A fun day by the water
Of course, the town’s main highlight and most popular attraction is Wolfgangsee Lake. Water-based activities are plentiful, including the many ferry and boat trips that transport visitors to some of the shore’s most pleasant spots. During the months of July and August, you can take a ride on the historic Kaiser Franz Joseph Paddle Steamer and visit the lakeside villages, including the attractive St Gilgen.
On the banks of the lake you’ll find a number of beaches for a day of rest and relaxation. Although many are privately owned by the hotels, there are a selection of beaches the public can use too. For a small fee, you can rent a sunlounger on the small lawn at Badestrand Intermezzo, or take the 30 minute walk to Lake Appesbach where paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing are just some of the fun activities on offer.
Another must-visit attraction is the Schafberg mountain cog railway. The historic train takes you on a thrilling 30 minute ride up to Schafberg’s 1,783 metre summit – the area’s highest peak. The steepest steam cog railway and one of the oldest in Austria, it makes for a great family day out with magnificent panoramic views of the Salzkammergut region. At the mountain top, there are also a number of alpine walking paths if you’re feeling adventurous.
The spa town Bad Ischl is also a popular excursion, where holidaymakers and locals flock to the thermal pools to relax and unwind. For those who want to treat themselves to a souvenir or pick up a bargain, Bad Ischl and St Gilgen hold farmer’s markets every week and are easily accessible by the local bus.
While the town itself is not known for having a party atmosphere, there’s still plenty to keep you entertained on your holidays to Austria when the sun goes down. Visitors and locals tend to spend most evenings in one of the cafés or pubs, soaking up the night-time ambiance and people-watching while enjoying a quiet drink.
A few times a week the town comes alive with Austrian-themed evenings, including traditional dancing where the locals wear dirndls and lederhosen, as well as brass band performances and open-air music concerts.
When it comes to food, there’s a selection of sophisticated restaurants dotted along the shores of the lake. Diners can enjoy specialties including the day’s fresh catch with the added bonus of stunning views across the water. Bear in mind that you may have to book a table in advance when planning your Austria holiday, as the outdoor terraces are a sought-after spot for evening meals.
Hotels with a view
It’s not just the lakeside restaurants that enjoy prime views. Known for their rustic comforts and hospitality, hotels in St Wolfgang also offer some of the best locations and panoramas in the town. Whether you choose a cosy town centre B&B where you can watch the world go by from the balcony, or opt for a grand hotel with uninterrupted views across the lake, there’s something to suit all preferences.
You can also choose between Self Catering apartments and All Inclusive hotels with on-site restaurants, depending on your needs. Many of the deluxe hotels located near the shoreline also have their own private beaches with sunloungers and free boat hire so you can make the most of the lakeside setting.