Breath-taking World Heritage hiking
Over the Salzberg, through "hell" and along the oldest pipeline in the world. Uniquely beautiful!
Our route starts at the base station of the Salzberg funicular. From here it continues on the serpentine trail, past the entrance to Emperor Franz-Joseph tunnel, numerous historical display boards and the old forge and up to the mountain station of the Salzberg funicular railway – this you will already see at the last hairpin bend. Once you cross the panoramic bridge - which spans between the Rudolfsturm and the mountain station - the wide Salzberg high valley, with the majestic Plassen, opens up.
With the vitality of salt, the Hallstatt high valley has determined the destinies, hardships and achievements of the people within this region for more than 7,000 years. With every step and turn you will find stories from the dark days and the radiant power of the "white gold". There are probably very few places in the world that give such a sense of historical dimensions as this little high valley, to which even a whole epoch of humanity owes its name.
Salzberg: Unique Alpine panorama
After the first stage, it is time for an ample rest: We would recommend the excellent cuisine of Rudolfsturm. From the Rudolfsturm and the adjacent panoramic bridge you can enjoy beautiful views of the World Heritage town of Hallstatt, the lake and the surrounding mountains. Named after the first Habsburg Rudolf I, the Rudolfsturm was built between 1282-1284 by his son Duke Albrecht I of Austria, as a watchtower to protect the Hallstatt salt mine.
Today the Rudolfsturm houses a restaurant / cafe with a panoramic terrace. The inn serves hearty local delicacies as well as a good cup of coffee and a piece of Gugelhupf (bundt cake) or a piece of their own World Heritage cake.
Over the Soleweg and through "hell" to Hallstatt
After a hearty refreshment we continue, via the steps of the old defence tower, back onto the hiking trail. We keep right, and after a few steps discover the hiking path " Soleweg - Rundweg Variante H". The Soleweg is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Austria and leads you along Lake Hallstatt and the Traun River between mountains and villages through the Inner Salzkammergut. It follows the pipeline from Hallstatt to Ebensee, which was first put into continuous operation in 1607. As the brine runs down a slight decline from the Rudolfsturm, the trail steadily goes gently downhill. In total, the Soleweg is about 40 km long and offers a wealth of typically local topics.
Sure footedly, we go down steps into the Mühlbachschlucht. The Soleweg meanders through the "hell", past craggy rocks and the World Heritage observation deck, through sparse "Bannwald" forest with continuous view of the romantic Lake Hallstatt. Above Hallstatt we leave the trail and head off on the well-developed trail down into the valley. After a few steps, we come to a wide forest road. Now it's slightly "uphill", over the bridge of the roaring Mühlbach, past the observation hut and downhill on the tarmac road. Approximately 500 meters after the viewpoint, leads a small, well-developed path over the “Müllerstiege” stairs down into Hallstatt’s village centre. People who choose this variant will pass picturesque houses, which appear stuck to the mountainside like swallows' nests and will once again be rewarded with a magnificent view over the breathtaking Alpine panorama around Lake Hallstatt.
Our hiking tip: At a leisurely pace and stop at the Rudolfsturm, you would need about three hours for the World Heritage circular trail in the Dachstein Salzkammergut holiday region. We recommend you to explore the trial in the afternoon, as this is best time to see the sun illuminating the beautiful Alpine panorama. For those with time on their hands, we recommend you take a detour to the Salzwelten salt mines. The visit lasts about two hours. The descent to Hallstatt, along the Soleweg "Rundweg Variante H" takes about 50 minutes.