Austrian Tyrol Rail Adventure

Turquoise Achensee lake near Innsbruck at peaceful and dramatic autumn, Tyrol alps, Austria
Duration: 9 nights
Interests: Discovery tours
Type: Rail Adventures
Walking Grade: 1 & 2

For snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and waterfalls, Austria never fails to impress. We’ll travel there by rail from London St Pancras and explore the scenic highlights of the Tyrol by train, tram, cable car, and boat. There’ll be excursions to the Zugspitze to ascend Germany’s highest mountain by cable car and to ride the cogwheel train from Jenbach to the turquoise waters of Lake Achen. But the real showstopper is reaching the highest point in Innsbruck on the Nordkette Cable car to breathe in invigorating mountain air and gaze out over pure Alpine scenery.

What you’ll love

  • Riding a cable up Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze  
  • Taking the ‘forest tram’ from Innsbruck to Ambras Castle 
  • Journeying on the steam-operated rack and pinion railway to Lake Achen 
  • Taking the Nordkette cable car to Austria’s largest nature park  
  • Soaking up the scenery from Seefeld to Innsbruck on the Karwendal railway 
  • Staying on the Seefeld Plateau in an adult-only spa hotel 

What’s included

  • Return rail travel from London 
  • Fully escorted travel from London with an HF Holidays Tour Manager  
  • Half-board accommodation 
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary) 
  • All in-destination transport 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Meet your HF Holidays Tour Manager and fellow travellers at London St Pancras International railway station. After check-in, baggage checks, and passport control, we’ll wait in the departure lounge for our train to Brussels.

Once we’re there, we’ll disembark the Eurostar and change to the high-speed service to the cathedral city of Cologne. Depending on which hotel we’re staying in, there’s either a short coach transfer or walk to our hotel, after which we’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

After breakfast we’ll make our way back to Cologne train station where we’ll join the high-speed service to Munich. In Munich, we’ll change trains and travel across the border into the Austrian Tyrol to Innsbruck. Once there, we’ll transfer by coach to Hotel Kristall.

We’ll take the public bus from Weidach Quellenhof to Seefeld where we’ll hop aboard the scenic Karwendelbahn railway. On the journey to Innsbruck we’ll encounter the Gurgelbach viaduct and spectacular views down into the Inntal valley.

Then we’ll travel to the highest point above Innsbruck on three different cable railways. Catch the Hungerburgbahn funicular to Hungerburg Station, and transfer to the Seegrubebahn cable car, transporting us further up Seegrube at 1,905 m (6,250 ft). Finally, the Hafelekarbahn takes us to Innsbruck’s highest viewpoint and Karwendel Nature Park. You can have coffee/early lunch at either the Seegrube Café or Hafelekar Restaurant, located at 2,256 metres.

You could also enjoy a short walk - the Seegrube Panorama Trail is an easy 25-minute walk, circling a small hill. And/or you can walk to the top of Innsbruck viewpoint, a 10 to15-minute climb from Hafelekar station. 

Once we descend into Innsbruck, you’ll have free time to explore and sightsee.

We’ll take the train to Innsbruck and board the sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus to Bergisel and the start of tram line six, also known as the ‘forest tram’, from Innsbruck to Igls. 

Enjoy fabulous views of the Nordkette mountains and Patscherkofel (2,246m above sea level) on the way. It was constructed in the 1900s, and tracks wind upwards for more than 280m through pine forest, past Ambras Castle, and up across verdant countryside to Igls.

We’ll get off at Tummelplatz where a short walk will lead us to Ambras Castlle. After exploring, we’ll get back on the tram to Igls for an optional ride up the Patscherkofelbahn cable car to the top of the mountain. Bus route J will take us back to central Innsbruck and our return journey on the train.

The day’s yours to explore, relax, or sightsee as you wish. Near the hotel, there are three golf courses and a variety of bike and walking trails. Or you could head further afield to spend more time in Innsbruck.

A coach will take us from the hotel to Zugspitzstation in Garmisch Partenkirchen where we’ll catch the cogwheel train to Zugspitzplatt. 

Here you have the chance to enjoy a short walk. You could head to the Karst cave (about 15 minutes), complete the Sonn-Alpin circuit (15-30 minutes) or cross the Zugspitze glacier to an observation deck overlooking Ehrwald (one hour). We’ll have lunch at the Sonnalpin glacier restaurant before taking the glacier cable car to the summit of Zugspitze (weather permitting). We’ll then descend to Garmisch Partenkirchen for our journey back.

Today’s unforgettable itinerary begins with a ride on the steam-powered rack and pinion railway to Achensee. The 128-year-old railway is the oldest of its kind in Europe, still carrying passengers to this day. Once we’ve disembarked from the train, it’ll be on to the boat for a relaxing lake cruise.

We’ll get the train to Innsbruck where we’ll board the Stubaitalbahn tram for an hour-long journey of steep climbs and curves into scenic Stubai valley. At Fulpmes you’ll have time to explore before ascending Kreuzjoch mountain (2,136m) by cable car. At the top, you have panoramic hiking trails and restaurants to enjoy. Return to Innsbruck by tram to catch our train connection to Seefeld.

After breakfast we’ll transfer by coach to Innsbruck to begin our journey home by rail. We’ll make our way to Munich to join the high-speed train to Cologne. A short coach transfer will take us to our hotel before dinner at a local restaurant.    

There’s time in the morning for a short stroll before our coach transfer to Cologne railway station for our late morning train to Brussels. Here we change trains and check in for our Eurostar service to London. 

Maritim Hotel, Cologne

Centrally located, the Maritim Hotel puts you within walking distance of Cologne’s standout sights. At the hotel, you can enjoy the spa, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, and three restaurants. The en-suite rooms are modern – some with a city view – and are fitted with TV, kettle, and fridge. 

Marriott Hotel, Cologne

It’s a short walk to the train station from the Cologne Marriott Hotel. This stylish hotel is all about comfort with soundproofed rooms, some of which have city views, others look into the inner courtyard. There’s a modern gym on site plus a bar and restaurant with cosy seating area. 

Hotel Kristall, Leutasch

With a focus on wellbeing and nature, the adults-only Hotel Kristall is comfort at its best. Located on the Seefeld plateau, you’ll have views towards the Karwendel Mountains from all angles, but they’re especially spectacular from the panoramic mountain sauna and rooftop infinity pool. A nature retreat at heart, the hotel recently underwent a complete renovation providing sophisticated, modern, and luxurious accommodation in the heart of Tyrol. 

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC


  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday prices

Advertised rail prices are based on trains departing from London St Pancras.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

22 Jul - 31 Jul 2024

9 nights


Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes
9 nights
Discovery tours
Rail Adventures
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

Call to Enquire

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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