HOLIDAYS
Best mountain walks in Austria

“Walking in Austria”

Stroll along lakeshores and through alpine meadows and take in rugged mountain views…

  • Best mountain walks in Austria

    Austria’s the perfect pick for a walking holiday. You can stroll along lakeshores, meander through meadows and take in alpine views from mountaintop lookouts. And when it’s time for lunch, there’s often a hut nearby serving local specialities, like schnitzel or kaiserschmarrn – a plateful of fluffy shredded pancake topped with fruit. So get ready to put your best foot forward in some of our favourite places for walking in Austria.

    The Zillertal Nature Park, Mayrhofen

    Heading to the heights in Mayrhofen couldn’t be easier – just hop on the Ahornbahn cable car and ride up to explore over 1,700km of mountain paths in the Zillertal Nature Park. Follow the wide, well-maintained tracks in any direction, and climb to the summit of the Ahornspitze for panoramic views along the Zillertal valley. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife too, from birds of prey soaring above you to marmots playing on the hillside.

    Where to stay

    With the Penken gondola right next door, getting onto mountain paths is easy peasy at the Hotel Sport & Spa Strass – and they also run weekly guided walks, so you’ll see all the best routes in the area.

    The Three Lakes Walk, Seefeld

    This circular, 12km route from the centre of Seefeld takes in three of the area’s sparkling lakes – Möserersee, Lottensee and Wildmoossee. Pass through woodland and meadows full of mountain flowers, then back down into the valley. The whole walk will take around four hours and is mostly gentle, with a few uphill sections that are well worth it for the views. And at the end, you can call in at the Wildmoosalm mountain hut for a well-earned slice of fresh strudel.

    Where to stay

    With its wooden balconies and colourful window boxes, the Aktivhotel Veronika has heaps of authentic Austrian charm, and it runs a weekly outdoor activity programme to help you make the most of the beautiful surroundings too.

    Pinzgauer Spaziergang, Saalbach

    Taking in peaks and mountaintop paths, the views on this walk are hard to beat. Start at the top of the Schattberg X-press lift in Saalbach and follow the 17km trail to the Schmittenhöhe summit. As you walk, look across the Salzburgerland mountains, dotted with traditional wooden huts. Then at the end, you’ll see the bustling town of Zell am See nestled in the valley next to the lake. The walk takes 5-6 hours and is pretty gentle, with just a couple of uphill sections – and you’ll finish with a trip on the Schmittenhöhebahn lift down into Zell am See itself. Once you’re done, it’s a short bus ride to get back to Saalbach.

    Where to stay

    With its lawns, loungers and outdoor pool, the rooftop gardens at the Hotel Saalbacher Hof are an ideal place to relax after a morning in the mountains – and if you fancy learning about the plants you’ve seen, you can even go to one of the hotel’s herbal workshops.

    Schmittenhöhebahn in Zell am See

    Around Kitzbühel’s lake, Schwarzsee, Kitzbühel

    Get a feel for the area with this gentle walk that winds through woodland, meadows and farms to the authentic Steuerberg restaurant. Along the way, you’ll pass by Schwarzsee, which is one of the warmest bathing lakes in the Alps. Stop off for a dip or just sit on the bankside and snap a pic of rocky mountains reflecting in the water. The restaurant itself is a real local favourite, known for its delicious regional cuisine. Sit down at a table in the leafy garden and sample traditional mountain dishes – picture platters of cured meat and bowls of sweet, steamed dumplings.

    Where to stay

    Built in 1810, the Hotel Tiefenbrunner mixes new and old, with painted shutters, panelled ceilings and a modern spa – it’s close to the Hahnenkamm gondola too, so you’re just moments from mountain walks.

    Lake Schwarzee, Kitzbuhel

    Around Lake Achen, Achensee

    This is an all-day walk that takes in lake views and mountain villages. Start in the lakeside village of Pertisau and follow the gentle path around the shoreline, then up into the mountains. The little village of Achenkirch makes for a scenic lunch stop, with wooded hillsides and rugged peaks all around. From here, it’s back down to the lakeshore and on past the beach at Buchau, where you can dip your feet in the lake to cool off, before looping back to Pertisau. Fancy taking things a little easier? Combine your walk with one of Austria’s best boat trips and enjoy panoramic views as you ferry hop back down the lake instead.

    Where to stay

    Set right on the waterfront, the Hotel Post am See has one of the best locations around – jump from the hotel’s private bathing platform to end your walk with a refreshing swim in the lake.

    To the Schönwieskopf peak, Obergurgl

    Starting from the village centre, this route winds among pine trees and up to a panoramic viewpoint surrounded by 3,000m-high summits. Head south out of the village and follow the track towards the Zirbenwald woods. From here, the path climbs gently upwards and past the Rotmoos waterfall, which tumbles down into a narrow ravine. As the trees start to thin, head for the Schönwieshütte by crossing the nearby footbridge. The cedar-clad hut makes for a perfect lunch stop, but before you sit down to eat, it’s well worth continuing on up to the Schönwieskopf peak. It’s just a couple hundred metres of extra climbing and you can enjoy clear views back down the Ötztal valley from the top. After a cool drink and a bite to eat in the restaurant, it’s time to retrace your steps and take in the views as you walk back down to the village.

    Where to stay

    Set in a spot overlooking the village, the Hotel Bellevue is all about authentic Austrian hospitality, from guided walks with knowledgeable local staff to the sweet treats served up at the afternoon teas.

    Obergurgl village

    Eager to explore Austria on foot? Find more of our favourite views in Austria, and start planning your Lakes & Mountains holiday.

    Psst. Head to the Discover homepage for our latest articles.

     

Author: Mathew Robinson

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