Scharnstein in the Almtal Valley
The picturesque commune of Scharnstein is tucked away in the foothills of the Alps and lies at the heart of scenic Salzkammergut Lake District, on foot of mighty Totes Gebirge Range. At all times of the year, the outstandingly beautiful scenery provides reason enough to spend some time here.
The area’s densely wooded highlands and unspoilt wilderness areas provide a habitat for a varied fauna and flora that is best discovered on relaxed walks and hikes.
Standing on top of a mountain, you savor what every mountaineer dreams of – the conquest of a peak. And everywhere you go, there are rustic places to stop by and enjoy culinary delicacies that taste just right after the hiking exertion of the day, such as „Trambachwirte“ Inn, „Silmbroth“ (Kesselheiße), and „Apburg“.
For a castle in ruins, Scharnstein Castle is still an imposing site. The tower survives intact and the remaining ruins and ring wall are massive and fun to explore; best within a walk on the loop trail across Thießenbach Valley. We have a variety of interesting theme trails, such as the Scythe Smithy Trail, the Alm Riverbank Trail, the Raftsmen Trail and the Glanker Trail.
A visit to Scharnstein Castle, home to the History Museum and to the Crime Museum, is strongly recommended, too. The Castle’s Reptile Zoo is proud to be Austria’s only accredited reptile zoo! The animals are housed in state of the art, climate controlled facilities which were specifically designed to house reptiles. Live demonstrations, feedings, and meet the keeper events provide hands on experiences for all visitors. The Reptile Zoo is open on weekends during the winter season as well.
Another highlight is the Geyerhammer Scythe Smithy Museum: This fantastic museum provides the visitor with an insight into the traditional production of scythes. In the past, scythes were manufactured with giant, water-powered hammers. Enjoy a journey back in time and get to know more about handicrafts of time long past. Exhibits on display also comprise early industrial machinery, ancient pictures and old scythes.
Scharnstein has at its heart various shops and stores and friendly inns and restaurants where a choice range of refreshments and freshly cooked food is on offer and where visitors will be warmly welcomed.
What’s more, Scharnstein has an array of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Pick from the range of private homes, friendly bed & breakfasts, guesthouses and farm stays. And when you need to pitch a tent, park a motorhome or accommodate a campervan, Schatzlmühle Campground provides attractive landscaped alpine pasture settings.
In the winter you can glide across winter wonderland on 30 kilometers of immaculately groomed cross country ski tracks.
Why not discover for yourself why Scharnstein is ‘worth a visit’ and take the opportunity to stay the night and explore the area.