One of the biggest lakes in the Salzkammergut, the Traunsee is about 12km (7 1/2 miles) long and some 3km (2 miles) wide at its broadest. It lies east of the two major lakes already explored: the Attersee and the Mondsee. Three mountain peaks -- Traunstein, Hochkogel, and Eriakogel -- form a silhouette that Austrians call Schlafende Griechin (Sleeping Greek Girl). Some sections of the Salzkammergut road (Rte. 145) run along the western edge of the lake.

The most dramatic part of this road is from the Ebensee, at the lake's southwestern tip, to Trauenkirchen. A feat of engineering, this corniche had to be hewn out of rock. The Traunsee is ringed with a number of resorts, the chief town being Gmunden. There's a lake steamer service in summer. To reach this lake from Bad Ischl, drive northeast along the Traun River (Rte. 145) and follow the signs.

Gmunden -- This is one of the most popular summer resorts in the Salzkammergut, perched on the northern rim of the Traunsee with pine-green mountains forming the backdrop. Gmunden is located 169km (105 miles) southwest of Vienna, 40km (25 miles) southwest of Linz, and 76km (47 miles) northeast of Salzburg.