Hiking the Gaisalmsteig at the Achensee in Austria
Just before I’d leave Tirol behind and travel onwards to Vorarlberg, I decide that I have a few more hours left for a short hike. And so instead of sleeping in, I’m the first person in Hotel St. Georg Zum See who arrives at breakfast on Sunday morning 08.00 am. At 08.30 I leave the hotel and by 09.00 I’ve arrived in Pertisau in order to catch the first boat to Gaisalm for hiking the Gaisalmsteig.
The full Gaisalmsteig stretches from Pertisau to Achenkirch along the shores of the Achensee and it measures almost 10 kilometers. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to hike the full stretch and so I decide to hike Gaisalm – Pertisau, which is some 5 kilometers. The Gaisalm is a short piece of land on the western shores of the Achensee. There are no roads leading to this place, so if you want to travel from Achenkirch to Pertisau on the western shores of the Achensee, this is your way to go. Bikes are not allowed on the trails and those who do not wish to hike can enjoy a boat ride. As I took the first boat from Pertisau to Gaisalmsteig, the staff working at the Gaisalm was on the same ride.
Hiking near the gorgeous Achensee can be done on various trails. I wanted to do the area’s most popular walk and hiking the Gaisalmsteig from Gaisalm to Pertisau turned out to be that one. The stretch from Achenkirch to Gaisalm can be done as well, however I’ve heard that it’s quite a bit more difficult, so when hiking with kids, it’s better just to do the previously mentioned part from Gaisalm to Pertisau, or the other way around.
I started hiking the Gaisalmsteig at the Gaisalm and from here walked in southerly direction back to Pertisau. As it was quite early still, there was almost nobody on the trail. The hike isn’t very difficult but there are some steep drop offs, yet in those spots you will find cables to hold in to if necessary. Once I had to look for the right direction as I suppose that an avalanche happened during winter and a dry riverbed did not really show the trail. However I found it back after crossing it without too much problems.
Just about 1.5 kilometers before Pertisau the trail became quite straightforward and easy, meaning that it also became more busy. I guess Sunday morning church was over and so people started their Sunday morning walk. If I could do this hike again, I’d rather have done it the other way around, so from Pertisau to Gaisalm. Here I’d enjoy a nice piece of Apfelstrudel and then I’d catch the boat back to Pertisau. The sailing schedule of the ship can be found here. Please note that, during my visit, there was only paid parking in Pertisau (about 3 euros for 4 hours) which could only be paid by cash. As for the boat, this can only be paid electronic from € 10, so I had to pay in cash as well, as my ride costed € 5,20. It’s just something to consider as bringing cash is not something I’m used to anymore.
Hiking the Gaisalmsteig was a nice short hike, eventually taking about two hours. I hiked it when the weather was cold and gloomy, yet it still was pretty amazing. Remember that this area is known for its late afternoon thunderstorms, which is the time of the day you do not want to be out on a hiking trail. Make sure to check the weather forecast before setting out and also bring water and a rain jacket, just in case! Mountain weather can change within minutes so you’d better be prepared, no matter how short or easy a hike may seem.
In addition I went on a little SUP adventure from the town of Maurach and I also ventured out on an adventurous Klettersteig / Via Ferrata. I made a short movie of my adventures, I hope you’ll enjoy watching it.
I was invited on this trip by the Achensee tourism board. I always used to travel to this region with my parents as a kid and so I really enjoyed going back as an adult this time. During my stay I overnighted in Hotel St. Georg Zum See in Maurach, a gorgeous four star hotel with amazing food and a great wellness and spa. More accommodations in the Achensee region can be found here.
Want to read more? You may also enjoy the following posts:
– Hiking in the Kaisertal in Austria
– The prettiest mountain lakes in Austria … next to the highway!
– Winter hiking in Zell am See
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Thanks for sharing!