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Hallstatt and Gosau: little gluten-free offer for such a touristic site

We left Prague early, as we had to drive almost 5h until we reached Gosau, in Austria, where we had rented the apartment. Since we had left Barcelona (10 days ago), we had passed through Dijon, Heidelberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle and Prague, having traveled almost 2,300km of road.

Like we had to do when we entered to the Czech Republic, at the border between countries you will see this signal to remind drivers that we should buy the toll booth. In Austria we paid 8,90€ for 8 days. It is very good because it allows you to drive on almost all roads without having to pay more. If you are coming from Italy to Innsbruck, you may find another toll near the city and, if you like curvy roads, you will have to pay 35€ for the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. We wanted to drive through this road when we went to Innsbruck, our next stop, but in the end we could not because that day the forecast was fog and temperatures below zero degrees, which means ice on the road. The beauty of this road are the landscapes, and paying 35€ to see just fog would have not been very clever. In the post of Prague you can see what the Austrian toll vivgnette looks like.

We arrived at Gosau around 1:00 pm but, as it happened to us in Munich, we could not enter until 3:00 pm so, we left the car parked in front of the house and went for a walk around Gosau. This is a village that is 14km far from Hallstatt. Even though we booked all apartments so long in advance, we had not been able to find a well priced apartment in Hallstatt. As we had read something about Gosau, we decided to sleep there. Honestly, we were not very convinced to sleep in that town, but we got a surprise. In fact we liked Gosau much better than Hallstatt.

We had the apartment at the beginning of the town, where the houses were still a little away from the town center. We walked following the signs to get to the center of town but never arrived there… first because, although we did not need to buy, we went to the Adeg supermarket to see if they had gluten-free products. It cost us a bit to find them but in the end, in a corner we found some references. And second because, in the distance, we saw some churches up the mountain and we went to see them.

Time to enter the apartment arrived! After downloading the car, we prepared the food and took another nap. We were not going to go to Hallstatt until the next day and Isabel was feeling a bit ill again. The Edelweiss Gosau apartment was not very good. Besides being extremely small (a medium size suitcase did not even fit open on the floor), it was very old and lacked a bit of maintenance… anyway! We would only be there a couple of nights…

When we got up, about 6pm, we went to explore a bit in the opposite direction to Hallstatt. We had read that Lake Gosausee was very beautiful and we went to see if we could find it.

Leaving the village, towards the lake, there is a mini-lake that, at first, we thought was the Gosausee. We were quite disappointed when we saw it… it was nice, but not “as nice” as we had read… we were there for a while watching two fishermen as old as the mountains behind, and when we got tired, we decided to continue on that road to see find its end to: Lake Gosausee! We were happy to have followed that road till the end…

What we had read was true… It was really beautiful! I think it’s the most beautiful lake we’ve ever seen. Being surrounded by such high mountains seems smaller than it really is. We walked a little more than an hour and we didn’t even surrounded half of the lake. For those who like skiing or ferries, this is your place. Also, very quiet place. At least at night, since there are few hotels nearby.

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In fact, there is one at the foot of the lake, completely separated from the village. Is beautiful. It’s called Gasthof Gosausee. It is the typical Austrian house that, apart from the restaurant, also rents rooms. Unlike Germany, in Austria they control the know very well about gluten free food. As we did not see any indication in this restaurant, we did not even ask.

The sun was already hidden behind the mountains. It was getting colder and colder. We returned home to take dinner and to sleep. So the next day we could go to Hallstatt early and for a peaceful walk… or so we thought!

When we woke up, the weather was fantastic. It seemed that bad weather was giving us a truce! No wonder after having played so many things that were lucky in Dijon, Munich and Prague … we had a quick breakfast, prepared some Nutella snacks for mid-morning and left for Hallstatt.

We arrived in town in 20 minutes and were able to park quickly in the downtown parking area. There are two others indicated as well. By the time of parking the car and arriving at the entrance of the traffic restricted area (the beautiful one), three buses full of Japanese had already arrived.

Hallstatt is, for many bloggers and travel guides, the most beautiful town in Europe. It’s beautiful, yes. But I suppose that being rated as the most beautiful town in Europe, it must also be one of the most visited throughout the year. And so many people do not fit in that town… I guess this was the reason why we liked Gosau the most. It was much quieter.

Before entering the area restricted to traffic, we stopped at the tourist office to ask what restaurants served gluten-free menu… the answer was the same as in Rothenburg ob der Tauber: none. For this reason, if you want to eat there, it is essential that you bring your celiac travel card.

When we left the tourist office, another 4 coaches arrived… We walked quickly into the town to anticipate the crowd of tourists who was preparing to enter. Although we were not walking fast, we went straight to the point from where you can see the typical view of the postcards. We wanted to be there with the minimum number of people. We like to spend time looking at everything before taking pictures, but with so many people it is impossible to enjoy any view. Luckily, most of the tumult was stuck, thanks to the guides, in the souvenir shops and pastry shops at the entrance to the central square.

We could enjoy the relative tranquility for a little time. Still, it was enough. Escaping from them, we continued upwards but arrived at a point that connected with the entrance road to the town and we were forced to turn around. There were too many people in that town and it was even difficult to walk through its streets – most of them very narrow – without crashing anyone.

Upon entering, we saw that there were several docks where you could rent an electric boat to navigate the lake. We did not doubt it. The low power boat cost 20€ an hour, so we took one and went to the lake. What a change! That was tranquility… also, there was a breeze that softened the temperature and helped us to relax even more.

We skirted all the town and we could contemplate it seated while the wiggle of the ship relaxed us. A moment arrived that we even stopped the boat to eat the sandwich of Nutella, drifting in the middle of the lake. Chocolate, good company and beautiful views. That was real vacation!

Upon returning to the mainland, we left the town towards a small island that we had seen from the boat, which could be reached through a bridge. On the way, we stopped at the Hallstatt supermarket to see if they had anything more than the Adeg of Gosau. Nothing! There was nothing…

We sat for a while on the island until we started feeling hungry and went back home to prepare a good plate of potatoes with peas and minced meat.

It was a splendid day, so after lunch we went for a walk around Gosausee again. This time we did the whole round. It was quite cold, but it was worth it, since the views were magnificent. We walked calmly, talking from time to time, thinking about the bad news that our parents had given us from Barcelona… it was August 17th.

We stayed there till the end of the day and returned to the apartment that was already dark. We prepared dinner and went to bed. The next day we were going to Innsbruck and, although the weather forecast was not good for going through the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, we wanted to get up early just in case we were lucky and something changed.

You can see the pictures of the trip here.



P.S.: Please keep in mind that in this blog I share my trips, anecdotes and experiences about gluten free travel around the world. It is possible that, in any of my trips, I go to some restaurant not trained by the associations where the risk of being contaminated with gluten exists. I kindly ask you to also take into account that the list of references can change. Please, always double check before eating in the restaurants we recommend. Thank you very much!


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Me llamo Santi y actualmente vivo en la provincia de Barcelona. En 2001, me diagnosticaron de enfermedad celíaca… ¡por fin! Además, soy intolerante a la lactosa, la alergia al pescado me mata, ¡literalmente!, y también algunas frutas... Viajar sin gluten se ha convertido en mi mayor hobby y creé Gluten Free Adventures por esta razón. Desde los 8 años, he viajado y vivido en distintos países… ¡aquí comparto mis experiencias viajando para descubrir restaurantes sin gluten, pastelerías sin gluten y heladerías sin gluten por todo el mundo! ¡Espero que os gusten nuestros viajes sin gluten!