Statue Of Liberty, New York City, USA

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Soufriere, St. Lucia

Tambor Beach, Costa Rica


Hallstatt, Austria

Many years ago, I watched a Rick Steve’s DVD, Europe Through the Back Door, and absolutely feel in love with Hallstatt. Ever since it has been on my bucket list and, when booking our 30th wedding anniversary trip to Europe, I definitely expected it to be one of the highlights. Most people we spoke to had never heard of Hallstatt and, with such popular sites within a few hours, it is conceivable how this destination could be missed. A bit off the beaten path, it is a small community regularly frequented by buses filled with tourists on day trips. This  picturesque, sleepy little town has stunning scenery, a tiny centre in Old Town, numerous gift shops, the Salz Welton Salt Mine, the World Heritage Lookout, traditional wooden boat rides and breathtaking mountain views. There is not much to do in the evening so you may want to consider a weekday visit and save more lively destinations like Salzburg or Vienna for the weekend. It is however, a great place to wind down, rejuvenate, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

I was excited to take the wooden boat ride to get a different perspective of the town. While the sign indicated a 30 minute boat ride for $10. when we got on we were taken across the lake to Obertraun, charged $7, dropped off and had to wait an hour, and pay another $7. to return. There was little communication with the operator due to the language barrier and no one answered the reservation phone number when we tried to call in advance. We were however treated to a private boat ride on the way back which was quite lovely. If you are wanting a tour of the lake, it may be better to contact the reservation phone number posted on the boat dock prior.

There is no where to buy ice in town but staff at the hotel at the far end of Old Town  was nice enough to fill the small bag we had taken with us. There are many quaint shops in Old Town, unique churches, waterfalls near the tunnel, and a store where you can watch local craftsmen make wooden toys. We do not have any recommendations for dining, as we made all our own meals during our stay. Due to the limited hours and food selection at the local grocery store, we would recommend purchasing gas and groceries at the larger community between Hallstatt and Bad Ischl.

The Salz Welton salt mine tour and Skywalk World Heritage Lookout is a great attraction and a definite must see when visited this area. Rich in history and very engaging with the mine shaft slides, Salz Welton was one of our most favorite sites on our entire vacation. The scenery from the World Heritage Lookout point is absolutely breath-taking and more economical than going to Five Fingers Dashstein in Obertraun.

Whether you are planning to stopover at Hallstatt for a day trip, or to spend a couple of nights, it is a definitely a magical destination. As a recognized UNESCO world site, there is no denying why Hallstatt why it is a tourist favorite.

Happy travels, J&B

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