“Our clients, they do not wish to be entertained … They come here to relax, to unwind, to enjoy the pure mountain air and landscape.” The landscape of Abtenau, that is: A quiet little gem located just south of the city of Salzburg, right next to the foothills of the mighty Alps. Markus Gutjahr, our host at the Hotel Gutjahr, talks to us with thirty years of insight in his hotel business as well as his career as an athlete. “Tomorrow, I’ll take you out on our famous snow shoe hike. You’ll love it, I’m sure”, he smiles. Of course, he never mentions the 400 metres of ascent involved in our morning hike. Seems to be a given here, at least to him. But let us start from the beginning …
Travelling in Austria, you are well advised to follow the (restaurant and hotel) tips provided by the Austrian Eco Label “Umweltzeichen”.
This label awards hotels and restaurants for their outstanding commitment to environmental standards and perfectly sustainable travel options. It has been doing so for well over twenty years now, and I encourage you to read more about it here. My friend Christina and I have started by exploring the delicious food options at the Restaurant Triangel in Salzburg, famous for their emphasis on locally sourced food & drinks from Austria. Only a stone’s throw away from Mozart’s birth place in the city of Salzburg, and just under an hour from our final destination Abtenau am Tennengebirge, this restaurant is the perfect lunch stop on our trip to Abtenau.
We continue our local exploration of Abtenau with a visit to the area’s most prominent (and sustainable) employer: Voglauer wooden furniture.
It is always exciting to get “behind the scenes” while travelling. And even more so, if what you find is totally unexpected in terms of quality, and welcome. Despite (or because?) of the size of Voglauer furniture, providing employment to more than 400 people in the area, we find a climate of warmth, welcome and professionalism all over the company’s impressive production grounds. Wilfried Malter, himself a passionate wood worker and responsible for the Voglauer quality management, takes it on himself to show us around. The company even has its own mountain power plant to provide the production of its furniture with sustainable energy off Salzburg’s mountains! By the end of our visit, I believe that when creativity, passion & professional know-how fall in love with wood, the result has to be a Voglauer furniture item. Check this out.
Finally, let’s get going in the fresh mountain air. Luckily for us, our host Markus Gutjahr has an idea or two on where to go, treating us to a private snow shoe hike for the day!
“Did we make you sweat?”, Markus laughs high up on the mountain, while the skiers next to us smile getting off their chair lift in all ease and comfort. Crazy, if you think about it, to walk up the slope in snow shoes, but hey: No pain, no gain! And yes, there’s always that sense of pride too, reaching the top! What I do love most about our snow shoe hike with Markus is the fact that he loves to “lead us astray”, right inside the forest and on little trails that only he as a local would know. Including a visit to a typical mountain farm, where local farmer Julinde has cake, Kuchen, schnaps & speck waiting for us. The typical Austrian fashion of stopping for local delights. Just as I love it …
To make Abtenau, and all of our experiences in this beautiful mountain realm, come alive even more, I have made the following travel video for you:
.. also, you can check out my photo gallery from Salzburg here:
Disclaimer: We have been invited on this trip by Hotel Gutjahr in Abtenau, supported by the Austrian Eco Label. All opinions are my own.