About this Austria walking region
Walking was hugely popular in North-Eastern Tyrol before skiing even took off, and once the snow has melted, there are numerous opportunities for walking holidays in this beautiful region, with plenty of well signposted routes guiding walkers of all abilities through varied terrain.
The scenery is classically Austrian: quaint wooden chalets dotted amid jagged peaks, pretty Tyrolean villages with onion-domed church spires, fairytale forests, stunningly blue lakes, wildflower-strewn farming pastures, romantic mountain huts and rugged valleys.
The Tyroleans have their own unique regional identity, which is characterised by their food, their way of life and their distinctive accents. And in the mountain valleys, many ancient Tyrolean traditions live on.
Here, man and land are inextricably tied to each other; the wildly beautiful countryside has shaped the people - friendliness, openness and zest for life are reflected in ancient traditional customs and the many lively festivals of the Tyrolean people.
There are many pretty towns dotted across the North-Tyrolean Alps, including historic Kufstein, located close to the German border. Throughout the middle Ages, Kufstein was a battleground for vicious fighting between Tyroleans and Bavarians, until Emperor Maximilian I finally sealed its fate as Austrian. And while it remains Austrian territory today, the town still has a distinctly ‘Bavarian’ feel to it.
The gorgeous Zillertal Valley, which is particularly popular with British skiers, ranges from 550m to 3,509m in elevation and separates the Kitzbüheler and Tuxer Alps. At the head of the Ziller Valley, close to the Hintertux glacier, lies the picturesque chalet village of Mayrhofen. The Kitzbühel and Zillertal Valleys offer visitors a taste of all the elements that give this region its character, from Alpine wonderland to fashionable ski resorts to folklore to wild beauty.
Walking in the North-Eastern Tyrol
Many of the larger tourist offices offer regular guided walks (which are often free of charge). And if you’d rather put your feet up for a while, but still enjoy the scenery, there is a funicular railway (Austria’s longest) – the Hartkaiserbahn near Elmau, or Austria’s largest cable car network. Both of these attractions are located in the Wild Emperor Mountains.
Picture-book mountain setting between Kitzbühler Alps and Ziller Valley ● A hiker’s paradise with access to over 900km/559mi walking paths ● On the famous Eagle’s Way ● Over 30 mountain huts and mountain inns ● Guided summer walking programme - free of charge for guests ● Alpbach, Tyrol’s most beautiful village!
An area of outstanding natural beauty ● The Tyrol’s Kaiserwinkl offers more than 200km/124mi of walking trails ● Hike with views of pretty Lake Walchsee down in the valley never far away ● Rustic Alpine huts with regional specialties ● Walk sections of the Eagle’s Way which crosses the Austrian Tyrol from west to east.
Two-thirds of the Kitzbühel Alps lie within Tyrol, the remaining third is in Salzburg province ● Take one of the many chairlifts and fall in love with the region’s superb views ● Hills and mountains lined with easy and more challenging trails ● The highest summit in the Kitzbühel Alps is Mt. Kreuzjoch (2,558m/8,392ft) ● Vibrant Kitzbühel!
Kitzbühel and around Kitzbühel
Small, medieval town situated in the Kitzbühel Alps ● One of Austria’s premier skiing resorts - but walking is the town’s main summer activity ● Vast number of perfectly-marked walking trails heading off in all directions from the town, suitable for all levels of hiking ability ● Comprehensive (local) walking map from the tourist office.
Kufstein and around Kufstein
Attractive town, rich in history ● At the foot of the rugged Kaisergebirge range ● Equidistant from Innsbruck and Salzburg ● Only minutes to Bavaria ● Surrounded by wonderful nature, including a number of crystal-clear lakes ● Access to 1,000km/621mi of trails ● Kufstein fortress - allows a glimpse into the town’s past.
The stunning turquoise waters of Lake Achensee, the largest lake in the Tyrol ● Network of 400km/249mi of well-marked trails ● Surrounded by the 2,000m/6,500ft peaks of the Karwendel and Rofan mountains ● Innsbruck is only 32km/20mi away ● Take a steam train ride on Europe’s oldest: Achensee Steam Cog Railway (1889).
Lake Pillersee Valley
Five pretty villages surrounding beautiful Lake Pillersee ● Choose from over 400km/249mi of sign-posted hiking trails for all levels ● 2,500m (8,202ft) Alpine peaks with three cable cars operating in summer ● An oasis of tranquillity and relaxation… everywhere you walk in Pillersee Valley you can see and hear water.
Schwaz and around Schwaz
With its ancient town centre, Schwaz is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Tyrol ● Some 1,000km (621mi) of hiking trails ● From the jagged rocks of the Karwendel mountain range to the gentle hills of the Tuxer foothills ● Scenic setting in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps ● Top visitor attraction: the Schwaz Silver Mines.
Wilder Kaiser/Wild Emperor
The impressive rock formations of Wilder Kaiser (Wild Emperor Mountains) ● Picture-postcard mountain scenery ● Ancient traditional customs, warm-hearted people ● Within easy driving distance of Innsbruck, Salzburg, Munich ● Austria’s largest interconnected cable car experience ● Hartkaiserbahn mountain funicular railway.
Charming hamlets and mountain villages hemmed in by a semi-circle of peaks ● Secluded high-alpine valley promoting “gentle” tourism ● Mt. Grosser Beil (2,309m/7,575ft), the highest mountain in the range ● Wonderful walking in the Kitzbühel Alps ● 300km/186mi marked trails and numerous romantic mountain huts.
Zillertal Valley & Mayrhofen
Wonderful hiking! ● Surrounded by 55 3,000-meter peaks ● Amidst the beautiful mountain world of the Tuxer foothills, the main Tuxer divide and the Zillertal Alps ● Large network of trails ● Biggest town: Zell am Ziller ● The picturesque chalet village of Mayrhofen ● At the far end of the valley: Hintertux glacier (Hintertuxer Gletscher).
More great places to go walking in Austria:
Wachau Valley & Krems, Upper Austria, Steiermark (Styria), Salzkammergut, Salzburger Land,
Carinthia, Tyrol - Central Tyrol & Innsbruck, Tyrol - Western Tyrol, East Tyrol, Vorarlberg