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Wolfgangsee Lake Towns or Hallstatt and CK Shuttle

We are looking for a day trip on the way from Salzburg to Vienna in early July. My husband and I are in our 50s and we will have our girls ages 16 and 19 with us. We would like to be someplace a little rural before heading to Vienna and the lake towns look appealing.

One possibility is taking the train to Hallstatt and then the train on to Vienna. This looks like a long day with tight connections but maybe it's easier than I think it is. Alternatively we could take a private car from CK Shuttle instead to either Wolfgansee or Hallstatt and then on to Vienna. At Wolfgansee we could arrange to be dropped off at St. Gilgan and then take the boat on to St. Wolfgang and join our driver there before heading on to Vienna. The other alternative is to do Hallstatt at a more leisurely pace with a driver. Lastly there is the possibility of renting a car for the day, but I have yet to talk my husband into driving (or letting me drive) in and I'm afraid we'd eat up a lot of time picking up and dropping off a car that we would not want in Vienna. Whatever we do, I'm hoping the drive or train ride itself will be scenic for much of the way.

Which is better for a couple hours walk around, Wolfgangsee or Halstatt, and is Halstatt worth the extra hour to get there as opposed to Wolfgangsee. Any suggestions would be appreciated including other side-trips, and or means of transport. We are willing to leave Salzburg as early as 7:00, but we'd like to be in Vienna by 4:30ish so we can settle into the apartment and buy groceries. We aren't wedded to lake towns, but we'd like to see one or two smaller Austrian villages. If it matters to your answers, we will probably take a day trip to Melk and Krems an der Donau by train and boat while in Vienna. So if not lake towns, we will see river towns. We will probably do Cesky Krumlov on the way to Prague from Vienna.

Also, has anyone used CK Shuttle, and what did you think? And does anyone have a different transfer service recommendation?

Posted by
1968 posts

I used CKShuttle for a transfer to Prague in 2012. They were just fine. Reasonable price, nice car and safe driver.

Posted by
3834 posts

Hi Jen,

We've been to both St. Wolfgang and Hallstatt and also to Melk where we left by boat/train to Vienna. I just checked your past postings and see that you're itinerary is focused in the larger cities. So, first, I would highly recommend staying overnight one night at whichever lake town you select. The towns lose their tourists in the evening and are wonderful to experience. Personally, we both loved St. Wolfgang more than Hallstatt and enjoyed walking/hiking above the village each morning. If you go there, consider the cog-railway up the Schafberg Mountain (in the Sound of Music). The base of it is walking distance from St. Wolfgang. You mentioned St. Gilgen. We took the local bus from Salzburg (catch it near the Mirabell Garden) to St. Gilgen to arrive at St. Wolfgang by boat. The first boat leaves St. Gilgen at 9:00am and take 45 minutes to reach St. Wolfgang. We stayed there two days and really had a hard time leaving! If you go to St. Wolfgang, there's the option of just taking the bus from St. Gilgen back to Salzburg and catching the 2.5 hour faster train to Vienna.

Hallstatt has salt mine tours nearby with the wooden slides that your kids would enjoy. The town is heavy with tourists, which is another reason to stay overnight. Both villages have small boats you could rent to enjoy the lakes, too.

Posted by
37 posts

Jen, we used CK Shuttle twice in September. We had a private car from Prague to Cesky Krumlov and another from Cesky Krumlov to Linz airport where we picked up a rental car. Both drivers were courteous and professional. They picked us up at our hotels on time and took us directly to our new accommodations. We chose the private car option so we could make stops in other Czech cities. They are flexible on the stops, they just charge you for the extra time you are stopped. I would definitely use them again.

Posted by
178 posts

CK shuttle is great. We used them 3 times in October. Door-to-door service and prompt and friendly.