The Location


The Zell Valley is a corridor in the Kitzbühel Alps, connecting the Saalfelden Basin of the Saalach River in the north and the Salzach in the south. Zell am See is located approximately 100 km (62 mi) east of Innsbruck and 30 km (19 mi) north of Mt. Grossglockner.


The Old Town (Altstadt) centre of Zell am See is located on the western shore of 68-metre (223 ft) deep Lake Zell, with the villages of Thumersbach to the east, Erlberg to the southeast, and Schüttdorf directly to the south.

The original Lake Zell reached somewhat further to the north and extended south to the Salzach river. The dimensions of the lake, however, have changed over time into marsh areas. The lake has the shape of a peanut, with an area of 4.7 square kilometres (1.8 sq mi).

The mountains of the area form a horseshoe shape, the slopes are mainly forested or covered with Alpine pastures. The Hausberg (“home mountain”) of Zell am See is the Schmittenhöhe, 1,965 m (6,447 ft), which together with the adjacent Salzburg Slate Alps range in the west is part of the Greywacke zone between Northern Limestone and Central Eastern Alps. Mt. Schmittenhöhe is a popular centre for skiing and winter sports. Moreover a cable car was built in 1927 by Adolf Bleichert & Co. that runs to the summit. The cable car system has been renovated several times since. From the summit of the Schmittenhöhe there is a good view of over 30 three-thousanders as well as the lake of Zeller See, the river basin and the whole Saalach valley.
From the Schmittenhöhe numerous long-distance flights may be made by paraglider into the Pinzgau region whose straight, east-west orientation enables long flights to be made.
The nearby Mt. Hundstein (“Dog Stone”) at 2,117 metres (6,946 ft) is the highest peak of the Salzburg Greywacke Zone.
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