Soak in the most stunning Austrian countryside ever

And also relive your ‘Sound of Music’ memories…

Your inspiration for visiting Salzburg may not be ‘Sound of Music’ (one of the world’s best-loved movies shot in and around here). But you can’t resist total recall, because all over this picturesque Austrian town, there are posters of ‘Sound of Music’ excursions that will appeal to the ‘classic movie’ lover in you. All this hype is more than justified…after all, the blockbuster grossed more money than any musical in history and even bagged five Oscars! Not only is it a fun opportunity to relive scenes and locations of the song-and-dance sequences starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and seven chirpy children…but a fabulous way to soak in the stunning Austrian countryside. So, are you in?

Peaches and creams of Salzburg

Our choice was the Original Sound of Music® by Panorama Tours. The meeting point for most such tours is the formal Mirabell Gardens, where Maria and the children were filmed dancing around the winged horse statue of Pegasus, the stone gnome and the fountains singing ‘Do-Re-Mi.’ Loosen up and you’ll find yourself humming along. I was reminded of my music classes in school, when we would stand in a circle around our music teacher’s piano, the chorus of our Do-Re-Mi perfectly synchronising with her fingers as they flew over the black and white keys. The head girl’s voice always used to be the loudest! From the stone steps, take in the best views of the extended gardens, and of Salzburg. The centre of the gardens is dominated by four large groups of statues representing the elements water, fire, air, and earth. Indulge in a treasure hunt for the 12 ‘Danubian’ dwarves sculpted in marble. So what if you’re not 12…why should kids have all the fun?

Courtesy: Wikipedia

The first halt for the coach is the southern end of the city…Schloss Hellbrunn, a veritable paradise of magnificent gardens, tree-lined avenues and silent ponds. Explore the extensive grounds and gardens overflowing with sculptures, statues and waterbodies…wells, fountains, ponds, five artificial grottos. This is a Baroque Disneyland created to entertain the immensely rich Prince Archbishop of Salzburg and his guests…but who’s prohibiting you royalty-pretence for a day When you reach that famous little gazebo in the manicured park, don’t resist singing ‘I am sixteen going on seventeen’. Go on, fake a ‘proposal’ and or have a field day with your camera. No, it’s not cheesy, and who cares if someone else thinks it is? It’s an opportunity to rewind to simple romances from simple times.

Hellbrunn Palace 1.jpg

Hellbrunn Palace gazebo.jpg

The next stop is the lake where the famous boating scene had taken place. The historical 18th-century Leopoldskron Palace is visible at the far end…its white facade reflecting in the placid waters, the thick green trees all around, shaping the lakes contours like a curtain. Stand there and look on…as if you’re waiting for the giggling of the children and the rippling of the boat oars. Unbelievable, how one movie has had such an impact on millions of fans who are drawn to Salzburg every year to revisit its unforgettable scenes!

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Going on to the ancient Nonnberg Convent with its landmark red onion dome, recall scenes from the movie when the children come to ask Maria to return, and when they try escaping towards the end. Behind that heavy chapel door of this 1,300-year-old nunnery from the Middle Ages, Benedictines still have a peaceful sanctuary! Movie or no movie, don’t forget to marvel at the architecture itself.

Nonnberg Abbey Salzburg.JPG

When the coach pulls away from the city limits, within minutes you are engulfed in the most luscious landscape of the Salzkammergut…soft rolling green hilly pastures, wide clumps of thick forest, distinctive peaks and the ever-present white blanket of the Dachstein glacier. 76 lakes…some small and silent, some large and lively, mostly secluded and mysterious…are located in the region. Small villages are nestled neatly in the tucks of the hills and on the shores of the lakes…each unique, each with its own unusual character…people live in this paradise, this is everyday life for them!

Salzkammergut 5.jpg

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Sunny alpine meadows, fabulous scenery, rolling lush green Austrian countryside…the hills are still alive with the sound of music and you can feel it ringing in your ears! Seventh heaven…this is how it must be, you conclude as you drive through endless smooth green carpeted land trying to absorb every inch through your eyes, hoping to replay them in your mind again and again. But for now, all you want, is to keep gazing. Until you reach St. Gilgen, the stunning vistas featured in the opening sequence of the movie. An irresistible urge to jump out for a meditative walk along the shore of the Lake Wolfgang? Give in.

Salzkammergut 4.jpg


Finally, you head for the lakeside resort town of Mondsee, where, in the movie, Maria and Georg von Trapp were married at the baroque twin-turreted Michaelerkirche. ‘Sound of Music’ fans from around the world still come here to say “I do”. Admire the church. Think about happy endings. Stroll around the little cafes and shops in the serene town and ambled along the long, tree-shaded road leading to the lake in the distance. Sound of music. Sound of silence. Can’t you just buy a house and live here forever?

Mondsee Abbey Salzkammergut.jpg

Mondsee Abbey Salzkammergut 1.jpg


Mondsee 3.JPG

Mondsee 1.jpg

79 thoughts on “Soak in the most stunning Austrian countryside ever

  1. Punita, We’ve been to Salzburg a few times but have never taken the Sound of Music tour, even though it’s one of my all-time favorite movies. The Austrian countryside is amazing, and I’m hoping to head that way again this summer to take some gorgeous photos. Love your retelling of the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could nearly imagine being there with you! Thank you for the lovely photos and dialogue. I would love to go on a Sound of Music tour. I still remember going to the show with my family when I was quite young, at the nicest theatre in town!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A sounds of music tour? Say no more, I’m in!! Austria is the only country I have left to visit in Western Europe, and this is something I would most definitely be interested in doing whenever I get the chance to visit! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m totally in, we loved Vienna and can’t wait to go back and see more of Austria, especially Salzburg. LOL, loved your fake proposal idea at Schloss Hellbrunn. Great photos of the church, both inside and out. If only that blonde lady’s head wasn’t in the way! 🙂

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  5. This looks like my kind of place, quaint and peaceful for an introvert. I like the way you connected with the music. Can not take my eyes of the huge patches of green around this city.

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  6. I was just reading another post about Austria as a travel destination and now reading this. These pictures are spectacular and I can imagine myself surrounded by the Austrian countryside. I love everything about it – the lakes, the landscape, the architecture!

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  7. Just wow! Austria looks like the most incredible place. I especially loved the landscape of the Salzkammergut and the Austrian countryside. I’ve never seen anything like it before and I had no idea Austria has so much to offer! Austria is definitely on our travel bucket list now!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just wow! Austria looks like the most incredible place. I especially loved the landscape of the Salzkammergut and the Austrian countryside. I’ve never seen anything like it before and I had no idea Austria has so much to offer! Austria is definitely on our travel bucket list now!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We’ve only been to Vienna and would love to visit Salzberg one day, and one of the main reasons being the countryside! No wonder they chose this beautiful place to film the Sound of Music there!

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  10. Your post brought back so many scenes from the movie and now the urge is to watch the movie again. I would love to visit the Austrian countryside some day to see those gorgeous landscapes. Your pictures are really beautiful and breathtaking.

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  11. I just love Austria and I’ve been fortunate to see a lot of it through our motorhome travels. Salzburg is a fave city of mine, as is the Sound of Music. It’s so worth doing the tour if you are a fan. Even if you aren’t, the special locations are beautiful enough in themselves to warrant a visit.

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  12. What a classy and quaint city. It’s like taking Vienna and adding tons more trees and green spaces. When I come back to Austria I’m putting this place on my list. Besides I love visiting cities that where featured in movies and tv shows. Great post. Love the pictures!

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  13. Although I am Hungarian I live in Austria and this is one of my favorite areas here. Actually I have not been there for a while, but you made me miss it. Maybe this Summer I visit for a couple of days. 🙂

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  14. The Sound of Music tour looks too interesting to pass! It brought me back some of my childhood memories. Loved your pictures, the countryside of Austria is truly stunning! Looks like a great place to unwind amidst nature.

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  15. The Sound of Music seems to echo from every pore of Salzburg and Austria. The musical seems to have a haunting aura around the place. The sheer beauty of the countryside is so enthralling and Mondsee looks like an idyllic place to just saunter around without a worry.

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  16. Austria has just so many beautiful spots. I especially love nature there, well what I have seen from pictures. Hope to see it one day myself. I bet the movie was constantly playing in your head when visiting the places

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  17. The countryside there is pretty damn spectacular, eh!
    I was there a couple of years ago but didn’t head on any tours – except to have a poke about in the convent. I definitely concur with your finding of how much of a part that movie plays there. I feel like it is responsible for the whole economy of that town.

    Baz | @WhatShouldBazDo

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I grew up watching the Sound of Music and love love love the queen, Ms. Julie Andrews! My parents took me to Vienna when I was a little girl just because of my love! Great to know they now have a Sound of Music Tour specifically so that you can follow in the footsteps of the VonTrapp family!

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  19. These are gorgeous photos. I wish I can buy a house and live here forever. It feels like a fairy tale. It looks peaceful and no pollution. The standard of living here must be expensive. You are so lucky that you were able to visit this wonderful place.

    Liked by 1 person

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