Mondsee *Austria*

I couldn’t help but return to one of my favorite countries, Austria, only this time discussing the small-town life instead of the grandiose and busy every-days of  a big city. The reason this particular town has grown so close to my heart is because of the magic that is being handed over to any tourist, consisting of a mix of the beautiful little homes with colorful Venetian blinds, the proximity to nature, the fresh air and that unimaginable calm, silence and stillness just flowing in the air. The non-existence of the everyday metropolitan rush just makes you want to forget the world and move there to live a calm and happy life. Now, that’s Mondsee and the feeling it gives to you. It’s priceless and probably hard to imagine. I can talk for hours about it, but you just have to go out there and feel it. Experience it and realize the wonders of this treasure!

Mondsee is a small town in Upper Austria with only a little over 3000 inhabitants, on the shore of the lake with the same name. The name “Mondsee” is of German origin and means “moon’s lake” in English. The Mondsee loch belongs to Austria’s Salzkammergut Lakes region being one of the warmest lakes, reaching up to 27 degrees Celsius in July and August.

Getting there is pretty easy once you’ve learned that it is merely at a 30 kilometers distance from Salzburg. If you live far from Austria, flying is the fastest way to get here. Luckily for you, Salzburg’s W.A.Mozart Airport is “just around the corner”, offering a great deal of international flights both scheduled and charter flights, depending on one’s taste and agenda. Once in Salzburg, you can easily get to Mondsee by bus. You can check the itinerary or even book a few seats here. Travelling by car is also easy and fairly fast, because most of the road consists of highways. Once you’re there, you won’t need any kind of transport, but your own two feet. Being a small town, getting around can be easy without any kind of motorized vehicle. Riding a bicycle through Mondsee can be a great adventure-the roads are great and there are places to rent bikes, and you can even go further than you can ever go on foot, exploring Salzkammergut region. If you prefer it pedestrian style, a high quality network of footpaths has been created a few years ago around the lake, even continuing and leading to neighboring lakes such as Irrsee, Attersee, Fuschlsee and Wolfgangsee.

If you’re wondering what kind of accommodation exists in this small town, I can assure you that you can find anything from five-star hotels to private residences. There are also a few campings, holiday apartments, guesthouses, B&Bs and even farm houses -which can be a great way of getting to know the everyday life of Mondsee residents up-close.

When you go out for a little wine-and-dining, what do I recommend? Well, there’s a fine selection of inns, taverns, restaurants, coffee houses, bars and cake shops in the town so you have plenty of choices. If you stay for more than a week, I advise you to try different places every day, because every one of them has a special ambiance, not to mention a rich diversity of gastronomical wonders set to please with every bite you take. And don’t forget- breakfast is the most important meal of the day in Austria, so pass the coiled cuts and boiled eggs, will you? For additional information about Austrian cuisine, check the Salzburg article.

Before we discuss the main sites of Mondsee, I would like to point out that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of the prehistoric pile-dwelling settlements discovered in the late 19th century, making it part of the “Prehistoric Pile-dwellings around the Alps” category. Pile dwellings (or stilt houses) are houses raised on piles over the surface of the soil or a body of water, built primarily as a protection against the flood. There is even a museum on this particular and fairly interesting discovery: Heimat Museum (or Pfahlbaumuseum) of which you can find all the information you will need -from opening hours to ticket prices- on this website. Other museums in the town are Mondseeland Farmer Museum and Salzkammergut Local Railway Museum. The cloister church is the oldest religious building in the town and appeared in the movie “The Sound of Music” as the site of the wedding scene. As you can see, this very famous film has put its’ imprint all over Austria.

As for sports, there is a bicycle marathon held every year, which covers most part of the Salzkammergut region. From what I understand, fishing is allowed in Mondsee lake, although I couldn’t find any information about permits needed or any kinds of restriction. However, there are a number of varied fish living in the lake, such as the whitefish, the European eel, the esox, the lake char, the carp, the burbot and different species of trout. So if you’re passionate about fishing, what on Earth are you waiting for?

If you liked the post, get the GPS-guided tour of Mondsee at this link!

3 Responses to “Mondsee *Austria*

  • thanks for this authentical report about my hometown!
    greetings from Mondsee,

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