That winter we desired to discover a place out of the ordinary. With mountains covered in deep snow and glistening forests, we thought Austria would the perfect pristine winter hideaway. Said and done! We impatiently packed our bags and hit the road to one of the world’s prettiest lakeside village in Europe.
Recognized as one of Austria’s most spectacular natural landscapes, the Slazkammergut region promised romantic high-lying valleys, warm Tyrollean hospitality, rugged low mountain ranges and charming little villages. The roads took us through the most serene frozen landscapes we could ever imagine. Snow-bound forests, trees in hoarfrost, icy lakes, Austria certainly casts a magnetic spell: there’s something indescribable that makes it absolutely magical!
When we arrived, the snow was falling. Nestled between snow blanketed mountains and a glassy emerald lake, the idyllic alpine village looked even more magical in the quiet beauty of winter.
Image a sleepy village idyllically positioned on the shore of a swan-ruled lake. With its glistening lights, snow-covered roofs, and the warmth and coziness emanating from the wooden houses, we truly felt as if we had been whisked away into a fairy-tale world.
With less than 1000 inhabitants, this storybook town is is home to the oldest salt mine in the world. At a time before the invention of refrigeration, salt was like “white gold”. Today, tours of the salt mine can be taken from 27 April to 22 September.
Before the roads were built in the 19th century, the Unesco heritage site could only be reached on bridle paths or by boat across the mirrored lake. Interestingly, the empress “Sissi” of Austria imported elegant swans to Hallstatt during the 19860s for her frequent visits to the picturesque lakeside town.
It wasn´t hard to embrace the low temperature with such breathtaking natural scenery in front of our eyes. After making our own tracks in the fresh powder snow, we warmed up with a hearty lunch at a traditional restaurant. The snow stopped in the afternoon. For a few hours the sky glowed deep blue and the bright white snow, gleamed in the golden rays of the sun.