The hiking season in the Alps starts in June and ends in September, or October if you’re lucky. Each year, between November and May, Kati and I are counting down the days until summer, so that we can hike once again in the Alps. 

We spend our winters researching Alps hiking trails and Alpine trekking routes and we spend our summers savoring each moment in these glorious mountains. 

Needless to say, there’s no place that we love more than this majestic mountain chain, which arches across eight countries. 

Though not as wild as other corners of the world, the Alps are nonetheless a dream destination for hiking (eating, vacationing, wine tasting, pampering, etc…) in Europe.

I know of no other place where you can hike a thrilling ridge trail in the day and then return to your hotel to luxuriate in the wellness facilities, before sitting down to a 5-course gourmet dinner. 

Maybe we’re gluttons and hedonists, but I don’t want to live another way. Do you? 

We’ve written hundreds of guides about hiking in the Alps. This is simply a taster, an enticing sampling of what awaits you when you come here. 

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16 Alps Hikes: Day Hikes and Hut-to-Hut Treks

Rätikon Alps, Liechtenstein

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Best Walks in the Alps


1. Partnach Gorge, Bavarian Alps

Partnach Gorge Hiking Trail, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Partnach Gorge is a deep river gorge in the Reintal Valley in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. 

Millions of years ago, meltwater and debris hollowed out the rock, creating this dazzling 700-meter-long narrow gorge.

This is a suitable excursion for families with children. A safe path leads through the galleries, caves, and ledges of Partnach Gorge.

The Partnach Gorge hiking trail starts at the Garmisch Olympia Stadium where there’s a bus stop and pay-and-display car park. From the car park, it’s a 20-minute walk to the gorge entrance.

It takes only 20 minutes to walk the length of the gorge. We recommend extending the hike the Berggasthof Eckbauer mountain restaurant. You can eat at Kaiserschmarrn-Alm, located near Hotel Graseck, or later at Berggasthof Eckbauer. Bring cash.

From Berggasthof Eckbauer, the circuit trail continues to the tiny church village of Wamberg and then all the way down to the Garmisch Olympia Stadium.


Trail Details

Trailhead | Garmisch Olympia Stadium

Distance | 12.1 km circuit

Time Needed | 4:10 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 549 meters

Difficulty | Easy

Learn More: Partnachklamm Gorge Hike


2. Grand Balcon Nord, Chamonix, French Alps

Grand Balcon Nord Hike, Chamonix, France

The highest mountain in Europe, west of the Caucasus, is Mont Blanc (4,809 meters / 15,777 feet). Straddling the French-Italian border, the Mont Blanc mountain range is famous for its cascading glaciers, ice-crusted domes, and sharp needle-like peaks. 

People from all over the world flock to Chamonix, France. to see Mont Blanc. One of the most popular hiking trails in Europe circumnavigates the Mont Blanc Range. You’ve probably heard of it: the famous Tour du Mont Blanc.

You don’t have to be a mountaineer or a long distance hiker to take in the beauty of these magnificent mountains. There are some spellbinding balcony trails above Chamonix Valley, suitable for everyone.

The Grand Balcon Nord trail connects Montenvers with Plan de l’Aiguille. It’s an easy panoramic trail with wondrous views of Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) glacier, the Aiguilles de Chamonix (Chamonix Needles) group of the Mont Blanc massif, and the Aiguilles Rouges massif.


Trail Details

Trailhead | Montenvers-Mer de Glace train station in Chamonix

Distance | 12.6 km out-and-back

Time Needed | 4:40 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 532 meters

Difficulty | Easy 

Learn More: Grand Balcon Nord Hike


Best Day Hikes in the Alps


3. Hofpürgl Hut to Sulzenalm Circuit Hike, Austrian Alps

Hofalm to Hofpürgl, Filzmoos, Austria

One of our favorite hikes in the Alps runs along the base of the Bischofsmütze and Gosaustein in the Dachstein Mountains in Salzburg, Austria. This hike is all about stunning limestone mountains, varied terrain, and huts.

This day hike starts at the Hofalm mountain pasture in Filzmoos, accessible by bus, or car via the Hofalm toll road.

From Hofalm, the trail ascends to Hofpürglhütte (1705 m), a mountain hut located beneath the Bischofsmütze twin peaks.

The route follows the Linzerweg hiking trail across the boulder-filled Kesselwand and continues east to Rinderfeld, a gorgeous meadow flanked by soaring limestone walls.

After crossing this mountain pasture, the trail drops below the tree line and then zigzags up to the Sulzenschneid Spur. 

After cresting the spur, the path leads to the highest point, Eiskarlschneid, and then descends to the Sulzenhals saddle.

Merging with the Rötelstein hiking trail, the path wanders through dwarf pine and later larches to reach the rolling pasture area of Sulzenalm. 

Sulzenalm is home to two enticing huts, Wallehenhütte and Krahlehenhütte, which serve delicious meals throughout the day. 

From Sulzenalm, it’s a 45-minute descent to Hofalm. 


Trail Details

Trailhead | Filzmoos, Salzburg, Austria

Distance | 12.9 km circuit

Time Needed | 5:15 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 912 meters

Difficulty | Moderate – Moderately Difficult

Learn More: Hofpürgl Hut to Sulzenalm Circuit Hike


4. Lake Formarinsee to Lake Spullersee, Austrian Alps

Lake Formarinsee, Vorarlberg, Alps

The spectacular hike from Lake Formarinsee to Lake Spullersee highlights some of the most enchanting landscapes of the Lechquellen Mountains near Lech am Arlberg in Vorarlberg, Austria.

Starting at the Freiburger hut at Lake Formarinsee, trail 601 ascends across wildflower-carpeted slopes and alpine pastures to Steinernes Meer (“Stone Sea”), an impressive karst landscape.

After navigating the rugged Stone Sea, the trail ascends to the Gehrengrat mountain ridge. Atop the ridge, views extend to the Rätikon Alps and the Silvretta Alps.

The way descends along the ridge to the dreamy Dalaaser Schütz high alpine valley. The final stretch leads down the valley to the Spullersee reservoir.


Trail Details

Starting Point | Lake Formarinsee

Ending Point | Lake Spullersee

Distance | 11.4 km point-to-point

Time Needed | 4:30 – 5 hours

Elevation Gain | 637 meters

Elevation Loss | 673 meters

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Learn More: Formarinsee to Spullersee Trail Guide


5. Triglav Lakes Valley, Slovenian Alps

Veliko jezero (The Great Lake) or Jezero v Ledvicah (Kidney Lake), Seven Lakes Valley, Slovenia

Seven Lakes Valley, also known as Triglav Lakes Valley, is a high mountain valley in the Julian Alps, defined by a string of mountain lakes. This arresting destination embedded in Triglav National Park is only accessible by foot.

The hike to the Seven Lakes Valley begins at Planina Blato near Lake Bohinj.

Along the way, the trail crosses fairytale-like alpine pastures including Planina pri Jezeru, Planina Viševnik, and Planina Ovčarija. 

From the Štapce saddle (1851 m), the path drops down steeply to Dvojno Jezero (Double Lake).

You can eat lunch at Koča pri Triglavskih jezerih (Triglav Lakes Hut), set near the shore of Double Lake, or continue hiking up Seven Lakes Valley.

If you press on for another 45 minutes, you’ll arrive at Veliko jezero (aka Jezero Ledvicah, or Kidney Lake), the largest lake in Triglav Lakes Valley. On a sunny day, this kidney-shaped lake dazzles resplendently with its deep teal and royal blue tones. 

If you want to extend this hike, you can either overnight in the Triglav Lakes Hut, or hike all the way to the mountain hut Zasavska koča na Prehodavcih and spend the night there. Experienced hikers can tackle the Veliko Špičje summit and ridge and descend the Seven Lakes Valley the next day.

Hut to hut trekkers can hike to Triglav Lakes Valley along this 4-day Triglav National Park Trek.


Trail Details

Trailhead | Planina Blato (1147 m), above Stara Fužina

Destination | Koča pri Triglavskih jezerih (1684 m)

Distance | 15.2 km circuit

Time Needed | 6 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 1051 meters

Difficulty | Moderate

Learn More: Seven Lakes Valley Hike


6. Hochplatte, Bavarian Alps

Hochplatte Ridge, Ammergau Alps, Bavaria, Germany

Hochplatte (2082 meters) is a mountain in the Ammergau Alps of Bavaria. The Hochplatte peak hike starts at Ammerwaldalm in Austria, which is a 36-minute drive from Garmisch-Partenkirchen

This is a strenuous tour with a lengthy and somewhat airy ridge trail. Though all exposed sections are secured, this is only suitable for surefooted hikers with no fear of heights. 

After conquering nearly 1000 meters in 3 hours, the hike continues from the Hochplatte summit along a narrow ridge to the Fensterl natural window. It’s a riveting trail with sweeping views and some fun scrambling sections. 

From the Fensterl, the hike continues to the Roggentalsattel and down to Roggental valley, eventually rejoining the accent route. 

This is a great hike to do on weekends during high season, because it’s still a secret. 


Trail Details

Trailhead | Ammerwaldalm, Austria

Distance | 10.6 km lollipop-circuit

Time Needed | 5:30 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 969 meters

Difficulty | Difficult

Learn More: Hochplatte Trail Guide 


7. Piz Duleda, Italian Alps

Geisler Peaks, Dolomites

Piz Duleda (2909 m) is a peak in Puez-Odle Nature Park in the Italian Dolomites.

This summit hike starts with a Col Raiser gondola ascent from Val Gardena in South Tyrol.

The trail leads up the lonesome Val dla Roa valley to Furcela Dla Roa/Roa Scharte saddle and climbs up the Sentiero Attrezzato Piz Duledes (protected trail / Grade A) to Furcela Nives saddle. 

From Furcela Nives, it’s a straightforward ascent to Piz Duleda. 

The trail continues, along crumbling rock towers, to Furcela Forces de Sieles (merging with the Col dala Pieres descending path) and drops down the scree-filled Forces de Sieles gully. 

With views of the sawtoothed Odle (Geisler in German) peaks, the path eases and returns to Rifugio Firenze. 


Trail Details

Trailhead | Col Raiser Gondola Mountain Station

Distance | 12.4 km lollipop-circuit 

Time Needed | 5 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 980 meters

Difficulty | Challenging

Learn More: Piz Duleda Trail Guide


8. Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail, Italian Alps

Hiking Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites

Tofana di Rozes is one of the recognizable mountains in the Ampezzo Dolomites in Belluno, Italy.

A riveting hiking trail wraps around Tofana di Rozes, starting at Rifugio Dibona, near Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The trail initially crosses the southern slopes of Tofana di Rozes and then ascends gently to the Forcella Col dei Bos saddle. From the trail, you’ll see Marmolada, the Croda da Lago Chain, Lastoi de Formin, Ra Gusela, Cinque Torri, and more.

The path continues towards the remote Travenanzes valley and then steeply ascends the rugged Majarié glacial cirque to Rifugio Giussani. 

From the Giussani mountain refuge, the Tofana di Rozes circuit trail descends back to Rifugio Dibona along First World War paths.

This is a quiet, varied, and absolutely spellbinding hike in Cortina d’Ampezzo. 


Trail Details

Trailhead | Rifugio Dibona, Dolomiti D’Ampezzo Natural Park, Belluno

Distance | 11.9 km circuit

Time Needed | 5:30 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 1266 meters

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Trail Guide: Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail


9. Sentiero Bonacossa Trail, Italian Alps

Cadini di Misurina, Dolomites

Sentiero Alberto Bonacossa is a thrilling, semi-secured hiking trail that runs through the dramatic Cadini di Misurina mountain group in the Sexten Dolomites. This exciting path guides hikers along narrow, exposed ledges and steep rocky valleys.

Sentiero Bonacossa connects Rifugio Col de Varda with Rifugio Fonda Savio and Rifugio Auronzo. It links Lake Misurina with the south face of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

It can be hiked in its entirety, or sectioned off in loops. We hiked the northern Rifugio Fonda Savio to Rifugio Auronzo route one year, and the southern Col de Varda to Rifugio Fonda Savio route another year.

One of the most popular destinations along the Sentiero Bonacossa trail is the famous Cadini di Misurina viewpoint.

This trail is a sentiero attrezzato, which is something between a standard hiking trail and a via ferrata (klettersteig / protected climbing route). We recommend wearing climbing helmets and climbing gloves for this route. Some people may want to bring a via ferrata kit.


North Trail Details

Trailhead | Lake Antorno, or Rifugio Auronzo

Distance | 12.5 km circuit

Time Needed | 6 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 869 meters

Difficulty | Challenging

Learn More: Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail


10. Lake Drachensee, Austrian Alps

Lake Drachensee Hike, Tyrolean Alps, Austria

Drachensee is a mountain lake in the Mieming Chain in Tyrol.

A very satisfying trail loops around Tajakopf mountain, passing Lake Brendlsee, Lake Drachensee, and Lake Seebensee along the way.

Starting at the Ehrwald Almbahn gondola mountain station, this Alps hike meanders gently through forest before ascending the Ganghofersteig trail to the Brendlkar cirque and then eventually up to the Tajatörl saddle.

This long ascent is somewhat taxing, but there’s no (minimal) technical difficulty. Hikers should nonetheless be sure-footed and confident in scree.

With the hard part behind you, the trail descends to Lake Drachensee and Coburger Mountain Hut.

From the happily-situated Coburger mountain hut, the path steeply descends to Lake Seebensee and then returns to the Ehrwald Alpine Pasture.


Trail Details

Trailhead | Ehrwald Almbahn gondola mountain station

Distance | 14.9 km lollipop-circuit

Time Needed | 5:30 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 909 meters

Difficulty | Moderate – Moderately Difficuly

Learn More: Lake Drachensee Hiking Trail


Alpine Treks: Hut to Hut Hiking Trails in the Alps


11. Veliko Špičje Ridge Hike, Slovenian Alps

Špičje Ridge, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Veliko Špičje (2398 m) is the highest summit on the Špičje ridge, which rises between the deep Trenta Valley and the high Seven Lakes Valley (aka Triglav Lakes Valley) in the Julian Alps of Slovenia.

This adventurous 2-day tour combines the Špičje ridge with the Seven Lakes Valley, starting and ending at Planina Blato.

Day 1 ends at Zasavska koča na Prehodavcih, a mountain hut on the Prehodavci Pass. To learn more about staying in huts, read Slovenian Mountain Huts and Hut to Hut Hiking in Slovenia.


Trek Details

Trailhead | Planina Blato

Distance | 27.6 km circuit

Days Needed | 2 days

Difficulty | Challenging

Learn More: Veliko Špičje Trail Guide


12. Triglav National Park Trek, Slovenian Alps

Julian Alps hut to hut hike, Slovenia

Triglav National Park is Slovenia’s one and only National Park. The park territory corresponds to the Eastern Julian Alps and can be accessed from Kranjska Gora, Trenta, Kobarid, Bovec, Pokljuka, Ukanc, Stara Fužina, and other towns. It’s free to enter the park, and you don’t need to acquire any permits.

There’s so much to see and experience in Triglav National Park and there’s no better way to do it than trekking across the park in a few days.

Our 4-Day Triglav National Park Trek starts in Vršič Pass, near Kranjska Gora, and ends in Stara Fužina at Lake Bohinj. Along the way, you’ll overnight in 3 mountain huts, summit Bovški Gamsovec and Kanjavec, hike to the alpine plateau of Kriških podih and the Seven Lakes Valley, and see Mount Triglav from multiple angles.


Trek Details

Sarting Point | Vršič Pass

Ending Point | Lake Bohinj

Distance | 45 km point-to-point

Days Needed | 4 days

Difficulty | Difficult

Learn More: 4-Day Triglav National Park Trek


13. Schladminger Tauern High Trail, Austrian Alps

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

The Schladminger Tauern mountains are a subrange of the Austrian Central Alps and are located in the states of Salzburg and Styria (Steiermark).

Virtually unknown to anyone outside of the German-speaking world, this secret European hiking destination shouldn’t be overlooked. 

There are two compelling reasons why you should hike the 5-day Schladminger Tauern High Trail. First, alpine lakes. Along the Schladminger Höhenweg, you’ll pass numerous pristine alpine lakes including Giglachseen and Landwirseen.

The most impressive water-abundant destination along the route is Klafferkessel, a cirque containing more than 30 lakes. 

Second, cuisine. The food in the mountain huts is DELICIOUS, especially at Keinprechtshütte and Preintalerhütte.

Learn more: hut to hut hiking in Austria, mountain huts in Austria, and best treks in Austria.


Trek Details

Starting Point/Ending Point | Schladming

Duration | 5 Days

Distance | 45 km circuit

Difficulty | Difficult

Learn More: Schladming Tauern Trek


14. Rätikon Alps Circuit Trail, Austrian Alps and Swiss Alps

Rätikon Alps High Trail: Trek in Austria and Switzerland

The Rätikon Alps are part of the Central Eastern Alps and form part of the natural border between Vorarlberg, Austria, and Graubünden, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

This range romances hikers with its shimmering limestone peaks, verdant slopes, active alpine pastures, and mountain lakes. It’s like a waking dreamland, almost too beautiful to be real. 

Our Rätikon Alp 5-day trekking itinerary follows the Rätikon Höhenweg Nord (North Rätikon High Trail) in Vorarlberg, Austria and the Prättigauer Höhenweg (Prättigau High Trail) in Graubünden, Switzerland. You’ll stay overnight in two nights Austrian mountain huts and two Swiss mountain huts.

Beginning at the majestic Lünersee (Lüner Lake), this trek starts out very gently. If you’re completely new to multi-day hiking, this is a great place to start.

There are no brutal ascents or descents. The only challenging section is the ascent from Schesaplanahütte to Schesaplana, the highest peak in the Rätikon. 


Trek Details

Starting Point/Ending Point | Lünersee

Duration | 3 – 5 Days

Distance | 51 km circuit

Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

Learn more | Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations

Learn More: Raetikon Alps Trek


15. Liechtenstein Panorama Trail (Route 66), Liechtenstein Alps

Morning at Pfälzerhütte mountain hut, Rätikon Alps, Liechtenstein

The Liechtenstein Panorama Trail (Liechtenstein Panoramaweg in German) is a 42+ km hiking trail in the Rätikon Alps in the Principality of Liechtenstein. 

Wedged between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is one of the 8 alpine states of Europe and the world’s sixth-smallest nation. 

This moderately-difficult hiking trail traces the Rätikon ridge that divides the Rhine Valley from Saminatal Valley and later Valünatal Valley. It’s an exciting, well-secured alpine trail with a great deal of variance: forest trails, meadow crossings, and ridge paths. 

It takes 3-4 days to hike from Ruggell (or Planken) to Malbun. Along the way, you’ll summit a series of peaks and stay in some very hospitable mountain huts (and hotels).

Despite being relatively short, this is an extremely memorable hike in the Alps. If you’re looking for something challenging, but also very safe and secure, consider trekking Route 66 in Liechtenstein. 


Trek Details

Starting Point | Ruggell (or Planken)

Ending Point | Malbun

Duration | 3-4 Days

Distance | 42-47 km

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Learn More: Liechtenstein Panorama Trail Hiking Guide


16. Alta Via 1, Dolomites, Italian Alps

Mondeval Plateau, Dolomites

The Alta Via 1 (aka Dolomiten Höhenweg 1) is an approachable, long-distance hiking trail in the Italian Dolomites, starting at Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) in South Tyrol and ending at the La Pissa bus stop near Belluno.

This 120-km-long Dolomites high route is hiked north to south and generally broken up into 10 stages. Many hikers will hike the north route (4 stages), or the south route (6 stages). 

The AV1 is a fabulous introduction to the Dolomites and its many subranges. The views are sensational and the trail itself is very moderate.

It’s a very popular hiking trail, so it’s critical to book mountain huts 6 months in advance.  Otherwise, book a self-guided tour, where the tour operator handles the booking and you hike independently. We recommend Alpenventures UNGUIDED (they booked our Tour du Mont Blanc hike). They offer a slow-paced 13-day AV1-13 Alta Via 1 Self Guided, moderately-paced 10-day AV1-10 Alta Via 1 Self Guided, fast-paced 7-day AV1-7 Alta Via 1 Self Guided, and a short 4-day AV1-4 Alta Via 1 Self Guided.


Trek Details

Starting PointLago di Braies

Ending Point | Belluno (La Pissa bus stop)

Duration | 4 – 10 Days

Distance | 120 km point-to-point

Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

Learn more | Dolomites hut to hut hiking guide and Italian Alps hiking destinations

Learn More: Alta Via 1 Hiking Guide



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Best Hikes in the Alps

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