If, like me, you are a huge fan of Austria and hiking, then you will absolutely enjoy reading this article with best day hikes in Austria. I’ve collected the most beautiful hikes in Austria that I have made over the past 10 years. I try to go travel to Austria once a year, usually in the summer. If I can’t make it on the summer, then I’ll go in winter. Since not everyone is an experienced mountain hiker, I have also chosen some easy hiking routes in Austria. Happy reading and I hope you’ll find some inspiration for your future trips to Austria here!
Also read: my ultimate list with tips for hiking in the Austrian Alps
Table of Contents | Inhoudsopgave
A fun and easy hike for anyone who loves being outdoors is the Gaisalmsteig at the Achensee. This lake is located in Tyrol, just across the border with Austria. I have been coming to the Achensee since I was four years old and it is still one of my favorite destinations in Austria, also because of its youth sentiment. Having said this, I can truly recommend the walk on the Gaisalmsteig along the Achensee. You can walk the route, which starts in Pertisau, back and forth on the same trail, but it is more fun to take the boat up to the other end and then walk back towards the village. The detailed blog of this hike on the Gaisalmsteig can be found here.
Hike to Ravensburgerhütte
One of the most popular hikes in the Vorarlberg region is the hike from Spullersee via Ravensburgerhütte back to Lech. This four-hour hike is done as a single journey, you take the hiker bus from Lech to the Spullersee and from here you hike on a relatively easy trail to the Ravensburgerhütte. Ejoy a delicious Kaiserschmarn or other Austrian delicacy here on the outdoor terrace if the weather allows. From the hut you cross the Stierlochjoch at 2,009 meters and eventually you’ll descend via a beautiful waterfall back to Lech. More tips for hiking in Lech are in this article.
Kaiser-Frans-Josef-Höhe to Heiligenblut
At the base of the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain, lies Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, a panoramic point on the Grossglockner Alpine Road. From here you have a beautiful view over the highest mountain in Austria and the largest glacier in Austria: Pasterze. This place worth seeing is also the starting point of the Alpe Adria Trail, a long-distance hike that takes you from mountain (Alpe) via Italy to the sea (Adria) in Slovenia.
Heiligenblut is a tourist village at the base of the Grossglockner and known for its Gothic church that is pictured on many postcards with the snowy peaks of Höhe Tauern National Park in the background.
To do this hike, take the bus to Kaiser-Frans-Josef-Höhe and hike back to Heiligenblut in about 5-6 hours. First along the terminal moraine of Pasterze, then through alpine meadows and finally through a coniferous forest. Because you descend more than 800 meters, this hike is a nice touch on the knees but more than worth the effort.
Seebachtal and Stappitzer See
Mallnitz is a quiet village in Carinthia. A beautiful but easy hike that you can take here is the one through the Seebachtal to the Stappitzer See. This beautiful green lake is located at the end of the valley and is ideal for hiking. You pass the Schwußner Hütte where you can sit on the outdoor terrace and optionally after your hike, take the cable car up to the Ankogel. A wonderful and easy walk in Carinthia.
The Krimmler Waterfall is the highest staged waterfall in Europe, with a total height of 380 meters. A 4-kilometer hiking trail runs along the falls, relatively steeply uphill. Although it can be relatively busy in high season (tip: be on time so that you can walk before the crowds) the immense water violence is really impressive and the falls are more than worth a visit. More information can be found in this online brochure.
The prettiest mountain lakes in Austria next to the highway
Along the Fernpass, the main route from Germany to Italy, you will find a series of small mountain lakes. As far as I’m concerned they are some of the most beautiful in Austria. They are the Blindsee, the Mittersee and the Weissensee. These are connected by easy walking trail. The further you get away from the parking lot at Blindsee, the nicer and quieter it gets. Tip: take this walk early in the morning so that it is still quiet and you can enjoy the beauty in silence. In this article you can read the detailed route description and more information.
The Coburger Hütte hike
When you go hiking in Austria it is always nice to hike to a mountain hut. And the best part is that this is certainly not only possible for extremely experienced hikers. Earlier I mentioned the Ravensburgerhütte, but the Coburger Hütte in the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is also a nice destination for a day hike in Austris. Because you’ll ascend to the mountain meadows with the local cable car, you will soon be high in the mountains. From here you can hike on a simple or difficult trail to the hut. I did the difficult version up and the easier one back to the mountain station of the Ehrwalder Alm Bahn. You can read all about it in this article about my hike to the Coburger Hütte.
A hike through the Kaisertal
You’ve probably heard of the Wilder Kaiser before, but did you know that the Kaisertal is also very beautiful? This is the valley on the other side of the Kaisergebirge and is a lot quieter than the more popular Wilder Kaiser. I made a two-day hike here to Anton Karghaus, but you can also do some beautiful day walks from the village of Kufstein. Here you take the chair lift up and then you can walk via the Gamskogel and the Bettlersteig to the Anton Karghaus. Take a piece of Apfelstrudel here on the terrace and descend via the wide gravel trail back to the valley. Or better … spend the night in the hut and watch the sunset on the rocks. An experience of a lifetime for sure!
You can read more about this easy two day hike in this article.
Trek on the Berliner Höhenweg
Looking for a multi-day hike in Austria? Then the Berliner Höhenweg is a must. This long-distance hike usually takes you 6 days, but the great thing about it is that you can descend from any hut en route back to the valley and thus determine your own lenght. I made a 4-day hiking trip myself:
Day 1: Finkenberg – Gamshütte
Day 2: Gamshütte – Friesenberghaus
Day 3: Friesenberghaus – Furtschagelhaus
Day 4: Furtschagelhaus – Berliner Hütte
After an overnight stay I descended into the valley from the Berliner Hütte. Please note: this hike is only suitable for experienced hikers who are surefooted. Even as an experienced hiker, I sometimes had a hard time with the steep drop offs below me and the narrow trail. However, the scenery is stunningly beautiful and I can definitely recommend this hike (or a part of it) to anyone who likes to go mountain hiking in Austria. You can find more information about the stages on this Visit Tirol website.
Conclusion and disclaimer best hiking trails in Austria
Hopefully you enjoyed this article and I gave you new ideas for beautiful hikes in Austria. Do you want to read more? Then visit my Austria page with even more inspiration and stories. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or make a reservation via such a link, I may receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.