Visit the Dachstein Region and experience our World Cultural Heritage
After just a few kilometres, however, a wide valley stretches out before you and the views are incredible: rugged low mountain ranges with an average height of 1.700 metres perfectly frame the broad valley basin where you can explore many natural land forms and geographical features. Secret valleys, tranquil settlements along the River Traun, mountain sides covered in lush pasture land, romantic high-lying valleys, spectacular rock faces, the fjord-like Lake Hallstatt and the Lake Gosau with its unspoilt shores, idyllic high mountain pastures, dense woodland with rivers that provide our drinking water – even local inhabitants never cease to wonder at the natural variety of their surroundings.
Set aside from the main transport links are the charming little settlements and villages of our region. The village wells, where people used to do their washing, still exist today. The local architecture is fascinating too. Most of the old farmhouses were built from wood, and many of the inhabitants speak their own dialect.
The houses look like they have naturally risen from the ground, rather than have been built by man. The windows are small, but the sills are filled with flowers. The colourful gardens are splendid too. Taking a walk through these wonderful little neighbourhoods is a perfect form of escape from the stresses and strains of every day life.
Dachstein-Salzkammergut - a region steeped in history
The discovery of the fascinating history of the region is an absolute must during your visit. The Inner Salzkammergut is mentioned in history books throughout the world on account of its fascinating cultural history which has made the region one of the most important and interesting in Middle Europe.
This small area is a lasting memorial to the „Hallstatt Era“. Numerous discoveries dating back to the Hallstatt Era have been unearthed in settlements along the Traun, and are evidence of the salt trade which was carried out as far as the Danube to the north. Salt, otherwise known as valuable „white gold“, is still in plentiful supply in this World Heritage Region after all these thousands of years.
Brine is transported from the Hallstatt salt mines to the salt works in Ebensee via the Brine-Pipeline Trail - the world’s oldest pipeline. The trail to the start of the pipeline is undoubtedly one of the loveliest walks in the area around the foot of the Dachstein. The region is well-known for its wide variety of types of walking: trails, climbs, narrow mountain paths or along roads. There is something to suit every guest in search of rest and relaxation.
All along the way you will meet local people, including those who call themselves „Goiserer“. „Goiserer“ are people who come from Bad Goisern, and is also the name for a world famous, high-quality walking boot, much loved by huntsmen, lumberjacks and hikers. The boots are made by a single cobbler in Bad Goisern. Many famous people and members of European aristocracy visit him each year to purchase their tailor-made walking boots.
Customs and Traditions
As the inhabitants of the different valleys have lived in such close proximity for many centuries, and, in the past, almost completely separated from one another due to limited transport links, many local time-honoured customs and traditions have developed. Today, these traditions are proudly upheld and celebrated every year. The region is a Centre for Austrian folk music, as singing is as natural a way of life for the local people as speaking.
Dirndls & Leather Trousers
The Dirndl (dress with apron) and the Lederhose (leather trousers) are also part of our national identity and, as such, have not been banished to the museums. We continue to wear them with pride today. And so the Dachstein Salzkammergut Holiday Region is prized for maintaining its own unique identity, in spite of the influence from visitors from other parts of the world. Tourism began in the area around 100 years ago.
Accommodation with modern facilities and restaurants are as important to our visitors as rustic farm houses and mountain huts. And we have not yet mentioned the wide variety of events on the social calendar and the many places of interest to visit. Nor have we spoken of the multitude of leisure activities available in summer and winter.
It is no coincidence that writers and artists such as Rudolf Alt, Rilke, Lenau, Stifter or Anton Bruckner found their inspiration in this region - they were not searching for polished glass, but rock crystal instead.
The World Heritage Region in 360°