Crescent-shaped Lake Mondsee is often regarded as the gateway to the spectacular alpine scenery of the Salzkammergut (Austrian Lake District) west of Salzburg, and is surrounded by the snow-topped peaks of the Austrian Alps; it is a perfect summer base for hiking, biking, sailing, fishing and kayaking.
The lake is edged by the lovely Baroque lakeside town of the same name, famous for its lemon-and-white, twin-spired St Michael’s Church, which is where Maria and Captain von Trapp were married in The Sound of Music. Apart from the Julie Andrews connection, Mondsee is a riot of gaily painted townhouses bordering its main square, with a lakeside promenade lined with elegant restaurants and a stunning backdrop formed by the craggy rock face of Drachenwand. Thanks to its proximity to Salzburg, Mondsee gets rammed with visitors every weekend; it is likely to be even busier in 2015 as the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music brings more visitors into town.
Mondsee lake is 11 km (6.75 miles) in length and two km (1.25 miles) at its widest, one of the biggest of the Salzkammergut lakes. It is a half-hour drive from Salzburg and the main tourist office is on Dr Franz Müller Strasse in Mondsee town.