Three days across Czechia and Austria
Last year in April I had three free days and decided to spend those days in an “Indian-travel-fashion”. Indian travelers are used to travel by car and prefer to use a private chauffeur to maximize the usage of holiday time. I did similar thing, but drove all the way myself. I admit that I was very tired on the Sunday evening. I planned the travel itinerary with almost no extra time for traffic problems or unexpected situations and fortunately all went well. The travel itinerary was as follows:
- Day Friday – Drive from Prague to Jindrichuv Hradec, Dürnstein, Melk, overnight
- Day Saturday – Melk tour in the morning, Bad Ischl, Hallstatt and Salt mines, Salzburg
- Day Sunday – Salzburg, Mondsee, return to Prague via Cesky Krumlov
The itinerary was mission impossible. There was absolutely no chance of visiting all the places. I changed the itinerary on the fly. Exactly as we are used to when providing private hire services to our clients. I ended up with following travel plan:
- Day Drive from Prague to Jindrichuv Hradec, Dürnstein, Melk, overnight
- Day Morning tour of Melk, Bad Ischl, Salt mines in Hallstatt, overnight in Ramsau
- Day Ramsau walk, drive to Dachstein, Mondsee, return to Prague
On the first day I managed to get a nice accommodation in Melk at the hotel “Hotel Stadt Melk“, the day two was a little bit complicated, I wanted to stay overnight in Hallstatt, but the accommodation was not available or cost more than my budget allowed. Thus I went to beautiful mountain area Ramsau and stayed at the Pension Haus Maria. Amazing cozy accommodation owned by British couple.
Weather was against us, it rained all three days almost non stop. It did not stop us from exploring the beautiful places. We walked and drove a lot each day and every evening we were tired and our feet were sore.
Find below our itinerary in pictures, I added some raw data to help you plan similar itinerary, should you be interested seeing the places yourself.
Prague to Jindrichuv Hradec – travel time 1 hour 45 minutes – distance 150 km – minimum time to see the city center: 2 hours
Jindrichuv Hradec to Dürnstein via Krems and der Donau – travel time 2 hours – distance 150 km – minimum time to spend in Dürnstein is 2 hours
Dürnstein to Melk – 25 minutes drive – approximately 25 kilometers – we spend an hour walk in the evening and then the whole morning. We did not visit the abbey, which would definitely need about 2 hours minimum.
Bad Ischl and Hallstatt
After exploration of Melk, we drove to Bad Ischl – 185 km covered in about 2 hours easy driving – we spent 2 hours in Bad Ischl and set off to Hallstatt
Bad Ischl to Hallstatt is only 20 km, about 20 minutes drive. We hardly made it to catch a funicular up the hill. If we did not catch the funicular, we would have missed the visit of Salt mines. After the Salt mines we missed the last funicular downhill and thus had to walk. It was worth it though. I recommend a minimum 6 hours time frame for Hallstatt as our 4 hours were far from enough time. As described above, we had to go to Ramsau to reach our accommodation. 80 kilometers took almost 1 hour and 30 minutes and we arrived very late around 22:30. The host was welcoming and room warm.
The next morning we spent chatting with the owner of the Haus Maria and after breakfast we left towards Dachstein. On the way to Dachstein we changed the plan again and decided to go to Mondsee. The main reason for the change of plan was the fact that only way to enjoy Dachstein is to take a funicular up to the mountain. My girlfriend was still fond of the Hallstatt funicular. She is more scared of heights than me. Mondsee is beautiful. We walked on the banks of the lake and then took an hour lake cruise. You can watch a short video from the cruise.
Lake Cruise video – sorry for low sound quality
After Mondsee we did not feel like going to Cesky Krumlov anymore and went directly to Prague. It took as nearly 4 hours. Tired, but happy we arrived home.