Hallstatt AUSTRIA

Nestled at the foot of a mountain, tucked away at the edge of a lake, is the secluded and beautiful Hallstatt. The tiny village and its surrounds are World Heritage listed, with evidence of salt mining dating back as early as the Bronze Age and further archaeological evidence showing a flourishing and highly organised Iron Age society with wide trade links across Europe. The mine site lies on the hilltop high above the town and is best visited if you bypass the funicular and hike up the hill, enjoying the lush forests, views of the lake and village, and historic mine sites as you walk. However, even if you never ventured up the mountain, Hallstatt itself is a world-class spot. The village is pedestrian-only and the houses are clustered together so tightly as they cling to any available building space on the mountainside, that what may appear as roads on maps are more like winding narrow paths interspersed with steps. Until the late 19th Century Hallstatt primary access to the village was by boat. Although today it can be accessed by car, the best way to get there is to take the train, which runs through the mountains and along the edge of lakes, stopping on the opposite side of Hallstätter See where it is met by a small boat which ferries you over.

The small red and white ferry which meets the train on the other side of Hallstätter See sits on the lake with a mountain backdrop, Hallstatt, Austria

The small red and white ferry which meets the train on the other side of Hallstätter See sits on the lake with a mountain backdrop.

The view when approaching Hallstatt from across the lake, tightly packed wooden houses and the stone church on the steep hillside with boats on the lake front, Hallstatt, AustriaA cluster of houses cling to the hillside on the edge of the lake, the trees behind starting to change into their bright autumn colours, Hallstatt, Austria

The view when approaching Hallstatt from across the lake, tightly packed wooden houses and the stone church, parts of which date from the 12th Century, on the steep hillside with boats on the lake front; A cluster of houses cling to the hillside on the edge of the lake, the trees behind starting to change into their bright autumn colours.

Statue of the Holy Trinity in the Market Square with traditional Austrian-style houses, most of which date from the 16th Century, Hallstatt, Austria

Statue of the Holy Trinity in the Market Square with traditional Austrian-style houses, most of which date from the 16th Century.

Looking through leaves to the roofs of the village and the stone steeple of the Christuskirche, Hallstatt, AustriaA heavy decorative wooden balcony with colourful geranium planter boxes in the window, Hallstatt, Austria

Looking through leaves to the roofs of the village and the stone steeple of the Christuskirche; A heavy decorative wooden balcony with colourful geranium planter boxes in the window.

Bench seats on the green mossy cobblestones around the drinking fountain and Holy Trinity sculpture in the village square, Hallstatt, Austria

Bench seats on the green mossy cobblestones around the drinking fountain and Holy Trinity sculpture in the village square.

A wooden carved Christ on the Cross beneath the stone vaulted ceiling inside the Catholic Maria Himmelfahrt church, parts of which date from the 12th Century but the majority from the very early 16th Century, Hallstatt, AustriaOrnate 18th Century lettering on the base of the Statue of the Holy Trinity with tourists grouped outside a guesthouse in the background, Hallstatt, Austria

A wooden carved Christ on the Cross beneath the stone vaulted ceiling inside the Catholic Maria Himmelfahrt church, parts of which date from the 12th Century but the majority from the very early 16th Century; Ornate 18th Century lettering on the base of the Statue of the Holy Trinity with tourists grouped outside a guesthouse in the background.

Looking along the side of a buildings with a green vine, pink geraniums and shuttered windows to the roofs of the village and the church steeple, Hallstatt, Austria

Looking along the side of a buildings with a green vine, pink geraniums and shuttered windows to the roofs of the village and the church steeple.

Colourful flowers growing in the sunshine on graves in the churchyard on the hill, with a beautiful backdrop of mountains and another church's steeple, Hallstatt, Austria

Colourful flowers growing in the sunshine on graves in the churchyard on the hill, with a beautiful backdrop of mountains and another church’s steeple.

Stone steps which form the streets through most of the village leading up to a house high on the hill and overlooking the lake, Hallstatt, Austria

Stone steps which form the streets through most of the village leading up to a house high on the hill and overlooking the lake.

Looking through the trees to the small village on a mountainside above the lake, with a boat crossing the still water, Hallstatt, Austria

Looking through the trees to the small village on a mountainside above the lake, with a boat crossing the still water.

A bike parked in front of very old rambling stone houses with wooden balconies, Hallstatt, AustriaA wooden boat shed on the Hallstätter See lake with mountains and the pale hazy light of autumn, Hallstatt, Austria

A bike parked in front of very old rambling stone houses with wooden balconies; A wooden boat shed on the Hallstätter See lake with mountains and the pale hazy light of autumn.

Looking through a balcony on the glistening lake, along the road to the sunny village in the mountains, Hallstatt, Austria

Looking through a balcony on the glistening lake, along the road to the sunny village in the mountains.

White flowers grow at the base of a very old stone and wood house, Hallstatt, AustriaShadows of ironwork on a balcony overlooking the lake with a white flower pot plant, Hallstatt, Austria

White flowers grow at the base of a very old stone and wood house; Shadows of ironwork on a balcony overlooking the lake with a white flower pot plant.

White and green Austrian-style house with red geranium planter boxes and a tree overlooking the Hallstätter See lake, Hallstatt, Austria

White and green Austrian-style house with red geranium planter boxes and a tree overlooking the Hallstätter See lake.

Small restaurant in a stone buildings with a sandwich board advertising the Tagesmenu and bright red geraniums out the front, Hallstatt, Austria

Small restaurant in a stone buildings with a sandwich board advertising the Tagesmenu and bright red geraniums out the front.

Red and white stripes painted on a tree trunk indicating a hiking trail which leads through the green woods up winding and climbing up the mountainside to the old salt mine, Hallstatt, AustriaLooking over a wooden picket fence to a grassy field and tree-covered hill on the outskirts of the village, Hallstatt, Austria

Red and white stripes painted on a tree trunk indicating a hiking trail which leads through the green woods up winding and climbing up the mountainside to the old salt mine; Looking over a wooden picket fence to a grassy field and tree-covered hill on the outskirts of the village.

A small road winds through the bright green grass to a historic white mining building nestled in the tree-covered hills, Hallstatt, Austria

A small road winds through the bright green grass to a historic white mining building nestled in the tree-covered hills.

Big boulders and a small stream in the dark forest along the hike back down from the mountains, Hallstatt, Austria

Big boulders and a small stream in the dark forest along the hike back down from the mountains.

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