The Austrian town of Gmunden is gorgeous and glittering example of riverside bliss. Gmuden’s marina busts with opulent yachts and its lakeside square exudes a vibrant atmosphere created by warm and welcoming locals. A rich cultural scene means visitors will be satisfied by a varied programme of artistic and ancient delights, while seeking simple and serene solace will find plenty of natural retreats and lake shore spots in which to relax and revitalise. The promenade proves a picturesque architectural perimeter with its colourful houses and soaring church spires, suggesting an image from a provincial postcard.
The majestic Grunberg Mountain casts a soft shadow over the delightful destination, and is attached to the town by a swift and swooping cable car. Visitors not afraid of the vertiginous can ride 984m into the air to the mountain’s summit in order to enjoy breath-taking views of the cityscape and scenic surroundings.
Gmunden’s finest example of ecclesiastical elegance comes in the form of the Pfarrkirche, an impressive church that combines Baroque and Gothic styles. Dating back to the 12th century, the church houses glittering treasures such as an impressive altar and prismatic stained glass windows.
Gmunden’s principal museum is guaranteed to shock and surprise travellers expecting the usual artistic array; the K-Hof features both an intriguing exhibition detailing the city’s past and The Museum of Sanitary Objects, an eclectic yet enthralling exhibition which includes toilets and other related relics.
Hailed as one of Gmunden’s most interesting eateries, the Gasthof Engelhof offers diners a refreshing alternative to the usual schnitzel and dumpling filled menus of many Austrian restaurants. An elegant interior provides a perfect setting in which to enjoy tender roast lamb and freshly caught fish, finishing with a locally brewed pint of Austrian beer. (Engelhof Street 1, 4810 Gmunden)