Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt Travel Blog

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Arriving by train & taking the boat across Hallst├Ąttersee to Hallstatt

Hallstatt is a very picturesque and quaint town about 20 miles east east of Salzburg in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. This town was built around the Hallstatt Lake and surrounded by steep mountains, making the building a bit cramped. The only way to reach Hallstatt is via a train that will arrive on the opposite side of the lake and to take a boat across.

Despite the gloomy and lousy weather during our weeklong stay there, we had great fun exploring the trails and sights in the wind and rain which ultimately made it such a memorable trip.

The town seemed to give a very cramped feeling as most of the houses were built just next to the lake and upwards on the steep mountains.

View of Hallstatt when approaching by the boat
 However the town itself was a very pretty sight. Many of the houses had fruits trees growing just next to the walls of their buildings with some of the fruits just within easy reach from the pavement.

The most bizarre attraction in the Hallstatt town was the Beinhaus (Bone House). Dating back to the 12th Century AC, there were over 1200 skulls of which 610 skulls had been painted in flowery designs with the date of deceased written on them and stacked in neat rows along with the next of kins. Even though the skulls were all nicely painted, it was still an eerie feeling to be inside the bone house with all the skulls and bones!

Echern Valley, lying to the back of Hallstatt town, provides many easy trails up the beautiful landscape of the Glacier Garden. We had great fun hiking on the trails and taking in all the beauty of the nature, waterfall and forests despite being most of the time out in the rain.

Quaint houses of Hallstatt just next to the Hallstatt Lake

Hallstatt has around 7,000 years of salt mining history and it is really worthwhile to make a trip to the Salzwelten mines. We went on the guided tour through the salt mines and saw the well preserved corpse that was found in the mines in 1734 which had been pressed flat and had tightly grown into the rock. We were told that it was about 3,000 years old. Another attraction in this place was the Mega Slide – Europe’s longest wooden slide (64 meters). The speed of the visitors down the slide was measured by radar and printed on the pictures as a souvenir for the visitors. That was a great way to speed without being fined!

Although October was not the skiing season yet, the cable cars up the mountains were already operating and we decided to go up the mountains to have some fun. Indeed, we did have fun as there was a snow storm and we could barely walk more than 15 meters away from the cable car station in the strong gale and snow.  We had to retreat and return to the cable car station to get ourselves warmed up again.

The lousy weather continued and Hallstatt was still shrouded in the mist by the time we left the town after all the fun we had.

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WalterC says:
I also visited Hallstatt in bad weather, which made it tough to enjoy!
Posted on: Mar 12, 2015
sylviandavid says:
What an interesting place... sorry for the bad weather
Posted on: Oct 02, 2011
alyssa_ob says:
I would like to see the salt mine and try the luge sometime. I always seem to be there when it is still winter.
Posted on: Nov 06, 2008
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Arriving by train & taking the boa…
Arriving by train & taking the bo…
View of Hallstatt when approaching…
View of Hallstatt when approachin…
Quaint houses of Hallstatt just ne…
Quaint houses of Hallstatt just n…
Part of the Hallstatt town
Part of the Hallstatt town
Beautiful houses with fruits trees…
Beautiful houses with fruits tree…
A chestnut tree
A chestnut tree
A pear tree
A pear tree
Grapes within reach from a tree in…
Grapes within reach from a tree i…
The Catholic Parish Church in Hall…
The Catholic Parish Church in Hal…
A picturesque cemetry in front of …
A picturesque cemetry in front of…
The pretty Hallstatt graveyard
The pretty Hallstatt graveyard
Beinhaus (Bone House) - Skulls pai…
Beinhaus (Bone House) - Skulls pa…
In the Saltzwelten (Salt Worlds)
In the Saltzwelten (Salt Worlds)
The 3,000 year corpose - well pres…
The 3,000 year corpose - well pre…
Echern Valley - at the back of Hal…
Echern Valley - at the back of Ha…
A borrowed metal tin lunchbox for …
A borrowed metal tin lunchbox for…
Waterfall
Waterfall
In the hunters hut
In the hunter's hut
Echern Valley, at the back of Hall…
Echern Valley, at the back of Hal…
Beautiful lanscape of the Glacier …
Beautiful lanscape of the Glacier…
Rushing river in the Glacier Garden
Rushing river in the Glacier Garden
In the forest in the Echerntal hik…
In the forest in the Echerntal hi…
Hiking on the opposite side of the…
Hiking on the opposite side of th…
A waterfall along the forest trail
A waterfall along the forest trail
Walking under the waterfall
Walking under the waterfall
Very strong winds too, see the rip…
Very strong winds too, see the ri…
Perpetual bad weather with rain an…
Perpetual bad weather with rain a…
The houses just next to the lake
The houses just next to the lake
View from the room with the snow o…
View from the room with the snow …
View from the room on another day …
View from the room on another day…
Feeding the ducks in the lake
Feeding the ducks in the lake
Echerntal hiking area, with the Da…
Echerntal hiking area, with the D…
Map of the Echerntal hiking area
Map of the Echerntal hiking area
View from the mountain of the Eche…
View from the mountain of the Ech…
View from the mountain of the Eche…
View from the mountain of the Ech…
Snow up on the mountain
Snow up on the mountain
Up the Dachstein mountains in a sn…
Up the Dachstein mountains in a s…
Ski board sign up the mountains
Ski board sign up the mountains
Obertraun
Obertraun
The Catholic Parish Church in Hall…
The Catholic Parish Church in Hal…
Hallstatt in the mist
Hallstatt in the mist
The mist creating a mysterious fee…
The mist creating a mysterious fe…
54 km (34 miles) traveled
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Hallstatt
photo by: yenhoon