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Introducing Wolfgangsee

Named after a local saint, this lake has two very popular resorts, St Wolfgang and St Gilgen, of which St Wolfgang is the most appealing. The third town on the lake, Strobl (population 2750), is a less remarkable but pleasant place at the start of a scenic toll road (per car and per person €3) to Postalm (1400m).

A ferry runs between Strobl and St Gilgen (adult/child €8.80/4.40, 75 minutes), stopping at points en route. Services are most frequent from June to early September. Boats run from St Wolfgang to St Gilgen almost hourly during the day (adult/child €6.50, 50 minutes). The free Eintauchen & Aufsteigen timetable from local tourist offices gives exact times that will help with planning day trips and connecting with buses or the Schafbergbahn cogwheel railway.

The Wolfgangsee is dominated by the 1783m Schafberg mountain on its northern shore. At the summit you’ll find a hotel, restaurant and phenomenal views over mountains and lakes (especially Mondsee, Attersee and, of course, Wolfgangsee). If you don’t fancy the three- to four-hour walk from St Wolfgang (early tourists were carried up in sedan chairs), ride the Schafbergbahn, which takes 45 minutes one way. Departures are approximately hourly between 9.15am and 4pm, but the trip is so popular that you probably won’t be able to get on the next train. Queue early, purchase a ticket for a specific train and then go for a wander along the lake or around St Wolfgang until your time comes to depart.