Hallstatt is a village in Upper Austria, a two hour ride away from Salzburg. The town is built on the very edge of the lake making it absolutely beautiful from every single angle you look at it. About two miles north past Hallstatt, the Dachstein ice caves are located up on a mountain. I got to take a gondola up the mountain, along with people from my study abroad group, and the view was spectacular. We had to hike up the mountain a little to get to the ice caves. The cave is mostly built underground and there were some pretty big ice chunks and the ground was covered with 5 meter thick ice. Cool experience.
We drove back to Hallstatt and had dinner/ the best pastries ever and then headed out to the Lammerklam Gorge which is located in between Salzburg & Hallstatt. This definitely is high up on my "coolest places visited" list. A river runs in-between large limestone rocks and the water is ridiculously clear. We hiked down to the water and the view was amazing. The whole stretch of the river is about 1.5 kilometers and there are stairs built along the river and a bridge to cross from one side to another.
I love Austria and all it's hidden gems.