Hiking & cycling in Austria

Travel Forums Europe Hiking & cycling in Austria

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1. Posted by mtnfreak (Full Member 31 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,
I'm planning a week in Austria with my boyfriend in September, and was thinking of cycling from Zell am See - Krimml (or the other way around) for 2 or 3 days (so we can look at the falls, and other things on the way & around the Zell am See area itself), and then spending 4-5 days hiking somewhere in the mountains.

First question is does anyone know if we can hire bikes at either Krimml or Zell am See, ride to the other, and then return them there, or do we have to go back to return them?

And does anyone know of a good 3-5 day walk in the Hohe Tauern NP? I'm having a hard time deciding what area to go to (Hohe Tauern, Zillertal or Stubai alps), and haven't really read of any long walks in the Hohe Tauern. I want spectacular mountain scenery with glaciers so I thought the area would have to have something good. I heard it's very touristy, but once you get hiking off the main road it should be fine. We're hikers but not super fit, so wouldn't want anything with more than around 1000 m climb in a day I guess.

Would appreciate any advice you can give me!

thanks a lot


2. Posted by svaens (Budding Member 10 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jodie,
I haven't done austria, but switzerland (just across the border).
I did a mountain called 'säntis' and it was great. there were several huts to stay up there (if you had made a reservation) (i stayed at zwinglipass hutte) and it was a two day hike to the top and down. You didn't have to go down the same way you came up, in fact, it made much more sense to go down another way. I did it by myself, but it is good you are going with your bf. It took alot out of me, and a little moral support would have been great!
post back if you would consider switzerland and would like to know more..... post back. i have some great photos ... .i wish i could post here. oh well.


3. Posted by mtnfreak (Full Member 31 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Sean,
Thanks for the suggestion...my plan, however, was to take my parents (they're living in London) to the Bernese Alps, I figured that would be a good spot for easy-medium walks at a high altitude & with fabulous views (and I might nick off on my own for one or two harder daywalks!). Then I was going to meet my boyfriend in Austria as he'll be over there (assuming he & his mother get their act together and plan something!) with relatives, that's why we were going to hike in Austria - he thought his relatives might be a bit offended if we hiked in Switzerland instead!

But I would love to see your photos anyway, if you have them on the web somewhere?


4. Posted by sudipta (Budding Member 11 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I am also planning to go to Switzerland/Austria in September and looking for the same as you are, “I want spectacular mountain scenery with glaciers”. So how do you compare hikes (again not too difficult hikes as you mentioned) in Austria as opposed to Switzerland? Did you find any good hikes in Austria? How about Hohe Tauern NP?


5. Posted by ReinierNL (Full Member 207 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hello Jodie and Sudipta,

As a mountaineer I should warn you before you set off hiking: hiking in the Alps is quite different from hiking in Australia. The weather in the Alps is notoriously unpredictable: it can be good (warm and sunny), but it can also be very bad (windy, rainy and cold), even on the same day and even in the Summer! Besides taking appropriate clothing with you, you should also get accustomed to your shoes (proper hiking shoes!) and on location you should get acclimatised to the altitude first before you start walking.
Don't be offended, but from what you wrote I get the impression that you are unexperienced in walking in mountainous terrain and lack a proper preparation. Two things that may get you injured or even killed!
As for the type of mountains. The Alps in Switzerland are mostly steeper and higher than in Austria. If you want to see an example, have a look at the picture I took from the Swiss Alps in my gallery.
I hope my warning did not spoil your holiday.

6. Posted by sudipta (Budding Member 11 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Reinier,

Thanks for your time. No, I didn’t mind the warning I rather think it was helpful.
Yes I have thought about clothing and shoes. Now as far as walking in the mountain terrain is concerned, I have some hiking experience in the Rockies. But the trails here are either paved with gravel or well maintained with boulders (least the mid-level trails that I had been to), some of them had elevation up to 2 KMs but never that dangerous. In fact only think you would need to worry about in the Rockies is the bears. I also have done some easy hikes in the Himalayas. They weren’t paved but then again not risky at all. So, although I have a little experience in walking in the mountains I am not sure what to expect in the Alps. Given that I am looking for few mid-level day hikes (not over nights) what else should I consider? Would there be any mid-level trails in Switzerland or Austria? How are the trails, too narrow? Not paved? Would it be OK to hike alone or should I be in a group?

Once again thanks for your time.

By the way, excellent pictures.

7. Posted by ReinierNL (Full Member 207 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


The trails in Alps come in various varieties. Depending on the altitude and the terrain, you may start off with a paved single track road (tarmac) that quickly turns into an unpaved road, leading to the mountain huts at low altitude. These are easily accessible for everyone and no experience is needed. However, the huts at high-altitude are isolated and can only be reached on foot. The trails to these huts also come in various types, varying in width from one shoe to half a meter wide and mostly consist of rocky soil. You may even have to cross a glacier or climb a ladder to get there.
I suggest you to buy a book on a particular area where you want to walk. You need to understand German though, because very few books are published in other languagers than that.
Years ago, I did a tour for several days from Gerlos to the Dreiherrnspitze and passed the Krimmler Wasserfälle back to Gerlos. For spactacular views I suggest you to follow the road to the Großglockner. It doesn't leads all the way to the top, but it offers spectacular views though. There are plenty of mid-level trails in the area and also plenty of more difficult trails.

8. Posted by mtnfreak (Full Member 31 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the warning, but even though I live in Australia I am aware of the changeable weather in the mountains, they are my favourite place to hike so I spend as much time as I can in them especially in winter. () The weather is less severe than it would be over there but it's still similar, a sunny day can change to freezing and blizzardy. (Had a taste of that over the easter weekend at Kosciuszko actually...) So we will be prepared with our equipment and also to change our plans if the weather is not great.

I haven't been researching too hard at the moment for which hike in Austria, as annoyingly my boyfriend is unsure whether he'll be coming. So still need to look for a hike. My boyfriend's half Austrian so can understand a bit of German, but not too sure if he could handle a whole hiking book!
Might have to have a more serious look for english books on Austrian walks - have a few on Switzerland now! Last time I looked though, I think I was leaning more towards going to the Stubai Alps. I'll let you know if I find anything good Sudipta...

9. Posted by ChIqUiTtA (Respected Member 278 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

hey jodie... two summers ago, i also biked through the austrian and german border... we went from Brunau to Passau to Linz and it was an incredible trip!!! I would definately recommend it... the countryside is amazing and everything is so beautiful!! as for the bike rentals, we brought our own bikes, so that we didn't have to rent bikes... but it's a personal preference... if you're only going for 2-3 days, then bike rentals would be a lot easier... there are always many places to rent bikes, so im sure you won't have many problems...
anyways, good luck on your trip, and have a great time!!;)

10. Posted by sudipta (Budding Member 11 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

Reinier, I don’t think I will try ‘one shoe’ wide or across the glacier hikes :) and I don’t think I can handle a German book but may be I will look for one in English if I get one in Canada. I will remember Grossglockner though, I will also keep ‘Gerlos to the Dreiherrnspitze and passed the Krimmler Wasserfälle back to Gerlos’ in mind and I am sure I will find out few mid level trials in that area. Thanks a bunch.

Reinier and Jodie, if I may ask you guys then, for that kind of weather what kind of clothes would you guys carry while hiking? Something really hot in summer? Or a fall/Spring waterproof jacket will do with may be a sweater?

Jodie, yeah, if you find something please let me know and I will appreciate that.

What Lauren has suggested that sounds interesting too but may be not for me, as I won’t have that much time in that area. I am still leaning towards 5 days in Switzerland, including one night in Zurich and 3 days in Austria including one night in Vienna :)