A very different winter holiday
Fuschl am See in the Austrian Lake District is not your usual winter holiday destination. It has no plunging pistes, nor any bustling bars in which to après-ski. Its appeal is much subtler – and best appreciated in person.
Which is why, this March, we asked three members of our team to exchange an overcast North Yorkshire for Austria. Beccy and Elizabeth are veterans of Inntravel trips, between them having travelled from Sweden to Slovenia, but for Fraia it was a first chance to understand what makes a holiday with Inntravel so special...
First stop – the hotel
In what felt like no time, our three travelers were swept from Salzburg airport to the Hotel Seerose in Fuschl. So what did Fraia make of her first Inntravel hotel? “The Seerose has the perfect waterside location: you feel like you could open a window and touch Lake Fuschl – it’s that close. And the lake views are incredible, almost hypnotic. I was really impressed by the welcome, too – hosts Sebastian and Reena are so attentive.”
Fraia’s tip: don’t forget your swimwear – a trip to the hotel sauna is a real treat.
Fuschl’s gorgeous rural surroundings are home to a number of scenic walking and snowshoeing trails. On their first afternoon, our team set out on a leisurely hike around Lake Fuschl, which was a hit with Elizabeth for three reasons: “The first thing that struck me was how friendly this route is – we were greeted warmly by every walker that we passed; I also loved the different perspectives of the lake; as well as our lunch stop at the homely Jausenstation Berger.”
Elizabeth’s tip: save this walk until you have a clear day – the colours of the water are spectacular.
In search of snow
At only 670 metres above sea level, Fuschl is often dusted with – rather than blanketed in – snow. But Narnia-like scenery is still within easy reach – excellent news for Beccy, who loves the white stuff! As for many of our customers, she found the ride on the Zwölferhorn cable car to be a real highlight: it brings you to a superb, high-level walking route with breathtaking views not only over Lake Wolfgang, but the entire Austrian Lake District.
Beccy’s tip: ensure that your camera is easily accessible on this walk – you’ll need it!
Sightseeing… & cake
As well as a wonderful place to relax, Fuschl makes an ideal base from which to explore the wider Salzkammergut region. During their stay, Beccy, Elizabeth and Fraia had the chance to visit Bad Ischl, a town whose fascinating imperial connection has led it to be known as the ‘Vienna of the lakes’. We introduced them to all the main sights – from the town's impressive Kaiservilla to its renowned thermal spa baths – on our self-guided walking tour.
Elizabeth’s tip: take time out from the tour to call into the Konditorei Café Zauner – a must-try patisserie!
A taste sensation
The Café Zauner is far from the only culinary treat on this holiday. Beccy describes the hotel itself as “a taste sensation”, and Fraia remembers her excitement every breakfast time when asked to make her meal choices for that coming evening. Each dinner at the Hotel Seerose consists of five courses, all different but equally exceptional. The breakfast offering is also very plentiful, featuring fresh fruit, local cheeses, meats, fish and cooked dishes.
Fraia’s tip: the hotel food is fabulous, but leave space for apple strudel at Voit’l Hütte, a traditional mountain hut on the Zwölferhorn.
There are many things you might expect to see on a winter walk – frosty leaves underfoot, perhaps, or icicles hanging from the trees above. However, the hand-painted wooden gnomes that accompanied Beccy, Elizabeth and Fraia on their walk into the Elmau Valley came as something of a surprise. This quirky trail has been created by local schoolchildren, and makes a fun addition to an otherwise serene landscape. Our team had to leave the trail before its end, so were never able to finish the challenge and find the missing gnome. They hope that you will be able to complete the story for them!
Elizabeth: “the moment I turned round for the first time at the Mozartblick viewpoint and saw beautiful Lake Wolfgang stretching out below.”
Fraia: “our visit to St Gilgen – such a sweet village nestled by the water’s edge.”
Beccy: “Lake Fuschl itself. The colours and clarity of the water make you feel like you are much farther away than Austria!”