good mood. Especially when in Austria, where this weather is not typical, as anyone who has been here will know.

After a while, Lake Hallstatt appears on my left as I’m driving along it. I met many people, as the village is a popular destination in Austria. I wanted to visit this place for many years now because it was like a fairy tale to me. At some point, the road passes through a huge tunnel, about 5 kilometers long. When you exit the tunnel, you are just outside the village, where you can park and visit it on foot.

Hallstatt, in my opinion, is very unique, as the picturesque settlement with the lake and the high mountains that surround it create quite an enchanting scenery. The time is 7.20pm and unfortunately, the sun has set behind the mountains, so I can not get the colors I want in my photos. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the place. It’s so beautiful that I think in the morning I’ll shoot some cool shots with the drone. As long as the touristic buses are here, the village is crowded and busy, but then eventually it calms down, becoming the ideal place to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature.

You definitely have to walk from one end to the other, as it is just beautiful. I really liked this sign, that warns you not to walk and look at your cell phone at the same time, as there is a risk of crashing into a waiter. I think this should be everywhere!

Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The traditional homes create a romantic atmosphere that springs from many different eras. It’s situated at an altitude of 508 meters and has less than 1,000 inhabitants. Halstat dates back to the 8th century BC. In the early Iron Age, they developed “the culture of Hallstatt”, which was a dominant civilization in Central Europe built on salt mining.

Whether on the lake, or in the square, you will come across beautiful shops. We chose to dine at a pizzeria just outside the village because two taxi drivers said it was very good and a non-touristic restaurant. In the end, I wouldn’t say it was a bad place, just nothing special, and the truth is that we lost the village feel there.

As we wanted to fully enjoy the place, and because we hadn’t booked a hotel, we decided to use our sleeping bags and sleep on the street! It’s something I’ve never done before, but as we talked trying to find a solution, the idea came up and we decided to do it. My only fear was our stuff and equipment being stolen, but I brought as much as I could by my side to feel safer. We slept under a kiosk south of the parking lot. Fortunately, we slept there and not in an outdoor area as we had originally planned, because the night was very harsh with really strong winds.

In the morning the weather was calm, but it was very cloudy. This bothered me because I couldn’t take pictures with a blue sky as I had imagined I would. If only I knew what would happen next, as it started raining and didn’t stop the whole day! We got our breakfast from the local market, and not the best to tell the truth. We loaded our bikes and started off in the heavy rain to head towards Grossglockner, the most famous Austrian Alpine pass.