Those who have stopped in Scharding know that the locals are right: their main square could well be the ‘prettiest in Austria’. The look is pure story-book, with Baroque houses painted ochre, red or light blue. They followed our reviewers advice to turn off the main street, under medieval arches to the bank of the fast-flowing Inn where swans breast the stream, mallard croak and teal fall out of the darkness and into the water like stones.
This dates back to 1606 and its interior continues the rustic traditions of days-gone-by, with old beams, vaulted ceilings and intricate carving. In the dining-room, formality rules, with pink linens, long-stemmed glasses and candle-light giving a glow to the elaborate pine panelling. The cooking is impressive, with the emphasis on fish, such as carp, seibling, and trout from nearby mountain streams. No doubt fly-fishermen flushed with success can have their catch cooked for dinner.
Take care when choosing a bedroom. The older, atmospheric ones, furnished with antiques, overlook the square where the Saturday market sets up at 6 am. The newer rooms at the back are quieter but have less character.