Anyone that knows us knows that we love to travel and explore new places. But we also like to do it on a reasonable budget, so we’re always keeping our eyes out for cheap flights and accommodation.

We spotted some EasyJet flights to Salzburg in Austria that would have got us all there for under £200, bargain! And started planning a holiday around those. Anyone with young children will know that you can’t have too regimented a routine on holiday for them, so we always like to stay somewhere were if we need a day to just chill out, we can do.

After some searching on Airbnb, we found the perfect looking apartment, not only was it based on an organic dairy farm, but there was also a pool (shared between 6 apartments) and a sauna and steam room, and all for under £600 for 7 nights? Ok then!

So we got planning, booked a car, and headed over there.

It was an evening flight, so it was dark by the time we left Salzburg airport after picking up the car from Avis. Who had given us a free upgrade, from a “Group B” Seat Leon, to a Skoda Octavia VRS, giving us a lot more space and a lot nicer ride too!

The apartment was easy to find, only 30 or so minutes away from Salzburg, with the last section being up a rather windy mountain track. We were shown around the apartment, the pictures don’t do it justice, the rooms were enormous, and the sky was so clear that you could see stars every direction you looked.

But as it was dark, we couldn’t see what the view was like from our window until the morning. And the view we woke up to, was breathtaking! Sitting on the side of a hill there was nothing between us and Lake Mondsee, facing the peak of Mt Schafberg could not have asked for anything more relaxing!

Over the course of the week, we spent some time walking around Lake Mondsee, as well as trying to visit each of the other major lakes. There was a lovely walk around the town of Strobl which followed a wooden boardwalk around Lake Wolfgangsee. A beautiful view from the Sky Walk at Halstatt and incredible views over Lake Halstattersee, an amazing waterfall only a 20 minute walk from the opposite side of Lake Mondsee.

And we couldn’t go to the area without taking a trip up the Dachstein Glacier! The Gondola ride up was easily the most expensive thing we did on the holiday, at 90 euros for the three of us to go up. But definitely worth it, the views across the Salzkammergut region from 2900 metres up were simply breathtaking.

There’s also the “stairway to nothingness” and an Ice Palace at the top, which Jessica loved, although – while they’re free for the start of the year, you have to pay extra for them from May – I don’t think the Ice Palace is worth the extra, although the views from the Stairway and the suspension bridge are definitely worth seeing.

We also loved spending time at the apartment, not only was the view incredible, but it was just a really peaceful space to spend some time in. The small organic farm had around 20 cows, a pony, a couple of goat, some sheep on the hillside (and some pigs, but we couldn’t see them) and the farmer was more than happy for us to wander around and see the animals. You could also pop a note through the door with an order from the bakery, and the fresh baked goods and milk fresh from the farm, would be waiting for you outside your door at 6am. Perfection!

The pool was used every day other than the day we went to Dachstein (with 3 hours of driving all in, and a full day at the top, we were all shattered!) and we left much more relaxed than we were before the week away.

We ended the trip with a walk around the city of Salzburg, a lovely city with lots of beautiful architecture, some fantastic market stalls and amazing views over the city from the hills just outside the centre. We didn’t go and check out the Castle, but we did find some great angles to view it from.

Beautiful country, with views that at times, just look like paintings, and friendly people everywhere we went. The only place that felt quite “touristy” was the town of Halstatt, but it was worth the visit for the walk up to the Sky Walk and the views from the top. There is a funicular that runs up to it, but it’s only a 90 minute walk to the top through woodland, and in my opinion, worth taking the time to do it.

Back home now, and all set for the start of a busy wedding season, so this was just what the Doctor ordered!

If anyone is interested in checking it out, this is the place we stayed – https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/15078908

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