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First Timers to Zell am See

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Somerset, United...
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First Timers to Zell am See

We are looking to book the Hotel Waldhof hotel in this resort on an all inclusive basis in august 2012 with thomsons. Having never been to Austria before we were looking for some back ground information regarding day time activities in this area . Thomsons offer the all inclusive card allowing you to enjoy the sights and attractions of this area but I would like to know how accessible these attractions actually are ? The Hohe tauern national park / schmittenhohe cable car / ms schittenhohe boat trip / zell an see indoor pool and lakeside bathing areas and the dry toboggan run in saalfelden all appear local to the area and i assume you can use local buses or walk to these attractions ? However how far are the following attractions and are they connected by local transport - Vorderkaser gorge / seisenberg gorge / lamprethtshole cave and Krimml warerfalls ? Lastly could you advise us what the weather is like in august ? Any information would be much appreciated - many thanks Wendy and Gary

1. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

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London, United...
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2. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

We've just got back from Kaprun, which is a short bus ride away from Zell am See and our hotel gave us a free Zell am See/Kaprun card which we used to go on the buses, MS Schmittenhohe, up on the cable cars you mentioned plus the 2 in Kaprun including the Kitzsteinhorn and also the Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs, plus loads more.

This card saved us almost 300 Euros, so is much better value than all inclusive.

We took the bus from Zell am See bus station right to Krimml Waterfalls and it cost us 36 Euros return for 2, travelling through some really pretty countryside.

We had 4 days really hot, 1 rainy day (spent in Zell am See indoor swimming pool, free using the card) and 2 days rain late afternoon, but the summer weather is unpredictable.

I would just mention that Zell am See is a very popular summer tourist resort for traditional Muslims and their children and this makes it a very busy place.

Kaprun is much less crowded and we were glad we chose it rather than Zell am See, as we like a more relaxed atmosphere when we holiday in Austria.

3. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

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Doncaster, United...
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4. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

Lots of questions!

A trip to Zell 7 years ago was my first time to Austria and I fell in love with the country! Unlike a couple of the previous advisors I like Zell - it is a good sized place with lots of shops and cafes, and the fact it is on the railway line makes it good for visiting other places. Some of the places/attraction syou mention I don't know but I would say:

There are 2 cable cars up the mountain. The main large one is about a 15 minute walk (uphill) from the town, but probably 5 mins from your hotel.. This gets you to the top of the Schmittenhoe from where there is a gentle walk down with views to die for one your first visit to the country - gaurenteed to make you run along a meadow pretending to be Julie Andrews.

Boats - these run from the lakeside which is in the town, probably 10-15 mins from your hotel. They call at various places around the lake. One of our favourite walks was to go round the lake - follow the cycle path to the left (as you face the lake) and carry on walking! You stay on cycle paths for a while, then go on the road for a mile or so. There are 2 charming lakeside cafes with lovely terraces for refreshments. You then continue round and eventually get back to Zell. I would say the whole circuit would take about 2.5 hours without stops and is all absolutely flat. You can get a ferry back to Zell from the opposite side of the lake.

Indoor pool - this was near the bus station in the town. 15 mins walk from your hotel maybe. Didn't go there. The outdoor bathing area is about 15 minutes walk along the lake front from the town.

Krimmel waterfalls - think you can get a bus. I haven't been because husband said they weren't worth going to.

Have you thought of going to Kitzbuhel on the train if you want to see another resort? Or St Johann?

Weather - anyone's guess! We've been to the Tirol in mid May and had gorgeous weather, and in August when it's been cool and very wet! Take lots of layers and a good waterproof. In the evening it will probably be a little (or a lot!) chilly so take a jacket.

Let me know if you want anything else!

London, United...
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5. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

Nildesperanda,

I totally disagree with you on 3 points that you made. Firstly we had a very enjoyable time in the indoor swimming pool at Zell am See, which,we were told, is fairly new building, especially as it was raining heavily outside and was therefore an ideal place to go.

Many of the indoor swimming pools we have visited in Austria are unlike swimming pools in the UK as they have lots of sun loungers and very warm areas and Austrians tend to take a book and lunch and relax there after their swim, which is exactly what we did. We also enjoyed using the flume there.

Secondly, we visited Krimmll waterfalls last week after there had been a lot of rain (and also snow on the tops of the higher mountains) in the Salzburg district and would definitely recommend the bus trip from the bus station at Zell am See as the bus drops you off/picks you up at the waterfall. The waterfalls were spectacular and the walk up to the top with its numerous photo opportunities isn't too difficult. A very cheap day out for 18 Euros each.

Zell am See is a very busy place and if you like crammed cable cars, crowds of people with lots of kids when on holiday, then this is definitely the place to base yourself. If you want a quieter place to base yourself and still be able to visit the places you mentioned and many more, Kaprun is a much quieter place.

Kitzbuhel is best left to another holiday and why go there when you can also use the free Zell am See/Kaprun card on the cable cars at Kaprun, especially the Kitzsteinhorn at over 3,000 metres above sea level, with its tunnel into the mountain that opens out onto the viewing station where you can watch the summer skiers? Not forgetting the Kaprun dam/reservoir.

By the way, my mother was Austrian.

Doncaster, United...
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6. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

Sorry - I seem to have upset you domidog!

I didn't say the pool was bad - we just didn't go there as our hotel had a pool and wellness area that we used instead.

Krimmel - as I said I haven't been, just going on what husband said. From your comments I think I will have to go next time so I can judge for myself!

Busy nature of resort - totally agree, but for my 'first time' this was fine. As long as people know that they are going to a busier resort there's no problem - and in fact some people like the bustle of this type of resort.

Kitzbuhel - we went one day when the mists were down over the lake. It doesn't take long, and gives a view of other resorts - after our day trip I decided it would be quite nice to be based there one year.

I have always liked the TA forums because you get various opinions on the same topic - one person's perfect holiday may be another's nightmare!

London, United...
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7. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

Nildesperanda,

You didn't upset me, I just wanted to advise visitors to Zell am See that a trip to the indoor swimming pool was a slightly different to those in the UK. Our hotel also had an indoor swimming pool etc. which we used several times, but It's the Austrian experience that I recommend visitors try.

Just as a matter of interest, how long ago was your last visit to Zell? A friend of mine recommended it to us as she had been there a few years ago and she said it was a really lovely place to stay. She was amazed at how much it had changed when I showed her our photos.

Last week, when we were in Zell am See, we discovered that it is now a very popular tourist resort that attracts traditional Muslims from all over the world and it was very, very, busy especially with lots of children.

We visit different parts of Austria once a year and we always choose June because it is usually a very quiet month.

I agree that everyone's views differ. My husband definitely would not recommend Zell am See and said it was the worst place he had ever been to in Austria.

I love Austria and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday to Kaprun/Zell am See.

miami
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8. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

We just returned from Zell Am See...beautiful lake side resort town with plenty to do. Yes, the weather is unpredictable, so bring layers and an umbrella. We rode bikes around the lake that you can rent and then rented small motor boats out on the lake. We then went on a farm hike that brought us to a farm house where we had a delicious lunch (the milk came from the cow 2 hours prior). The connecting cable car rides up the Kiltzsteinhorn mountain was amazing as well. There is a bus station is front of the post office to bring you to various spots. We are probably very impressed since we are from Florida and it's very flat here and you don't get fresh milk and mountains :)) The only surprise to us was the number of traditional muslins from the gulf coast areas (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia)...my husband speaks Arabic and they explained to us this is a major vacation spot for the wealthy gulf coast countries. Despite the crowds and traditional garb I thought this was an interesting cultural experience and was not bothered by it at all. It was only crowded one day because of a carnival that was going on, otherwise, I didn't think the town was anymore crowded than any other popular resort. Overall, beautiful and interesting resort town and highly recommend visiting it (1 hour and 45 min train ride from Salzburg).

9. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

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London, United...
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10. Re: First Timers to Zell am See

Many people visit Austria in the summer months because it is a wonderful place to get away from crowds. If a peaceful holiday is what you want, then I don't recommend Zell am See.

Yes, it is picturesque and has has some wonderful natural attractions, but it has become a major tourist attraction for traditional Muslims, not only from the middle east, but also European Muslims. It is no longer a relaxing place to stay because there are so many people there. I'd book a city break if I wanted to join the crowds for every attraction.

For me, Zell am See is now a conjures up mixture of Julie Andrews in traditional Austrian costume skipping though the mountains with the Von Trapp children combined with a typical Muslim family of husband dressed in shorts and t-shirt with his wife dressed traditionally in a black burqa with eye slits, walking a few paces behind him with the kids.

According to an article written by Urban Hamid, on Friday, 18 March, 2011, Zell am See attracts around 100,000 visitors from the Arabian Gulf in July and August every year. That's a lot of people for such a small place.

We never felt threatened, but I do wonder who will be visiting Zell am See in a few years time, as there seems to be an abundance of money with the new tourists and this will surely put hotel prices up.