The main river of the region is the Traun, a tributary of the Danube. The name Salzkammergut means "Estate of the Salt Chamber" and derives from the Imperial Salt Chamber, the authority charged with running the precious salt mines in the Habsburg empire.
With its numerous lakes and mountains, the Salzkammergut offers many opportunities to take part in water sports, bathing, hiking, cycling and golf as well as relaxing around lakes such as the Grundlsee or Toplitzsee. The Katrinalm, an alpine pasture, is found near Bad Ischl. Typical Salzkammergut culinary specialities include dishes such as Kaiserschmarrn (cut-up and sugared pancake with raisins), Krapfen (similar to donuts) or Lebkuchen (gingerbread).