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Best Hiking Trails in Austria

Overview

Austria has it all: stunning mountain scenery, hiking infrastructure, and no wild animals to worry about.  There are over 40,000km of well-marked trails to choose from in this beautiful western European country.  The various ranges in the Alps offer up hiking trails in many regions of the country, including the Tyrol, the Salzkammergut, Vorarlberg, Carinthia, Styria, Salzburg state and Upper Austria.  Choose from any one of the beautifully situated mountain or valley towns where trails start from your doorstep.  The best months to hike in Austria are June to September.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Austria. 

Capital: Vienna

When To Hike in Austria?

June – September
May; October: In lower altitude areas
November – April: Cold and snowy

 

Climate: Continental – cold winters and hot summers

Accessibility of Hiking

Very Easy:  Marked trails, mountain huts, more than 40,000 km of paths that are well sign-posted.  Trails are colour coded: blue (easy), red (medium), black (difficult).  Austria also has hiking hotels, which are hotels specifically geared towards hikers, providing assistance with routes, equipment, etc – Wander Hotels.  There is also a network of regions that are designated as hiker friendly – Österreichs Wanderdörfer.

Transportation required: Hikers can get to many of the hiking areas via public transport.

Where to stay in Austria for hiking:

  • Vorarlberg: Bludenz, Montafon
  • Tyrol (Tirol): Alpbach, Innsbruck, Brandberg (in Zillertal valley)
  • Salzburg state: Zell Am See, Radstadt
  •  Salzkammergut: Hallstatt, Obertraun
  • Styria: Graz, Johnsbach, Schladming, Murau
  • Upper Austria: Steyrbruke

 

Most popular hikes in Austria

Almost all of the country is amenable to hiking, as the Alps and its many subranges dominate the landscape. Highest Mountain: Grossglockner (3798 m) in the Hohe Tauern range. Some of the main areas are organized by states:

Filter out hiking places of Austria by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Vorarlberg

Tyrol (Tirol)

  • Two discrete regions make up the state of Tyrol; bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Italy to the south; one of the most popular areas for hiking, lots of beautiful hikes
  • Innsbruck is a popular town
  • Zillertal Valley – the towns here are great bases for hiking
  • Naturpark Zilltertaler Alpen – Naturpark Zillertaler Alpen a huge nature park where the tourist office runs 200 guided hikes from May to October
  • Achensee
  • Kaisergebirge – a range that has plenty of hiking
  • Otztall Valley – 33 km hike from Gepatsch Haus to Sölden
  • Silvretta range

Carinthia

  • Borders Slovenia and Italy
  • Carinthia Hiking
  • Grossglockner on the border with Tyrol

Salzburg state

  • Borders Germany
  • Limestone Tennengebirge range
  • Around Filzmoos – Dachstein Circuit (126 km trek through Dachstein mountains); Gosaukamm Circuit (26 km)
  • Around Radstadt – 1000 km of hiking trails
  • Hohe Tauern National Park – largest national park – Hohe Tauern National Park covers three provinces (Tyrol, Carinthia, Salzburg); Freytag and Berndt 1:50,000 walking maps
  •  Zell Am See is a popular town right near HT NP, this is the start of Pinzgauer Spaziagang (a 19km trail that starts from here) – Hiking Zell Am See
  • Many towns that make great bases for hiking

 

Salzkammergut

Styria

Upper Austria

  • The lower half of this state is mountainous
  • Nationalpark Kalkalpen (Austria’s second largest national park but not very visited) – Hiking – – Centre – Visit & ExperienceKompass has 1:70,000 map that covers all the trails
  • Hoher Dachstein
  • Many towns to base oneself

Long Distance Trails of Austria

There are numerous long distance treks in Austria, small sample listed below:

Austria's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Austria Hiking Books: Lots of books, small sampling below

  • Walking in Austria: 101 routes – day walks, multi-day treks and classic hut-to-hut tours, Cicerone Guide, by Kev Reynolds, 2021, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3TndjeB
  • Walking in the Salzkammergut: the Austrian Lake District: 30 Walks in Salzburg’s Lakes and Mountains Including the Dachstein, by Rudolf Abraham, 2021, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3TkxGZY
  • Innsbruck Mountain Adventures: Alpine Adventures Around the Capital of Austria’s Tirol, by Sharon Wray and Sharon Boscoe, Cicerone Guide, 2018, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3TkgZOc
  • Trekking in the Stubai Alps: Walking the Stubai Rucksack Route and the Stubai Glacier Tour, by Allan Hartley, 2018, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3ToVxaX
  • Trekking in Austria’s Zillertal Alps: The Zillertal Rucksack Route, South Tirol Tour, Peter Habeler and Olperer Runde, by Allan Hartley, 2023, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3x6aQ0t
  • Trekking Austria’s Adlerweg: The Eagle’s Way Across the Austrian Alps in Tyrol, by Mike Wells, 2024, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3vm7LZK
  • 100 Hut Walks in the Alps: Routes for day walks and overnight stays, by Kev Reynolds, 2014, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/4chTyxM
  • Trekking in the Silvretta & Rätikon Alps: Short treks and hut-to-hut day routes, Cicerone Guide, by Kev Reynolds, 2014, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/3TGcpeL
  • Trekking in Austria’s Hohe Tauern: Venediger, Glockner, and Reichen Groups, Cicerone Guide, by Allan Hartley, 2013, Cicerone Press – https://amzn.to/4aebfwg
  • Alpe-Adria Trail: From the Alps to the Adriatic; Hiking through Austria, Slovenia & Italy, by Rudolf Abraham, 2020, Bradt Trekking Guide – https://amzn.to/3TCnHk2
  • Trekking Munich to Venice: The Traumpfad, ‘Dream Way’, a classic trek across the eastern Alps, by John Hayes, 2017, Cicerone Guide – https://amzn.to/3v3WUDW

 

Austria Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hikes in Austria:

It is impossible to pick a handful of ‘best hikes’ in Austria when there are so many.  You can find more details on hiking these trails in the hiking guidebooks, official hiking websites from the country/region, trail maps/apps or other websites:

  • Eagle Walk
  • Gamsjoch (Karwendel Nature Park)
  • Rötelstein  (Dachstein mountains)
  • Pinzgauer Spaziergang (near Zell Am See)
  • Schesaplana (Ratikon Alps)
  • Innergschlöss Glacier Trail (Hohe Tauern)
  • Radsattel Circuit – Silvretta Alps
  • Gratlspitz – (near Alpbach)
  • Karlsbader Hutte (Tyrol)

Easy Hikes in Austria:

  • Krimmler Waterfall
  • Lunnersee Circuit Trail
  • Halltal Salt Mining Trail

Austria Hiking Websites:

 

Weather websites:

  • Wetter Österreich – wetter.at  
  • Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics – ZAMG 

 

Austria Official Tourism Site:  

 

Austria Hiking Apps: 

 

Austria Hiking Maps: 

  • Freytag & Berndt have a whole series of hiking maps covering the various regions of Austria

What Else To Do

  • Classical music
  • Sound of music
  • Churches, etc
  • Eisriesenwelt: world’s largest accessible ice caves (in Salzburgerland province)

Other Important Points