Holidays in Austria
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Guide > Austria > Upper Austria > Salzkammergut > Dachstein Salzkammergut > Obertraun


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The strength of the winter sun

Often, one side of the valley is covered in frost, and on the other side, the first spring flowers are appearing and growing towards the sun.

Obertraun Upper Austria
On this sunny side of the valley is the Sarstein. Along one of its lower slopes, a little higher than the village and houses, gently winds the Obertraun "high level hiking trail" When you reach Obertraun by train, cross the railway crossing and head towards the lake. After a short way, you come to a narrow railway crossing. Continue along this road, pass the bowling alley, pizzeria and the Seerose holiday apartments. You will soon come to the Haus am See hotel.
Now you can truly begin to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the valley. To the right of the hotel you cross a little pedestrian bridge. Here you will see boat houses and little boats bobbing on the water as if wakening from a deep winter sleep. Coninue through the railway underpass and join a narrow footpath which leads up to the evangelical graveyard. Feel the gentle warmth of the sun and enjoy the views over the lake. Where the road begins to ascend again, join the idyllic, narrow footpath.
Obertraun Upper Austria
The way ahead is fully unproblematic. The first winter roses are beginning to appear between the snow flakes. Winter roses are, according to legend, symbolic of love. The large white petals represent the first tender feelings in nature as well as mankind. The rays of sunshine appear between the trees like fine ribbons, and disappear again into the darkness of the woods.
Obertraun Upper Austria
Continue along your way, enjoying the peace and tranquility. After about half an hour the way leads gently downhill until you are about level with the village. You will notice a narrow path leading towards a railway crossing, but stick to the main path next to which is a babbling little stream. This disappears into villagers' gardens. A further ten minutes on you will reach a very small karst spring. Perhaps it will still be buried in the snow and there will be little to see, otherwise you will see the crystal clear water surrounded by moss-covered ground. Now you are in the part of Obertraun known as Reith. Observant walkers will notice a small steep huntsman's path to their left. Just after the karst spring which is indicated by a sign nailed to a tree, you can turn around and re-trace your steps back to Obertraun. If the snow is not too deep you can bear off on to the hunters' track. This brings you about 3 minutes later to a high forestry road. This snakes its way down through the Sarstein woods to the lake.
Allow approx. 2.5 - 3 hours
Best time of year: Sunny winter days - end of March and between the hours of 10.00 and 14.00.
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