What’s in a name? Plenty when you visit St. Wolfgang, a town christened for the saint said to have tricked the devil into building a pilgrimage church here. The views are pretty divine – St. Wolfgang settles on a promontory in the centre of the much-loved Lake Wolfgang. Townhouses, shops and hotels painted in colourful hues line narrow streets that lead to the waterfront, where a tree-lined promenade follows the water’s edge. Walking holidays in St. Wolfgang explore further afield too – to the cog railway and hiking paths of Schafberg and the jagged limestone mountains beyond.
Walking in St. Wolfgang: lake and mountains
Rambles range from lakeside wanders between the three towns of Lake Wolfgang to high alpine hikes and strenuous summits that can be reached on foot, by cable car or by bus. Easier footpaths also head into the hills behind St. Wolfgang, running past Alpine farms and mountain huts. Wherever you roam, the views are always great, thanks to the backdrop of the Schafberg, Zwölferhorn and Postalm mountains. After all, this is the Salzkammergut – Austria’s spectacular lake and mountain district.
Ferries and an original 19th-Century paddle steamer cross between the towns of Lake Wolfgang, while sailing boats and watersports take to the water. The lovely village of St. Gilgen is well worth a visit, as is Strobl – best enjoyed as an end-of-day digestif, thanks to its cinematic sunsets. Plus, Lake Wolfgang is just one of over 70 lakes in the Salzkammergut, all connected by an excellent bus service.
The Schafbergbahn cog railway
The steepest steam cog railway in Austria eases peak seekers to the top of the Schafberg (1,768 metres) from St. Wolfgang in around half an hour. From here, views stretch over the lakes and Alps of the surrounding Salzkammergut region and, on clear days, as far as Bavaria in Germany. A green-shuttered mountain hut balances on a rocky outcrop – great for high-rise refuelling – and hiking paths lead back down to St. Wolfgang. You can walk back in about three and a half hours.
St. Wolfgang to Salzburg
Thanks to its saintly backstory, St. Wolfgang was once a VIP pilgrimage site. Go on a tour of the church to find out about its history and admire the gothic artwork by Michael Pacher, one of the earliest Renaissance painters in the region. It also hosts classical and operetta concerts in the summer. Alpine brass bands, on the other hand, tend to pop up in the village square to play their foot-tapping tunes. Fancy a change of scene? Visit the riverside city of Salzburg – the birthplace of Mozart and famous as the filming location of the Sound of Music.
Why book a summer holiday in St. Wolfgang 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. Wolfgang 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.