Austrian Lakes – Landscape Photography

March 13, 2019
snow in Hallstatt church yard

Now bear with me here, you need a little back story as to why I made this Austrian Lakes Landscape Photography Trip… 

When I’m not taking photos, my other day job is mobile car SMART Repairs ( While painting some scuffed alloy wheels for one of my customers, the boss walked out with a cup of coffee for me. “How do you fancy doing me a big favour and picking up a Mercedes van from Bulgaria? Well, there’s 2 to come back actually!” I almost choked on my coffee, laughing because I thought he was winding me up… but he wasn’t!! It turned into a great 4 day, 1652 mile road trip with my photographer friend Tomas. Together we drove our little convoy through some amazing stunning countryside. We couldn’t spend a lot of time to stop for photos…. I made my mind up then, I had to come back. 

Spin the clock on a few months… Mrs S and I were picking up a hire car at Vienna Airport at the start of our Austria Lakes Landscape Photography Trip. I had pinged her a few iPhone photos from the ‘van road trip’ as we drove along. I had decided to go back when it had snowed & shoot some images for my stock photography portfolio. There was no way she was going to miss out this time! Other than a hotel booked in Hallstatt in 2 days time, we had no real plan. We decided go where my Nikon took us and to ‘’ it as we went along… let the adventure begin!!

boat on jetty at Lake Traunsee
Lake Traunkirchen, this stunning view was literally 20m across the road from our hotel

The first destination was the village of Traunkirchen on the banks of lake Traunsee. Our hotel was just across the road with a great view over the lake. It was our first chance to savour a proper sight of snow capped mountains. We had a lovely evening meal at the Symposion Hotel Post, where friendly staff told us of a cable car that would be a great photo spot. 

red Feuerkogel cable car austria
Cable car to 1600m top of the mountain

Next morning we were on our way around the edge of the lake the cable car station at Feuerkogel Seilbahn Ebensee Soon we were squeezed in with skiers ready for the trip up the mountain for some real snow photos. At 1600m, the view from the top didn’t disappoint, it was stunning in the clear alpine air.

feuerkogel, Ebensee cablecar
Beautiful view from the top of the mountain

Once back down in the car park we searched out our next hotel for that night. Rather than follow the SatNav straight to the hotel, I thought I’d go left first, just see where the road went. So glad we did because 6km later the road came to an end at a frozen lake, Langbathsee.

frozen lake Langbathsee Austria
Frozen Lake Langbathsee
isolated cottage at Langbathsee
What a place to live. Cottage far end of Lake Langbathsee

The accommodation for our 2nd night was the Hotel & Landgasthof Ragginger in Nußdorf am Attersee. A lovely family run hotel with friendly staff. This is closed season for tourism in the Salzkammergut (Austrian Lake District) so the hotel’s deserted lakeside swimming area made a great photo. I can imagine it with all the colours of Spring and Summer with lots holiday makers enjoying the lake.

centre white lines of road
Can you image what it would look like when the snow is as high as the snow sticks!!!

We were on the road again, destination Hallstatt. Progress was slow, round every corner was another beautiful scene and we just had to keep stopping!! 

Eventually we arrived in Hallstatt and checked into the Seehotel Grüner Baum right on the water edge. Walking out on to our hotel balcony was nothing short of breathe taking. I suspect there are better views in the world to enjoy a G and T… but at that moment I couldn’t think of any!

gin and tonic on balcony
Got to be the best view I have ever enjoyed with a Gin and Tonic

As the sun set below the mountains, these amazing colours captured during ‘blue hour’ were such a crystal clear deep azure.

mountain lake at blue hour
Amazing natural colours of light captured by camera sensors that our eye absorbs and converts into white light

Blue Hour quickly turned to darkness, I set my alarm for the morning. I just hoped there would be a clear sky for our last morning in Hallstatt before we headed off towards Salzburg. I beat the alarm, woke way ahead of sunrise at 06:23, carefully tiptoeing out onto the balcony so as not to wake Mrs S. Can I state now, -2 in your PJs is bloody freezing!!! But boy was it worth it

golden light over Hallstatt
Golden hour as dawn breaks over Lake Hallstatt
ferry coming in to dock Hallstatt
Ferry brings visitors across the Lake from Hallstatt train station
Hallstatt, mountains & funicular railway
Hallstatt viewed from funicular railway to Salt Mines
mountains around lake hallstatt
Our hotel (yellow building bottom left)
Hallstatt Austria Unesco village

Hallstatt, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is beautiful in Winter, one for every landscape photographer’s tick list. I’m sure I’ll go again one day, maybe in the Spring or Summer to see the difference in colours. Now it was time to head towards Salzburg, our route would take us through the village of Gosau. This was one of our overnight halts on the van trip (how we found Hallstatt) it certainly didn’t look like this…

snow capped mountains behind village
Quite simply stunning, the village of Gosau
deeps snow around lake Gosausee
Glorious blue light bounces from the deep snow around Lake Gosausee

I hope you enjoyed reading about our Austrian Lakes Landscape Photography Trip. If you get the chance to visit this beautiful area in Winter, you must … I know we will be back for sure!

By Skelly

Related Articles

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.