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Traditional Austrian mountain villages


We will have 5 days, 6 nights in Austria October 18th-23rd before heading to Venice (overnight train on 23rd from Salzburg or Vienna) for a cruise. We will spend 1 day in Vienna, 1 day in Prague. Then head west to Salzburg alps/Tyrol alps. We are using public transportation and would like to visit 2-3 other places (our trip is to see a wide variety thus we know it will be long days).

Ideas so far: 1) Zell am See for ride up cable car to hike (an Austrian friend recommended here); 2) Mittenwald (to see a Bavarian village that is easy to access by train); 3) Hallstat (looks beautiful, but not sure if out of way for a quick trip) so instead I was thinking of visiting a mountain village.

1) Any recommendations for traditional mountain villages accessible by train/bus in between Vienna and Innsbruck (or near Salzburg)? For example, like Gimmelwald, Switzerland or Walderalm, Austria that Rick Steves mentions (need a car to go there).

2) Is the hiking along the Brine-Pipeline route in Hallstat in the mountain or along the valley? Is this doable in October? Or would Zell Am see be better for hiking near a mountain and lake in October?

Thanks for any recommendations and advice!

Posted by
8234 posts

It's going to be very difficult seeing all of your planned travel sights. Remember that every time you move from one city to another, you lose day in travel.

It will be virtually impossible in the time allotted to go from Vienna to Prague to Salzburg and then travel by a train ride to Zell am See. At one point, you'll end up in Innsbruck as the trains go through the Brenner Pass to go down to Verona where you'll probably have to transfer trains for the short ride into Venice.

I just don't see where you can see Hallstadt as it's on the south end of a lake east of Salzburg. And Mittenwald is out of the way on the route to Garmish (and Bavaria). It looks like the towns around Innsbruck and Western Tirol.
I would suggest you go from Vienna and take a train to Salzburg--a great mid size town. When we're in this region, we can see so many more cities and sights by renting a car. We just ramble from town to town, often getting up on the mountains. Tirol and the Austrian Alps is a place of immense alpine beauty--simply put. You could turn the rental car in at Innsbruck and head south on a day train into Northern Italy--another incredibly beautiful region. If you go by train, I'd say Vienna, Salzburg, Zell am See and Innsbruck would be the route to go.
As far as the weather in October, I have no idea what you'll face. I've only been to Tirol in February skiing, in April and Summers.

Posted by
500 posts

I suggest villages around Innsbruck like Igls, Lans, Natters that are easily reached by bus from the main city. Late October may be too late for mountain hikes, I would not try those at high elevations but maybe some around the villages may still be possible - but nobody knows how the weather will be.