Pongau: Skiing & Hiking in Salzburg
The term Pongau is a vernacular one referring to the administrative district St. Johann. The Pongau can be found in the south of the Salzburg province and has a population of approximately 80,000. Historically, the Pongau was a rather poor area of Salzburg, even though it always played an important role as a transportation route: The Salzach river valley runs right through the Pongau.
Today, the Pongau has some of Salzburg′s wealthiest communities due to the rise of skiing tourism since the 1950ies. Whilst the most important industry remains skiing, there are also some industries in the Pongau and hiking tourism in the summer season is a significant source of income.
The name Pongau can be tracked back to the 8th century. Originally, it was Bavarian before it became part of an independent Salzburg in 1803. Only through the Napoleonic Wars, Salzburg lost its independence and ended up as being Austrian.
Tourism in the Pongau Communities
Tourists like the Pongau for several reasons: Due to the central motorway, getting around by car is quick and easy. Much of the Pongau is very accessible from Salzburg and day-trips to the city are perfectly feasible. The Pongau is also quite diverse in terms of landscape and has access to the National Park Hohe Tauern.
There are hot springs and spas in Bad Gastein and Bad Hofgastein. The Hochkönig glaciers allow summer skiing, the Tennengebirge, Lammertal and other areas are great for remote hiking. Busy towns like Großarl or the party-town Obertauern are ski resorts of international fame. In terms of sightseeing, the famous ice caves of Werfen and the Fortress Hohenwerfen are major attractions of the Salzburg province.
Towns & Villages of the Pongau
The Pongau has two cities (Bischofshofen and the capital St. Johann) as well as seven market towns (Altenmarkt, Bad Hofgastein, Großarl, St. Veit, Schwarzach, Wagrain and Werfen). In addition, there are several other municipalities in the Pongau: Bad Gastein, Dorfgastein, Eben im Pongau, Filzmoos, Flachau, Forstau, Goldegg, Hüttau, Hüttschlag, Kleinarl, Mühlbach am Hochkönig, Pfarrwerfen, Sankt Martin am Tennengebirge, Untertauern, Werfenweng.
Municipalities of the Pongau
Tourism Website of the Pongau
Salzburg Province's Reference to the Pongau
Official Website of the Salzburg province