I am planning a trip to Austria and Italy for about 3 weeks in September, 2021. I will fly into Salzburg airport from San Francisco. I will rental a car and have a tentative itinerary as follows:
First 2 nights at Holiday Inn in Salzburg, using my free night certificates
This hotel is on the east side of the main train station, almost at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 150. I know that Salzburg is small and doesn't warrant two full days, but I need two easy days to recuperate from three flights (San Francisco-Montreal-Frankfurt-Salzburg).
On the third day, I will ride the train to Freilassing to collect my rental car.
For the 3rd night, this is where I need your help...
I would like to visit Hallstatt--take a boat trip and then swim briefly in the lake. There is a little dog beach in Obertraun by Hallstatter See that I would like to swim in. I dream about swimming in cool Alpine water and playing fetch with some nice pooches.
For this night, I am not sure whether I should stay in Obertraun or again at the Holiday Inn at Salzburg. Day tripping from Salzburg enables me to use another one of my soon-expiring free hotel night certificates and to avoid the mundane processes of checking-in and out of different hotels. On the other hand, staying in Obertraun gives me more flexibility and time to explore Hallstatt and Hallstatter See. I know that, in order to avoid tour bus crowds, the best times to be there are early morning and late afternoon.
4-8th nights in Kitzbühel area
Will spend time in Tirol, but east of Innsbruck. Just to chill in the Alps: light hiking in the mountains and along river gorges, swimming in lakes, and enjoying awesome Tyrolean food.
9th night and onward
Haven't fixed this half of the itinerary yet, but intend to spend at least 12 nights in the Dolomites, Italy.
Final 2 nights
Stay in Munich city
Fly out of Munich airport
So, for my third night, should I stay in Salzburg or Obertraun? A night at the Holiday Inn in Salzburg would be free, whereas a night at Obertraun would cost about US$170. Another advantage of staying in Salzburg is that it is located somewhat between Hallstatt and Kitzbühel. Google Maps offers three different routes for driving from Obertraun to Kitzbühel, two of which are via Salzburg/Bavaria. So, logistically, it isn't unreasonable to stay at Salzburg for an extra night.
I appreciate any advice and suggestions you may have. Thanks in advance.