Lake District: Dirndl and Lederhosen Country
The Salzkammergut, or Lake District, is famous for its unparalleled natural beauty. Seven thousand years of cultural history add to the mystical aura exuded by the region’s pristine lakes and majestic mountains. It is also a region where traditions are held high and the Dirndl still represents a unique way of life.
Located between the Alps and the foothills of the Alps, the Salzkammergut spans three provinces: Upper Austria, Salzburg and Styria. The oldest village in the Salzkammergut has a 7,000 year long history: Hallstatt has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage sites. In Bad Ischl, the “secret capital of the Salzkammergut,“ a hint of the splendour of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy still lingers. St. Wolfgang and Gmunden are famous movie locations. With its idyllic charm, the Salzkammergut attracted emperors, archdukes, operetta stars and renowned artists. As soon as you take a boat ride on lake Hallstatt or take part in one of the local festivals, you’ll know for yourself why they fell in love.
Among the defining assets of the Salzkammergut are its 76 lakes. Attersee, Mondsee, Traunsee, Wolfgangsee, Hallstätter See, Altausseer See, Grundlsee, Fuschlsee, Irrsee or Almsee: each one has its own special character. For hikers, approximately 4,000 kilometres of marked hiking trails make the variety of nature on the fringes of the Alps accessible: idyllic lake promenades, cool forests, numerous theme paths and rugged mountain trails await.
The people of the Salzkammergut are very proud of their longstanding traditions, which makes the region a paradise for arts and crafts lovers, antiques hunters and, of course, Dirndl fans. Peter Ahamer’s leather workshop in Ebensee is the place to get Lederhosen. His products are in such demand, the wait for a pair of Lederhosen is seven years. Bad Aussee has Europe’s oldest hat manufactory – founded in 1532 – and in Gmunden, the famous Gmundner Keramik manufactory has been making its well-known green mottled pottery for more than 100 years. Selected quality crafts shop of the Salzkammergut present themselves under the umbrella brand of “Salzkammergut Meisterstraße” (Road of Master Craftsmen) and at the Hand.Werk.Haus Salzkammergut in Bad Goisern. And last but by no mean least, Rastl in Bad Aussee is the go-to address for custom-made traditional Ausseer Dirndl, with their characteristic green bodice, pink skirt and purple apron. Bad Aussee is also famous for its typical colourful hand block printing.