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Austria - Upper Austria

Hallstatt

A Karen Brown Recommendation
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Of all the scenic places in Austria, none can outshine the amazingly picturesque small village of Hallstatt, whose quaint houses cling to the hillside as it rises steeply from the blue lake. Narrow, alley-wide streets twist their way up the hillside. A small church was built strategically near the edge of the lake, making a gorgeous picture as its pointed steeple reflects in the deep-blue waters. When the weather is calm, the mountains encircling the dark, still waters give a fjord-like beauty to this idyllic scene. Hallstatt has a population of only about 500, but in spite of its size, there are many things to see. The stellar attraction is the setting itself—the town is built upon a shelf of land that drops down to the lake. The main square is at lake level, but the rest of the town climbs the hill with the houses built along streets that are staircases. Hallstatt is Austria’s oldest town: excavations show settlement here as far back as 400 B.C. There are two museums in town, and one entry ticket is valid for both. The museums contain natural history exhibits and artifacts from the early salt-mining days. In addition to the museums there are two churches. Hallstatt is not only a very picturesque small lakeside town, it is also a wonderful base for interesting side trips. The obvious one is the ferry that departs from the pier to some of the other towns on the lake. This is fun to do, although the lake trips are short. Another trip, just a few kilometers from Hallstatt, is a must—the Salt Mines. Another “must” from Hallstatt is a visit to the Ice Caves, or Dachsteineishöhle. To reach the caves, follow the road around the south end of the lake towards the town of Obertraun. As you near the town, watch for the sign for the road that branches to the right to the Dachsteineishöhle. Another suggested excursion from Hallstatt is a loop that takes you through some beautiful countryside south of town. To do this, drive north for a few minutes and then west for about 10 kilometers on 166 to the town of Gosau. Here a road branches to the south to the spectacularly lovely little lake, Gosausee.
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  Germany - Bavaria


  Austria - Highlights of Austria by Train and Boat - or Car


  Austria - Marvelous Mountains of Tyrol and Vorarlberg


  Austria - Southern Lakes and Mountains of Carinthia


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