A day trip to the Hallstatt salt mine
On the trails of salt, the wealth of a whole region
The oldest salt mine in the world is situated on the Salzberg above the world heritage site of Hallstatt. Salt mining and trading was the most important sector of the economy in Salzkammergut and Upper Austria for hundreds of years and provided the region with inestimable wealth. Today the Hallstatt, Hallein and Altaussee salt mines are witnesses of the long history of salt. Not far from your Sommerhof family hotel in the Gosau valley is the Hallstatt salt mine where informative and educational experiences await you
The salt experience
You glide up into the Hallstatt high valley from Hallstatt in just 3 minutes by cable car. The trip alone is an experience in itself thanks to the panoramic gondola. After the trip up you find yourself at the entrance to the show mine and make your way into the underground world. Kilometre-long tunnels lead deep inside the mountain. You can find out more about the "Man in Salt", be impressed by the multimedia Bronze Age cinema (a world first) and discover Europe's oldest wooden stairs there. Using the miner's slides, you finally get to the heart of the mine where the mystical underground salt lake is hidden, which is impressively staged using modern effects.
Tours and prehistoric expeditions
Tip: Besides the daily tours, a prehistoric expedition is held every Friday from May to September in the Hallstatt salt mine, where you can get to know all about the fascinating 7,000-year history of salt mining up close.
The mine's history
An Early Stone Age 7,000-year-old pickaxe found in 1838 corroborates the beginnings of salt mining in Hallstatt. Prehistoric mining blossomed from 800–400 B.C. and left behind such significant finds that the place gave its name to an entire cultural epoch – the Hallstatt Period. Hallstatt experienced its second heyday at the start of the modern era when a 40 km long brine pipe was built from Hallstatt to the new saltworks in Ebensee around 1600 and made the Hallstatt mine the most important mining location in the region for more than three and a half centuries. Following the closure of the Hallstatt saltworks in 1965, brine is still produced today that is routed to the Ebensee saltworks.
Around the Salzberg
A detour to the "Welterbeblick" viewing platform where you experience an amazing panoramic view is an absolute must, besides visiting the salt mines. The Rudolfsturm mountain restaurant with stunning viewing terrace is then perfect for a rest and refreshments.
A holiday at the Sommerhof family hotel
Don't forget sturdy shoes and warm clothing when visiting the Hallstatt salt mines. Your holiday home, Hotel Sommerhof, where family-friendliness is given top priority is situated very close to Hallstatt, the salt mines and Lake Hallstatt in the picturesque Gosau valley. Spend your holiday in Salzkammergut at Hotel Sommerhof and send a no-obligation enquiry!