As soon as you pick up your rental car, start your Austria itinerary by driving south to Hohenwerfen Castle in Werfen. The drive takes 45 minutes.
Today, we recommend visiting Hohenwerfen Castle, eating lunch at Wengerau Alm, and visiting the Liechtenstein Gorge.
An alternative itinerary for today is to drive to Kleinarl Valley and hike to Lake Tappenkarsee, one of the highest lakes in the Eastern Alps.
Visit the Hohenwerfen Castle
Cradled by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Tennengebirge (Tennen Mountains), the 900-year-old Hohenwerfen fortress stands proud atop a steep rock overlooking the Salzach Valley.
The fortified medieval castle was constructed in 1077 under Archbishop Gebhard during the investiture conflict.
Gebhard was an ally to Pope Gregory VII who was in continuous conflict with King Henry IV of Germany (Holy Roman Emperor).
The building of this castle along with Hohensalzburg and Petersberg Castle was meant to secure the route across the Eastern Alps against the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor.
When to Visit Hohenwerfen Castle | Early April to early November. Check out the opening hours.
Sound of Music Filming Location: Do Re Mi Meadow
Do you remember the Do Re Mi musical scene in the Sound of Music, where Maria and the children learn how to sing on an alpine meadow? Watch the clip again, and take note of the castle in the background.
That’s Hohenwerfen Castle with the Tennengebirge forming the mountainous backdrop. You can access this special filming location from the town of Werfen.
Head to Gschwandtanger Meadow via Schartenbergstraße. The filming location is marked with an enclosed viewing area.
Eat Lunch at Wengerau Alm
Our favorite place in the Tennen Mountains is Wengerau in Werfenweng. From this hidden valley, you can hike to the mountain hut Werfener Hütte (1969 m), which overlooks the Salzach Valley.
You can also revel in the alpine scenery whilst eating a delicious meal at Wengerau Alm without embarking on a hike. This alpine pasture hut is a mere 2-minute walk from the parking lot. The food and the views don’t disappoint.
Location | Weng 76, Werfenweng 5453, Austria | Google Maps
Visit the Liechtenstein Gorge
Liechtensteinklamm is a deep and narrow gorge a few kilometers south of St. Johann im Pongau in Salzburg. In fact, it’s one of the deepest gorges in the Alps.
It was created by the eroding force of the Grossarler Ache mountain stream over the course of thousands of years.
A safe trail leads through Liechtenstein Gorge, running through illuminated tunnels and galleries, over bridges, and along secured walkways.
It takes only 1 – 1:30 hours to walk the gorge out-and-back.
Stay in Schladming
After visiting the gorge, continue your drive to Schladming in Styria. You can stay directly in the town center of Schladming, or in Rohrmoos, the village above Schladming.
If you want easy access to lots of restaurants and shops, stay in Schladming. If you want more solitude and countryside vibes, stay in Rohrmoos.
Budget | TUI BLUE Schladming is an all-around excellent accommodation in Schladming offering guests a bountiful breakfast (included), spa facilities (saunas), and a great location (located across from the Planai-Hochwurzen Cable Car).
Midrange | Thalers Mariandl in Rohrmoos is an alpine modern B&B featuring bright, beautifully designed rooms, a lovely wellness area, and a quiet location. In the evenings, you can order drinks and snacks from their bar menu. However, if you have an appetite, we recommend eating a hearty Styrian dinner at Die Landalm in Untertal village (Address: Bachweg 120, 8971 Schladming).
Luxury | Stadthotel Brunner is a dazzling modern and barrier-free hotel situated in the heart of Schladming. If you appreciate clean, yet creative interior design, you’ll love staying here. Moreover, Stadthotel Brunner is the perfect retreat for anyone who wants to integrate wellness, yoga, and Ayurvedic cuisine into their vacation. Their on-site restaurant is excellent. Definitely eat dinner here (reservation needed) if you stay.
Look for accommodation in Schladming.