Perched quietly over a large lake and surrounded by misty mountains, the picture-perfect village of Hallstatt looks like it’s been taken straight out of a fairytale. Located in the Austrian region of Salzkammergut in the Eastern Alps, Hallstatt is a UNESCO heritage site and for a good reason. It’s not only considered to be one of the oldest, still inhabited villages in Europe, but its stunning beauty and breathtaking landscapes make it a magical travel destination.
If that’s not enough to make you want to visit, here are five reasons why you should travel to Hallstatt in 2015!
Once you walk past the square and the Hallstatt Heritage Hotel, you will be greeted by this spectacular view. It’s so beautiful that it’s almost hard to believe it’s real!
The colourful, richly ornamented houses and the slender silhouette of the Evangelical Church are the trademarks of Hallstatt’s stunning architectural style. Not only that, these beautiful buildings hold many secrets. Visit the grounds of the 15th Century Our Lady Church to discover the Bone House (Beinhause) and its collection of hand-painted skulls, stored there due to the lack of space at the nearby cemetery. Slightly creepy yet fascinating!
The Dachstein Mountains and Caves
Photo credits: Mein Salzburg
A part of the UNESCO heritage site, these beautiful mountains are a view to behold. Just a short drive from Hallstatt, they are home to many beautiful caves, including the famous Ice Cave, filled with caverns, giant icicles and frozen waterfall-like creations. The mountains are also a perfect spot to marvel at the stunning landscapes. The most popular viewing points are at the 5Fingers and Welterbespirale – they both offer spectacular panoramic views of the region.
Hallstatt’s history dates back to as early as 2,000 BC – pretty impressive for such a small town! Prosperous during the Iron Age thanks to the blooming salt trade, followed by a period of cultural decline after the end of the Roman dominance, Hallstatt’s rich history adds to its beauty. To stand face-to-face with the city’s past, visit the archaeological excavation site in the cellar of the local sports shop.
Hallstätter See, the beautiful, calm lake surrounding the town stretches for about 8.5 kilometers. My favourite part of the day was waking up to the stunning lake view, and the misty, snow-covered mountains hoovering over it. Hallstatt isn’t the only quaint village on the lake’s shoreline – the nearby towns of Obertraun and Steeg, although not as pretty, are worth a quick visit.
Have you ever been to Hallstatt? Let us know in the comments below!