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.
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.
Hiking and Cycling
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.
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.
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.
The oldest hut is the Historische Postalmhütte. On a hike the next day I tried that one out too.
How to get there
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.
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.
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.