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Austria Western Alps region
Old 07-29-2015, 07:41 PM   #1
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Austria Western Alps region

Folks:

We are planning a trip to Salzburg, Hallstat and Innsbruck on the Western Alps region of Austria.

Any tips on how to travel (other than driving), accommodations etc. would be greatly appreciated.

We plan to spend just 3-4 days in total!

Thanks a lot
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:32 PM   #2
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Went to Hallstatt and Salzburg, among other places (but not Innsbruck) 6 years ago. Hallstatt was gorgeous! At the train station, you have to take a ferry over to town. It is timed and waiting for the trains. The town is squeezed in just 2-4 blocks wide between the lake and mountains. We did the bone house and went up to the salt mines but would've been happy just wandering through the town. We stayed here: Home | Gasthof-Simony. Can't remember the restaurant we ate it but the trout from the lake was delicious.

Salzburg was just over 2 hours by train, with one stop and just a few minutes wait. We did the kitschy Sound of Music tour but really enjoyed it and went over the border to Hitler's Eagles Nest. Very scenic and interesting. We stayed in a quiet neighborhood a few blocks from the train station at the Haus Lechner B&B so we could dump our backpacks before hitting the old town, plus we took the train for a day trip. There are also gardens and palaces and Mozart.

Nothing super special about the places we stayed but they worked out fine for us. For a short trip you might want to be more in the middle of things in Salzburg.

I would think that it would be easy to do a train to Innsbruck as well.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CuriousJoe View Post
Folks:

We are planning a trip to Salzburg, Hallstat and Innsbruck on the Western Alps region of Austria.

Any tips on how to travel (other than driving), accommodations etc. would be greatly appreciated.

We plan to spend just 3-4 days in total!

Thanks a lot
We took a bus from Hallstatt over to Obertraun to ride the gondola up to hiking trails and an amazing view over Lake Hallstatt. You want nice weather for this. There was also an ice cave guided tour there which was excellent. This is like a 9am to 3pm jaunt including the transport.

I found it hard to get lodging in Hallstatt, we settled for a B&B Inn which was fine, pretty basic accommodations. We ate dinner a couple of times at Gasthof Zauner and really enjoyed the food.

We spent 3 nights in Salzburg and 3 nights in Hallstatt. We'll have to visit Innsbruck some other time. I loved Salzburg and would like to spend more time there. Visiting the Hellbrunn palace trick fountains was a real highlight.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:33 AM   #4
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I have been to the area many, many times. I always stay at the Pension Bergland, convenient to walking everywhere in Salzburg. From Salzburg you can easily take public transportation to the lake and salt mine areas, like Hallstatt. I'd recommend staying in Salzburg and doing day trips. I also second the Sound of Music tour which I found uplifting, if kitschy! It will take you to some very beautiful sights and you get to sing your head off along the way.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:01 AM   #5
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Given the short stay, using Salzburg as the base, and doing a day trip out to Hallstatt to enjoy the views, visit the salt mine, which is also the site of famous bronze and Iron Age Celtic graves, is probably your best option.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:11 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your great replies.
Much appreciated.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:43 PM   #7
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We did Austria back in '95 - same suggestions.

Used Salzburg as a base. Liked the Sound of Music tour, the salt mines. Toured the Hellbrunn Castle, music concert at the Hohensalzburg castle, full day trip by rail to Hallstatt (easy and beautiful), and just walking around the city.

I think it was 4 nights at a B&B, then rail to Vienna for another 4 nights.

For us, rail, taxi to/from airports, then a tour bus or two, and of course, just walking.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:19 PM   #8
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When is the best time to visit when it's dry?

Salzburg apparently gets a lot of rain:

Best time to go to Salzburg, Austria

Seems the Bad Ischl/Hallstatt area has a shortage of sun:

Weather Averages for Eck, Austria
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:58 PM   #9
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When is the best time to visit when it's dry?

Salzburg apparently gets a lot of rain:

Best time to go to Salzburg, Austria

Seems the Bad Ischl/Hallstatt area has a shortage of sun:

Weather Averages for Eck, Austria
June and July are pretty wet. Less so in September. One problem with high summer in Salzburg is lack of air conditioning in many hotels. Can be a real problem in July/August - or choose a hotel with air conditioning.
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:50 PM   #10
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Thanks again.
We are planning to go in middle of November.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:48 PM   #11
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Thanks again.
We are planning to go in middle of November.
I think that will rule out Hallstatt.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:40 PM   #12
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I've been traveling the region since going to college at the University of Innsbruck in 1970. It's a shame that you only have 3-4 days allotted for this incredibly beautiful area. I like to rent a car and aimlessly drive from village to village--often up on the mountains around Innsbruck.

If you're wanting to go to Salzburg and Hallstadt, you'll be going east. I would suggest you visit the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, 10 miles east of Linz. Another great sight is the town of Cesky Krumlov which is in Czech Republic north of Linz, Austria.

To go to Innsbruck, you'll go west of Salzburg (toward Munich) and turn south on a controlled access highway--90 minute drive. It's almost like a totally different trip from Hallstadt, however.

My wife and I are big on driving the great tourist roads of the world. We found the Grossglockner High Alpine Highway south of Zell-am-Zee to be the most beautiful place we've ever seen--anywhere. The road goes south to Lientz, Austria which is on the Italian border over the second highest peak in Europe. It'll be closed to snow by November.

We're getting ready to head for the fjords of Norway in another month, and I've heard it's about as beautiful as any place on earth. We'll see if it's up to Tirol's beauty.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:21 PM   #13
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Ooh, I researched the fjords earlier. But it's suppose to be very wet in W and NW Norway this time of the year?

Speaking of great roads, I found this site:

Top 10 Roads : Driving Routes : Greatest Roads in Europe: View now with Ultimate Drives

And this one seems to be S/SW of Salzburg, further south and west of the Hallstadt area. Never heard of it but you have to pay €34 Euro to drive this stretch?

Top 10 Roads : Driving Routes : Greatest Roads in Europe: View now with Ultimate Drives
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:56 PM   #14
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I just returned from a trip to Lermoos, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Hallstatt and St. Wolfgang.

It rained a fair amount (especially both nights I stayed in Hallstatt) but all in all, pretty happy with the amount of sun I got in what is a very rainy part of the world.

Even the rainy nights in Hallstatt, I was able to overcome because the morning I departed, it was sunny so I walked around for about an hour before I checked out of the hotel.

Then I went up on the cable car in Obertraun, which gets you to the 5 Fingers platform overlooking the lake, Hallstatt and Obertraun. The rain that Hallstatt got was snow at 2000 meters at the top of the cable car. So I hiked for 40 minutes each way in snow from the cable car station to 5 Fingers. It was about 50 degrees so it was fine with just shorts and a windbreaker over a t-shirt.

Spectacular view up there, with the snow-topped peaks in early September.

Favorite hotel room views were in Lermoos and St. Wolfgang. Set up my camera on DSLR to shoot time-lapse for 2-3 hours.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:31 PM   #15
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Glad you had a great time. In the Alps, it's often sunny but it will rain every day at 5:30 pm like clockwork.

And in many mountains of the world, rain falls a lot in the Spring and Fall. That is when loca!s travel elsewhere.

We just suck it up and travel prepared for what weather happens.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:57 PM   #16
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Yeah but as beautiful as these places are, they are far more photogenic (and makes for better pictures) when it's sunny out.

One of the missed opportunities on this trip was to go up the Shafsberg railway in St. Wolfgang.

I arrived in St. Wolfgang around 5 PM, checked into hotel, walked around. It was sunny and the next day was suppose to be sunny as well.

However, the next day it was overcast. So I walked around town and along the lake, got some lunch, hoped it would clear up in the afternoon.

But it got worse, it was completely fogged up at the peak (was monitoring the webcams up there). The visibility was worse up there than at the lake level. It never cleared up that day and the last train up was 3:30 PM anyways.

What's odd is that they have a monitor of that webcam feed at the ticket office and it showed complete whiteout but people kept buying tickets to ride up there.
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