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Living life to the full
in both summer and winter
at the Hotel-Gasthof Botenwirt
It doesn’t matter if you decide on a summer or a winter holiday, if you choose a hiking or a skiing trip, or if you prefer lakes or mountains: you’re sure to find it very “Gschmå” here!
“Gschmå” is a common expression in the Salzkammergut and has various meanings, like “lovely”, “comfortable” and “appealing”. A lot of these “gschmå” places are best discovered on foot – the beauty of our region begs to be explored on hikes of all lengths and levels. For instance, there are trails that start right in the pretty village of Faistenau, just a few minutes’ walk from our family’s hotel. Surrounded by the Osternhorngruppe mountain range, Faistenau sits on a broad plateau amid sweeping meadows and fields. The village landmark is the 1,000-year-old lime tree in the centre of town.
In the summer: in love with lakes
and mad for mountains
Be sure not to pass up the lovely Lake Hintersee near the village of Faistenau. An easygoing hiking trail leads around this clean, natural lake, which is a local favourite for a dip during hot summers. Lake Fuschlsee and Lake Wolfgangsee are far more well-known. Lake Fuschlsee is just a short, ten-minute drive from our hotel. With its waters shimmering in various shades of green and blue, Lake Fuschlsee is a real feast for the eyes and worth a visit any time of the year. A beautiful circular trail leads around this popular lake. Depending on your level of fitness, you should plan between two and a half to three hours to complete the loop. If you prefer to view the lake from lofty heights, we recommend you go for a hike up on the Schober, for example. This Fuschl landmark offers a fantastic panoramic view, sweeping from the Innviertel to the Berchtesgaden Alps. The world-famous Lake Wolfgangsee is also not far from the Hotel-Gasthof Botenwirt. In about 30 minutes, you can drive from our hotel to the shores of one of the largest lakes in the Salzkammergut. Whether you stop in Sankt Gilgen, Strobl or Sankt Wolfgang – Lake Wolfgangsee is breathtakingly beautiful from every angle. Swimming, boating, renting an SUP board, cycling along the lake on an e-bike or simply soaking up the lake’s atmosphere while enjoying an ice cream – a trip to Lake Wolfgangsee is always worth your while! You can also have a bird’s eye view of the lake here: the Zwölferhorn cable car takes you up the mountain of the same name, which you can then explore on a panoramic circular trail that takes less than an hour to walk.
A particularly prominent mountain in the Salzkammergut, the 1782-meter high Schafberg also offers a gorgeous view of the surrounding area. A ride on the Schafbergbahn – a traditional rack-and-pinion railway ¬– up to the summit of the Schafberg is both comfortable and breathtaking. This is the steepest steam-powered cog railway in Austria and it has been transporting visitors from St. Wolfgang up to the Schafberg since 1893. That means it is one of the world’s oldest locomotives still in operation. It reaches the top in about 35 minutes. From there, you’ll have a 360-degree panoramic view that will remain in your memory for a long time to come.
In the winter: snow fun for the entire family
The region around Faistenau is a true paradise for fans of winter sports. There are several well-groomed cross-country trails directly in Faistenau itself, offering optimal conditions for both beginners and advanced skiers alike. Our region is also predestined for ski touring and snowshoeing; the Osterhorngruppe in particular has an outstanding reputation among ski touring enthusiasts. Do you want to give ski touring a try? Then the touring teaching trail in Faistenau is just the thing for you. If you want to wind lazily down the slopes, or if you are travelling with children, we recommend the Gaissau Hintersee ski area. There, you will find not only spacious slopes, but also small T-bar lifts, on which the children can gain initial experience. There is also a ski school. The Kesselmannlift and the Oberwaldlift – both small T-bar lifts within the city limits of Faistenau – are ideal for small children. A lot of locals carved their very first turns in the snow here. And to this day, this little ski area on our doorstep has remained a wonderful insider’s tip for those who wish to avoid the big ski areas.
If you’re interested in more than the famous “two boards”, you can also give sledding or snow tubing a shot. Or simply enjoy this winter wonderland during a quiet walk. You’ll soon see: you have lots of options for your winter holiday here – and they’re all just a stone’s throw from our hotel.
If you stay with us during the pre-Christmas season, we can warmly recommend a visit to the many traditional Advent markets in our region. From the markets around the Wolfgangsee(from St. Gilgen to St. Wolfgang) to the world-famous Christmas market in the city of Salzburg: we still celebrate the pre-Christmas season in the traditional way. And it is absolutely beautiful.
In any weather: spas, culture and more
When the weather gods are working against you or you simply want an alternative to mountains and lakes: Salzburg, the City of Mozart is only 20 kilometres from Faistenau. Whether you’re strolling through the famous Getreidegasse, exploring the narrow, medieval lanes in the old town, sipping coffee in one of the city’s renowned coffee houses, touring the ancient fortress, or enjoying the unique flair during one of the city’s cultural festivals: there’s always something to discover in the city of Salzburg. For instance, visit Hellbrunn on the outskirts of Salzburg, where the Salzburg Zoo appeals to visitors of all ages. The zoo’s 14-hectare grounds are home to some 1,200 animals. Roughly 140 different species can be observed during a stroll through the zoo.
If you visit the salt mines up on the Dürrnberg in Hallein, you will learn where the wealth of the city and the province of Salzburg originally came from. You’ll be able to trace the history of the region’s “White Gold” there, in the world’s oldest exhibition mine.
The Eisriesenwelt Werfen, the largest ice cave in the world, is also well worth a visit and is an adventure for all ages. The natural history museum Haus der Natur in Salzburg, the Salzkammergut-Bad Ischl Thermal Spa, the imperial city of Bad Ischl itself and many more attractions can be found in our scenic and diverse region. Just ask us, we’ll be happy to offer you tips to help make your holiday perfect in every way!