Winter Hiking in Austria
"Whether you're a seasoned pro or fledgling enthusiast when it comes to winter hiking, the small mountaineering village of Kartitsch should be a destination on your list.
It was the first winter walking village in the country, and its portfolio of trails is unsurpassable. From beginner-friendly paths such as the circular Gailbach to intense routes like the long-distance Dorfberg, there's something for everyone here.
Guests are guaranteed to leave even more in love with winter hiking than they were upon arrival."
- Insider tip from Elena Protopopow of the Tirol Werbung
Lofty summits, glittering lakes and serene mountain pastures dotted with sweet alpine huts: during winter, Austria's countryside scenes are nothing short of picture perfect. Winter hiking is one of the best ways to immerse oneself in these landscapes, moving freely through forests and over pastures, past frozen waterfalls and to panoramic viewpoints. With so much choice - there are 16 regions with their own expansive winter walking networks in the province of Tirol alone - it can be tricky to know where to start with one's journey. Here are three options with which to help potential walkers find their stride, whether that's high-altitude adventures hut hiking, or star-lit strolls.
For adventurers and summit seekers: High Altitude Hiking Trail in Filzmoos
Located in the Austrian province of SalzburgerLand, Filzmoos is home to 50km of winter hiking paths. One of these routes towers, quite literally, above the rest. The 12km long "Höhenwanderweg" mountain trail is situated at an altitude of 1,600m on the Rossbrand mountain. Upon arriving at the start of the trail with the Papageno lift, hikers are immediately treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the Hohe Tauern, the Hochkönig, and the majestic Großglockner.
For hut lovers and gourmands: Winter Hut Hike Fieberbrunn - Zillstatt - Streuböden
Starting in the charming town centre of Fieberbrunn in Tirol, this route leads walkers past the Lauchsee and Moorsee lakes (popular swimming spots during summer, peaceful and quiet in winter), by farmsteads and through forest. It showcases the beauty of Tirol's rural scenery while helping hikers work up an appetite as they head towards their destination: the Alpengasthof Wildalpgatterl or the Gasthof Streuböden Alm. These two mountain huts craft cuisine from hyper-regional ingredients, which are accompanied by Austrian wine and followed by hearty traditional desserts.
For the night owls and star gazers: Full Moon Hike in Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel is an iconic destination for winter sports. It's home to the legendary Hahnenkamm slope and has a history of skiing that can be traced back to 1893. This nocturnal guided hike allows visitors to see another side of the awesome region. Once the sun has set and the slopes have fallen quiet, it's as if the winter walkers have the mountains all to themselves. Take a moment in the quiet of the night to gaze on the majestic Kitzbühel mountain as it's bathed in moonlight, with the town lights glimmering below. This guided starlit hike is priced at €35.00 for adults and €17.50 for children, which includes snowshoe or spike rental, transfer costs and a snack for the journey.
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