This summer was definitely a good summer for us hiker! Mr A and myself spent three long weekends in the mountains – plus a quick getaway after our wedding (our honeymoon is yet to come).
This may have been our favourite long weekend, even though competition is tough, and we spent it in an area completely unbeknownst to us before. We’d both been there for skiing but never to hike.
Mr A and I had planned on going skiing in winter. However, he fell ill and so we contacted the owner of Apartments Wieseneck we had booked to find out whether we could cancel our stay on a few days’ notice. He told us we wouldn’t be able to cancel but we’d be able to move our stay to another time. We quickly concluded that the long weekend in August (due to a public holiday) would be perfect. No skiing but hiking. Fair enough.
What a great decision!
When we arrived at the fairy tale-like building that housed our apartment it was bitterly cold: 5°. In mid-August! However, the owner had been kind enough to turn on the central heating. What a nice thought! We enjoyed the comfort a warm apartment will offer, then donned our primaloft jackets and beanies to watch the Perseids from the balcony that were especially impressive in an area with so little light pollution
Our walks, hikes and climbs
The next morning it was drizzling with rain. We still didn’t want to stay indoors all day so we chose a short hike close to water where it would be wet anyways: To the Riesach waterfalls and then through Höll Gorge (sometimes incorrectly translated as Hell’s Gorge), along a path over the raging waters, over two suspension bridges and quite a few steps.
Above the gorge there is a beautiful lake and one can keep walking from pasture to pasture for days, staying at different huts. We turned back and followed the road down though.
On Saturday we woke up to bright sunshine and figured we should seize the day.
We walked the Three-Lakes-Hike (Drei-Seen-Wanderung) from Steirischer Bodensee to Hüttensee to Obersee. The landscape was magnificient:
The following day promised to be perfect weather. Dachstein it had to be. Until we realised that there were no more spots available for a gondola ride up the mountain. That’s when the owner of our apartment came in and mentioned that it was quite a scenic hike of only 2 hours – including an easy via ferrata called Hunerschartensteig (B-graded).
It was a hot day but perfect for this route. There was hardly anyone up there with us and we could ascend at our own pace (something I always enjoy).
On the top, we walked across what’s left of the glacier and up Kleiner Gjaidstein where we sat and took in the breathtaking vista across Salzkammergut – all the way to Traunstein and Ewige Wand.
We had a ticket for a ride downhill at 6pm but thankfully they let us on a (much) earlier gondola and we were home, showered and having dinner by the time we would otherwise have only just boarded.
On our last day we set off from Ursprungalm where the Heidi-film was made, towards Giglachsee (Lake Giglach). After only about an hour of walking – we were approximately halfway around the lake, maybe 15 minutes from the hut – thunder started so threatingly that we decided to turn back to the car. We made it there dry but only just and hadn’t been on the road for long when it started raining heavily, with thunder and lightning all around us.
The owner of our apartment is part of an initiative that offers the Salzkammergut Erlebnis-Card. This card gives you such an amazing amount of discounts and free stuff you won’t believe it! We didn’t have to pay for any toll roads – and even the cable car up and down Dachstein is free with it. You just have to show your card and pass thorugh.
Like the really cool kids do.
We saved so much money with it and it came free with our stay so I can only recommend you look into this page or ask at the place where you’re staying whether you’ll be eligible for it.
As you see, we had a wonderful long weekend of hiking in the Dachstein-region and are sure to visit again as soon as we can. After all, there are still so many more paths to trod.
What is your favourite hiking region in Austria? Any secrets regarding walks or viae ferratae you feel like sharing?