Hiking In Austria | Ridestore Magazine

After much extensive research and consideration we are pretty sure that Austria is one of the best countries in Europe but we can’t forget hiking in Austria. The mountains are some of the best in the world for snowsports, the cuisine is wholesome, the cold refreshing drinks are tasty and the hiking opportunities are endless.

Austria is one of our go- to destinations in the winter for amazing snow and challenging terrain but we need more, so we are heading back to their famous mountain regions for the summer. These 10 hiking trails in Austria will have you becoming a seasoned regular at Innsbruck airport.

best hiking trails austria

As we have established by now, the terrain in the Austrian Tyrol is challenging when covered in snow, so this means it is as equally as challenging when in bloom with fauna and flora. A lot of the Austrian hiking trails are not really for the faint of heart and beginners, with dizzying altitudes, steep ascents and craggy paths. Many of the hiking routes are also only destined for those who have ambitions to explore whole regions on foot, as they reach over 400km long. But of course, for those who don’t quite have as much time, routes can be done in shorter stages as part of relaxing day hikes, with a hearty huts to rest for lunch. Either way, these 10 hiking trails in Austria will have you becoming a seasoned regular at Innsbruck airport.

Essential Hiking Apparel for Austrian Trails

If you haven't geared up yet for your exciting hiking adventure, don't worry! We've got you covered with our latest stylish hiking apparel. Browse our extensive collection of outdoor pants for men and outdoor pants for women, perfect for navigating those picturesque Austrian trails with ease and comfort.

Weather in Austria

weather in austria

The weather in Austria is pretty standard for that part of Western Europe, with cold winters and warm summers. Many of the hiking routes in the list are high altitude and have you trekking in the depths of mountain regions, so hiking in the snowy winter months is not to be recommended. The average winter temperatures in the high altitude destinations are around -3.5 degrees Celsius with a high chance of snow.

Spring and summer hikes in Austria

Whilst in the spring and summer months from April to October, the temperatures are a lot more enjoyable to get your walking boots on. The alpine resorts of Mayrhofen, for example, average 15 degrees Celsius in Spring and in the summer it can be around 25 degrees Celsius. Hiking in the summer heat can sometimes be tough, but the chilled Austrian mountain air should make it more comfortable.

Best trails in Austria - Quick find navigation

Best hiking trails in Austria

Lech River Trail


Trail Length: 125km 

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Best For: Your first long-distance hike 

The Lech River Trail is a pretty famous hiking route in Austria for those ‘in the know’, as it is one of the last wild river landscapes in Europe and the trusty European Ramblers Association has certified this route with stringent quality tests. So you know you are in good hands when you embark upon this long-distance trail, starting in Lech Am Arlberg and finishing in Füssen. It is a relatively easy hike which is mostly downhill so although it is long, you don’t have to be an expert hiker to enjoy it. Regardless of your hiking experience, you will basque in the beauty that is the Lechtal Valley, with the unique fauna and views from peaks at 1830m. 

Ridestore recommends:

Make sure to go across the Holzgau bridge which is the second-longest hanging bridge in Austria and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Lasörling High Trail


Trail Length: 61km 

Difficulty: Expert

Best For: Those looking for a challenge 

For those who are seasoned hikers and looking for a challenge then this is the hiking trail for you. Starting in Matrei in East Tirol to Prägraten am Großvenediger at Virgental Valley, you will be ascending up nearly 5000m across 3 to 4 days. The expert knowledge, experience and stamina is required when ascending up unstable and steep ground to reach summits over 2000m for 7 to 8 hours each day. This maximum effort is well repaid when you see the awesome views of the valley, and stunning snow-capped mountain tops. Plus, after a long day hiking you can relax and put your feet up in mountain huts along the way. 

Ridestore recommends:

Make this hike a little less challenging by booking a guided tour with your main luggage carried for you to each hut.

Krimmler Wasserfälle


Trail Length: 7km 

Difficulty: Beginner 

Best For: waterfall lovers

The Krimmler waterfall is not a long-distance hike, and perhaps not an epic adventure for the thrill seekers, but it is definitely worth a visit for those who love the natural aura of a waterfall and the lush forests that always surround them. The Krimmer waterfall itself is truly spectacular, being Europe’s tallest year-round waterfall and Austria’s tallest. With it being so tall, it can take around 4 hours to do the 7km loop from the car park at its base to the top, whilst making sure to stop off at the numerous vantage points along the way. It’s a relaxing hike, as you follow the winding paved path through the forest and the thick mist from the gushing water. 

Ridestore recommends:

It is a hot spot for tourists, so try to go early or off-peak times of year, such as the autumn or winter.

Peter Habeler Hike


Trail Length: 41km 

Difficulty: Expert

Best For: Mountaineers 

This hiking trail is famous for its honouring of the Austrian Peter Habeler who tackled Everest without oxygen many years ago and with his epic determination and expertise in mind, they named this trail after him. Nestled into the Western Zillertal Alps you have the famous resort of Mayrhofen and its surrounding mountain villages which the hike allows you to experience in all its glory. This is a high trail, with the route being above the treeline, on rocky paths and the flanks of the Hintertux glacier, but also with the occasional forest and meadow thoroughfare. The high altitude and unstable ground make this hike better suited to the expert hikers and enthusiasts. Along the way, there are huts for you to rest and recuperate in true Austrian Alpine style. 

Ridestore recommends:

There are some points during the hike that require crossing a via ferrata, so you must bring a helmet and safety cable set with you. 

Sellrain Mountain Hut Hike


Trail Length: 84km 

Difficulty: Expert

Best For:  Steep hill climbers  

Head to the Stubai Alps for this challenging yet enjoyable 7-day hike. The loop can start at various different spots, such as Oetz or Umhausen, but either way, you hit the multiple peaks and valleys that make this hike so varied. Along the 84km, there are some impressive peaks, with the highest getting you up to 3008m, and of course, with such peaks come with steep and challenging ascents. After a long day of hard trekking and maximum effort, you will be greeted by a different mountain hut at each stop, each just as cute and cosy as the next. The Stubai valley is known for its Alpine rose and lush scenery, so get your camera ready! 

Ridestore recommends:

Stay in Sellrain for a couple of days if you get a chance, as it is a popular base for hikers and mountain bikers, so it’s a great vibe with like-minded people. 

Wildpark Aurach


Trail Length: not a specified route

Difficulty: Beginner

Best For: Best for families with kids

This addition is not so much a hike and not quite the epic mountain adventure that many people head to the Alps in the summer for, but if you are a family with young kids or looking for a relaxing and exciting day in the mountain air and with nature, then a day spent at the Wildpark is perfect. For a small fee of around 9 Euros, you can explore the 40 hectares of mountainous farmland just south of the resort of Kitzbuhel. At 1100m, you will be greeted by a reserve of around 200 animals, such as Deer, Lynx, Llamas and Marmots, all well looked after and excited to see you. The day can be spent exploring the fields of roaming animals, the fairytale surroundings and dining at a rustic Austrian hut.

Ridestore recommends:

There is a petting area for small animals such as rabbits and donkeys for the little ones to get up close and personal.

The Eagle Walk


Trail Length: 422km

Difficulty: Intermediate/ Expert

Best For: Those looking to improve and gain more hiking experience

The Eagle Walk is an exciting Austrian hiking adventure getting the chance to explore more of the Austrian Tyrol truly. Obviously, 420km is an epically long distance, but it is split into 33 stages which can be tackled at any point depending on your time restrictions and hiking expertise. Typically starting in St. Johann and working your way through a lot of varied terrain from the steep peaks, valleys and meadows. During the trek, the Goetheweg trail overlooks Innsbruck for a unique and alternative view of the city and then ascends the Großglockner mountain, the highest peak in Austria. 

Full hike or multiple stages?

Whether you ambitiously set upon the whole route or do a few stages at a time, either way, you will fall in love with the region, its natural beauty and rustic alpine vibe. 

Ridestore recommends:

Along the way, you must stop off in the Austrian village of Scheffau which is a picture postcard, traditional and the perfect pit stop to refuel.

Nock/Art Trails


Trail Length: 6 different short routes, around 50km in total

Difficulty: Beginner

Best For: Art enthusiasts

The Nock/ art trails are a different take to a traditional mountain hike, combining the natural beauty of the Alps with culture, through art and sculptures. Artists have used local materials to create impressive art that sits along the 6 different hiking trails, with the intention of sparking thought and alternative perspectives when surrounded by nature. There is around 50km of the art trails, with routes and walks ranging from steep and challenging to paved and flat paths, so you can choose whichever suits you and your buddies. The nearest town is the rustic Bad Kleinkirchheim in Carinthia, surrounded by the Nockberge Mountains, so the art trails are a great relaxing and cultural day out, during your trip to the region. 

Ridestore recommends:

All the art trails link up to the long-distance trails of the Alps-Adriatic, so this a perfect alternative start to a longer trip. 

Pinzgauer Spaziergang


Trail Length: 17km

Difficulty: Intermediate

Best For: Day hikers 

The Pinzgauer hike is one of the best day hikes in Austria, offering a great balance between hard work and intense distance but still enjoyable. Across the 6 to 7 hours you will follow a noticeable hiking trail starting in Schmittenhöhe, meandering past the Hackleberger lakes and finishing this great day in Saalbach. This is a high altitude trail, with the highest point reaching 2081m, so make sure you have prepared yourself for some dizzying heights. 

Ridestore recommends:

Bring lots of snacks and food as unlike many of the other Austrian trails, there are no mountain huts to rest. 

Stubai Höhenweg


Trail Length: 78km

Difficulty: Intermediate/ expert 

Best For: high altitude climbers

The Stubai Hohenweg is an exciting high-altitude trail in Austria and is a great way to test your mountaineering experience. As you embark upon this long-distance circular hiking route, you need to be well prepared and well equipped to take on the steep ascents, the craggy paths and some of the best via ferratas in Europe. It is, of course, worth all the effort you put in, as you head up heights of 2881m, and experience the world from above, showcasing the Stubai valley in all its beauty. You work your way along the circular path starting and finishing at Neustift, passing the mountain huts along the way that provide appropriately distanced rest stops and overnight stays. 

Ridestore recommends:

Check the weather report before going on a hike as the weather can be temperamental at that altitude and the snow can make this route unpassable. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the hiking trails in Austria suitable for beginners?

While many of the Austrian hiking trails are challenging with steep ascents, dizzying altitudes, and craggy paths, there are also shorter and relaxing day hikes suitable for beginners. These routes can be done in stages, with lunch breaks at huts along the way, providing a more comfortable hiking experience.

Which hiking trail in Austria provides the most scenic views?

It's difficult to narrow down just one trail, as Austria boasts numerous hiking routes that offer breathtaking views and unique landscapes. Some popular options include the Lech River Trail, Eagle Walk, and Stubai Höhenweg. It's best to explore a variety of trails in order to appreciate Austria's diverse beauty fully.

Wrapping up

Hallanger Alm

So there we have it, a list of some of the ten best hiking trails in Austria. Although it may seem as though many of the trails are for the experts and experienced hikers, there really is something for everyone. Not one trail has to be tackled in its entirety but instead can be enjoyed in more pleasant stages for those who are perhaps new to the hiking way of life. The kids, families and those who want to have a relaxing day in the mountain air will love some of the day hikes and alternative types of routes. Whilst the experts amongst us will find some of the most challenging and hardcore hiking routes in Europe. Whatever takes your fancy, Austria truly has it all, and yet again, we are left falling deeper in love with this country. 

Related Reading: