Holidays in Zell am See

Combine a relaxing lakeside setting with adventures in the mountains on a summer holiday in Zell am See

Zell am See lies on the western shore of Lake Zell – a bright blue lake squeezed between the grassy hills of the Pinzgau and the foothills of the rugged Hohe Tauern National Park - the most picturesque spot for a summer holiday in Austria. The Grossglockner (the highest peak in the country) is within easy reach and there are around 400 kilometres of marked walking paths locally - accessed by bus, train and mountain lifts - with routes ranging from pushchair-friendly promenades to day hikes on panoramic walking trails. 

Summer holidays in Zell am See: life by the See

Zell am See is a beloved escape for the rich and royal – but the town lived many lives before becoming a luxury retreat. This lakeshore has hosted Roman settlements, a monastery of monks and a fortified market town over the years, before summer holidays in Zell am See became a favourite with the aristocracy in the 19th Century. Wander the medieval old town, a traffic-free zone with pavement cafés serving Austrian favourites like cheesy Pinzgauer kasnock’n dumplings. Pull up a pew in the towering Romanesque Church of St. Hippolyte which has gothic vaults and a baroque interior.

In summer, life in Zell am See revolves around the lake - the esplanade is the launch pad for boat cruises crossing the glassy waters. Explore by rowing boat, wakeboard, paddleboard or boat cruise. A glass-roofed ferry also crosses the lake, gliding between the tiny towns, footpaths, lidos and parks along the lake’s edge. Alternatively, the walk around the lake is an easy 11-kilometre stroll along a promenade with mountain views all the way.

Get Schmitten: walking on the Schmittenhöhe

A walking holiday in Zell am See will have you falling in love with the outdoors. Catch a gondola from Zell am See to Schmittenhöhe (1,965 metres) - the local mountain - for a bird’s eye view over the lake, town and a sweep of 3,000 metre-plus peaks. The Sissi Loop is an easy walk, following a route trodden by the 19th Century Empress Elisabeth “Sissi” of Austria. Make sure to peek in the wooden chapel dedicated to another Elisabeth – this time, the holy Princess of Thüringen.

The final stage of the 275 kilometre long-distance Hohe Tauern Panorama Walking Trail heads from the Schmittenhöhe back down to Zell am See – or you can follow part of it in the opposite direction, towards more challenging mountain trails.

Family holidays in Zell am See

From cycling and pedalos to lakeside lidos – there’s loads of things to do for families in Zell am See. Hop in the gondola up to Schmittenhöhe for a dragon-themed playground, mystical forest adventure trail and more. The fountains of Elisabeth Park perform their water dance almost hourly throughout the day, and three evenings a week, they light up for a night show to music. 

Over on the Maiskogel mountain in nearby Kaprun, the mountain coaster is an exhilarating way to get down the hillside, and there are play areas and a slide park too.

Discover the Pinzgau region

The Alpine town of Kaprun is only a short bus ride south and here, cable cars connect adventurers to Kitzsteinhorn, where Salzburgerland's highest viewing platform, the "Top of Salzburg" reveals the summits of Hohe Tauern National Park. The Sigmund Thun Gorge is worth a visit too, with wooden walkways that traverse the dramatic rock walls above rushing waters.

Zell am See's railway station cemented the town as a sought-after summer spot and trains connect day-trippers to Krimml Waterfalls - the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world. Cities like Kitzbühel are within easy train reach too, and excursions to Salzburg, Grossglockner and Berchtesgaden (famous for the Eagle's Nest) are also available.

Why book a summer holiday in Zell am See 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 Zell am See’s best walking routes and activities at your own pace.

With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Zell am See 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 in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.

Added value

Free use of lifts with resort card at selected hotels

Free entrance to local attractions with resort card at selected hotels

Hotels in Zell am See

  • from£1019pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 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.

  • 33 rooms

The Romantik Hotel lives up to its name. The rough plasterwork and old wood keep the feeling of tradition, whilst the modern touches ensure you holiday in style. Cosy corners, twilight dinners on the terrace, a pretty flower-filled garden, and indoor and outdoor pools.

  • from£1099pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 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.

  • 34 rooms
Hotel Berner, Zell am See, Austria - exterior.jpg

The traditional and elegant Hotel Berner sits in an elevated position above Zell Am See. It has spectacular lake views and is just 400 metres from the City Xpress gondola. After a day in the mountains, cool off in the outdoor pool or relax with a drink on the terrace.

  • from£1699pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    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.

  • 70 rooms
Swimming Pond- Hotel Salzburgerhof - Zell am See - Austria

Hotel Salzburgerhof offers the finest of everything. Outstanding service, gourmet dining, and elegant and spacious rooms. There's a Feng-Shui garden and a 3,500m² spa area. Relax, unwind, take a dip in the pools. The lake's on your doorstep, and the City Express lift an easy walk away.

  • from£969pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 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.

  • 45 rooms
Hotel Grüner Baum Dining area (2)

Hotel Grüner Baum is in the centre of Zell am See, five minutes from the lift and two from the lake. It started life as a butchery back in 1945, and quality food and delicious meals are still at the heart of what they do today. Enjoy regional produce, and recipes from 113 Austrian regions.

  • from£1369pp
  • @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.

  • 86 rooms
Hotel Tirolerhof Zell Am See Swimming Pool (1)

Everything is within easy reach of the traditional and elegant Hotel Tirolerhof, which is close to the lake and the centre of Zell. Welcomes are warm and genuine, and attention to detail is impressive. Soak up the sun in the lovely garden, and enjoy indulgent afternoons in the spa.

  • from£899pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 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.

  • 30 rooms
Hotel Fischerwirt, Zell am See, Austria - Dining room.jpg

The pretty Hotel Fischerwirt is nestled in the bustling, traffic-free medieval old town of Zell am See. Perfect for foodies, you can enjoy delicious Austrian dishes, as well as frequent gala evenings, farmer's buffets, Italian evenings, and BBQ nights.


Pre-book your excursions online or give us a call

Grossglockner from £42/28 per adult/child (full day)

This spectacular journey takes you over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, an incredible feat of engineering with stunning views. From the Franz-Josef's Höhe you'll see the Pasterze glacier and maybe catch a glimpse of 3,798-metre summit of the Grossglockner. Keep a look out for the wild marmots and Ibex too - they love the high alpine conditions. You can visit the free museums and exhibitions to learn about the National Park or enjoy a walk round the area and a tasty Austrian mountain meal.

Departs: Tuesdays

Salzburg from £42/26 per adult/child (full day)

Salzburg is a city full of culture, history and music. Visit Mozart’s birthplace, enjoy the view from the Hohensalzburg Fortress, or wander the famous Getreidegasse shopping street. Immerse yourself in history as you explore the medieval Old Town, discover museums and Baroque churches or visit the Salzburg Residenz Palace - the DomQuartier. There is an optional guided walking tour which is a great way to see more of the city (payable locally, approx. €12 per person).

Departs: Thursdays

Berchtesgaden from £42/26 per adult/child (full day)

There's a few options for you to choose from on this interesting trip to Berchtesgaden. Spend the day discovering the pretty Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden itself, or choose one of the optional extras that you can add on to your day.

The most famous is the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest). Explore the historic building and surrounding area, with spectacular views on a clear day over the King's Lake. The house is famous for being Nazi-constructed and was used for government and social meetings by Hitler and the Nazi Party. Alternatively, head underground to see the Salt Mines. A network of tunnels and slides take you on an underground adventure discovering this once very important industry (optional add-ons are payable locally - Eagle's Nest approx. €30.80 per person, Salt Mines approx. €22.50 per person).

Departs: Fridays

Bookable Locally

Liechtenstein Gorge and Hochkönig Pass from approx. €39/21 per adult/child

This is an exciting half day excursion which combines adventure and sightseeing. First visit the dramatic Liechtenstein Gorge and see the power of nature from the platforms that are suspended over the plummeting waters that have carved a mountain into two (please note: a local additional charge of around €12 per person is payable to access the Gorge Walk). Next, you cross over the scenic Hochkönig Pass, where wide-open, grassy hillsides provide uninterrupted panoramas of impressive peaks. Enjoy an ice cream in the chocolate-box village of Maria Alm, which was once voted the most beautiful village in Austria.

Departs: Wednesdays

We act at all times as a selling agent for the suppliers. All excursions require minimum numbers to run and are subject to change. Some excursions may not be available to pre-book in low season but may be available to book locally subject to numbers. Prices will be confirmed at the time of booking. Please see our terms & conditions.

Things To Do

Family holiday

Family holidays are great and there is so much to do. From the youngest one to the older ones only fun, action and adventure is on their mind. And you deserve rest, relaxation and activity. After all, you are on holiday too. There is something to do for the entire family and you will all be looked after.

  • The Schmidolin, the cool dragon (action, fun & games on the Schmittenhohe mountain)
  • Weekly organised "Cool Kids Fun" and "Cool Adventure" activities for childern ages 5-15 years. Activities include a day on the farm, pirates ahoi on the Lake Zell, family day glacier day on ice & snow, archery, mountain biking, and more. Please note: some activities may be in German.
  • Water activities on the lake (the three lidos Zell am See, Thumersbach and Schüttdorf are the hotspots for water enthusiasts. Children's pool, adventure pool, diving platform, swimming bays, swimming floats, water slides and much more ensuring that nobody gets bored at the lake).

Activities on and around the lake

  • Rent a boat (electric, rowing or pedal)
  • Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
  • Panorama lake cruises or the ferry service across the lake. Offering great views and a way to relax on the lake, evening cruise available once per week
  • Walking around the lake
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Summer skiing on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier
  • Gipfelwelt 3000 - the viewing platform is accessed through the inside of the mountain at 3000 metres

Zell am See-Kaprun Resort Card 

Free for guests at selected hotels (Hotel Romantik, Hotel Fischerwirt and Hotel Berner) and valid from approx. mid May.

The card is given to you by your hotel and includes:

  • Free use of lifts in Zell am See
  • Free use of Kaprun lifts up to 3,029m Top of Salzburg (lifts included are the Maiskogel and all lifts on the Talstation side, but not the connection 3K K-onnection that connects the two sides – there’s a surcharge of approx. €21 for this)
  • Free weekly round trip boat ride on Lake Zell
  • Free entrance to Krimml Waterfalls and Sigmund Thun Klamm
  • Entry to Kaprun high mountain reservoirs
  • Free entrance to lakeside lidos and swimming pools
  • Travel on public transport to many other local attractions (exc. steam/special trains and night bus)
  • and much more

Subject to change.

Guests without the summer card pay locally for lifts and attractions. You will have a mobility card given to you by your hotel which allows you to use the local public buses and trains free of charge (excluding steam/special trains and the night bus).


A unique combination of a glacier, mountain, and lake make this area a special place to explore. Several scenic walks begin on Zell’s own Schmittenhöhe mountain, which is easily accessible by gondola, chair lift or cable-car, so walks can be adjusted to suit your ability. There are extensive walking trails through pastures and up to peaks and glaciers in nearby Kaprun, a short bus ride away, where the lifts are also free with the Zell Summer Card (excluding the 3K K-onnection lift which links the Maiskogelbahn to the Gletscherjet lifts - a supplement of around €21 is payable locally for this).

Lift and cable-car approx. opening times

The opening dates of summer lifts vary in resort. Please find the latest update for the summer:

  • Schmittenhöhebahn (normally open from 14 May - 12 Oct)
  • Sonnenalmbahn & Sonnkogelbahn ( normally open from 26 May - 3 Oct)
  • TrassXpress (normally open from 26 May)
  • cityXpress (normally open from 5 Jun - 12 Sep)
  • Maiskogelbahn, Kaprun (normally open from 26 May)
  • Gletscherjet, Kaprun (normally open year round)

(Please note these dates are approximate and may change)

The team in resort will gladly assist with information on all the other excursions and activities to do during your stay.

Popular Walks

Lake Zell | 2-3 hrs | Easy | Take a scenic stroll around the
famous lake for lovely views of the Hohe Tauern in the background.

Forest Walk | Easy | From the City Express gondola top station descend
through the forest to the Areitbahn gondola in Schüttdorf.

Pinzgauer Spaziergang | 6 hrs | Slightly challenging | A classic ridge walk from the
top of Zell‘s Schmittenhöhe lift to the top of Saalbach’s SchattbergXpress, with stunning views all the way. Bus back to Zell.

Popular Walks in Kaprun

Kitzsteinhorn Glacier | Slightly Challenging | Take the cable-car to
the Kitzsteinhorn glacier (from mid June), and a guided tour to the summit
(3,203m), for a panoramic view of Austria’s highest mountains, including the
famous Grossglockner. Difficult.

Mooserboden & Wasserfallboden | Moderate | Hike around these stunning
mountain reservoirs and learn about the electric dam and follow the Herb trail to the pretty Fürthermoar Alm.

Good to know

Walking trails: 400km of walking trails and easy access to lifts

Terrain: Diverse terrain from the lake to dense forests, rugged mountains and Alpine meadows

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: Walkers of all abilities, families, nature, activities, sightseeing, food and drink

Fly into: Salzburg (approx. 2 hours)

Transfer time: approx. 1 hour 15 mins by coach

Rep service: In resort

Resort card: Zell am See Summer Card included at Hotel Romantik, Fischerwirt and Berner

Feefo badge