Depending on the season travelling the alps can be a very different experience. In summer the hills seem more green and alive than in any other other time of the year. The temperatures up in the hills tend to be more temperate than in the city and it is a joy to wander around and discover nature high in the skies.
Internationally Hallstatt is well known for its beautiful location situated in the midst of the mountains at an Alpine lake. Less known perhaps is the fact that Hallstatt is one of the oldest known settlements in the Alps still in existence. From the 8th century BC onwards humans lived here and engaged in the production of salt; the culture they represented is called “Hallstatt Culture”.
Coming back to modern times, in the last years Hallstatt became immensely popular among tourists from Asia and the US, leading to fears of overtourism. Since COVID hit, the situations eased somewhat and the inhabitants start to breath again. On the other hand, one would wish that everyone could see this gem in the Alps. Hence, a sustainable way has to be found to navigate tourism in this rather little town. For now, I hope you enjoy some impressions from Hallstatt and surroundings.
The European Alps consist of countless valleys, plateaus, mountain ranges and lakes. It is a vast landscape covering large parts of Central Europe. In between all of this, streams make their way through the gorges and passes. Some of them, such as the Sigmund-Thun-Klamm close to Kaprun, can be visited. Wooden walkways span this gorge surmounting several waterfalls. In general, the network of walking trails in the Alps is rich and far reaching. It spans all of the different terrains, so the region can be experienced from all different perspectives and habitats.
The Lake of Zell (“Zeller See”) may not be impressive looking at raw data alone. The lake is pretty small with a length of 3,8 km and a width of 1,5 km. What makes this body of water so picturesque is the landscape surrounding it. The Lake of Zell is situated it the midst of the alps with mountains over 3,000 meters in close distance. On bright days you can see as far as to the “Hohe Tauern” mountain range, the largest one in Austria. Situated at the western shore of the lake is a lovely little town with the same name. Starting from here you can reach the peak fo Schmittenhöhe by cable car. The views from atop on the lake and the town are magnificent by itself, offering incredible views on the region. Other ways to discover the lake is to take a boat trip across the lake or make use of the pathway parallel to the shore and bike or walk along.
When travelling Austria in October there is a certain mood setting over the country. The heat of summer is over and nature is beginning to prepare for a more harsh season of the year. Still the weather can be pretty nice with blue skies and a more milder, gentler sun. The leaves begin to fall and brown and yellow colours are laying over the landscape. Autumn is here and it is the perfect time for a walk in the hills.