Are you feeling like going on a day trip? Are you a little bit tired of the city life? Are you in the mood to explore a small, typical Ausrian town bedded between green mountains and a blue lake? A town that is rich in culture and an area that is the base of many fables and legends? Then Mondsee should be the perfect destination for you! While growing up I spent multiple summers in Mondsee and never needed more than the lake, sunshine and maybe an ice cream once in the while.
The name Mondsee, literally translated to “Moonlake” comes from an old housewife’s tale, which goes as follows: The Bavarian Duke Odilo was hunting in the woods on the mountain right next to the lake, when he was surprised by nightfall. Because he couldn’t see his next steps, he wanted to make his way down the mountain. However, the other side of the mountain “Drachenwand”, which translates to “Dragonwall”, is not as mellow and well prepped for hikers and horseback riders. It is rather a cliff going straight down for hundreds of meters. The Duke was not able to see further than his horse’s snout and would have fallen down the cliff if he wouldn’t have seen the mirrored moon in the lake beneath him. He was extremely grateful for this “Moon Lake” and went there the next day to build the oldest known monastery Upper Austrias and therefore build the first headstone for the town.
If you believe this tale or not is up to you. But here in Mondsee it is not difficult to believe that fairytales could come true.
Located on the coast of the second warmest lake in the Salzkammergut with the same name, Mondsee is famous for its bakery, church, museums, hiking and biking opportunities as well as the lake. In winter the town is never shy of snow and close to multiple ski areas moreover it is the host of a famous Christmas market and offers a variety of winter sport activities.
In the summer, you can enjoy small hikes around the town, as well as, longer hikes to one of the surrounding mountains, such as Schafberg, Drachenwand and, Schober. Afterwards you can relax on one of the grass areas next to the lake with a dip into the refreshing water here and there. Or you take advantage of one of the many water activities offered in the town. Another great possibility is to bike around the lake and jump into the water whenever you feel like it.
If you want to experience the Austrian rural lifestyle, the history of the town, are a museum enthusiast or a fan of Sound of Music this town also offers multiple opportunities for you to spend one day or even a whole week there.
It easy to reach Mondsee by car, public transport or even bicycle, so you don’t have an excuse for not visiting on of the most beautiful areas Austrias. And once you get there you will never want to leave this traditional, beautiful town.