Austrian Lakes Walk

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Headwater

A glorious mix of spectacular scenic views, wooded forest trails and picture-perfect 'chocolate box' villages await as you pass crystal-clear lakes, babbling streams and secluded bays.

Single Supplement
Add 260 single supplement
Meals
All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
Accommodation
Goldenes Schiff (4 star)
The Hotel Goldenes Schiff is located at the bank of the River Traun at the heart of Bad Ischl, only a two-minute walk from the thermal baths of the Eurotherme Bad Ischl and five minutes from the train station. You will immediately fall in love with the peace and quiet and the unique view of the picturesque landscape of the Salzkammergut region.

Hotel Bergrose (4 star)
This is a beautiful 30-room hotel based a 5-minute bike ride from the eastern shore of Wolfgangsee on the outskirts of the village of Strobl. It is a traditional building with wooden balconies and Gothic script on the exterior, and is located on a river bank next to a meadow. It has a lovely secluded garden, three stories of perfect Austrian wood-panelled luxury inside and an indoor pool and spa area. Rooms here are junior suites with shower or bath - all Headwater rooms have a balcony. The rooms are beautifully decorated with quality pine furniture and comfortable beds. Please note that junior suite twins consist of a double bed and a sofa bed. Parents of children under 10 years old should be aware that some rooms at the Hotel Bergrose have a balcony with a step up.

Hotel Gasthof Zur Post (4 star)
Literally follow in the footsteps of travellers from the past as the Family Leitner welcome you to the Gasthof Zur Post. The building dates back over 600 years and was at one time a stage coach stop off before becoming a hotel. Inside you have a wonderful blend of history and tradition. Centrally located and just a few minutes' walk from Wolfgangsee, the Hotel Zur Post makes an ideal base from which to explore the local area, visit the Music and Mozart Museums, hike up Zwolferhorn or be pampered in the sauna and steam spa. The rooms here have been very recently renovated, and contain all the mod-cons you would expect from a 4 star hotel. Most rooms have a balcony too; please request this at the time of booking.

Hotel Leitnerbrau (4 star)
The Leitnerbrau Hotel can be found in the very heart of Mondsee, just a stone's throw from the famous church used in 'The Sound of Music' and a 5-minute stroll from the lakeside where there are frequent summer shows and events. A 30-room, family-run property, it is broad, modern and spacious inside whilst retaining the typical Tyrolean architecture outside. Bedrooms are extremely spacious, with queen size beds and traditional wooden furnishings.

Travel
Out: Lufthansa Heathrow to Salzburg via Frankfurt 07:30/13:55 then transfer to hotel 1 hr. Return: Transfer to airport 1hr then Lufthansa Salzburg to Heathrow via Frankfurt 14:35/18:40.
Destinations
  • Austria
  • Salzburg
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • Self Guided
  • Walking
Departure Points
  • London Airport
Day 1: Arrive at Bad Ischl
Arrive at your 4 star hotel in Bad Ischl and relax before dinner in the wellness centre.

Day 2: Hallstatt walk 11km/7mi/3hr
Today take a bus to the spectacular alpine village of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest village in Austria. Take the panoramic funicular railway up the mountain and visit the historical salt mine. Use the ferry to cross the lake and follow a beautiful walk to Bad Goisern before returning to Bad Ischl by train.

Day 3: At Bad Ischl
There is plenty to do today - explore pretty Bad Ischl itself, with its riverside location. Stroll along the esplanade and have coffee and cake in the world famous Zauner cafe, take in some of the imperial history (visit the Emperor's Villa and gardens) or relax in the EurothermenResort Thermal Baths. A trip to the nearby Dachstein Ice caves and spectacular 5 Finger Lookout is also an option.

Day 4: Bad Ischl to Strobl 16km/10mi/4hr or 20km/12.5mi/6hr
Walk (2km) or take the cable car from Bad Ischl to the summit of Katrin (1,393m). There are fabulous 360ree; views of Traun and Hallstatt lakes, backed by the impressive Hollengebirge and Dachstein peaks. From here, your route takes you down the forested Katrin Pass. Tiny violet gentian flowers perfume your route as you pass Nussen Lake, a great picnic spot. Continue along the valley following the River Traun until you reach Strobl.

Day 5: At Strobl
There's lots to see and do in the village of Strobl, including a summer toboggan run and a wide range of water sports; you can also join one of the many hop on, hop off lake cruisers, visit the natural beach for sunbathing or take the bus (90 minutes) to beautiful Salzburg, with its Renaissance gardens, Baroque palaces and the oldest open air theatre in Europe.

Day 6: Strobl to St Gilgen 14km/8.5mi/4hrs
Today's route takes you along the north shore of Lake Wolfgang, a stunning expanse of vivid turquoise waters, popular with yacht owners, kite surfers and fellow walkers. Enjoy lunch in pretty St Wolfgang, renowned for its beautiful 15th century church and frescoed houses, before continuing along the pilgrims' path past the Falkenstein Chapel, curiously built into the cliff face.

Day 7: At St Gilgen
A thriving lace-making centre in the 1700s, today St Gilgen is a delightful village with a busy waterfront, lined with restaurants. Mozart's mother was born here and you can visit her house, which now includes a small museum. Or follow the official Mozartsteig hiking trail to Fuschl, passing between the Ellmautall and Eibenberg mountains. Heading through the heart of the nature reserve along forested paths you'll see many multi-coloured butterflies until you catch a breathtaking view of tranquil Fuschlsee - the smallest of the Salzkammergut lakes, but without doubt one of the prettiest.

Day 8: St Gilgen (Fuschl) to Mondsee 11km/7mi/3hrs or 15km/9.5mi/4hr
From Fuschl, head up on a gentle wooded trail to the remains of Wartenfels Castle, from where you catch fantastic aerial views of Fuschlsee, Irrsee and Mondsee. Take the optional walk to the summit of the Schober, at 1,320m you can gaze over to Lake Wolfgang and the Schafberg peaks. Treat yourself to a well-earned Viennese coffee and apfelstrudel in Mondsee's central square looking out over St Michael's Basilica, which was famously used in 'The Sound of Music' wedding scene.

Day 9: Leave Mondsee


You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

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Touring with Headwater

In 1985, Richard and Christine Bass made the life-changing decision to turn a passion into a business and thus Headwater was born at their kitchen table.

The first Headwater tours were launched in summer 1986 and modestly comprised three holidays in the Upper Loire Valley in France: a canoeing holiday and two self-guided walking holidays.

Their vision for Headwater was clear, right from the start. Richard and Christine wanted to offer their customers exactly what they loved in a holiday – family-run, friendly hotels, an authentic experience of a region, including culture, cuisine and fine wines, and above all a fantastic level of personal service, with staff on hand in resort to help and guide as required.

After a successful 10 years specialising in France, Headwater launched a new Great Walks in Europe brochure in 1995, offering a selection of hand-picked guided walking holidays in eight countries. As a result of the phenomenal success of this, a year later the first self-guided walking and cycling holidays in Italy were launched.

In 1999, Richard and Christine decided to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labour, and sold Headwater – but not before ensuring it was in the safest of hands to continue their legacy.

Today, they enjoy taking customers (new and loyal) on journeys on foot or by bike throughout 18 countries worldwide. Whilst they have embraced modern technology and changing times since 1985, Richard and Christine’s ethos remains key to all of their holidays and they consider it their mission to ensure that the same detail, knowledge and passion goes into delivering each and every trip.

With more than 32 years’ experience, their collection now includes 59 self-guided and 12 guided walking holidays and 62 cycling holidays. Their canoeing holiday in the Dordogne remains as popular as ever, as well as their choice of winter snow holidays (cross-country skiing and winter walking) that run between December and April in Austria and Norway.

They are particularly proud of their Headwater-employed representatives (reps) who are on-hand in 15 regions in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Bavaria. Burgundy is their longest-standing “repped region” – Richard and Christine researched the holidays and they have been running them since 1992. Their reps provide 24-hour support in resort including: briefing you on arrival, transporting your luggage from hotel to hotel, offering a ‘Wine Service’ where they collect any bottles you’ve purchased en route and transport them to your final hotel for you, and giving you tips and advice and sharing their knowledge of the local area, the routes, the best views and generally helping you to make the most of your trip. Each year, before the season starts, the reps have an in-depth training session at Headwater HQ to make sure they’re ready for the summer ahead.

Their newest addition to the Headwater portfolio is a selection of single-centre activity holidays in Brittany and the Dordogne, France and Catalunya, Spain. These are ideal for multi-generational families and groups – take a look below for some Headwater inspiration.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Headwater

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