Buried deep within the famous mountain ranges of the Austrian Alps lies a precious commodity. White gold. This mineral rich mountain salt has been the main income source for eons, generating a flourishing mining history dating back 7,000 years.
At the center of it all sits the fairytale lake community Hallstatt. www.hallstatt.net/home-en-US/ A Unesco World Heritage site, its flower draped 16th-century Alpine houses stacked on top of each other along the steep cliffs dominating the shore of Lake Hallstatt, Hallstätter See, pull visitors from near and far. After some high-profile Chinese folks fell in love with this medieval mining town, creating of a replica on Chinese soil, photo-snapping Chinese tourists have been crowding the quaint shops in search for this ‘white gold,’ the Hallstatt Salz.
Salzwelten, https://www.salzwelten.at/en/hallstatt/mine/, the oldest salt mine in the world, is the town’s big tourist draw towering high above the town. Exploring these ancient caves, tourists ride a funicular railway to the mine entrance. After slipping on heavy suites and sliding down into this vast world deep below the ground, they travel backward to the days when settlers of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture, the Celts and the Romans inhabited the region. https://www.salzkammergut.at/en
The sleepy community of Obertraun, just a short drive around the sparkling deep-blue lake, offers another once-in-a-lifetime thrill. www.obertraun.net/obertraun-en-US/ The 5Fingers Viewing Platform on top of the Krippenstein. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krippenstein Stepping off the cable car after a gripping ascent literally takes your breath away. The sweeping lake below and sprawling Alpine vistas sure make for an unforgettable, dizzying sight.
If you prefer to stay closer to the ground, an extensive grid of hiking trails, tranquil beaches, and scenic cruises along stretches of romantic lakeshore beckon.