Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Picturesque Hallstatt

If  I had to describe Hallstatt in one word, it would be 'picturesque'.
Cited as one of the most beautiful places in the world, it is definitely worth a visit if you're traveling to Austria. While the small lakeside village can easily be covered in a day on foot, I would recommend staying for at least one night to truly appreciate its beauty. It is prettiest early in the morning when the sun casts its gentle rays on the lake.

Traveling to Hallstatt from Vienna takes about 3 hours by train. The comfortable ride brings you on a journey through farms, pastures and small towns. As it approaches Hallstatt, you begin to see the enviable lifestyle of the locals living in the countryside.
Short walk down to the jetty.

When our train came to a stop at Hallstatt, the Stephanie Ferry was already waiting by the jetty to bring passengers to the village across the lake.
The village across the lake.
On board the ferry.
 The village is indeed a small place. Locating our hotel, Seehotel Grüner Baum, was easy as it is only steps away from the jetty. We made the right decision to stay in this hotel. The bed is really comfortable and the staff is polite and patient. The food here is good too.

Even though we left Vienna on an early morning train, it was close to 2pm when we arrived at the hotel. We were hungry and tired.
 The alfresco dining area overlooking the lake and snowcapped mountains looked so inviting, we sat down for lunch without any hesitation.

Seafood pasta.

Beef carpaccio.

Local fish.

Herb crusted pork loin.
There are many day trippers in Hallstatt, so it is not surprising to find the noisy groups of tourists gone when night falls. Most of the shops here close early with very few restaurants staying open at night.

What was surprising though, was the large number of Asian tourists we saw here. Some of my  friends living in Germany have never heard of the UNESCO protected Hallstatt, yet the city square was teeming with travellers from China and Korea during our visit. I found out later that China has replicated the village in Huihzou. You can read about it here.
 The biggest attraction here (I mean the real Hallstatt of course) is the salt mine which features a viewing platform that offers a panoramic view of Hallstatt village. 

Instead of visiting the mine, we explored the nooks and crannies of the small village including the cemetery and bone chapel. Enjoy the gorgeous sceneries captured in our photos.


Amel said...

Absolutely breathtaking. Made me want to jump into the place from the pictures he he...

The World According To Me said...

Wow, stunning.

Wen-ai said...

Really beautiful... makes me wana sing "The hills are alive... " ;P