The Traunsee is one of the larger lakes in the Salzkammergut, being 12km/7.5mi long, up to 3km/2mi wide and 191m/625ft deep. Above its eastern side tower three peaks - the Erlakogel (1,570m/5,151ft, forming a silhouette known as the "Schlafended Griechin" (the "Sleeping Greek Girl"), the Hochkogel (1,483m/4,866ft) and the Traunstein (1,691m/5,548ft). Along the western side of the lake, between Gmunden at the northern end and Ebensee at the southern tip, runs the Salzkammergut Road, some sections of which, blasted from rock, wind their way along high above the lake. The lake offers ample scope for water sports - fishing, diving, rowing, water skiing, surfing and sailing; there are also boat trips round the lake.
Altmünster (443m/1,453ft; pop. 7,800), a resort on the western side of the lake, has a fine Late Gothic church (richly appointed interior) and a children's village. A steep and narrow road (6km/4mi) ascends the Gmundner Berg (822m/2,697ft; view). Schloss Ebenzweier (17th C.) is now a school.
Hochkreut Wildlife Park
8km/5mi southwest of Altmünster, surrounded by woodland, lies the Hochkreut Wildlife Park, where can be seen red deer, ibex, bison, moufflons and other wild animals in open enclosures. There is also a path to follow to hear bird calls and learn about fungi, as well as a frog pond.
Traunkirchen (422m/1,385ft; pop. 1,500), situated on a peninsula, is a summer resort with a former Benedictine nunnery. The Early Baroque parish church has an unusual pulpit in the form of a boat, with fish and figures representing the Miraculous Draught of Fishes (1753). Near the church stands the 17th C. St Michael's Chapel, and on a wooded crag above the village the little church of St John (1609).
15km/9mi east of Gmunden, in the wide valley of the Alm, will be found the resort of Scharnstein, with a Schloss (c. 1600) which now houses the Austrian Museum of Criminal Law and also a branch of the Vienna Folk Art Museum, with special exhibitions.
7km/4.5mi south of Scharnstein lies the summer resort of Grünau (527m/1,729ft), a good base for climbing, 6km/4mi south of which is the Cumberland Wildlife Park (brown bears, otters, beavers, etc.; research facilities and a forestry museum).