Much of the lakeland landscape around the gloriously Baroque village of St Gilgen found its way into the opening shots of The Sound of Music, the iconic movie that marks its 50th anniversary in 2015. Although the town’s outskirts have bowed to modern development, the heart of St Gilgen is still one of chocolate-box perfection, where wooden chalets with steeply pitched roofs stand side by side with softly colored Baroque townhouses overlooking Wolfgansee lake.
In winter St Gilgen holds one of the Salzburg area’s most famous Christmas markets, with wooden stalls selling handmade jewelry, traditional wooden toys and fragrant local gingerbread alongside plenty of warming glühwein. A cable car travels up to Zwölferhorn for skiing, and between May and September this becomes a jumping off point for hiking, cycling and climbing adventures in the Salzkammergut (Austrian Lake District). By summer Wolfgansee lake is given over to water sports and cruiser trips to the equally cute lakeside towns of Stobl and St Wolfgang.
St Gilgen is 45 minutes from Salzburg by road and the tourist office is found on Mozartplatz.