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Zell am see or St. Gilgen

Hi friends. I hope you are well.

In the first week of September, we plan to come to Europe with my parents, wife and kids for 10 days. We are trying to finalize our destinations and have shortlisted France and Austria. (Switzerland was missed out because I have been there twice).

In these ten days, we are planning to spend like 5 days in Italy/France and the remaining 5-6 days in Austria.

For the days in Austria, I would like your suggestions and recommendations.

Basically, what we are looking for is beautiful scenery, hikes and some activities like cable cars, a bit of snow, waterfalls, river cruise.

From my cursory research, I have found that people speak highly of Zell am see and St. Gilgen.

Do these places offer what we are looking for.

We want to have just one base in Austria and would like to really feel relaxed and experience the beauty.

We are flexible on budget.

Please advise the place which would be suitable for us. If there is an option better than the two I shortlisted, please let me know.

Thanks a lot in advance and looking forward to your responses!

Posted by
6570 posts

The most beautiful place I've ever seen is the area south of Zell-Am-See--south of the Grossglockner High Alpine Highway. I'm talking about the area just north of Lienz, Austria which is close to the Italian border.
The Grossglockner is the second highest peak in Europe @ 14,000 ft., You can go west to the Cortina area or drop south to Udine, Italy or even Venice. It's very quiet, but there are a number of really nice resorts in the area.

Posted by
2703 posts

While we prefer Zell am See and the area, the Grossglockner is not the second highest peak in Europe. Not even close. It's the highest peak in Austria at 12,461 feet. The misinformation about the Grossglockner being the second highest peak in Europe is not helpful, accurate or needed. Why not simply give accurate info? The area around Zell am See is stunning, the lakeside setting beautiful, the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse is a terrific, scenic drive and Heiligenblut, the village at the southern end of the Grossglockner, is extremely picturesque. Yes, the Italian Dolomites are also worth seeing.

Posted by
19 posts

The impression I am getting is Zellam see is a good choice better than St. Gilgen? If that is correct, I have made the following itinerary and would appreciate if you could briefly respond:

  1. Day 1: Hire a car and drive to Großglockner Alpine Road.

What are the stops that I must take during the journey? Is there anything for kids on this route?

  1. Day 2: Boat trip on Lake Zell am See + Krimmler waterfalls

Can these be combined on a single day?

  1. Day 3: Kitzsteinhorn Glacier

Where do I have to take the cable car from? Are there any activities for beginners and kids up there?

  1. Day 4: Easy Scenic Short Hike <3 kilometers for family

Any suggestions? I found Schmittenhöhe on the internet but not sure how scenic / difficult it is.

  1. Day 5: Alpine coaster Maisiflitzer in Kaprun

  2. Day 6: Tauern Spa Kaprun?

How is it? Do you recommend?

  1. Is there anything like Half Fare card or all Austria pass?

  2. Is it recommended to hire a car for my itinerary or use public transport?

  3. Could you recommend some good clean 2 - 3* hotels in Zellam See.

Thank you all for the help. Looking forward to your expert responses.

Posted by
2703 posts

We rented the car through
We've rented through Andy Bestor at our last 4 trips.
We picked up and returned the car at Munich airport 8 times.