Austria Journals

A Week in the Austrian Alps

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A May 2010 trip to Austria by Joy S

Alpine chalet Photo, Austria, Europe More Photos
Quote: We spent a week in the Austrian Alps near Zell am See - walking, exploring and enjoying the magnificient Alpine scenery.

Overview and Highlights

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Alpine chalet Photo, Austria, Europe
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The picturesque Alpine country of Austria is one of Europe's winter sports hotspots with really family friendly skiing and snowboarding resorts. This landlocked country is less popular as a family destination in the summer months, but the lovely scenery and sparkling lakes more than make up for the lack of seaside. The plethora of outdoor pursuits like swimming, cycling and hiking also make it a great place for a family holiday in the summertime.In the heart of Europe, Austria runs from the Alps in the west to Vienna and the Danube in the east. For 6 centuries it was the heart of the mighty Hapsburg Empire, which at its peak, included what is now Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic a...Read More

Tips and Hints

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* If you do not speak German don't worry - most Austrian people speak excellent English.* Visiting Austria at any time of year is a great experience, but remember that the season will influence what you can do. Summer is generally pleasant and warm, but there can be a fair amount of rain. Out of 7 days in the mountains at the end of May/beginning of June, we had some rain on at least 4 of those days. Also it tended to stay cloudy until late morning, when the sun eventually managed to break through.* For the warmest weather, aim for the period between April and October, although, as mentioned above, it can still be changeable. Crowds and prices peak in July and August....Read More
Sportcamp Woferlgut Photo, Austria, Europe
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Our accommodation for our week in the Austrian Alps was Sportcamp Woferlgut - a campsite situated in a very picturesque location just a few kilometres from Zell am See and close to Kaprun.We booked our accommodation on-line with Eurocamp and stayed in a mobile home. The camp site has a collection of mobile homes - some available to hire through Eurocamp and Keycamp and some privately owned. There are also spaces where you can camp. It cost us around £500 for a week.We were met on arrival by the Eurocamp rep - a very helpful man who gave us lots of useful information and tips on the local area and discount vouchers. He also had a vast selection of board games, books, tennis ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2010

Sportcamp Woferlgut
Bruck An Der Glocknerstrasse
Austria, Europe
+43 (0) 6545 7303-0

Zell am See

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The lake Photo, Austria, Europe
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Zell am See is a picturesque medieval town situated on the shores of Lake Zell in the heart of the mountainous and beautiful Hohe Tauern National Park. It is 242 miles south west of Vienna and 53 miles south west of Salzburg. The town was founded by monks around the middle of the 18th century. The old part lies on the shores of Lake Zell under a backdrop of mountains. Lake Zell is a deep, glacial lake filled with clear blue alpine water.Zell am See is crowded and fashionable in both summer and winter. It is an ideal base for travelling along the Grossglockner Alpine Highway.The town was about 1km away from our campsite, so only a short drive for us. There are p...Read More
Entrance to the gorge Photo, Austria, Europe
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This is a lovely walk which is about 4 miles. We did it at quite a leisurely pace, taking our time through the gorge, stopping at the restaurant and doing a little bit of the fitness course for fun. The paths are hard surfaced track or grassy paths and there is no climbing involved. It is suitable for all the family.The starting point is the Sigmund Thun Gorge, just outside the village of Kaprun. There is free car-parking off the side of the road at the entrance to the gorge.Entrance to the gorge costs 3 Euros each or a family ticket costs 7.70 Euros.The gorge was developed in 1893 as a tourist attraction with a boardwalk planned by Kaprun tourist pioneed Nikola...Read More

Krimml Waterfalls

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Krimml waterfalls Photo, Austria, Europe
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It took us about 1 hour to drive to Krimml Waterfalls from our base near Zell am See.There are lots of car parks on the approach to the falls. We parked in the first one we came too and paid 4 Euros to park there for the whole day. All the car parks seemed to charge this price.The Krimml Waterfalls are the highest in Europe and drop 1,250 feet in 3 stages. They lie to the south of the Gerlos Pass which connects the Salzach Valley in Land Salzburg to the Siller Valley in the Tyrol. The falls open from the end of April until the end of October between 8am and 6pm. Entrance costs 1.5 Euros for adults and 50 cents for children. We bought a combined ticket to the falls and the...Read More

Kaprun and the Guggenhohenweg

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Kaprun centre Photo, Austria, Europe
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Kaprun is a special place for several reasons. It is a charming village in its own right, but add to that the backdrop of the towering Kitzsteinhorn and the beautiful lake on its doorstep, plus all year round skiing for beginners and advanced skiers thanks to the glacier.There is guaranteed snow on the glacier year round, regardless of the weather. In summer there are not many places where you can ski in the morning and relax by the lake in the sunshine in the afternoon. The summer season lasts from June until September. It can rain, but temperatures are generally higher than the UK.After exploring Kaprun, we walked along the Guggenhohenweg - a mountain path which leads you...Read More

The Eagles Nest, Berchtesgaden

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The tunnel at the bottom and the Eagles Nest  Photo, Austria, Europe
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The Eagles Neat is actually just over the border in Germany near Berchtesgaden. It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to drive here from our base near Zell am See.The Eagles Nest was designed and built for Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday and was originally designed to be a teahouse. It was built in just 13 months - including the road up to it which is Germany's highest road. Hitler seldom used the property as he found the journey up to it very unnerving - apparently he had a fear of heights.The road is a unique feat of engineering, as despite the great difference in elevation, there is only one hairpin bend.The bombings and battles of World War II left the building intac...Read More

Hallein Salt Mine

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All dressed up ready to go into the mine Photo, Austria, Europe
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The salt mine at Hallein is one of the world's oldest mines, preserved for tourists on the Durrnberg Mountain, overlooking Hallein. Salt was being mined here 2,500 years ago in the time of the Celts. Later it helped the Salzburg Prince Archbishops accumulate their limitless riches.Hallein is about 1.5 hours drive from Zell am See. It is close to Berchtesgaden and we combined our trip here with a morning visit to the Eagles Nest.It cost us 37 Euros for a family ticket into the mine. It is open 9am until 5pm and you have to go on an organised tour. These depart regularly. The tour lasts 75 minutes, and they recommend you need about 90 minutes to do this and visit the Celtic...Read More
The cable car Photo, Austria, Europe
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The Schmittenhohe - 6,453 feet high towers to the west of Zell am See. You can climb to the top in about 4 hours in summer, or, like us take the much easier option - the cable car.The parking area for the cable car is large and it is free to park there - it is quite a way out of the centre of the town.We decided to opt for a combined cable car and boat trip on lake Zell. A ticket for this cost 120 Euros for the 3 of us, we got 2 Euros back for each ticket (they were made of plastic) when we gave them in on the ship.The cable car ride up the mountain is lovely. We had a car to ourselves. The trip takes about 10 minutes and as you glide silently upwards, the most ...Read More

About the Writer

Joy S

Joy S
Manchester, United Kingdom