With its ethereal beauty that resounds from the verdant valley and shimmering lake surface, the town of Hallstatt is globally renowned for its astounding aesthetic. Pastel-painted houses and rippling hills cast reflections in the calm surface of the neighbouring lake, while a rich industrial and historical heritage radiates from the subterranean mines and antique architecture. In winter, a soft blanket of snow covers church spires and turreted roves, adding further frozen beauty to this postcard picture of provincial perfection.
Located upon the vertiginous perch of the resplendent Salt Mountain is the Salzbergwerk, a subterranean salt mine that offers visitors an in-depth insight into the production of salt. Take the smooth funicular up the mountain’s sloping side to reach the mine, into which visitors will submerge themselves in the dark depths by sliding down miners chutes.
Visit the grandiose graveyard of the Catholic Pfarrkirche and search for the captivating Beinhaus amidst rows and rows of gravestones; within this quaint charnel house resides a morbid myriad of bones and skulls, rows of which are presented with the name and death date of their previous owners.
The enthralling exhibitions within the Weltkulturebe Museum cover a wide breadth of the town’s history and heritage. Venturing right back to the town’s Iron Age initiation, the museum contains excavations and archaeological artefacts that speak eloquently of the region’s colourful past.
Enjoy an authentic Austrian experience with a visit to the critically acclaimed Gasthof Zauner, an elegant eatery located on the banks of the lake. Sip crisp white wine while gazing out onto the tranquil waters before feasting upon freshly caught fish that is likely to have been caught a few metres away. Field fresh vegetables and speciality sauces compliment meaty mains and are guaranteed to satisfy and surprise. (Marktplatz 51, Hallstatt, Austria)