Mountains are such a grateful destination, where one can travel in any season and there is always a lot to do. There is a certain charm of it for us when it comes to autumn. The colorful trees and soaked in the last shine of sun dawn. Last year we were in Bormio-Italy and this time we wanted to go somewhere closer, to be able to drive and take even Falco with us.
As glaciers are my thing and Mathew wanted to visit Hallstatt we knew instantly where to go. Dachstein was it and we could not do any better!
If you would like to know where to stay, then make sure to check review of the hotel where we spend three perfect nights. This is a typical hotel chalet with private sauna and who would say no to it .. dah!
We left Czech republic in the afternoon, relatively soon and so we hoped we would make it in time, but we were terribly wrong as it seemed like everyone decided to go for their holiday that day and so we spend approx 1,5 hours in traffic, plus some time on petrol stations and so on.
We reached the borders almost when the sun was setting. Needed to purchase the highway stamp and off we continued again.
We reached the hotel just after 10 pm, as driving in darkness is not one of my strength, especially when the entire trip is a steep and curvy uphill. We also had to have an argument with our gps, as it kept taking through the most weirdest and narrowest streets and ups there is a cow right in front of us!
When we finally reached the apartment we fell into bed and where instantly transfered to dream land.
The other morning we got up quite soon, as we wanted to be among the first ones to get to the Dachstein Glacier. We woke up to natural quietness. Nothing else, than sounds of chirping birds and cow bells. Hills were still covered with the morning fog and the tops were soaked in sunlight. Gosh, what a zen moment.
We usually do not use the possibility of any kind of entrances, it must be really interesting for us to do so, as we know, that these are usually super expensive for the tourists and we honestly rather spend it on food.
The Dachstein gondola costs 38 eur per person, so we shivered a bit, but that is one of those things you truly want to experience. Luckily for us though, we stayed in a hotel, who gives a summer card to their clients, in the price of their accommodation.
This card is so worth it, that you should not even think of booking a hotel without this option. Try for example the beautiful Rittis Chalet.
So as it was still summer (until the middle of October) we were able to enjoy the gondola for free and what´s even better, it covers even the alpine road to the gondola, where you have to pay a toll of 14 eur per car. Thanks to this card we were able to save 90 eur. That is worth it, isn´t it?
If you are not afraid of heights, than you should for sure try the hanging bridge and the ,,step into nothingness". This is an amazing feeling of freedom and the opportunity to have a great view. The entrance costs 3 eur and it is not suitable for dogs (smalls in bag-pack are ok)
By the gondola station is of course a restaurant as well, but if you want something special, then head for the glacier trail. It is a stunning and easy walk on 800 years old glacier (which is sadly disappearing), suitable even for kids, elderly and dogs. At the end of this trail you will find one of the typical mountain huts (Seethalerhütte) with kind locals and traditional food.
The next day we went to Rittisberg, where we also had the lift for free. This will be mostly enjoyed by children as on top there is a beautiful fun park, with view of Dachstein on the other side. Parent´s can enjoy their radler from the local hut before taking the ,,barefoot trail" and taking the hill down with a borrowed push-scooter.
If it is not enough for you, than you can try the summer bobsled or a zip-line in the forest.
Here is ton of things to do, huts and museums to visit. Check it up front on the internet and make the most out of your stay.
Not even a week would be enough for us to try everything, but we eventually had to leave and visit Hallstatt on our way home.
We reached it at about 11 and it was already full of tourists and with no possibility to leave our car anywhere. Not a typical town, where you can leave it by a sidewalk or so and we had to leave it pretty far, but for free so no complains.
I pictured a romantic walk in a historical picture like town, but this place became too touristy, that we were bumped many times and had to cary Falco so that no one stepped at him. Hire a small boat and go further to the lake, that will give you a nice view and calm moments.
Or take the old trail to the salt mines, which takes above the town and you may even see the beauty of forest and waterfall. I bet not many people know about this or they are not willing to explore properly and then they loose on the views.
Over all we recommend Hallstatt only soon in the morning and we do not think, that it is worth it to stay over. Hotels are over priced and there is not much to do for two days. It literally took us just couple hours to walk through it and enjoy the views.
Video from our trip