Recently, I visited the region Salzkammergut (salt domain) about 3 hours car drive west of Vienna. Although I have known this area since my childhood, I again was intrigued by its beauty and history. I would love to share the beauty with you!



View from the Schafberg (sheep mountain) down to Wolfgangsee


The Salzkammergut got its name from the salt mines previously belonging to the Habsburg monarchy. One of the most famous mines is the salt mine of Hallstadt, which goes back to the 12th century BC and still excavates salt today. The culture between 12th and 8th century BC is referred to as Hallstadt Culture. Salt at this time was more valuable and expensive than gold.



Hallstadt and the Hallstaedter See (lake)



Cemetery of Hallstadt. The cemetery is divided in two parts – the upper part for the Protestant population and the lower part for the Catholics. This is the Catholic part.




It is the custom in Austria to take good care for the grave of the family. Each grave is a little flower garden and is absolutely beautiful. In the grave to the left, just recently somebody was buried. It is covered by flower wreaths.




The space at this Alpine cemetery is very limited and the people had to find a solution for that. Since the 17hth century, the skeletons of the diseased were taken out after several years in the soil, cleaned, put in the sun for bleaching, painted and stored in the ossuary. This custom even lasts to today, although only a few decide to end up in the bone house.




View from the shore of the Catholic church and cemetery of Hallstadt




It was fun to show my husband the beauty of Salzkammergut








Restaurant at the Wolfgangsee, mainly accessed by foot or by boat



Since the 19th century, the Salzkammergut became a favorite place to go on vacation.Even the emperor went to his palace in Bad Ischl to rejuvenate. Therefore, keeping the beauty and originality was essential and still is to today. Many international tourists come to visit this area. However, due to Covid regulations, Salzkammergut this year was visited mainly by Austrians like in former times.




Top of the Schafberg (sheep mountain)




Restaurant on the Schafberg with the view to Mondsee (moon lake)



Nature trails, little restaurants and cabins for refreshment and food serve every type of hiker. This time, I did not hike up to the top of the mountains, but took either a coq train or a gondola. Relaxing boat rides and walks around the lakes were also enjoyable.




Traditional coq train going up to the top of the Schafberg



The beauty of Salzkammergut is spectacular. Emerald green glacier lakes reflect the surrounding mountains, with the highest mountain being the Dachstein (about 9000 feet) covered by a glacier.




Dachstein glacier above Lake Altaussee




Walking around the lake of Altaussee provided many magical views of the Dachstein glacier




Many benches and rocks invite to rest and to enjoy the beauty




A monument to one of the first leisure mountain climbers, Paul Preuss (1886 – 1913), born in Altaussee




Every lake has crystal clear water. Motor boats or any other noisy and polluting water vehicles are forbidden. Some areas even forbid bathing and fishing in order to protect nature.




Protected area




Typical Alpine house with church in the background in the village of Altaussee




Walk around part of Wolfgangsee




A typical way to capture spring water




Shrines like the above are are typical along a hiking path





Another shrine




Wurzelsepp (Root Sepp)



The Salzkammergut is a World Heritage Site and, therefore, a protected area. Although it is sometimes overrun by tourists, it still keeps its original character. Many people living in this area still dress in the traditional Dirndl and Lederhose and nearly every village has its own music orchestra. The mountains and lakes are spectacular. It is one of my favorite places to hike. I hope you could enjoy the beauty with me.




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Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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  1. Thank you for these gorgeous pics. We have been to Salzkammergut almost every year for about 40 years! This year we had to cancel , my husband is going downhill and is now in the hospital. These pictures brought back very happy memories into a grey morning.

    • Hi Susan, I am happy that these pictures brought back joyful memories. The Salzkammergut is truly gorgeous. Hopefully, your husband will recover soon and you will able to spend time with him again in this beautiful place. With love, Traude

  2. It is such a joy to open my email and see Simply.just. walking come up and I am instantly happy and curious to share your next adventure.
    Your photographs are spectacular !
    Meri Friedman

  3. what an enchanting place…..I can see why it would be popular but I’ll bet even in Austria there are many who have not heard of it….your photos would make a great addition to a travel magazine about this place.


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