Lake Wolfgang: A Jewel in the Salzkammergut!

By Rose Marie Gatscha

Lake Wolfgang is very popular in summer for hiking, biking, water sports, and paragliding. The fall season is invigorating for hikers, and the winter season offers cross country and downhill skiing. Two and a half hours from Vienna, Lake Wolfgang can be reached by car, train or bus via Salzburg and Bad Ischl.

Christmas Markets are dazzling. The villages, connected by ferries, offer spectacular views of the villages and their distinctive emblems: St. Gilgen’s 11 meter high advent candle, Strobl’s Christmas star, and St. Wolfgang’s enormous lantern of peace.

Weekend Farmers’ Markets in Strobl and St. Gilgen offer regional products and are wonderful places to people watch, sip schnapps, or eat homemade specialties.

Snuggled in coves along the shore are the three municipalities of St. Gilgen, Strobl, and St. Wolfgang. Formerly an exclusive summer gathering place for the wealthy elite and the imperial entourage, the lake now hosts travelers from all over the world.

St. Gilgen may be enjoyed on foot as accommodations, restaurants, and the waterfront promenade are in short walking distance.

  • Mozarthaus hosts summer concerts, a folk music evening, and art exhibits.
  • The International Museum of Musical Instruments has 2000 instruments on display from all over the world.
  • The Heritage Museum, built in 1655, offers information about local community history.

St. Wolfgang boasts the most shops, restaurants and accommodations and is the most frequently visited.

  • The Church of St. Wolfgang where In 976 the Bishop of Regensburg forced the devil to help him build the church on the shores of the lake. To this day pilgrimages are made from Regensburg, Germany to the village of St. Wolfgang to venerate St. Wolfgang.
  • A European treasure, the church altar is home to an exquisite altar triptych created by the 15th century painter and sculptor, Michael Pacher.
  • The romantic White Horse Inn nestled along the shores of the lake was the subject of a popular operetta at the end of the 19th century. The musical comedy was produced as a film, in 1960 and in 2013.

Encounter the breathtaking vistas around Wolfgangsee experienced by millions of viewers of The Sound of Music.

  • The Postalm, the largest mountain plateau in Austria (40 km²), offers hiking trails of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty; in winter the ski center has 8 lifts, numerous downhill slopes and nordic ski tracks.
  • The Zwölferhorn, open nearly all year round takes 16 minutes up in the gondola tand 3 hours to walk down. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for clear, sunny days for breathtaking views.
  • The Schaffbergbahn, a cog railway opened in 1893, runs from St. Wolfgang to the summit of the Schaffberg rising 1783 meters. The peak offers a spectacular 360º panorama of the Salzkammergut mountains, lakes and glaciers.

My honeymoon gave me my first glimpse of Lake Wolfgang - two glorious weeks of sunny, warm weather in July 1980. It is one of the warmest lakes in the region, but short, sudden rain showers can surprise.

Follow the links below for more information. Explore and discover beautiful Lake Wolfgang!