As it turns out, Ausseerland-Salzkammergut has a ton more to offer next to the awe-inspiring hikes it’s famous for. The spot, based in the Steiermark region of Austria, is home to incredible 360 degree mountain scenery for hikers and bikers, deep blue lakes for water sport enthusiasts and a history full of intrigue for culture buffs.
Thanks to the Ausseerland-Salzkammergut tourism board for hosting us! For full transparancy, this experience was gifted, however all opinions written here are entirely our own.
Keep reading to discover our ideas on what to do when in Ausseerland, and to take advantage of our adventure packed three-day travel itinerary.
Where to stay
Before we get on to what we did, I’ll just take a moment to talk about where we got our all-important beauty sleep to prep for an action packed day!
We arrived in the morning and checked into the Hotel Seebacherhof, a cute, family-run hotel nestled in between mountain scenery, and conveniently positioned right in the heart of the Steiermark-Salzkammergut region. Our studio was spacious (and backed onto a terrace with a fabulous view), showers were good (always important!), and the buffet breakfast was tasty. The friendly staff were accommodating, and had great tips for us about where to get lunch when we arrived. If you haven’t found somewhere to stay yet, I definitely recommend you check out this place.
Your Ausseerland-Salzkammergut three-day travel itinerary
Day #1 in Ausseerland-Salzkammergut
If you, like us, will decide to arrive early to make the most of your day, you might discover the downside of this, is that you’re seriously tired! Luckily, we had the best activities planned for getting relaxed while exploring!
Catch a ride on board the Navia over Salza Stausee
After lunch, we headed to Salza Stausee to float amorously up the lake on board the Navia, a handcrafted reproduction of a Plätte or a Fuhre (“Fua”), which is a historic flat-bottomed boat, typical for this region. Mountains rise up impressively on either side on the long lake, right until the furthest point where, as the mountains part, you’re presented with a perfect view of the horizon. We took the opportunity to go for a little swim to take in the scene!
FYI, this is definitely the perfect opportunity for a photo session – here are 6 important tips for your travel photography.
Stride bare foot through the Barfußpark
Okay, but this is not what you’re expecting.
The ‘Bare Foot’ park in Bad Mitterndorf is an intricate course consisting of 17 stations of sensations for the feet, made up of everything from lava stone (great for the feet) over pine cones to ice-cold natural water. It’s a lot of fun, and set amongst beautiful scenery, making for a great activity – post hike, or post airport.
Head back to Hotel Seebacherhof for dinner
Time to come down a bit and set off back to the hotel for dinner… I enjoyed a tasty Wiener schnitzel (a must when in Austria) and a refreshing iced tea, before heading out for a short walk.
Meet the cows I met on the way!
Day #2 in Ausseerland-Salzkammergut
Day two in Ausseerland and packed with activity. Here’s what we recommend…
Hike to the top of Mount Loser
Rising at a height of 1838 meters above sea level, this mountain is a great choice for hikers of all levels. That’s because (lucky for us), 1600 meters of the hike can be covered by the car, if you park just outside of the Loser-Alm restaurant. A short distance from there will take you to the mountain lakesalz of Augstsee, while a slightly longer hike of about an hour brings you past the famous Loser-Fenster (Loser Window) to the peak of the mountain, and its breathtaking views.
Tip: After your hike, go for lunch at Loser-Alm. Open most good weather days in the summer, the place offers an insanely good view for your midday meal.
Take a trip through time in the Salzwelt mines
A few weeks back, we travelled to the beautiful Attersee area, where we visited the Kristallsalzwelt, a beautiful salt spa offering salt inhalation and more. The place was a massive highlight for us, so you can imagine how excited we were to actually go inside one of the Salzwelt salt mines, where the eponymous salt comes from.
Needless to say, it did not disappoint! The salt mine tour takes you through an exciting history spanning 2600 years, as well as stretches of the mine that include a chapel, an underwater salt lake and the space where Hitler ordered valuable artwork to be stored. You even get to experience two of the miners’ slides from one level to a deeper one. This would have been a safer option for miners who would have carried large heavy loads in bad lighting conditions.
Take a dip in the Grundlsee
After all the excitement of the morning, use the late afternoon sun to take a tip on one of the many beautiful lakes dotted around Ausseerland. We went to Grundlsee, which has tons of small private spots to discover, or head to X beach for one of the best views of the lake.
Dine at the Kohlröserhütte
For a finer food experience to draw the day to a close, head to the Kohlröserhütte for dinner. The food and the drinks here are absolutely delicious, and each dish is presented like artwork. And if you want to take some of it home with you, make sure to head to the shop, where the restaurant sells its own sauces, pesto, and other locally produced delights.
Day #3 in Ausseerland-Salzkammergut
Make your last morning in Ausseerland a good one. Here’s what’s on the list!
Sagtümpel / Wasserfall Wanderung
A short leafy walk through the trees on the Waterfall hike route will eventually bring you to the Tauplitzer Sagtümpel Waterfall. The 30-meter fall is an impressive sight for a rest with a view following your hike. We headed right down to the edge of the water for some photos and to refill our water bottles. Did you know that the water here was used as source of drinking water in the late 20th century?
Binge on Ausseer Lebkuchen
Traditionally eaten at Christmastime in Germany and Austria, Lebkuchen is a type of gingerbread cake or cookie, and a yummy one at that. The factory/shop in Bad Aussee has both lots of Lebkuchen on sale and some eye-catching historic gadgets. Peak into the factory where the cookies are being made, or head straight into the shop to try some tasters and stock up!
Make sure to add Ausseerland to your Austria travel bucket list. The beautiful destination is perfect all year round for nature lovers – whether you’re a fan of blue skies, fall leaves or fresh snow.