With its beautiful Alpine territory, quaint villages and baroque architecture, Austria is definitely a country worth exploring.
From long distance walking trails to shorter day hikes, no matter your preference you will find an adventure that suits your needs.
From the Eagles Walk and the Berlin High Trail, to hiking up the Kröndlhorn, there is no limit exploring the Austrian mountains.
Austria Hiking Trails
Covering 413 km broken into 33 stages, the Eagles Walk can accommodate either day hikes or multi-day treks, depending on your preferences and skill levels.
Aptly named the Eagles Walk, as from a birds eye view, the route resembles an eagle with outstretched wings.
The walk begins in St Johann in Tirol and crosses 7 mountain ranges in total. Namely, the Wild Kaiser Mountains, the Brandenberg Alps, the Karwendel Mountains, the Tux Alps, the Lechtal Alps, East Tirol and the Wetterstein Mountains.
Fortunately the route is well signed posted, making it easy to follow. However, you can never go amiss with a hard copy map, as bad weather can make visibility poor.
The signs along the way also indicate the length and difficulty of the trail, as well as info on the huts and refuges.
Public transport in the Tirol region makes travelling in the area easy. This means that if you wish to only walk part of the Eagles Walk, you can easily make your to and from start and finish points.
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Nature Park Zillertal Alps
High in the Zillertal Alps, the nature conservation park was founded in 2001 and forms the largest protected area in the Alps.
Encompassing a variety of different terrain, from the cultivated valley floor to the glacier region, the park is home an amazing biodiversity of wildlife and plants.
In the park you will find narrow gorges, glacial valleys, steep mountainous walls and summits, and if you are lucky you may happen across mountain sheep and chamois, a species of goat antelope that call the mountains home.
The best way to explore the park is on foot, the Berlin High Trail is one such iconic hike which crosses the nature park.
Berlin High Trail
Another epic multi day trek is the Berlin High Trail. The hike begins in Finkenberg and works its way through the Zillertal Alps, taking roughly a week to complete the 85 km trail, this hike is definitely a challenge for more experienced hikers.
Following the Berlin High Trail, you will hike from hut to hut – the huts are very basic but will provide you with shelter.
If need be, you can decide to shorten the route, as each hut gives you the option of descending into the valley below.
As you will be crossing high mountain passes, it is important that you are both fit enough and not afraid of heights.
However, if you decide to tackle this trail you will be rewarded with spectacular mountain views and an unforgeable hiking experience.
Hike Up The Kröndlhorn
If you are looking for a day hike that still presents a challenge, hiking up the Kröndlhorn may be something worth looking into.
Taking roughly 7 hours, the trek up the 2,444 m mountain is a little more on the difficult side and it is the highest in Westendorf.
Something that makes the hike special is the little chapel on the summit of the mountain.
Once reaching the summit you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the Gerlos plateau, Krimml Waterfalls, among others, and a serious feeling of accomplishment.
You can choose to either hike the same way back or hike back via the Rotwandalm.
Krimmler Wasserfalle is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts alike. The trail takes you on an exciting journey through some of Austria’s most beautiful landscapes, showcasing the country’s natural beauty at its finest. The Krimmler Wasserfalle is a series of three cascading waterfalls, with a total height of 380 meters, making it one of the highest waterfalls in Europe.
As you embark on the hiking trail, you’ll feel the mist of the falls on your face and hear the sound of rushing water in your ears, creating a sensory experience like no other. The trail covers a distance of over 4 km and takes you on a gentle ascent, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
The Krimmler Wasserfalle trail is relatively easy and suitable for hikers of all levels. The well-marked trail provides a comfortable walk for those looking for a leisurely stroll, with ample opportunities to stop and admire the stunning scenery. At the same time, for more experienced hikers, there are options to explore the surrounding peaks and ridges, which offer spectacular views of the falls and the surrounding valleys.
Hut to Hut Hiking In Austria
Austria has some of the best hut to hut hiking in Europe. Here are two long distance hikes that pass through Austria and offer great hut to hut hiking.
The Lechweg Trail is a picturesque hiking route that follows the course of the Lech River from its source in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg to its confluence with the Danube River in Bavaria, Germany. The trail stretches over 125 km and is divided into eight stages, each with its unique scenery, cultural highlights, and outdoor adventures.
One of the highlights of the Lechweg Trail is its rich cultural heritage. The trail takes you through charming Alpine villages and towns, each with its unique history, customs, and traditions. Hikers will have the opportunity to learn about the local handicrafts, music, and art, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The trail is also famous for its outdoor adventures, with a range of activities available, including rock climbing, rafting, fishing, and mountain biking. The Lechweg Trail is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including eagles, ibex, chamois, and marmots, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Alpe-Adria-Trail (Austrian stages)
The Alpe-Adria-Trail is a magnificent long-distance hiking trail that meanders through some of the most stunning landscapes in Europe, including Austria. Covering over 750 km, the trail takes hikers on an unforgettable journey from the soaring peaks of the Austrian Alps to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.
The trail is divided into 43 stages, many of which are in the Austrian Alps.
One of the highlights of the Alpe-Adria-Trail is the opportunity to experience the diverse cuisine of the region. Hikers can savor local specialties like hearty Austrian stews, delicate Italian pastas, and Slovenian wines as they make their way through the trail.
Please note: the Alpe-Adria-Trail is not for the faint of heart, however. Hikers will encounter challenging terrain, including steep ascents and descents, rocky paths, and narrow ridges. But for those willing to take on the challenge, the rewards are truly remarkable. The trail offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the stunning beauty and rich culture of the Alps, Dolomites, and Karst regions, all in one unforgettable journey.
Hikes in Austria FAQ
What is the best hiking village in Austria?
The best hiking village in Austria is subjective and varies depending on personal preferences. However, some popular options include Hallstatt, Zell am See, and St. Anton am Arlberg, which are known for their scenic hiking trails, stunning landscapes, and outdoor activities.
Where is the best hiking near Vienna?
The Vienna Woods, located just outside of Vienna, is the best hiking destination near the city. The area features a range of hiking trails, from easy to more challenging, and offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.
What is the best time of year to hike in Austria?
The best time of year to hike in Austria is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is mild and the hiking trails are easily accessible. However, some higher altitude trails may still have snow or ice, so it’s important to check trail conditions before heading out.
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