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The Gaisberg is calling

In Salzburg, many paths lead to the top of the city of Mozart’s highest and arguably most beautiful local mountain, the Gaisberg. Everyone in search of tranquility, outdoor exercise and nature, accompanied by wonderful views of the city and the nearby mountain world, is certain to find what they are looking for. Best of all: One ride on the No. 151 bus puts Gaisberg summit barely 30 minutes from downtown Salzburg.

Many paths lead up the Gaisberg

In Salzburg, many different routes will bring you to the top of this dominant local mountain. Opinions differ as to which is the most beautiful. That notwithstanding, they all have something in common: They are diverse, only moderately strenuous, and take you alongside streams, through the countryside – constantly accompanied by some of the most breathtaking views imaginable of the city of Salzburg itself as well as the breathtaking alpine world beyond. Today, we decide to go with the most comfortable option: We take the No. 151 bus from Mirabellplatz for a ride almost all the way up to the Gaisbergspitze. Better still: With the Salzburg Card in your pocket, this trip won’t cost you a cent.

Comfortable bus ride up the mountain

At 11:05 AM, we board the No. 151 at Mirabellplatz. Even from here, we can already see our destination: the top of the almost 1300 meters-high Gaisberg.  Incidentally, it derived its name from the “Geissen”, the goats that had been grazing the high pastures owned by St. Peter’s and Nonnberg priories since back in the seventh century.
Just a few stops farther along and a couple of paragliders get on the bus with their big rucksacks. They are also quite happy to take advantage of this comfortable, convenient and eco-friendly way to reach Salzburg’s most popular launch area.

Sunny terrace with adventure playground

At the last stop before the summit, right next to the “Zistelalm”, a mountain inn popular with excursioners, we get off. Children rush towards the big adventure playground and begin clambering up the towers, teetering across the rope bridge, and slithering down the slide over and over again. Like jewels strung on a necklace, the Alps lie before us – practically begging to be admired for their elegance and beauty. The temptation simply to “park” ourselves on the spacious sunny terrace of the “Zistelalm” and enjoy the views while stretched out on a lounge chair, is difficult to resist. But we don’t succumb, continuing on our way instead. After all, the reason we made the trip out here was to add to our list of Salzburg experiences!

Full of variety and adventure

Even back in Mozart’s day, the Gaisberg was a popular excursion destination. The Gaisberg “Rundwanderweg” is a family-friendly, barely 6 km-long hiking path created for the enjoyment of young and old. Although the views of the city from the bridge on this path are quite beautiful, we decide to opt for the Zistelrunde instead (a 2.4 km scenic pathway leading out from Gasthof Zistelalm across the nearby mountain pastures), branching off at the half-way point onto path No. 13 for the remaining climb to the summit.

Gaisberg Summit: the balcony of the Alps

After walking through the forest for about 35 minutes, we finally make it to the summit! The gigantic transmitter mast, that was built here in 1956, looks really imposing, especially up-close. That said, we soon get distracted by something completely different: the prospect of a delicious snack enjoyed on the scenic terrace outside the “Kohlmayr´s Gaisbergspitz” restaurant. We indulge ourselves in a delicious wiener schnitzel, a sinful Kaiserschmarrn and, as the icing on the cake, so to speak, a creamy cappuccino. Together with other intrepid “summiteers”, we enjoy all of our culinary treats in combination with the amazing scenery and absolute tranquility. Shortly before hopping back on the bus, we pay a quick visit to the paragliders, who soar bravely up into the air from here seemingly by the dozens. Tired and happy, swaying gently back and forth in the bus, we both agree: It’s hard to imagine a day more beautiful than this!

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