Nestled between the edge of Hallstätter See and the towering Dachstein mountains, Austria’s oldest and possibly most photographed village is something like a mirage in the Salzkammergut Lake Region. Archeological evidence shows that this isolated village, which gained its wealth through the salt trade, has been thriving as early as the 8th century B.C.
There are a few options for arriving in the spectacular Alpine village of Hallstatt, but the best way to experience the magnitude of this famous location is with a ferry ride across the lake. As the arresting scenery of a tiny village tucked between mountains and water comes into view, you’ll immediately want to know more about this destination. What could be the secret to Hallstatt’s wealth and beautiful baroque architecture? For centuries, villagers have traded a very sought-after commodity that lies deep below the surface: salt. Bring the family to the Hallstatt Mines and travel by slide deep into the world’s oldest salt mines. Discover a subterranean salt lake and the mummy of a prehistoric miner who became preserved in salt. In addition to a museum with 7,000-year-old artifacts, several tours are available to reveal more about how Hallstatt came to be.
To commemorate your trip to this village, don’t forget to pack your camera. Take a short walk from the market square to take your very own snapshot of one of the most photographed points in the world. Capture the delightful houses built into the mountain, the glass-like lake, and the amazing mountains in the background. For more beautiful shots, take a nature walk through the Echerntal trail and discover landscapes that have attracted mountain climbers, explorers, romantic poets, and painters.