Holidays in St. Gilgen

St. Gilgen is known as the elegant lakeside home of the Mozart family – and just 30 minutes away from musical Salzburg

Walking holidays to St. Gilgen take you to the lovely north-western shores of Lake Wolfgang. The wealthy have long sought out its shores, building grand mansions along the waterfront. Most famously, Mozart’s family lived here – there’s a museum dedicated to them in town that’s well worth a wander. Other worthwhile explorations include the lakeside path leading past beaches and bays and the Schafberg mountain, which can be reached by Austria’s oldest cog steam railway from St. Wolfgang.

St. Gilgen: hometown of the Mozarts

St. Gilgen is filled with fanciful baroque and rococo architecture. Cafés, shops and alpine-style houses are adorned with frescoes and oversized flowering balconies, and streets lead to the towering onion-domed church where Mozart’s parents got married. You can learn more about Mozart in the house museum – just perhaps not the sibling you’d assume. This was the birthplace of Anna Maria, the mother of Mozart, and celebrates her daughter Nannerl, who was a child prodigy and harpsichordist who often headlined above her famous brother – a career quickly put to and end when she became old enough to marry.


To find out more about Nannerl’s brother, head to Salzburg, where museums and operas explore Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and works - his birthplace is on the famous Getreidegasse shopping street in the centre of the Old Town. The Salzburg Museum showcases everything from archaeological finds to modern art installations over several grand floors. And, make sure to stroll the Mirabel Gardens or walk up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress which watches over the cobbled streets of the city below. It’s all an hour’s bus journey away from St. Gilgen.

Into the mountains

A cable car glides from St. Gilgen to the top of the Zwölferhorn in 10 minutes where panoramic hiking trails lead in all directions and include a family-friendly mountaintop circuit that meanders past sundials, star charts and telescopes that offer intriguing insights into the geology of this corner of the Alps. The Schafberg mountain is another great pick – best reached via the historic cog railway from St. Wolfgang that takes the ache out of the uphill climb - the views from up here are quite something, and there's plenty of exploring to be done on foot.

Life on Lake Wolfgang

Two other villages decorate the shores of Lake Wolfgang. St. Wolfgang is home to a myth-wreathed pilgrimage church and footpaths that lead up into the hills behind. Strobl, meanwhile, is the place to chase the sunset. Walk between them by following the waterside paths or hop aboard the historic paddle steamer or one of the ferries that cruise the waters. Water sports are popular too, including paddle-boarding, kayaking, water skiing, sailing and wakeboarding on the blue-green alpine lake - take a dip or rent a rowing boat or pedalo.

Why book a summer holiday in St. Gilgen with Inghams?

At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Wolfgangsee's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.

With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to St. Gilgen include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team overseas can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.

Added value

All holidays include flights from the UK and transfers

24/7 support & tailored advice from our local resort team

Walking in and around St. Gilgen

On an Inghams walking holiday, you have the freedom to explore the area at your own pace. Each day, a new adventure, with as much or as little walking as you like.

Why we love walking holidays in St. Gilgen

St. Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang offer over 120 kilometres of marked walking trails, over rolling hills and rural pastures, through woodland and up to high peaks with stunning lake panoramas. There are easy lakeside paths and panoramic walks from the top of the lift stations, as well as challenging hikes up to local peaks and various marked trails back down the mountains for those who don’t want to climb. St. Wolfgang and Fuschl are easily accessed by ferry or bus.

Getting around St. Gilgen

St. Gilgen has a great network of public transport including boats and a lift that make getting around the area really easy.


Wolfgangsee has a fleet of public boats, providing a range of services on the lake to reach different villages, hiking destinations and trail start points.

The lake has seven landing stages, including:

  • St. Gilgen
  • Fürberg
  • Ried-Falkenstein
  • St. Wolfgang, Schafbergbahn
  • St. Wolfgang, Markt
  • Gschwendt Parkplatz
  • Strobl

Tickets can be bought online or at the ticket office. If you purchase the Wolfgangsee Card locally you can receive a further discount on the standard prices. Timetables and routes can be found on the Tourist Office and boat supplier websites.


The Zwölferhorn cable car from St. Gilgen transport you up to 908 metres altitude in just 11 minutes, ready to access even more hiking routes and viewpoints.

Tickets can be bought at the box office, or if you purchase the Wolfgangsee Card locally you receive a further discount on the journey. Tickets can be purchased for a return or single journey, depending on your access needs for the hiking route you are completing.

Cog Railway

In St. Wolfgang you can take Austria’s steepest cog railway up the Schafberg - the Schafberg Bahn.

This journey is just under six kilometres and takes around 35 minutes – where you can reach new hiking trails as well as explore the mountain range with panoramic lake views. After 4.2 kilometres you will reach the “middle station” giving you the option to exit the carriage and climb to the summit yourself.

Tickets can be purchased locally or online for a return or single journey, depending on your access needs for the hiking route you are completing.


St. Gilgen has its own bus station, connecting you to Salzburg, Bad Ischl and Mondsee. Although this is not a hiking specific bus, you can still use this service to access nearby hotspots for walking. Timetables and information can be accessed directly from the station.

Our favourite walks in and around St. Gilgen

St. Gilgen to Fürberg

  • Easy walk
  • Expect to take around one to two hours

One of the prettiest sections around the lake is from St. Gilgen to Fürberg, with a lovely inlet and restaurant in Fürberg to reward yourself with as well. Walk up to Winkl from here for the Hüttenstein Castle and the Gut Aich monastery to incorportae some culture. You can then either walk back, or catch the ferry back to St. Gilgen.

Zwölferhorn and Illingerberg circuit

  • Moderate walk
  • 10.6km
  • Expect to take around four hours

Pass through wide flower meadows and small wooded areas as you complete this scenic circular route. When you reach the top of the mountain make sure to take a picture of the turquoise waters below. Keep an eye out for the cattle too, they love to graze in some of the areas you’ll walk through.

St. Wolfgang to the Schafberg

  • Challenging walk
  • 13.5km
  • Expect to take all day

Take the boat to St. Wolfgang where the ascent starts to the summit of Schafberg. During this hike you will be tested with steep inclines and rocky paths, but it's worth it with rewarding views of the three lakes Wolfgangsee, Attersee and Mondsee. At the top, treat yourself to drinks and snacks on the sun terrace before catching Austria's steepest cog railway back down to St. Wolfgang.

Useful information and guidelines

Recommended equipment

Suitable walking shoes with good grip, appropriate clothing, rain jacket, sun cream, sun glasses, rucksack, at least a litre of water, a re-usable water bottle, a snack and cash. You may find walking poles useful.

Walking maps

We recommend Kompass Map number 018, which has a scale of 1:25,000. The maps show the walking routes which are numbered and match the yellow signposts around the area. They will have a key which will help you understand the nature of the trail before you set out on your walk.

Walking guidelines

The mountains are a natural paradise, with lots to explore and discover. To help it stay that way, and remain an enjoyable and safe place for everyone, we recommend following our little list of do's and don'ts:

  • Plan your route well and don't overestimate yourself
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you're planning to walk and what time you're expecting to be back
  • Take all the recommended equipment
  • Make a note of emergency numbers:
    • Austrian Emergency Services: 112
    • Mountain Rescue: 140
  • Don't leave the marked trails or go onto a glacier without a guide
  • Let nature stay wild by not picking alpine flowers (it's illegal in some places) or getting close to/making contact with wild animals
  • Always leave gates as you found them
  • Leave no trace

Check out our Responsible Walking insider guide if you want more tips for your summer walking holiday.

Hotels in St. Gilgen

  • from£879pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4.5 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 64 rooms
Hotel Hollweger St. Gilgen Austria

The elegant Hotel Hollweger sits in beautifully manicured gardens with views over the clear blue waters of Wolfgangsee. Settle in, feel at home, and enjoy a touch of luxury in this quiet and beautiful corner of the Salzkammergut.

Things to do in St. Gilgen

Things to do in St. Gilgen

Getting around

The pretty lakeside promenade is ideal for gentle walks and fantastic views across to the Schafberg mountain railway, while St. Wolfgang is only a boat ride away. There are spectacular views from the top of the Zwölferhorn cable-car and walkers will enjoy the panorama path around the top.

Steamboat and ferry trips

All aboard the paddle steamers and ferries of Lake Wolfgang. With six vessels and various routes, you can hop on and off at one of the seven docks to explore the surrounding villages and towns. You can sail all the way down to Strobl in just over one hour, where the largest boat on the lake holds 365 passengers.

Watersports and surfing

Spend a day on the water and get involved with a range of watersports on the lake. Looking for a gentle experience, then hire a stand-up paddle board. Looking for something more thrilling? Then you can try sailing, wind surfing and even water skiing.

Bathing in the lake

Lake Wolfgang is the perfect place to swim, paddle or relax on the shores. The clear water with 20-degree-celsius temperatures is home to a range of fish, so why not put some goggles and a snorkel on and see what you can spot.


Close to the lakefront you can find Mozarthaus, a museum of Mozart's sister “Nannerl”. There are also a few heritage museums, great for history lovers. The musical instrument museum takes you on a journey around the world, housing approximately 6,000 instruments – some of which are used in a performance too.

Cycling and mountain biking

Take a leisurely circular ride around the lake to enjoy the views - the route is just under 30 kilometres in length so could be a morning outing, or a full day if you pack a picnic to enjoy on route. If you're looking for looking for more of a challenge, then the Schafberg mountain tour takes you via the little Lake Schwarzensee, covering 47.3 kilometres of trail.

18-hole golf courses

There are 11 golf courses located within close proximity to St. Gilgen. Why not spend a day on the nearby lake of Mondsee where you'll find one of Austrias most outstanding golf courses. With stunning blue waters in contrast with the bright green lawn, you can pitch and putt, with a break at the end in the clubhouse as a reward.


St. Gilgen has four tennis courts for you to enjoy. Maybe you are practising the technique of your swing, or you are an avid tennis play. The tennis courts here have you covered, all whilst surrounded by the beautiful mountains within the Salzkammergut region.

Events and music

In St. Gilgen there's an open-air music pavilion in the village centre which hosts regular classical, folklore and brass band concerts. The annual village ‘Dorf Fest’ (around 15 Jun) is the biggest festival of the year with traditional live entertainment, music, beer tents and food stalls.

Family activities in St. Gilgen

Family activities in St. Gilgen

Lido with pedalo hire

Let the kids splash around in the shallow beach waters of the St. Gilgen Bay. Lay back on the decking catching some rays, or set up base on the lawn area under an umbrella for shade. Children love the lido area with jumping pier, sandy areas and most importantly, the onsite restaurant to grab an ice cream.

Family cycling

Take the kids on a mini bike-ride by the lakeside, or across some of the many flatter fields around the lake. For teens and older children who are up for a challenge, it's a lovely cycle around the lake, just under 30 kilometres.

Mini golf

Putt away at the mini adventure golf Gisa Leitgeb, where the whole family can get competitive as you make your way around the course. Who will be crowned the golfing champion?

Summer toboggan in Strobl

Travel down the left side of the lake to Strobl, where you can whizz down the metal summer toboggan run. You have not only one, but two runs to choose from, both at a lengthy 1.3 kilometres each – twice the fun.

Playgrounds around the lake

All around Lake Wolfgang you will find hidden gems and fantastic parks for the children to run wild in. One of the biggest parks, located at the other end of the lake to St. Gilgen is the leisure park St. Wolfgang, full of slides, climbing frames, outdoor volleyball courts, tunnels and even a smaller children’s area too.

Abarena Theme Park

Fantastic for all weathers, children will have a blast and a day full of adventure. They can bounce on the giant air cushion, paddle in the water playgrounds and get into character inside the themed buildings. Or, if they are brave enough, they can face the giant tube slide, spiralling down from 14 metres high.

Good to know

Walking trails: 300km of walking trails (120km locally and more in the wider Wolfgangsee region)

Terrain: Rolling hills, Alpine lakes, meadows and forests with some steeper routes

Best time to go: end of May to start of October. It can get hot in July and August but a dip in the lake is a great way to cool off

Recommended for: Easy walking, nature, activities

Fly into: Salzburg (approx. 2 hours)

Transfer time: approx. 1 hour by coach

24/7 Support and advice: In person or over the phone from our local resort team based in St. Gilgen

Feefo badge