World’s Prettiest Lakeside Village?

Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

The star of many a travel poster, Hallstatt is a tiny jewel that could indeed win the prize for the title above. It enchants from first sight, a flower-filled picturesque village on a point on its namesake lake. And the word has obviously gotten out – around the world! The streets and parking lots (one as far as 3 kilometers away, with a shuttle to town) are full of camera-toting tourists, and there are more foreign tongues in the air than local or German.
The closer lots are full, but we decide to wait in line at the entry bar of the closest one until a space frees up, and it’s just a few minutes til we’re in. It’s a short stroll to the center, past one pretty home after another – these folks can reach out their window and pick a pear for breakfast – the tree’s espaliered right on the façade!

Across the lake is where the local train stops, and passengers are ferried to the town – the most picturesque way to arrive, with the town spread out before you as you approach, we’ve read.

The vistas as we approach on foot are super too – Hallstatt seems to float on the deep dark lake.

France has an annual competition for Villages Fleuries  – flowery villages – with from 1 to 4 flowers awarded to worthy villages. Hallstatt would definitely be a 4 flower winner!


The Marktplatz, lined with 16th century buildings, is the center of town, and we join the throng of photographers for our chance to capture the charm.

Gasthof Zauner  is our choice for lunch – we’d like a balcony table up there, please!
Our fresh-from-the -lake lunch tastes even better on such a pretty perch.
Strolling back to the car we muse – crowded as it is, Hallstatt truly is a can’t- miss spot in Austria’s beautiful Salzkammergut Region.

The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

This entry was posted in European Travel, Kirk and Anne Woodyard, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.