Travel Story Salzkammergut

Outdoor blogger Jörg Thamer shares his experiences

My readers know that I am not a professional cyclist and that I’d happily call myself a casual cyclist. Hiking is more my thing. But this year I switched to the bicycle saddle for a longer tour for the first time. The anticipation of one of the cycle tours in the Salzkammergut was huge, and when I finally hit the pedals in mid-July, I could have embraced the whole world. Finally holiday time!

The pearls of the Salzkammergut – childhood memories included

I look forward to eight wonderful lakes and quaint cosy towns along the way. Wolfgangsee, Mondsee, Attersee, Bad Ischl, Hallstatt and Traunstein, these names awaken childhood memories for me. Because the Salzkammergut was often my parents’ favourite holiday destination. Memories of green and blue lakes glistening in the sunshine, framed by high mountains and green pastures with colourful flowers. This is all burned deep into my memory. And now I’m cycling along the Wolfgangsee and it’s exactly as I remember! The sun is shining, I enjoy the fresh air, nature and the view over the water.

The many lakes are the soul of the Salzkammergut. They shape the landscape like glittering pearls. I will marvel at eight of these pearls on the Salzkammergut tour. From the elegant Wolfgangsee the route travels to the more down-to-earth Mondsee. From there, my path leads me along the mighty Attersee to the deep Traunsee. I cycle past the crystal-clear Grundlsee to the legendary Toplitzsee and then to the beautiful Altauesseer See. And I also meet the fjord-like Hallstätter See in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hallstatt-Dachstein. Back on Lake Wolfgang, the circle closes on the sixth day of the wonderful cycle tour.

Cities with history

The many towns that I cross on the tour are no less impressive than the lakes. I have already visited the idyllic St Wolfgang with my parents. In St Gilgen I take a break on the lake shore and take in the watery landscape. Gmunden impresses me with its view of the wonderful Ort Castle. I spend two nights in the “Trachtenhauptstadt” (captial of traditional dress) of Bad Aussee.

The Chinese have rebuilt Hallstatt in their country, but apparently everyone wants to see the original. The place is also really beautiful! The sophisticated spa town of Bad Ischl is lovely. I am particularly impressed by the ‘Sissi Park’ with a view of the congress centre and theatre - and wonderful flowers! At any moment I expect Sissi (a beloved Austrian Empress) to come around the corner with her Emperor Franz Joseph. My culinary insider tip: cyclists can enjoy Käsekrainer (cheese sausage) on the Kurpromendade on the Traun.

Worth seeing: Blinklingmoos and a giant ice cave

“Take a pair of swimming trunks with you – there is always an opportunity to take a dip a lake”, advises the friendly Eurobike employee during the briefing. Most daily stages are pleasantly short, so there is actually still enough time to bathe and relax. And be it the observation tower on the Blinklingmoos moor, a walk through the town of Mondsee, the Ort Castle sitting on the Traunsee or the Dachstein giant ice cave in Obertraun – there are all sorts of things to see along the way. On the last few days of the trip, I even make it up to the Schafberg. From there I look down on them – the wonderful lakes I have travelled by bike over the past days.

Hospitable hotels with charm and comfort

I really enjoyed the Austrian hospitality in the hotels booked for me by Eurobike. All rooms were cosy and clean. I also explored a spa area or two. I would have loved to stay longer everywhere. But if you can be sure another great hotel is waiting for you at the next destination, it is easier to say goodbye.

Cycle carefree and in comfort with Eurobike

Taking so much luggage had always put me off long cycle tours. Fully packed side saddles, bags on the handlebars and a back pack on your back? No, that’s not for me. But because Eurobike offers convenient luggage transportation and a comfortable rental bike, I decided to take on the adventure. I arrive comfortable by train, check in and receive my bike from a Eurobike employee. And then I simply have to drop my luggage off at the reception every day. In the evening it is waiting at the next hotel. For the cycle tour itself, you only need a little equipment. This is how to make cycling fun!

Robi on the bike
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