Walking Holidays Austria - The 7 Best Hiking Routes

By Sierd van der Bij

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Walking Holidays Austria - The 7 Best Hiking Routes
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Walking holidays in Austria are the absolute pinnacle if you like hiking. There is really nothing that Austria does not have. Multi-day hut hikes, Via Ferrata's or relaxing day hikes on the Alpine meadows; there is a suitable hiking holiday for everyone. In this blog post you can read all about the different regions, find the seven best routes and get practical tips to get the most out of your walking holidays.

Austria is a country for hikers and one of the most popular destinations for walking holidays in Europe. And not without reason: more than half of the country is located in the mountains. Austria's nine federal states have so much to offer in terms of hiking that it is difficult to choose. Not only is it possible to hike in the mountains or from hut to hut, but you can also enjoy picturesque valleys, endless Alpine meadows and dense forests. These are the seven very best routes for your walking holidays in Austria.

1. Walking holidays in the Austrian Stubai Valley

The best option for walking holidays in Austria is the Stubai Höhenweg. This route leads over an altitude of 5,000 metres and 8 huts over just under 90 kilometres. It goes around the Stubai Valley on one of the most beautiful but challenging high altitude hiking trails in the Eastern Alps. The hike is divided into 7 stages, but can be arranged as desired. The absolute highlight of the route are the many glaciers between the Dresdner and the Bremen Hut.

The route is classified as a black mountain path and runs through alpine terrain. Durability, safety, the right equipment, and a good sense of altitude are basic requirements. It does not matter in which direction the path is walked. Both directions are possible. From any hut, you can also descend into the valley and climb up again if you want to walk the long-distance hike in chunks. The Stubai Valley is easily accessible via Innsbruck and the cabins can also be booked as one package. If you are looking for an arrangement for the Stubai Höhenweg, you can find it here.

1. Walking holidays in the Austrian Stubai Valley

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2. The Peter Habeler Runde in Zillertal

For Peter Habeler, the trail from Friesenberghaus to Geraer Hut is one of the most beautiful crossings in the eastern Alps. It is not without reason that a large part of this area has been under the protection of the Zillertal Alps Nature Park since 1991. Experience the beautiful alpine landscape on the Main Alpine Ridge, meet marmots and ibexes - which in itself is an impressive highlight. And don't forget the inviting mountain huts. Walk in the footsteps of Peter Habeler and be inspired by the magic of the impressive Zillertal Alps. Clockwise or anticlockwise, the aim is to bypass the peaks of the western Zillertal Alps.

"Who is Peter Habeler?", you might think. He is one of the most famous alpinists in Austria and together with Reinhold Messner was the first one to climb Mount Everest without oxygen in 1978. As a tribute, the Peter Habeler Runde is named after this living legend. You can read more about the Peter Habeler Runde here. Besides, for this hut-to-hut expedition, you can book packages that can be found if you click here.

2. The Peter Habeler Runde in Zillertal

3. Beginners' Walking Holiday: Salzburger Almenweg

The Salzburger Almenweg trail leads on its 350 km long journey through the Pongau mountains to more than 120 alpine meadows in Salzburg, Austria. A unique density of alpine meadows, which no other province in Austria has besides SalzburgerLand. Dozens of alpine meadows, but none are the same. And although the route may be long, walking this route is a great opportunity for a walking holiday for the whole family. It is also a great introduction to the wonderful world of hiking in Austria for novice hikers.

The route is divided into several stages of varying difficulty, making it a suitable option for everyone. In addition, many huts also accommodate dogs, so that you do not have to leave your four-legged friend at home! It doesn't matter whether you are hiking alone or with the whole family, the Salzburg Almenweg welcomes everyone. Read more about the Salzburger Almenweg here and look here for a package deal for the whole family.

3. Beginners' Walking Holiday: Salzburger Almenweg

Did you know that we can book all huts and refuges for the Austria for you? Check out all our options here.

4. Tyrol to the Max: Walking Holidays Along the Adlerweg

It doesn't get much more Tyrol than the Adlerweg. Seen from above, the map of the Adlerweg resembles the silhouette of an eagle floating in the air with wide-open wings, hence the name. This famous hike has a total of 33 stages and officially runs from east to west through the whole of Tyrol. All 33 stages in one go - you need to find the time for that.

Fortunately, the entire route can be broken down into smaller chunks, so you don't necessarily have to take five weeks off for your hiking holiday. As Innsbruck is in the neighbourhood, the route is easily accessible and you can even combine it with, for example, the Stubaier Höhenweg, or even the Alta Via 1 (or Alta Via 2) in Italy. You can already enjoy a portion of Adlerweg in a long weekend. There are also packages of a week or two weeks. An overview of options for the Adlerweg can be found here. For more information, you can read in more detail a blog about the Adlerweg walk.

4. Tyrol to the Max: Walking Holidays Along the Adlerweg

5. Berliner Höhenweg - And Yet Really in Austria

You won't find any high-altitude hiking trails in Berlin. In Austria? Of course, you will. Just like the Peter Habeler Runde, the Berliner Höhenweg can be found in Austria's Zillertal. This brings us to a bit of history about hut hiking in Austria: In the second half of the 19th century, when the interest in the scientific development of the Alps was growing and the newly founded, mainly academic Alpine clubs started to build huts with the necessary access routes, the desire arose to connect these huts, some of which were situated at very high altitudes. Often existing paths of hunters and smugglers were used for this purpose.

The Berliner Höhenweg takes its name from the Berliner Hut, one of the first huts in Zillertal. Although we still call the route Berliner Höhenweg, it is also known as Zillertal Runde.

5. Berliner Höhenweg - And Yet Really in Austria

At Bookatrekking.com, we not only book your huts, we also send you on your way with a comprehensive hiking guide with the most important information for your Austria, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

6. Venediger Höhenweg: 7-Days of Grossvenediger Magic

The Venediger Höhenweg offers a captivating 7-day hut-to-hut hiking experience, guiding you through the picturesque Austrian Alps, covering a distance of 60 kilometers (37.3 miles). Located in East Tyrol, this trail is split into northern and southern sections, allowing for versatile exploration in both directions. The favored route commences from Hinterbichl, heading northward, encompassing 7,920 meters (25,984 feet) of elevation gain, and concluding at the Matreier Tauernhaus in Felbertauern.

Situated within the Hohe Tauern National Park, Europe's largest and Austria's oldest, the Venediger Höhenweg meanders through this expansive natural reserve. Established in 1981, the park spans over 1,800 square kilometers (695 square miles) and boasts an impressive 266 peaks exceeding 3,000 meters (9,842 feet). Prominent among them are the Grossvenediger and the Grossglockner, the latter reigning as Austria's highest peak at 3,798 meters (12,460 feet). Rich in biodiversity, the park is a habitat for approximately 10,000 distinct flora and fauna species. Keep an eye out for the charming Murmeltier, a small marmot, during your Venediger Höhenweg expedition, as it might emerge from the ground along the way. Check out our Venediger Höhenweg offers here .

6. Venediger Höhenweg: 7-Days of Grossvenediger Magic

7. Kaiserkrone: The Best Huts in the Wilder Kaiser

Nestled in the heart of Tyrol's Kaiser Mountains, this 5-day hike unveils the breathtaking beauty of the region. This mountainous expanse is delineated by the Zahmer Kaiser to the North, the Niederkaiser to the East, and the prominent Wilder Kaiser. The focal point of the 65-kilometer (40.4 miles) Kaiserkrone hike is the majestic Wilder Kaiser, a constant and awe-inspiring presence throughout the entire journey. Commencing and concluding in the charming village of Going am Wilden Kaiser, the trail avoids summiting the peaks but boasts impressive cumulative elevation gains exceeding 5,000 altimeters (16,404 feet).

In the expansive Wilder Kaiser area, there's truly something for everyone, but does the Kaiserkrone hike align with your preferences? How demanding is the trail, and what preparations should you make? Generally, the Kaiserkrone trails are relatively straightforward to navigate, lacking the technical complexity of routes like the Stubaier or Berliner Höhenweg. Occasionally, it's prudent to use your hands and utilize cables and handrails, with climbing and scrambling reserved for a brief segment in the final stage. Check our Kaiserkrone offers here.

7. Kaiserkrone: The Best Huts in the Wilder Kaiser

How Much Does a Hiking Trip in Austria Cost?

The prices of a hut-to-hut hiking trip vary depending on the duration and type of accommodation. Starting from €250, it's already possible to hike from hut to hut during a long weekend. The price can go up to over €1000 for longer hut-to-hut trips with full board. With that, you get a complete hiking vacation of, for example, two weeks with meals, accommodations, and everything arranged. The only additional cost would be your transportation to Austria. Austria is easily accessible by car. Recently, it has also become possible again to take a night train to Austria. The ÖBB Nightjet runs from Amsterdam CS, Utrecht, or Arnhem to Innsbruck, Wels, Linz, or Vienna.

Solo Walking Holidays in Austria, is That Possible?

Yes, it is certainly possible to walk a hut-to-hut tour individually. Finding a place to stay as an individual is often much easier, in the shared rooms there is often a spare bed that you can claim. Hiking individually is done a lot, also by Italians themselves. In the huts you often have a quick conversation with fellow hikers so you don't have to spend your evenings alone.

The Weather During Your Walking Holidays in Austria

The most important rule for hut tours and hikes in the Alps or other high mountains is that the weather changes much faster in areas above 2,000 meters and that different climatic conditions prevail there than at the altitudes where we normally travel. When planning a hut hike and mountain hikes, weather forecasts must always be taken into account. Even in summer, when the temperature in the valley is more than 30 degrees, it can snow in the high mountains. The reason for this is that the temperature can drop by 5-6 degrees for every 1000 meters of altitude. Since cold air can also store less moisture, it rains or snows more often in the high mountains than in the lowlands. In the high mountains, a thunderstorm can be particularly dangerous. In principle, the probability of thunderstorms increases in the afternoon, and the weather can change very quickly due to the altitude.

One recognizes a possible thunderstorm by weather lights or small cumulus clouds that pile up more and more. Also, a strong decrease of the air pressure is a sure sign of an upcoming thunderstorm. During thunderstorms, you must always avoid the via ferrata and other metal objects. Find shelter in a hollow or under a rock ledge as soon as possible. Good protection from the sun is nevertheless essential. The tree line in the Alps runs at an altitude of 1,800 to 2,200 meters - above this, you are exposed to the burning sun, which is always strong in the high mountains.

The Weather During Your Walking Holidays in Austria

Not sure yet or want to discuss your plans for the Austria with one of our trekking experts? Get in touch today and turn your dreams into memories!

Packing List for the Austria

It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long: Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For a hiking trip in the mountains, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack. Its size will depend on how many days you will be spending in the mountains, the season, and the clothes you will be taking with you. We have prepared a packing list with some essential clothing that you should include and some extras that you may find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

Safe hiking tips for the Austria

When you go on walking holidays it is wise to be aware of a few points. Even if this is not your first time, you should never underestimate the mountains. Good tour planning and compliance with the regulations on the mountains will significantly increase safety. To ensure that your hiking holiday is a safe and enjoyable experience, here below you can find a list of 8 recommendations for safe hiking in the mountains:
  • Know your limits

    Hiking the Austria is the perfect outlet to escape from daily life. It is an endurance sport along with a beautiful nature experience with a positive effect on body and mind —as long as one is in good shape and has a realistic picture of one's possibilities and limits—. Never overestimate yourself or underestimate the route. Don't overdo it! Always choose the slower variant and take more time for your plans. Hiking under time pressure is not fun and at too fast a pace it can be dangerous. Be wise!

  • Plan carefully

    Good planning is half the work! Hiking maps, literature, the Internet and expert advice are invaluable when planning the route in the Austria and enable you to determine the length, altitude difference, difficulty and conditions of the hike. When planning group treks, the itinerary should always be planned for the weakest member of the group! The weather in the mountains can change incredibly quickly and rain, wind and cold all increase the risk factor. For this reason, always check the weather forecast beforehand and contact our trekking experts to find your way around before you start.

  • Be fully equipped

    Equipment is everything. In the most extreme case, it makes the difference between life and death, and in any case, it definitely makes the difference between having fun and having a bad time. Food and water, sunscreen and waterproof and warm clothes must always be in your backpack, as well as a first aid kit and a mobile phone with a full battery (in case there is an emergency). However, packing light makes walking easier, so don't take too much extra luggage with you. Your equipment should always be suitable for the terrain you'll be hiking on in the Austria.

  • Wear suitable footwear

    Good walking shoes protect your feet and provide a better fit. Shoes with a good fit, with non-slip soles, water-resistant and lightweight are a must for additional walking pleasure during the Austria. Trail running shoes are great for a weekend in the mountains, but on longer hikes or more technical trails, you'll want at least A/B hiking boots. That means it is recommended wearing high mountain shoes that are water-repellent with extra ankle support to prevent sprains.

  • Stay on marked trails

    Austria has endless marked hiking trails, which are controlled and maintained and should not be deviated from. It may be tempting, but it's not a good idea to take shortcuts or alternative routes through unmarked terrain. It increases the risk of disorientation and you're more likely to get lost and have accidents or fall in the mountains. Even steep slopes of packed old snow are often underestimated and dangerous. Are you in doubt? Better don't do it. For easy navigation we work with our trusted partner Komoot, whose interactive maps, also available offline, provide you with the necessary digital means to get from A to B. As a backup, make sure to bring a hiking guide or a paper map with you. FYI, 75% of stumbles occur due to carelessness on marked paths or roads, not in open terrain!

  • Take regular breaks

    Remember you're on a hiking holiday. Timely and regular breaks not only provide welcome relaxation but also make it possible to enjoy the Austria. The body needs a regular food and drink intake to maintain performance and concentration. Our advice is that if you have little time, it's better to follow the short itinerary than to speed up the long one.

  • Stay reachable

    If you are hiking solo or in small groups it is advisable to inform people back home about your plans, what route you are taking and when you plan to return. Even small incidents can lead to unpleasant emergencies so make sure you are available at all times. Bring a charged phone containing at least the phone numbers of immediate family members, your accommodations en route and the emergency phone numbers operating in the Austria.

  • Respect nature

    Leave no rubbish behind, prevent noise, stay on the marked trails, do not disturb wildlife or grazing animals, and respect protected areas.

How Do I Prepare for My Walking Holidays in Austria?

A hut-to-hut hiking tour can be done by anyone in normal health. However, if you want to get the most out of your hut trip, it is wise to prepare yourself physically. You don't have the Alps by the back door, so you will have to be creative when it comes to your preparation. For adequate preparation you can pay attention to the following five things.

Cardio

It's best to get moving as soon as you think about your hiking holiday in Italy. With the right aerobic fitness you will have a better heart rate, healthy muscles and a large lung capacity. Running, walking, even more walking and and cycling or swimming are excellent training methods. One hour, 3 to 4 times a week is sufficient.

Endurance

Building up your endurance is also important. The best thing you can do is walk long distances, at least once a week. If you can walk comfortably for a longer period of time, you are ready to go.

Train with gear

Use the backpack and shoes you want to use for your cabin trip and add this to your workout as you work on your cardio and stamina.

Altitude

If you can, you can mimic the altitude by walking and hiking in the hills and mountains. If you don't live in the right area, don't panic. The first two points are the most important.

Know your body

This is perhaps the most important part. If you are questioning your physical abilities, it is wise to have a check-up carried out by your GP.

There is no fixed method for preparing for your walking holidays. Your preparation may depend on the duration, the surroundings and what you want to achieve. Not everyone is a mountain goat. Don't think about your preparation. Take it easy and enjoy your time in the mountains.

Where Can I Book the Austria?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Austria and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Austria not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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