Enchanting villages and splendid cities – including the Baroque capital of Salzburg – lie nestled among the stunning lakes and mountains scenery of this popular walking region.
About this Austria walking region
Salzburger Land is one of the most popular holiday spots in the Austrian Alps. The beautiful scenery, comprising sweeping valleys surrounded by the mighty peaks of the Hohe Tauern National Park, is a major draw card for visitors. Towns including Zell am See, Kaprun and Saalbach Hinterglemm are all attractively sited within the Park’s boundaries.
Salzburg is an important cultural centre with an interesting heritage. Salt, the essential condiment which gives the land its name, has been instrumental in the history of Salzburg – and it is often referred to as “white gold”. Trade was conducted via the River Salzach, which linked the capital with much of its hinterland.
The capital is also famed for being Mozart’s birthplace, and music is an important aspect of this region’s culture.
Walkers will be spoilt for choice. In addition to an extensive network of walking trails, there are no less than 185 picturesque lakes – including Wolfgangsee, the region’s largest – and some impressive mountain peaks, the highest of which is Mt. Grossvenediger at 3,666 metres (12,028 feet).
Walking in Salzburger Land
Whether you are seeking a gentle ramble or a more challenging hike, you will have plenty of alluring options in Salzburger Land. What makes this region stand out is the sheer number of marked walking trails (covering 7,200km/4,474mi of land) and the breathtaking landscapes. Gently rolling hills alternate with grassy mountains and rugged crags – and all of this is punctuated by a stunning collection of lakes.
To the south of Salzburger Land lie the ranges of the Central Alps where some peaks top 3,000m. The land is also bordered by The Dachstein Massif to the east and the Berchtesgaden Alps in the north.
A large part of the famous Hohe Tauern National Park lies within the southern section of Salzburger Land. Established in 1971, Hohe Tauern National Park was mapped out to protect the natural environment around the Hohe Tauern’s highest peaks. Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner, lies within the park’s confines.
Wildlife lovers will not be disappointed. Around one third of the land area here is a protected nature reserve. If you’re lucky, you may spot the elusive Alpine Chamois (a goat-antelope cross breed) and the rather more prevalent Murmeltier (marmot). For more information on the local flora and fauna and nature trails, the tourist offices in Badgastein, Zell am See and other towns and villages bordering the park will have a supply of leaflets to help guide you.
There are 1,800 hill farms dotted around the valleys, and 550 of them serve refreshments, so you are never too far from a cooling drink or a tasty local snack.
The area’s most visited spots are well serviced by transport, too. In summer, over 50 cable cars are in operation and valleys are connected by public buses and hiking shuttles.