Staff Review

Salzburg & The Austrian Lake District


20 Jul 2017

by The Kirker Team

Kirker Holidays

Salzburg was the birthday place of Mozart and its unique location, near the Bavarian border, means that the majestic alps protect it and make for quite the spectacular backdrop. Salzburg itself is a city rich in music and art, dominated by a 900 year old castle - Hohensalzburg, which has panoramic views of the lush landscape of forests and rivers below, with the mountains placed majestically in the background. The old town has a lovely contrast between narrow alleys with cobbled streets and grand historic buildings, which overlook open squares where there are plenty of pavement cafés to sit and watch the world go by.

The Auersperg is in a residential part of town, but as Salzburg is so walkable, you don't have to stroll far before you come by the Imperial gardens or the River Saalach which meanders through the city. The hotel itself is a truly delightful family-run townhouse, with 25 rooms surrounding the tranquil garden and lily pond - a true haven in the summer. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace which has panoramic views over the rooftops. I had the privilege of staying at the Sacher Salzburg, perhaps the most prestigious address in town. Located right on the river banks, this stylish traditional hotel has brilliant views of the old town and the castle up on the hillside. Delicious coffees and fresh pastries are served in the 'Café Sacher', while the hotel terrace overlooking the river has become something of a hotspot to enjoy cocktails in the afternoon. The hotel also has a fine-dining restaurant 'Zirbelzimmer' with traditional wood panelling and typical Austrian Cuisine.

After spending an enchanting night in Salzburg we were picked up by our driver Wolfgang - a charming character who seemed to know everything about the area (and also took a couple of slight detours to show us amazing viewpoints). We drove to the Salzkammergut, Austria's beautiful lake district, in just under an hour from Salzburg. This beautiful region is filled with mountains and crystal clear lakes, and even in the most well-known parts of the lake district you can always find a quiet spot for boating, walking or simply watching the world go by. This area really is the epitome of peace and tranquillity and the lakes are so clear that you can see every fish swimming by as you sit at a lake side restaurant.

We have two wonderful hotels in this area which are perfect for rest and relaxation. The first is the White Horse Inn, originally built in the 15th century and one of the most photographed in Austria. The hotel is located right in the heart of St Wolfgang, on the edge of the Wolfgangsee. A unique feature is the floating heated swimming pool, although if you are brave enough I would recommend taking a brisk dip in the lake itself - according to the locals it's good for your soul... The hotel also has a wonderful restaurant 'Kaiser' with a beautiful terrace looking onto the lush green mountains in the summer and snow-capped peaks in the winter months. St Wolfgang also has a wonderful Christmas market if you visit in December.

The second hotel is the Schloss Fuschl, which is a romantic castle with a perfect lakeside setting. The hotel lies within its own extensive park land, and has extraordinary views over the Fuschlsee and the mountains beyond. This is the perfect spot to unwind, walk in the hills and perhaps try your arm at fishing - the hotel has its own fishery and sole fishing rights on the lake.'The combination of Salzburg and the Lake district was such a lovely surprise for me. The charming rustic ambience of Salzburg combined with the absolutely breath-taking views of the Salzkammergut is in my opinion the perfect combination.

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