Austria: A day trip from Salzburg

My fabulous day trip from Salzburg started at the Gaisberg, one of Salzburg’s ‘town mountains’ – how wonderful to have mountains so close! I wanted to do some hiking in the surrounding country and thanks to the guidance of my friend and well-connected bus services this is a day trip from Salzburg I can highly recommend.

Bus Line 151 leaves from Mirabellplatz in central Salzburg and runs (weekdays at 10:10 and on weekends and holidays at 1:10 and 2:10) about a half hour to the outskirts of the city and the flanks of the Gaisberg. From there another bus climbed up the mountain through the district of Gnigl to a place where you can join the circular Gaisberg trail. You can buy tickets on the bus (it was only a few Euros).

View of Gaisberg and Nockstein from Salzburg

This is a very popular area for Salzburgers and there were plenty of walkers and bikers about (in winter cross-country skiing is king). There are a few hotels and restaurants on the mountain for refreshments. In the above photo you can see a view from Salzburg across to Gaisberg and the little lump of Nockstein on the horizon – see how close to town it is!

The Gaisberg trail is a popular and well-marked five kilometre track around the mountain. I followed it around the front of the mountain to a viewing bridge. The views from here of Salzburg city, surrounding farmland and the Untersberg are amazing and go on to the Göll massif, the Tennen Mountains and the spectacular peaks of Bavaria beyond.

View from the Gaisberg trail, Salzburg, Austria

After the viewing bridge continue to skirt around the Gaisberg for a while and look out for a signpost at a path to the left pointing to the Nockstein. While hiking in Austria look out for the yellow signposts and also the red-white-red painted blazes (on trees and rocks etc) to make sure you are on the trail.

Autumn folrest colours on Gaisberg, Salzburg day out

The path drops down through the trees, zigzagging into the valley, before climbing again steadily towards the Nockstein. This prominent limestone crag 1,043m above sea level that offers more marvellous views across the green and gold landscape, including away to the Salzburg lake district.

View from Nockstein, Salzburgerland

From the summit of the Nockstein, drop down the path that leads away behind the peak. This descends steeply through the trees until you come out on a forestry road that passes through green meadows to the road. Here you will find a bus stop (you can see it from the top of the Nockstein) for services back to Salzburg or onwards to Lake Fuschl and beyond.

Hiking the shore of Lake Fuschl, Salzburg day out

I carried on to Lake Fuschl and walked along the shores for a few hours to complete my wonderful day out from Salzburg. Get off the bus at the stop for the Schloss Fuschl (now a Sheraton hotel) and walk down the road towards the lake shore, turning right instead of going to the hotel.

Fischerei lunch by Lake Fuschl, Salzburg day out

Just on the lakeshore is a delightfully rustic ‘fischerei’ where you can buy a few freshly smoked lake fish, as well as good bread and condiments to enjoy a tasty al fresco lunch at tables beside the lake. Washed down with a blood orange Radler, this may have been the best lunch I have ever had!

View from Fuschl, Salzburg day out

I’m sure Lake Fuschl is beautiful at any time of year but in autumn it is stunning, just take a look at the colours and reflections in the photo at the top of this post. From the fischerei it took a couple of hours to walk around the shore to the holiday village at the head of the lake. From here you can get a bus back to Salzburg. The perfect day trip from Salzburg!

By Natasha von Geldern

Do you have recommendations for a day trip from Salzburg?

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