The Austrian Tirol was made for hiking, where multi-day trails loop over jagged mountains and past turquoise lakes. Discover seven of the region's best hikes...
It might be stating the obvious, but the Austrian Tirol is a hiking wonderland – a place of enormous mountains, mirror-smooth lakes and rolling green hills pricked with alpine flowers. Hikers can roam through gentle uplands, master the long-distance trekking trails, or scale one of the many jagged peaks. There are over 24,000km of marked hiking trails so get your hiking boots on and get ready to explore the breathtaking region of the Tirol in Austria…
The final leg of the 413km long distance Eagle’s Walk trail is a classic that sweeps you by a glorious collage of striking alpine peaks in the Arlberg region. It stretches for a modest 17.5km, gaining almost 1,000m in altitude, starting off in the Kaiserjochhaus in the Lechtal Alps, with the journey’s end at the characterful Arlberg Hospiz Hotel in St Christoph am Arlberg. There is no time for boredom as you snake along scenic single-track sections and embark on roped walkways. There are those craggy peaks, but also lush meadows awash with wildflowers and pine trees. As this is only one section of the Eagle’s Trail, you can chose how many days you want to hike by adding on other sections when you’re planning your adventure.
The new Innsbruck Trek has made the epic scenery around this glorious Tirol city more appealing for multi-day adventurers than ever before. This spectacular long-distance hiking trail has been dreamed up by Innsbruck Tourismus, ASI Reisen and the Alpine School Innsbruck. They know their stuff: the seven-day route takes in all the big hitters, including the Kalkkögel Mountains and the famous Zirbenweg (stone pine tree trail). It kicks off in the epic Karwendel Mountains, switching between a sprinkling of three- and four-star hotels that can be booked so that you have a cosy bed each night. Journey’s end comes in Innsbruck’s Old Town after an adventure that sees you tackle not only mountains but discover the cute mountaineering villages of St. Sigmund im Sellrain and Gries im Sellrain. The entire route can also be guided, with luggage transportation to your next hotel available so you don't have to take the strain.
Prefer to plan your multi-day adventure yourself rather than follow a flagged up regular route? Well this glorious corner of the Tirol in Austria will work well for you. Just check out this site. Here you will find all the information you need to plan your explorations. There is an interactive map that details the myriad routes, whether they be more modest trails or high altitude via ferrata. Handily all the cable cars in the region can be used for free with your Z-Ticket summer card. This is a great option if half the fun of a walking holiday for you is poring over maps planning your adventure.
You can join one of the most spectacular sections of the European E5 long-distance hiking trail — an epic that reaches its hiking tentacles from France’s Atlantic coast, across the Alps, and down to Venice. The alpine crossing you can enjoy right here in this region is legendary, with a suitably regal name — the King’s Segment. Experienced, well-equipped and fit mountaineers can enjoy some seriously high thrills in a world of breathtaking peaks and glistening glaciers.
The King's Segment can be tackled in 2-3 days as it vaults from the 2,759m high Braunschweiger Hut right on to the Ötztal Valley, surging across the Timmelsjoch Pass as it goes. Then the scenery changes as you enjoy the gentler meadows and waterfalls of the Passeiertal Valley. Handily in autumn 2018 the various starting points were marked with orientation information. Trails have also been upgraded and ‘boundary stones’ added with motivational phrases to keep your spirits up. Then at the Timmelsjoch border crossing, you can wax lyrical in the logbook about this unerringly dramatic and deeply rewarding slice of the Tirol in Austria.
In this dramatic corner of the Tirol, the big star is the Berlin High Trail. It cuts swathes through the mountains on an 85km adventure that sweeps you thousands of metres high into the heavens. It normally takes a week, with overnights in mountain huts adding both rest and atmosphere. Handily it has been sliced up into a variety of sections, so you don’t even have to walk it all. The first hut sets the tone as it’s around 1,000m, but the star attraction is the hut that lends the route its name. The Berliner Hut sits over 2,000m high and has a heritage dating back to the nineteenth century. Handily it comes at the perfect time, just after you have taken on the highest point of the trail, Schönbichler Horn, which soars to an altitude of 3,134m. You can plot your route using Zillertal's site, which details each of the huts along the route.
Another brilliant option for those looking to plan their own multi-day adventures. There are almost limitless hiking options in this region of the Tirol, especially as the Markbachjochbahn and Schatzbergbahn cable cars are open throughout the summer. Fancy a hearty meal or a cosy place to stay for the night? There are almost 50 mountain huts sprinkle through Wildschönau, as well as a rich volley of certified hiker friendly hotels. These can furnish you with hiking maps, walking sticks to hire and set you up with guides. Like the mountain huts, they are a rich source of advice for the best trails, with the sort of local advice that you won't find on the internet.
Presume that multi-day adventures are the sole preserve of grown ups? Think again as the Alpbachtal offers a three-day, two-night adventure specifically geared towards groups travelling with children. The route stretches for a modest 19km, but gains 1,200m in height. Real thought has gone into the route to keep young minds occupied with forest and meadows to explore, as well as glittering ore on the path to the Holzalm to interest would-be geologists. There is also the pretty mountain Hösllacke lake, where you can paddle. The overnights are great fun at the traditional mountain Berggasthof Holzam hut and the Pinzgerhof Farm.
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