One of my favourite regions in Austria is the idyllic Salzkammergut in the heart of the country. This time I want to introduce St. Wolfgang and Hallstatt – two picturesque towns between crystal-clear lakes and beautiful mountains. Of course, both places aren’t insider tips – as they have a long tradition in tourism – but I was surprised to see so many people from all over the world. The history of the region is deeply connected to the lakes and salt mining, which made them rich. Today you can see their prosperity in lovely decorated wooden houses, perfectly manicured streets and grand churches. Apparently some rich Chinese thought it’s so pretty that they rebuilt a whole fake-Hallstatt in China. The original Hallstatt also has the oldest salt mine in the world, and although they’re still operating, they created a little “salt theme park” open for visitors. A funicular takes you up to the mine and the view from there is simply amazing. For one of the best water-views you might get in Austria, I’d recommend a boat-ride on the Wolfgangsee.