Austria: Postalm, the second biggest mountain meadow in Europe

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By Jen

Postalm is the second largest mountain pasture in Europe; the largest in Austria. It’s bursting with green. We reckon that after almost a year of travelling, our wake-up views from the campervan up on the meadow were the best so far.

Postalm, Salzkammergut, Austria

On top of the world. A great place to wake up.

Right at the top of the mountain, cows, horses and a few sheep chomp their way through the grass in a pasture so big you’d struggle to cross it in a day. Then in September before the snow, they make their way back down again. These are lucky cows. And horses.

Postalm, Salzkammergut Austria

Happy, lucky cows munching contentedly.

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

Horses have the freedom of the mountain pasture too.

Hiking and Cycling

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

There are great cycle routes all over the mountain.

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

Weeeee-heeeeeee!

There are numerous coloured tracks and paths, with the estimated walking times marked. These range from 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours and the tracks can join together to make full day hikes. We climbed up to the highest point, Wieslerhorn, at 1603 metres – it was well worth it, even in the afternoon heat.

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

Such beautiful unspoilt views.

Salzkammergut Postalm Austria

It was quite a hike in the heat – but worth it.

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

The highest point at Postalm.

Postalm, Salzkammergut Austria

Looking back down over the mountain.

From the peak you can see over to Wolfgansee, slightly to the north. It’s 360 degrees of amazing views. Margaret and Elizabeth, our Austrian friends, told us that trees reach right up to the peaks on the sandstone mountains because they can retain the water and nutrients necessary for growth, but calcium mountains are bare and rocky.

Salzkammergut Austria

Looking far over the Salzkammergut hills.

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

Looking down into the valley.

On the Postalm, there are numerous Hütten, or mountain huts, and an apfel strudel or a beer (or an apfel strudel and a beer) go down well after a hike in the heat.

Postalm Salzkammergut austria strudel and beer

Makes the hike all worthwhile.

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria beer

Checking out the competition.

The oldest hut is the Historische Postalmhütte. On a hike the next day I tried that one out too.

Postalm Salzkammergut Austria Hütten

The oldest but on the mountain.

Hutte Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

Onion, black bread and paprika.

Hütte Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

The old cow byre and milking station at the Hütte.

How to get there

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Postalm is in Salzkammergut, 9 km from Bad Ischl. Head to Strobl, pass the sawmill, and drive to the bottom of the mountain. There, there’s a barrier where you need to pay 10 euros (car and 2 adults), or 19 euros for the five of us and the campervan. Beyond the barrier (it’s a private road) you can stay on the mountain as long as you like.

There’s also a service bus you can take to the top from either Strobl or Abtenau. Here’s the current timetable for the downward stretch.

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Where to stay with a campervan

The Gasthöf Thoralm has parking for a few campervans, with electric (you need to have water with you, although you can top up some bottles) for 3 euros a night. There’s also the usual mountain fayre and beer.

Parking overnight Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

You can park overnight with a campervan at this Hütte.

We stayed a couple of nights. Especially great when you can witness a storm and the sky bubbling like a cauldron at sunset. Postalm is nature at its very best.

Storm at Postalm Salzkammergut Austria

No colour added. It was stunning. Better than any telly.

 

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