Hiking in Austria is far more than exercise; it’s a window into Austrian culture. As you journey on foot into the Austrian Alps, you can experience mountain pasture culture, culinary traditions, and historic mountain huts. The Austrian Alps stretch across most of the country, with the highest peaks in the states of Tyrol, Carinthia, and Salzburg.

With so many ranges to choose from, it can be a bit daunting to figure out where to go. The mountains of Austria require lifetimes to explore.

We’re determined to uncover the best hiking trails in Austria, one summer at a time. So, below you’ll find our favorite day hikes in Austria to date, including hikes in the Zillertal Alps, Rätikon Alps, Lechquellen Gebirge, Lienz Dolomites, Dachstein, Schaldminger Tauern, Silvretta Alps, and the Hohe Tauern.

This post will continue to grow, so do check back in at the end of summer, or even next year.

If you’re interested in hut-to-hut hikes in Austria, read Trekking Austria and Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria.


The Best Day Hikes in Austria

Easy Day Hikes in Austria

  1. Dürnstein to Krems: Wachau World Heritage Trail Stage 1, Lower Austria
  2. Lünersee Circuit Trail in the Rätikon Alps
  3. Stone Pine Path in the Tux Alps
  4. Giglach Lakes in Schladminger Tauern
  5. Sulzenalmen in the Dachstein Mountains
  6. Five Huts Trail in the Dachstein Mountains 

Moderate Day Hikes in Austria

  1. Formarinsee to Spullersee in the Lechquellen Mountains 
  2. Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2 in the Hochkönig Mountains
  3. Margaritzenstausee and Sandersee in Hohe Tauern National Park
  4. Hohes Rad Circuit Trail in the Silvretta Alps

Moderately Difficult Day Hikes in Austria

  1. Lake Drachensee Circuit Trail in the Mieming Range
  2. Spuller Schafberg Peak Hike in the Lechquellen Mountains
  3. Innergschlöss Glacier Trail in Hohe Tauern National Park
  4. Olpererhütte and Friesenberghaus Loop Trail in the Zillertal Alps

Difficult Day Hikes in Austria:

  1. Gamsjoch Peak Hike in the Karwendel Mountains

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Best Hikes in Austria Map


1. Dürnstein to Krems: Wachau Word Heritage Trail

Wachau Valley

Dürnstein, Wachau, Lower Austria
  • Where: Lower Austria
  • Starting Point: Dürnstein
  • Ending Point: Krems
  • Distance: 12.5 km point-to-point 
  • Time Needed: 4 – 4:30 hours 
  • Elevation Gain: 357 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 361 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • When to Hike: All-year-round
  • Where to Stay: Gästezimmer Rolea (budget), Bioweingut Schmidl (midrange) in Dürnstein or Hotel Unter Den Linden (midrange), Klinglhuber Suites (luxury) in Krems

The Wachau World Heritage Trail is a 180 km long-distance hiking trail along the Danube River Valley, which is broken down into 14 stages. 

The first stage (Krems – Dürnstein) is particularly scenic, because of its sweeping views of the Danube River and the terraced vineyards.

It’s an easy, undulating trail, suitable for everyone. The trail leads initially up to the Dürnstein castle ruins and then through vineyards, pockets of forest, and ultimately through the wine cellar alleys of Stein and Krems. 

We love this point-to-point hike because it’s picturesque, easy and you can walk it anytime of year.

It’s also an excellent day trip from Vienna.

Learn More: Dürnstein to Krems Day Hike


2. Lünersee Circuit Trail

Rätikon Alps

Lünersee Circuit Trail - Best Day Hikes in Austria
  • Where: Vorarlberg
  • Trailhead: Douglashütte, Brand Valley
  • Distance: 6.1 km circuit
  • Time Needed: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • When to Go: late May – late October
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Lün (budget), Pension Bergkristall (midrange), or Bike and Board Lodge (luxury) in Brand

Lünersee is a large alpine lake high above Brand Valley in the Austrian State of Vorarlberg.

Set amidst the striking limestone mountains of the Rätikon, this beautiful lake is a scenic destination for casual walking as well as strenuous hiking.

The Lünerseebahn cable car connects Brand Valley to Lake Lünersee. It’s typically open from late May until late October. See Opening Times and Prices here.

This circuit hike around Lünersee is suitable for everyone, including families with small children. If you want to extend your hike into a full-day adventure, we recommend hiking to Schesaplana (2964 m), the highest mountain in the Rätikon Alps.

This stunning lake is also the starting point for the Rätikon Circuit Trail, a 4-5 stage hut-to-hut hiking trail.

Learn More: Lünersee Hiking Guide


3. Stone Pine Path

Tux Alps

Stone Pine Trail (Zirbenweg), Easy hike above Innsbruck, Austria
  • Where: Tirol
  • Distance: 7 km point-to-point
  • Starting Point: Patscherkofelbahn cable car mountain station, Igls
  • Ending Point: Glungezerbahn II mountain station, Tulfes
  • Time Needed: 2:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 200 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 90 meters 
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • When to Hike: Late May – Early October, when cable cars are operating 
  • Where to Stay: Am sonnigen Waldrand in Lans (budget), B&B Appartements Glungezer in Tulfes (midrange) or Gasthof Walzl in Lans (luxury)

The Stone Pine Path (“Zirbenweg” in German) is a blissfully easy walking path in the Tux Alps, high above the Inntal Valley in Tirol.

Lined by Europe’s largest and oldest stone pine trees (Zirben), this undulating forest trail invites you to breathe deeply, slow down, and contemplate your next Zirbenschnaps. 

This easy walk is a perfect activity if you’re:

  • Hiking with children
  • Hunting for bird’s-eye views of Inntal Valley and Innsbruck
  • Visiting Hall in Tirol, or Innsbruck 
  • Craving some fresh air, but you don’t want to break a sweat

Learn More: Stone Pine Trail


4. Giglach Lakes

Schladminger Tauern

Ignaz-Mattis Hütte, Lower Giglach Lake, Schladminger Tauern, Austria - Best Day Hikes in Austria
  • Where: Styria
  • Trailhead: Ursprungalm
  • Distance: 8.2 km lollipop-circuit 
  • Time Needed: 3 hours total
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 415 meters ascending/descending 
  • When to Hike: June – Mid-October, depending on snow conditions.
  • Where to Stay: Winzig Apartment (budget), TUI Blue Schladming (midrange), or Thalers Mariandl (luxury) in Schladming

This delightful hike takes you to and around the Giglach Lakes: Oberer Giglachsee (Upper Giglach Lake) and Unterer Giglachsee (Lower Giglach Lake) in the Schladminger Tauern mountains.

From the high alpine pasture Ursprungalm (1601 m), accessible by bus, or by car via a toll road (18 EUR per car), it only takes 1 hour to hike to the Giglach Lakes.

We highly suggest taking the bus from Schladming or Rohrmoos to Ursprungalm. If you stay in a hotel like Thalers Mariandl, you’ll receive a complimentary Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card, which gives you free use of regional hiking buses, including the bus to Ursprungalm.

Depending on the weather and snow conditions, this toll road will open by mid/end of May and closes for the winter by mid-October. In 2021, they didn’t open the road until mid-June, because of snow.

From the enchanting Ursprungalm, follow the wide gravel track uphill to the lakes. The trail isn’t difficult, but it’s continuously uphill.

You’ll first arrive at Giglachseen Hütte, a mountain hut located just above the Upper Giglach Lake. You can take a break there, or continue 20 minutes to Ignaz-Mattis Hütte, a mountain hut perched above the Lower Giglach Lake. This is an ideal location for lunch.

From here, you can continue hiking to the end of the Lower Giglach Lake and then circuit the lake in the direction of Giglachseen Hütte. This route marks the first (alternative) stage of the multi-day Schladminger Tauern High Trail.

Learn More: Schladming Summer Hiking Guide


5. Sulzenalmen Alpine Pasture Huts

Dachstein Mountains 

Sulzenalmen, Dachstein - Best Day Hikes in Austria
  • Where: Salzburg
  • Trailhead: Hofalmen, Filzmoos
  • Distance: 4.4 km out-and-back 
  • Time Needed: 2 hours 
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 300 meters ascending/descending
  • When to Hike: June – September
  • Where to Stay: Haus Ratgeb (budget), Bauernhof Krahlehenhof (midrange), or Hotel Neubergerhof (luxury) in Filzmoos

From the town of Filzmoos in the state of Salzburg, take the toll road to Hofalmen (5.50 EUR per car).

From Hofalmen, follow signs to Sulzenalmen, which is a high alpine pasture with two Almhütten (alpine pasture huts). You can begin the hike by following the trail to Unterhofalm and around Almsee lake. Or, you can access the trail from Oberhofalm and save the small lake for later.

The initial 30 minutes are steep. As you ascend, you’ll have splendid views of the Gosaukamm mountains, which are part of the Dachstein range.

The last stretch of the trail meanders gently through pastureland. As you near Sulzenalmen, you’ll have to choose between having lunch at Krahlehenhütte (the lower hut) and Wallehenhütte (the upper hut). Or, perhaps eat at both, as we did.

It’s easy to extend this hike into a full-day circuit hike, heading in the direction of Sulzenhals (1824 m), Rinderfeld (1760 m), Kesselwand (1750 m), and ultimately Hofpürglhütte (1705 m), before descending back to Hofalmen.


6. Five Huts Trail

Dachstein Mountains

Five Huts Trail, Dachstein, Best Day Hikes in Austria

The 5 Huts Trail (“5 Hüttenweg” in German) is a highly enjoyable day hike in Ramsau am Dachstein in Styria. With very little effort, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the southern slopes of the Dachstein massif, as you traverse alpine pastures, larch forests, and meadows. 

Learn More: 5 Huts Trail in the Dachstein


7. Lake Formarinsee to Lake Spullersee 

Lechquellen Mountains

Lake Spullersee, Best Day Hikes in Austria
  • Where: Vorarlberg
  • Trailhead: Lake Formarinsee, Zugertal Valley
  • Distance: 11.4 km point-to-point
  • Time Needed: 4:30 – 5:00 hours 
  • Elevation Gain: 637 m
  • Elevation Loss: 673 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult, depending on weather conditions 
  • When to Hike: Late June – Late September, when the hiking buses are operating
  • Where to Stay: Lech Hostel (budget), or Haus Braunarl (midrange), or Hotel Auenhof (luxury) in Lech

The day hike from Lake Formarinsee to Lake Spullersee gives you an outstanding overview of the enchanting Lechquellen Mountains in Vorarlberg. The River Lech originates within the range at Lake Formarinsee, which is why it’s called “Lech Source Mountains.” 

From the village of Lech am Arlberg, you’ll take bus 7 to Formarinsee. These buses don’t run very frequently, so make sure to plan ahead. From the bus stop, you’ll hike around Lake Formarinsee to the mountain hut Freiburger Hütte. Enjoy the views of Rote Wand, the “red wall” mountain. 

Starting at Freiburger hut, the trail ascends gently through wildflower-carpeted slopes and alpine pastures to Steinernes Meer (“Stone Sea”), an impressive karst landscape. After traversing the Stone Sea, you’ll continue your ascent to the Gehrengrat mountain ridge. Next, you’ll follow the ridge downhill in the direction of Spullersee. 

Romantic scenery coupled with interesting, varied terrain makes this our favorite day hike in Austria.

Learn More: Formarinsee to Spullersee Day Hike



8. Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2

Hochkönig Mountains

Salzburger Almenweg Stage 2 - Best Day Hikes in Austria
  • Where: Salzburg
  • Starting Point: Erichhütte Car Park
  • Ending Point: Arthurhaus (1503 m)
  • Distance: 11.3 km point-to-point 
  • Time Needed: 3:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 566 meters ascending 
  • Elevation Loss: 405 meters descending 
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • When to Hike: June – October
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Sonnhof (budget), Berghotel Arthurhaus (midrange), or Hotel Bergheimat (luxury) in Mühlbach am Hochkönig.

The Salzburger Almenweg is a 31-stage long-distance hiking trail in Salzburg. As the name suggests, this is a thematic hiking trail linking the region’s alms, or high alpine pastures. The entire circuit is 350 km and connects 120 alpine mountain huts. You can hike different stages of the trail as thru-day-hikes, like stage 2, which traverses the slopes of the Hochkönig Mountains.

The hike begins at Erichhütte Parkplatz (1340 m), a parking lot close to the Dienten Saddle along Hochkönig Strasse.

The hike starts with a quick ascent to Erichhütte mountain hut (1540 m). From Erichhütte, continue right along an easy, mostly flat path in the direction of Vier Hütten (Trail No.436/401A).

As you walk along the slopes of the Hochkönig peaks, you’ll be treated to marvelous views of the Alpenhauptkamm and Südwände des Hochkönigs. You’ll pass a few mountain huts along the way, including Brandstätthütte, Schartenhütte, and Molterauhütte (Windraucheggalm).

The end of the hike is marked by the large lodge and restaurant Arthurhaus (1503 m), which is accessible by car and bus. Near Arthurhaus, you’ll find the charming mountain hut Sennerei Schweizerhütte and its many furry residents, including goats, pigs, bunnies, and marmots.

More Info and Transit Instructions: Best Hikes in Salzburg


9. Margaritzenstausee and Sandersee

Hohe Tauern National Park

Best Day Hikes in Austria - Margaritzenstausee, Sandersee, Hohe Tauern National Park
  • Where: Carinthia
  • Starting Point: Glocknerhaus (2132 m), Grossglockner High Alpine Road
  • Ending Point: Lake Sandersee, or Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe
  • Distance: 4.1 km to Sandersee (one-way), 5.5 km to Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe (one-way)
  • Time Needed: 4 – 5 hours out-and-back 
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 470 meters ascending/descending 
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • When to Hike: June – September, when the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is open
  • Where to Stay: Wallackhaus RegioJet Hotels (budget), Hotel Kaiservilla (midrange), or Nationalpark Lodge Grossglockner (luxury) in Heiligenblut am Großglockner

This spellbinding day hike is located in Hohe Tauern National Park, just off the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

Well-marked and easy-to-follow, the hike delivers unbeatable views of Austria’s highest mountain, Grossglockner, and the rapidly receding Pasterze Glacier. This route is also the first stage of the Alpe Adria long-distance trail, which starts at Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe and ends in Heiligenblut.

Though you can hike in either direction, we recommend starting in Glocknerhaus, because the views unfold spectacularly as you near the foot of Grossglockner.

Initially, the trail descends from Glocknerhaus to the Margaritzenstausee reservoir and then continues left along the water and over two reservoir cement walls. The water of Pasterze Glacier feeds Margaritzenstausee.

Next, the trail ascends to Lake Sandersee, where there’s an impressive view of Pasterze and Grossglockner.

You can either continue all the way up to Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe or turn back here. If you continue to Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, it’s possible to take a shuttle back to Glocknerhaus. However, these shuttles are very infrequent (max 3 per day). Inside Glocknerhaus, there’s a timetable for the shuttle bus, which you can check before you set off.


10. Hohes Rad Circuit Trail

Silvretta Alps

Hohes Rad Circuit Hike, Silvretta Alps, Austria
  • Where: Vorarlberg & Tirol
  • Trailhead: Silvretta Bielerhöhe (2037 m)
  • Distance: 14.8 km circuit
  • Time Needed: 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 720 meters ascending/descending
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • When to Hike: Late June/early July – Late September, when the Silvretta High Alpine Road is open.
  • Where to StayTUI Blue Montafon (budget), Gasthof Löwen (midrange), Amrai Suites (luxury) in Schruns-Tschagguns

Hohes Rad (“High Wheel”) is a mountain in the Silvretta Alps. The peak straddles the border between Tirol and Vorarlberg. 

A wonderful hiking trail wraps around Hohes Rad (2934 m), starting at Silvretta Bielerhöhe (2037 m), a high mountain pass connecting Montafon Valley in Vorarlberg with Paznaun Valley in Tirol. 

From the Silvretta Reservoir, the trail gently ascends Bieltal Valley to the Radsattel mountain saddle. From the saddle, you can detour to the summit of Hohes Rad (3 hours out-and-back) – a challenging peak hike best undertaken by experienced hikers.

The circuit trail continues over the Rad saddle, ultimately descending to Wiesbadener Hütte (2443 m), a mountain refuge set amidst a frozen world of ice, water, and rock. From this impressive mountaineering hut, the trail descends the Ochsental Valley back to the Silvretta Reservoir. 

Learn More: Hohes Rad Circuit Trail


11. Lake Drachensee Circuit Trail

Mieming Chain

Lake Drachensee, Ehrwald, Austria
  • Trailhead: Ehrwalder Almbahn mountain station
  • Distance: 14.9 km lollipop-circuit 
  • Time needed: 5:30 min
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 909 meters ascending/descending
  • Difficulty: Moderate – Moderately Difficult 
  • When to Hike: June – October. Try to avoid peak season (July – August). 
  • Where to Stay: Haus Tirol Ehrwald (budget), Hotel Alpen Residence (midrange), or Der Grüne Baum Mountain Boutique Hotel (luxury) in Ehrwald

This outstanding circuit trail around Tajakopf mountain links together three mountain lakes: Lake Brendlsee, Lake Drachensee, and Lake Seebensee.

Starting at the Ehrwald Almbahn gondola mountain station, the trail 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 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. You’ll face Lake Drachensee the whole time – which is why it’s critical to hike this circuit clockwise.

Form the managed Coburger mountain hut, the trail steeply descends to Lake Seebensee and then returns to the Ehrwald Alpine Pasture along easy, forest trails.

Learn More: Lake Drachensee Hike


12. Spuller Schafberg Peak

Lechquellen Mountains

Spuller Schafberg Hike, Lechquellen Gebirge, Austria
  • Where: Vorarlberg
  • Starting Point: Lake Spullersee
  • Ending Point: Zug
  • Distance: 12.3 km point-to-point
  • Time Needed: 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 980 meters ascending 
  • Elevation Loss: 1291 meters descending
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Moderately Difficult (Vorarlberg Blue Trail) 
  • When to Hike: Late June – Late September
  • Where to Stay: Lech Hostel (budget), or Haus Braunarl (midrange), or Hotel Auenhof (luxury) in Lech

Spuller Schafberg (2679 m) is a popular summit hike, starting at the high-altitude reservoir Lake Spullersee in the Lechquellen Mountains, easily accessible by bus from Lech am Arlberg. 

The hike begins with an easy hike to Ravensburger Hütte (45 minutes). From the hut, it’s a 2:15 hour ascent to the peak. The hike to the summit is straightforward, though definitely requires stamina. The terrain is mostly tussock slopes, though there’s some karst pavement to contend with.

The highlight of this hike is the long ridge path to Spuller Schafberg. Along the ridge, views extend to the Verwall and Rätikon Alps.

Learn More: Spuller Schafberg Peak


13. Innergschlöss Glacier Trail

Hohe Tauern National Park

Innergschlöss Glacier Trail - Best Day Hikes in Austria
  • Where: East Tyrol
  • Trailhead: Matreier Tauernhaus
  • Distance: 9.1 km lollipop-circuit 
  • Time Needed: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderately Difficult 
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 600 meters ascending/descending 
  • When to Hike: June – September 
  • Where to Stay: Zedlacherhof (budget), Matreier Tauernhaus (midrange), or Naturhotel Outside (luxury) in Matrei in Osttirol

This secret day hike in Hohe Tauern National Park is hands down one of the best hikes in Austria.

From the Matreier Tauernhaus hotel and restaurant, take the Venediger Taxi to Innergschlöss (5 EUR one-way).

The glacier trail begins in the storybook hamlet of Innergschlöss. From here you’ll follow a loop trail past rivers, waterfalls, and lakes and ultimately to a spectacular glacier lookout point.

You’ll be able to spot the prominent peaks of the Venediger Group, including Austria’s second-highest mountain: Grossvenediger.

The Innergschlöss glacier trail marked the final stages of our Venediger High Trail trek, a multi-day hike in the Venediger Group. And, it was the absolute best part of the entire trek.

Learn More: Innergschlöss Glacier Trail


14. Olpererhütte and Friesenberghaus

Zillertal Alps

Olpererhütte Day Hike, Zillertal Alps, Austria

This excellent loop trail begins at the Schlegeis Reservoir (1785 m), accessible by car, or bus.

While most Olpererhütte visitors will hike the short, direct route to the hut, we recommend hiking first to Friesenberghaus. From here, you’ll join the Berlin High Trail and hike along a breathtaking balcony trail to Olpererhütte.

Learn More: Olpererhütte Hiking Guide


15. Gamsjoch Peak

Karwendel Mountains

Gamsjoch Peak, Karwendel Mountains, Austria

Gamsjoch (2452 m) is a three-headed mountain in Karwendel Nature Park in Tirol. The summit rewards hikers with sweeping views of Hinterautal-Vomper-Kette, which is the largest mountain chain in the Karwendel Mountains.

The western summit of Gamsjoch (2438 m) is a popular peak hike in the Eastern Karwendel Mountains because of its proximity to the Eng Almdorf (Eng alpine pasture village) and Grosser Ahornboden (Great Maple Floor), a large plain studded with 2,300 sycamore maple trees.

This day hike begins at the Eng Alpine Pasture at the end of Hinterisstal Valley, accessible via a toll road from Vorderrisstal Valley Bavaria, Germany. Hikers have the option to ascend to Gamsjoch via Hochljoch saddle (the easier, but longer option), or via the unmarked Gumpenkar stream bed/cirque (unmarked and painfully steep, but shorter option).

Learn More: Gamsjoch Peak Hike


More Austria Hiking Trails


Karlsbader Hütte

Lienz Dolomites

Lienz Dolomites, East Tyrol, Austria - Best Day Hikes in Austria

Overlooking Laserzsee Lake, Karlsbader Hütte (2260 m) is an undeniably scenic mountain hut in the Lienz Dolomites. This mountain group is part of the Gailtal Alps and is situated on the southern border of Austria, close to Italy. The name is rather misleading because these mountains are limestone and actually do not contain any Dolomite rock, despite their appearance.

To begin this hike, drive up the toll road to the mountain hut Dolomitenhütte (1616 m), an upscale refuge located high above the town of Lienz.

There’s a parking lot very close to Dolomitenhütte. From here, follow the road. After about 20 minutes, you’ll reach an intersection, where a hiking path continues straight (signed “Steig”) and the road continues left. Follow the trail.

The views get increasingly more riveting as you near the limestone crags and pinnacles framing Karlsbader Hütte. It’s a paradise of stone. During the hiking season, Karlsbader Hütte is open for overnight guests and serves food and refreshments. You’ll likely see mountaineers gathered here, as this is a popular starting point for climbing.

When we arrived in mid-June, Laserzsee was still mostly ice. The snowfall made it difficult to explore the area more extensively. If you visit later in the summer, definitely follow the trail around the lake for the best viewpoints of the hut.


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