The small town of St Wolfgang is in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, east of Salzburg and is famous for The Sound of Music. The town gets its name from Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg and Sankt Wolfgang im Salzkammergut is its full Austrian name. The first church was erected by Saint Wolfgang close to the Wolfgangsee in 976.
Wolfgang was canonised in 1052 and the church became a place where everyone flocked after it was cited in 1183 deed by Pope Lucius III to pay homage. A subcamp of Dachau concentration camp was also stationed here during World War II. St Wolfgang is steeped in history and there are plenty of things to explore in this pretty Austrian resort. This resort is considered to be one of the most interesting tourist towns in Austria.
The resort of St Wolfgang has gained notice as a health and bathing resort located on the sunny slopes above the Wolfgangsee below the Schafberg and also boasts the Weisses Rïossl (White Horse) hotel, which has been owned since 1712 by the same family.
The White Horse Hotel became well known throughout the world for being the backdrop of Ralph Benatzky’s operetta ‘White Horse Inn’. There are many choices if you are looking for a hotel in this idyllic town, with the majority situated around Lake Wolfgangsee where you get to start your morning with a breathtaking view.
Leading from Strobl, the main road runs through St. Wolfgang and finishes a couple of kilometres further on, so traffic through this lovely village is limited and this adds to its charm. This massive improvement was brought about at the same time as when the tunnel and the parking facilities were built, next to the inspiring congress building ‘Michael Pacher Haus’.
This town is situated in the middle of the Austrian Alps and is only 40kms from the glacier Dachstein. Alpine skiing is a popular winter sport in St Wolfgang; however there are only 20km of piste and limited off-piste skiing. Despite this, the resort is ideal for beginners, intermediate skiers and families.
In order to reach the ski area via ski bus you have an exciting 35 minute journey involving heart stopping bends along the mountain roads whilst overlooking deep gorges and breathtaking landscapes. Once you reach the Postalm plateau, there is quick and easy access to the slopes via the lifts.
There are many gentle slopes to build your confidence and for those wanting tuition, this is readily available for every guest from the age of six. Intermediate skiers may want to attempt the run to Gosau, which offers a few challenges whilst you take in your awe inspiring surroundings.
The imposing mountains are easy to climb making this a good choice for hiking, most having prepared paths and roads. Two even offer transportation to the top for those who wish to enjoy the views and yet still want to take it easy.
Why not climb aboard the historic Schafbergbahn (train) and enjoy the lovely scenery on your way to the summit? In neighbouring town St Gilgen, there are trips where you can take bikes out for a spot of mountain biking, you travel aboard the cable car called 12er horn Bahn and then race your way back down the mountain. For those of you who would like to stay close to your hotel, you could try your hand at ice skating on the frozen lake Wolfgangsee.
There are a variety of restaurants for you choose from which will suit the most discerning gastronome. Traditional Austrian dishes feature highly on the menus, but there really are a lot of choices to suit every palette.
In winter, freshly made soups are popular and warming after you have been out in the midst of the cool Alpine air; alternatively, why not indulge yourself with the popular Austrian dish Grestli (made with potatoes, eggs and bacon) to get a real feel for the culture.
Nightlife is quite laid back in St Wolfgang. This resort is geared more towards families, you can rest and relax in the various bars and hotels and enjoy the traditional music and entertainment – however, there are a couple of lively venues where, if you wish, you can socialise until the early hours.
Whatever your reasons for visiting St Wolfgang, it is guaranteed that you will leave this beautiful resort with a little historical heritage, a good knowledge of skiing and the wish to come back for more. This town is saturated in history and one holiday visit will simply not be enough to engage in all that it has to offer.
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