The Deutsch speaking countries refer to a lake as a “See”; no I didn’t misspell “Sea”! And lakes that are in specific towns carry the name of the town before the adding “see”. The Deutsch spelling for Millstatt, is Millstatter. So Millstattersee represents the lake in Millstatt, Austria.
Most tourists are heading to Salzburg or Vienna when they visit Austria, but you can’t go anywhere in Austria without finding beauty! We were in search of information on my husband’s ancestors, who lived and died in Vordersberg, Austria; since there’s little (to nothing) to do in Vordersberg, we chose to stay in Millstatt, which is about 25 minutes away.
Even though we had obtained the Vignette for paying tolls in Austria, we didn’t realize the navigation was set to “avoid tolls” until we arrived, so we ended up on a very winding – but amazingly scenic – route that took us through one ski resort town after another before arriving in Millstatt, which is just one hour from the Italian border and two hours south of Salzburg (if you stay on A10 and don’t take the scenic route).
All the European roads with tunnels through the mountains amaze me; some are SO long. I can’t even fathom the ingenuity and time it took to create them! I can totally understand the justification for the tolls being collected to help compensate for those costs!
Although we did encounter gorgeous scenery in search of my husband’s ancestors, we did not find as much information as we had hoped, so we spent most of our four day mini-vacation in Millstatt. If you’re ever looking for a weekend get-away and have already been to Vienna and Salzburg, I highly recommend you try this laid-back community.
We stayed at the See-Villa Schlosshotel, established in 1884! It’s quaint, is right on the water, and has exquisite service, dining, and staff. A couple drawbacks: It’s difficult stretch anything that was sufficient in 1884 to accommodate 2020! During the 40’s and 50’s, the parking lot was probably ideal for parking VW Beetles when so many guests were sporting them – but far less accommodating for modern sized vehicles! Also, there are no air conditioners or ceiling fans so a bit uncomfortable on warmer days. But it’s a gorgeous facility with amazing views and lots of water sport opportunities as well as hiking/biking.
One of the “must-do” activities is to hike to the Grannator! It’s a monument at 2100 meters. The easiest method is to drive to the Lammersdorfer Hutte (Restaurant and Cheese Dairy) at 1600 meters and use that as your starting point. If you’re not into “the hike”, enjoy the views from there, while dining. Unfortunately, by the time we (and many others) finished the hike, even by starting early in the day, seating is scarce! You might want to eat BEFORE you hike!
The monument at the top is nice, but I can’t say it was the best part of the hike. Personally, I would have preferred to stay at the Lammersdorfer, enjoying a couple cocktails! But the sense of accomplishment reaching the top, and the astounding views make it worthwhile. Now I can check “Hiking The Alps” off my husband’s bucket list, since it was never on mine 😊
"The sense of accomplishment reaching the top, and the astounding views when you get there, make it worthwhile"
When we lived in Germany 2008-2012 we noticed everyone had walking poles; I thought it was just a thing to give their arms a workout while walking, but now I totally get why they have them and they would have come in handy to help maintain balance on some of the rough areas. We saw people who were at least 80 years old making that climb and some of the locals said they do it several times a year! We not only saw a few people making that very steep climb on bicycles, but a couple of them did it from the very bottom. They didn’t even drive to the 1600 meter level before getting on their bikes! THEY are CRAZY!!! But I admire their strength and stamina!!! AMAZING!!
There are so many places we want to visit, but if we are here long enough to go to all those places, we would definitely go back to Millstattersee, Austria. It was lovely!
You can’t go wrong with Austria!