As a child, I couldn’t believe that that blue sky and rolling green meadows, in the midst of which the von Trapp children discovered music, could exist. When older I knew better, of course, and dreamed of someday actually being part of the landscape which gave me one of my happiest childhood memories.
And then last summer actually traversing through the Austrian countryside, felt like a dream – majestic Alps, valleys in full bloom, quaint Austrian villages and crystal clear “Sees” or lakes with the sun for company for most part. The Austrian alpine region of Salzkammergut fits the above description, and for most part of our stay we explored different areas within the region. One such day was in and around the picturesque Hallstatt village. Read on for ideas on spending a day in Hallstatt
Dachstein ice caves to start the day
An early morning ride took us to Dachstein ice caves, set high up in the Dachstein mountain. It is accessed via a cable car and a fifteen minute uphill walk accompanied with beautiful views. There are designated cave tours which take visitors through the caves. It was my first time stepping in an ice cave – honestly I did not expect to be walking through a massive icy landscape of sculptures and tall icicles, all bathed in blue light. An hour long tour and dripping water left me chilled to the bone, not exactly what I was looking for in summer, but it was quite the experience.
Gorgeous views from 5 Fingers lookout
Austria has many vantage points that provide some spectacular views of Alps that extend for miles and the multitude of lakes dotting the Austrian landscape. One such viewpoint is 5 Fingers Lookout. Shaped in the form of a hand jutting out from the edge of a cliff, its perfect to view Hallstatt See and the Hallstatt village, and to lap up multiple shades of blue on a clear, summer day. It lies above the Dachstein caves and is accessed via the same cable car.
Exploring Hallstatt lake and Hallstatt village
Tearing ourselves away from those panoramas with some difficulty, we headed to Hallstatt village, which is indeed one of the prettiest villages I have seen. And summer makes all that difference, doesn’t it? With flowers blooming in ever nook and corner, a glassy Hallstatt lake and surrounding Alps, a walk along the lake and in the village square is pure bliss.
Our day ended here, but in hindsight, I would say that staying for one night would give that additional time to indulge in all that alpine gorgeousness of Hallstatt. Some ideas for an additional day in Hallstatt are exploring the Skywalk, Hallstatt salt mine, alpine lakes and maybe even taking a boat to get up and close with all that blue