Innsbruck, Austria

Where to walk in the Austrian Alps?

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All snow-covered summits, shimmering lakes, and pea-green pastures, the Austrian Alps set the scene for some spectacular walks. Summer opens doors to incredible long-distance hiking trails that take you into the thick of the Alpine action, while winter wows with frosty wonderlands guaranteed to give you that festive feeling. 

Whenever and wherever you choose to visit, you can always expect a warm Austrian welcome and a light-hearted attitude to life from proud mountain communities keen to share their tastes, traditions, and culture. They even have a word for it – Lebensgefühl. 

Here’s our pick of the best places to walk in the Austrian Alps where you can find your own Lebensgefühl. 

A cozy wooden cabin nestled in the mountains along the Dachstein Trail in Austria.

The Dachstein Mountains

As one of Austria's most dramatic mountain massifs, the Dachstein Mountains are home to some of the highest elevations in the Northern Alps. One of the best walks is the Dachstein Trail - a circuit that tempts with grand views, alpine pastures, cloud-piercing peaks, glacial lakes, and unforgettable adventures. Highlights include the Notgasse gorge for UNESCO-protected prehistoric petroglyphs and the shores of Lake Hallstatt for crossing a sky-high suspension bridge overlooking the Salzkammergut mountains. What’s more, you’ll stay in a traditional mountain hut where the hospitality is almost on par with the scenery. 

How to book: Trek the Dachstein Trail 

Scenic alpine landscape with stream and cabin in Zillertal Alps, Mayrhofen, Austria. Perfect for walking holidays.

Zillertal Alps

Extending from the Austrian provinces of Tirol and Salzburgerland to South Tyrol in Italy, the Zillertal Alps offer a huge diversity or hiking trails as well as mountains up to 11,500ft high. Surrounded by postcard-worthy panoramas and a plentiful supply of pistes, the lively resort town of Mayrhofen attracts the winter sports crowd. The region also boasts over 285 miles of hiking trails for every level of walker, plus a selection of spas, traditional Tyrolean restaurants, and plentiful quiet spots for rest and relaxation.  

How to book: Hike Austria's Zillertal Alps 

Relaxing scene of man on bench by lake with stunning Zillertal Alps in Austria. Great for walking holidays.

Olpererhütte

Little beats the ascent to Olpererhütte, the mountain hut perched 2,388 metres above sea level that is cherished for its uninterrupted views of the Schlegeis Reservoir and Instagrammable suspension bridge. There are several trailheads located just 15 miles from Mayrhofen, but our favourite is the steeply rising 6.5-mile route that rewards with incredible scenery and a chance to visit Friesenberghaus – a mountain shelter used by the German Alpine Club. 

How to book: Hike Austria's Zillertal Alps 

The city of Innsbruck, Austria: A vibrant landscape showcasing the rich cultural heritage and architectural marvels.

Innsbruck

No trip to Tyrol is complete without visiting Innsbruck, the regional capital that waltzes effortlessly between Renaissance-style castles, cobbled old quarters, and Baroque palaces. Highlights include the shop-lined Maria Theresien Street, the gorgeous gardens and museum of Ambras Castle, and the iconic Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) - an architectural marvel built over 500 years ago. You can travel up to the high peaks of the Nordkette mountain range by cable car (just 20 minutes from the heart of town) and re-connect with nature in the surrounding forests and meadows. 

How to book: Austrian Tyrol Rail Adventure 

Idyllic village nestled in the mountains with vibrant greenery and stunning peaks in Neustift, Austria.

Stubai Alps

Stretching south-west of Innsbruck and covering the area between the upper Valle Isarco valley in South Tyrol and the Oetztal valley in North Tyrol, the picturesque Stubai Alps is the biggest glacier skiing area in Austria. There’s a wealth of fabulous walks on offer as well as year-round snow and satisfying ski runs (many of the pistes here exceed 1,000 metres). The big draw here is Neustift – the charming village closest to the Stubai glacier and framed by forested slopes and a turquoise river. Here you’ll find a wealth of outdoor activities (cycling, swimming, summer tobogganing), a lively après ski scene in winter, and a large network of walking trails. 

How to book: Walk Austria's Stubai Alps 

View from the top of a Dolomite mountain in the Stubai Alps, Austria. Breathtaking scenery on a walking holiday.

Höher Burgstall

One of the Stubai Alp’s impressive seven summits, the Höher Burgstall stands at 2,611 metres above sea level. The tallest of the Kalkkögel chain, this is the first Alpine peak ever climbed by Sir Edmund Hilary – four years before he conquered Mount Everest. There are several trails to the summit; either on foot or by riding the long Schlick 2000 cable car which whisks you from the village of Fulpmes. The latter takes you almost all the way to the top and offers 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains as well as Italy to the south.  

How to book: Walk Austria's Stubai Alps 

Rolling hills of alpine meadows in the Austrian Alps on the Seefeld Plateau. Perfect for a walking holiday in Austria.

Seefeld Plateau

Located between Innsbruck and the German border in the Austrian Tyrol, the elevated flat area known as the Seefeld Plateau was originally formed by glaciers. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, it attracts mountain lovers, cross-country skiing fans, and foodies who fancy sampling Tyrolean specialties. Walk through the waterfall-splashed landscapes of the Leutasch Spirit Gorge and venture into the Gaistal Valley – a trail flanked by the Mieming range to the south and the Wetterstein Mountains to the north. And after a day of alpine hiking, feast on steaming plates of gröstl – golden pan-fried potatoes, onions, and crispy bacon bits, all topped with a fried egg.  

How to book: Discover Austria's Seefeld Plateau 

Gaze upon the mesmerizing view from a mountain top in Austria's Seefeld Plateau. A tranquil lake and lush forest paint a beautiful picture. Perfect for a walking holiday.

Mösern

Known as the swallow’s nest, Mösern sits on the southern edge of the Seefeld Plateau and lines up spectacular views over the Upper Inn Valley. Alongside standout skiing opportunities and hiking trails, it’s most famous for the10-tonne Mösern Peace Bell. Standing alone atop West Hill on the outskirts of the village, this huge bell was erected in 1997 as a symbol of cross-border cooperation and peace between all Alpine peoples. There’s an easy 90-minute trail in the foothills around the bell and you can hear it ring out daily at 5pm. 

How to book: Discover Austria's Seefeld Plateau 

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