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Austrian Alps: Top 15 Hiking Destinations

If you grew up watching The Sound of Music like me, scenes of the Austrian Alps are forever imprinted in your mind along with the songs of Edelweiss and Do Re Mi.

Sometimes the reality of a place doesn’t match the reverie. Luckily, the Austrian Alps will far exceed your expectations, however high they are.

From the Alm culture in Salzburg to the Hüttenleben in Vorarlberg (mountain hut life), hiking in the Austrian Alps is as much about culture and cuisine as it is about mountains and landscapes.

If you’re ready to be seduced, let’s venture together to the most beautiful hiking destinations in the Austrian Alps. About 60% of Austria is mountainous and there are three principal mountain ranges that run through the country: the Northern Limestone Alps, Central Alps, Southern Limestone Alps.

Each principal range comprises 15-25 sub-ranges.

Below, we’ve outlined our favorite places to hike in the Austrian Alps to date. This list will keep growing, year after year. So, you may want to bookmark this page for future reference.

Hiking in the Lechtal Alps, Austrian Alps, Austria

When to Hike in the Austrian Alps

The best months to hike in the Austrian Alps are July, August, and September. It’s definitely possible to hike in June (at lower elevations), though you may encounter snow.

October is promising for day hiking, though conditions will vary depending on the weather and snow conditions. 

Related: Austria in Summer and Austria in Autumn


Austrian Alps Trip Planning

Hiking in the Austrian Alps, Austria

If you’re thinking about going on a multi-day hike, read our Austria hut to hut hiking guide.

If you’re planning a hiking-themed road trip, use these itineraries for inspiration. In these routes, we’ve linked together our favorite hiking destinations and alpine experiences in the Austrian mountains.


1. Rätikon Alps

Hiking Lünersee, Rätikon Alps, Austria

The Rätkon Alps are a limestone mountain range in the Central Eastern Alps located at the border between Vorarlberg (Austria), Graubünden (Switzerland), and Liechtenstein.

These mountains are easily accessible from Brandnertal Valley and Montafon Valley in Vorarlberg, Austria.

A great introduction to this range is the Rätikon High Trail circuit. Our trekking guide outlines each stage of the trail with variations for 3-day and 4-day routes.

If you have only one day to spend in the Rätikon, head to Austria’s most beguiling alpine lake: Lünersee. Read this Lünersee guide to figure out how to get here, where to hike, and where to eat.

Those that want to extend their time in the Rätikon Alps ought to check out the Liechtenstein Panorama Trail in neighboring Liechtenstein. 


Stay in Brandnertal

Whether you’re embarking on day hikes, or a multi-day hike in the Rätikon Alps, we recommend staying in Brandnertal, before/after your hike.

Check out Pension Bergkristall (budget), Hotel Lün (midrange), and Aktiv-Hotel Sarotla (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Brandnertal.


2. Silvretta Alps

Silvretta Alps, Austrian Alps, Austria

The Silvretta Alps stretch across Tirol and Vorarlberg and into the Swiss Canton Grisons.

Though most of the range falls within Swiss territory, hiking is more accessible and popular from the Austrian-side.

You can approach the Silvretta mountains from Paznaun Valley in Tirol, or Montafon Valley in Vorarlberg.

This crystalline range puts on a show with its razor-sharp 3000+ meter peaks, glaciers, and verdant river valleys.

Home to Vorarlberg’s highest mountain, Piz Buin (3312 m), the Silvretta Alps attract both casual walkers and serious mountaineers. 

We hiked across the Silvretta Alps whilst trekking the Montafon Hut to Hut Circuit. This 4-5 day trek is a fun introduction to the region and the culture of Montafon Valley.

If you have time for only one hike in the Silvretta range, consider the Hohes Rad loop trail from Silvretta Bielerhöhe to Wiesbadener Hütte.


Stay in Schruns-Tschagguns in Montafon Valley

Schruns-Tschagguns is the liveliest and largest village in Montafon Valley. Schruns is located on the other side of the Ill river from Tschagguns, but they’re largely considered one town.

We suggest basing yourself in Schruns-Tschagguns, because of transit connections, restaurant and hotel options, and the overall vibe.

From here, you can easily access the Silvretta range as well as the Verwall and Rätikon Alps. So, your hiking options are numerous.

We recommend staying in TUI Blue Montafon (budget), Gasthof Löwen (midrange), or Amrai Suites (luxury).

We stayed in Löwen Hotel Montafon, a 4-star superior hotel boasting a 3000 m2 spa and wellness area and three restaurants. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about hiking in the Alps, it’s that you need a plan B for rainy days. And, the best possible plan is the Löwen hotel spa which consists of an indoor and outdoor pool, 5 saunas, a Lady’s spa area, a whirlpool, multiple relaxation rooms, waterbeds, a refreshment bar, a reading room, and a footbath. The spa at Amrai Suites is also equally dazzling. 

Look for accommodation in Schruns-Tschagguns.


3. Lechquellen Mountains

Lechquellen Mountains, Austrian Alps

The Lechquellen Mountains (Lechquellen Gebirge) is a mountain range within the Northern Limestone Alps in Vorarlberg.

Popular because of the Lechweg long-distance hiking trail and its proximity to Lech am Arlberg, this picturesque range is a well-known summer destination among Germans, Swiss, Austrians, and Brits.

We recommend the following day hikes:

Learn More: Lech am Arlberg Summer Hiking Guide


Stay in Lech am Arlberg

Read our accommodation guide about the Best Hotels in Lech.

Budget | Lech Hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation in Lech am Arlberg, offering clean and cozy single, double, and triple rooms. Guests have access to a shared kitchen and shared lounge. Bathrooms are shared as well. The room rate is unbeatable.

Midrange | Hotel Garni Schneider is a top-rated, affordable bed and breakfast, situated next to Rüfikopfbahn in the center of Lech. Bedrooms are nicely decorated, spotless, and comfortable. Guests also have access to a wellness area (Finnish sauna, steam bath, Kneipp basins, and relaxation room) and free private parking.

Luxury | Hotel Auenhof is a family-run 4-star hotel, situated along the River Lech, facing Omeshorn. With its dreamy location and extraordinary staff, Hotel Auenhof outshines other Lech accommodations in terms of its hospitality and conviviality. The highlight of staying here is the gourmet multi-course dinners, which delight with their creative ingredient combinations, flavors, and presentations. Many hotel restaurants strive to be innovative, but none so successfully as Hotel Auenhof. As a guest, you’ll also enjoy the generous, complimentary afternoon snacks (Nachmittagsjause)and a very nice wellness area.

Luxury Family Hotel | Hotel Sonnenburg in Oberlech (Upper Lech) is a family-friendly, literature-themed, five-star hotel. We loved the functional sophistication of the bedrooms, the bedding, the breakfast buffet, and the overall concept. If you’re traveling with children, you can take advantage of their childcare service, playrooms, and supervised kid’s dinner.

Look for accommodation in Lech am Arlberg.


4. Lechtal Alps

Unterer Seewisee, Lechtal Alps, Eagle Walk hiking trail, Austria

The Lechtal Alps (Lechtaler Alpen) are the largest mountain chain of the Northern Limestone Alps in the Eastern Alps.

This mighty range stretches from Tyrol into Vorarlberg and is bounded by the Allgäu Alps, Ammergau Alps, Verwall, Mieminger, Ammergau Alps, Wetterstein, Oetztal Alps, Samnaun mountain chain, and the Lechquellen mountains.

We hiked across the Lechtal Alps along the Eagle Walk and were completely blown away by the mountain formations, flora and fauna, and the swiftly-changing scenery; it’s never monotonous.

If we had to anoint a Queen mountain range, the Lechtal Alps would be the reigning Queen of Austria. She’s devastatingly gorgeous. She’s also brutal and unforgiving.

We loved our Eagle Walk trek, but it’s not for everyone, given the demanding nature of the terrain.

Learn More: Eagle Walk Lechtal Alps Hiking Guide


Stay in Lechtal

Lechtal (Lech Valley) is an alpine river valley flanked by the Lechtal Alps to the south and the Allgäu Alps to the north.

The popular Lechweg (Lech River Trail) long-distance hiking trail follows the Lech River from Formarinsee in Vorarlberg to Füssen in Germany.

If you’re not embarking on a multi-day hike across the Lechtal Alps, it makes a lot of sense to explore the range from Lech Valley.

We loved staying in LechZeit in Elmen. From here, you can hike along the Lechweg (Lech River Trail), using your complimentary Lech Aktiv Card to get to and from trailheads.

Look for accommodation in Lech Valley.


Stay in the Arlberg Region

Another base for exploring the Lechtal Alps is the Arlberg Region, which encompasses the resort villages of Lech, Zürs, St. Anton am Arlberg, St. Christoph am Arlberg, Stuben, Flirsch, Pettneu, Schnann, and Strengen.

In summer, many of these Arlberg villages are ghost towns. So, we’d only recommend staying in Lech am Arlberg.

From Lech, you can ascend easily to the Lechtal Alps via the Rüfikopfbahn cable car. We recommend this easy hike to Stuttgarter Hut.

Luxury | Der Berghof is a sophisticated, 4-star superior hotel in the center of Lech. This hotel delivers an unparalleled experience in terms of style, comfort, wellness and cuisine. Bedrooms are designed with premium materials and furnished with extraordinary attention to detail. The wellness area features 5 modern saunas, a cold water basin, and a footpath. The breakfast was extraordinary.

Look for accommodation in Lech am Arlberg.


5. Karwendel Mountains

Walderalm, Karwendel Mountains, Austria

The Karwendel Mountains are part of the Northern Limestone Alps and comprise several chains: the Northern Karwendel Chain, the Hinterautal-Vomper Chain, the Gleirsch-Halltal Chain, and the Nordkette.

You may already be familiar with this range if you’ve ever visited, or seen a photo of Innsbruck, which is situated at the foot of the Nordkette chain. 

The Karwendel Nature Park (Naturpark Karwendel) encompasses the entire Karwendel massif. This ​​727 km² nature park is the largest protected area in Tirol and the largest nature park in Austria.

The most popular multi-day hike in this Austrian mountain range is the 6-stage Karwendel High Trail.

One of the most beautiful destinations in Karwendel is Grosser Ahornboden (Great Maple Floor), a wide grassy plain in the secluded Hinterrisstal Valley strewn with 2,300 sycamore maple trees.

This hidden valley is only accessible from Germany via a toll road, which is open from May – October.

During our first visit, we stayed at the Die Eng – Alpengasthof und Naturhotel and hiked to Gamsjoch Peak. During our second visit, we hiked the Binsalm Panoramic Trail (trail guide coming soon).

More day hikes in the Karwendel Mountains: Wolfsklamm Gorge and Hundskopf (with optional Grade A/B via ferrata).


Stay in Innsbruck

The capital of Tyrol is located at the base of the Nordkette mountain chain, and a great access point to Karwendel.

From the city center, you can take the Nordkettenbahnen cableways to the Hafelekar mountain station, the starting point of the celebrated Goetheweg. This panoramic trail leads to Pfeishütte, one of our favorite huts in Austria.

To learn more about the Goetheweg and the hikes around Innsbruck, read our Innsbruck Hiking Guide.

Budget-Midrange | Motel One Innsbruck is located near the Innsbruck Train Station, a mere 10-minute walk into the Innenstadt (Inner City of Innsbruck). This modern 3-star hotel offers snug rooms with views overlooking the city and mountains. Don’t miss the top floor bar. Perks: luggage storage and 24/7 reception. Breakfast and underground parking are both available for an extra charge.

Midrange-Luxury | Faktorei is a boutique hotel housed in a 15th century town house with 12 sun-drenched minimalist rooms, a garden, terrace, and bar. Private garage parking is available, but must be reserved in advance (extra fee). Breakfast is served in the hotel’s adjacent café (extra fee).

Luxury | Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz is a contemporary hotel with an atmospheric bar in Innsbruck’s pedestrian zone. Stay here for the delicious breakfast, stylish design, professional staff, and location. No on-site parking.

Luxury | Set in a historic building in the center of Innsbruck, the exceptional Weisses Rössl is a boutique hotel with a 600-year-old Tyrolean restaurant. Expect a delicious breakfast. Paid public parking is located nearby.

Look for accommodation in Innsbruck.


Stay in Hall in Tirol

The darling and superbly restored town of Hall in Tirol is located 12 km east of Innsbruck and is yet another starting point for adventures in the Karwendelgebirge.

You can hike in Halltal (Hall Valley) to Alpengasthaus St. Magdalena, climb up to Bettelwurfhütte via the Absamer Klettersteig, walk to alpine pasture huts (Hinterhornalm, Walderalm, and Ganalm), and more.

Top-Choice Luxury | Hotel Kontor is a boutique hotel in Hall in Tirol with airy, minimalist rooms featuring hardwood floors, billowy linen, and tea and coffee makers. Breakfast is included. On-site parking is available.

Luxury | Parkhotel Hall in Tirol is a modern, dog-friendly hotel with soundproof rooms, an on-site restaurant, and a 580 m2 spa area, walking distance to the historic Altstadt (Old Town). Parking is available (extra charge). A rich breakfast is included.

Look for accommodation in Hall in Tirol.


Stay in Pertisau, Lake Achensee

The lakeside village of Pertisau is a great base for hiking in the Karwendel Mountains and enjoying the clear and refreshing waters of Lake Achensee. From Pertisau, you have access to a plethora of hikes including Bärenkopf, the Seekarspitze-Seebergspitze ridge trail, Sonnjoch Peak, Lamsenjochhütte and the Hahnenkampl ridge (trail guide coming soon), the lakeside Gaisalm alpine hut, and more.

Midrange | Hotel Bergland is a traditional Tyrolean hotel with an on-site restaurant. All rooms have balconies. Guests love the location, the friendly staff, and the food.

Adults-only Luxury | This 4-star boutique Hotel Auszeit pampers guests with its relaxing spa facilities (4 modern saunas, relaxing room, outdoor pool, sun garden), beautiful rooms, scenic setting, and excellent breakfast. Read our Hotel Auszeit Review

Adults-only Luxury | Seehotel Einwaller impresses with its stylish rooms, lake-facing wellness area, à la carte restaurant, and scenic lakeside location. In summer, guests can enjoy the hotel’s private pier, furnished with comfortable sunbeds and umbrellas. Expect an excellent breakfast. Read our Seehotel Einwaller Hotel Review

Luxury | NOVA Moments Boutique Hotel is a 4-star hotel with 34 air-conditioned rooms and suites, all tastefully furnished in an elegant, alpine-modern style. The hotel is set in a quiet location, 900 meters away from the lakeshore. Hotel facilities include an outdoor natural pool (open in summer), infinity whirlpool (open all-year-round), sauna, steam-bath, wellness relaxation room, garage parking with electric car charging stations, and fitness room.

Look for accommodation in Pertisau.


6. Zillertal Alps

Zillertal Alps, Austrian Alps, Austria

Straddling the Austrian-Italian border, the Zillertal Alps are a stunning mountain range belonging to the Central Eastern Alps.

On the Austrian-side, you can access this range from the Zillertal valley in Tyrol (Tirol).

Serving up quintessential alpine scenery, the majestic Zillertal Alps are characterized by glaciated peaks, iconic mountain huts, idyllic lakes, and sweeping vistas.

Hut to hut hiking enthusiasts should consider trekking the celebrated Berlin High Trail or the Peter Habeler Route.

For day hiking, base yourself in Mayrhofen. From this town, you can drive, or take a bus to various hiking trailheads in Ziller Valley. 


Stay in Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen is a lively base in Zillertal, humming with hikers and families on summer holiday. We loved Mayrhofen’s central location and how easy it was to get around the valley via public transit.

If you’re traveling through Austria without a car, this is definitely a place you can explore easily. We recommend staying in Landhotel Rauchenwalderhof (budget), Alpenhotel Kramerwirt (midrange), or ElisabethHotel Premium Private Retreat- Adults only (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Mayrhofen.


7. Venediger Group

Venediger Group - Hiking in the Austrian Alps

The Venediger Group is a mountain range in the Central European Alps, named after Großvenediger (3,657 m). These mountains are firmly situated within Hohe Tauern National Park.

The Venediger mountains can be accessed from a number of idyllic valleys and villages in East Tyrol (Osttirol), including Virgental, Frosnitztal, and Gschlösstal.

We trekked the Venediger High Trail, a hut to hut hike that starts in Virgental and ends in Gschlösstal. If you love glacier views and stark, expansive scenery, this is for you. 

In terms of day hiking, check out the Innergschlöss Glacial Trail, which starts in Gschlösstal and steers you towards some pretty epic glacial scenery. If you’re in Virgental, you can hike from Hinterbichl to Essener-Rockstocker Hütte.

When we’re back in this area, we’d love to check out Frosnitztal and the Mitteldorfer Alm. If you head in that direction, you could do this return hike from Mitteldorfer Alm to Badener Hütte.


Stay in Matrei in Osttirol, Zedlach village, or Virgental Valley

The largest town near the Venediger Group is Matrei in Osttirol. Take a look at the Natur- und Wanderhotel Outside luxury hotel. 

You can also stay in Gschlösstal at the Innergschlöss trailhead: Matreier Tauernhaus (midrange).

For a more secluded environment, check out the family-run guesthouse Zedlacherhof in Zedlach Village, which is 4.5 km from Matrei.

Look for accommodation in Matrei in Osttirol.


8. Wilder Kaiser

Stripsenjochhaus, Wilder Kaiser, Tirol, Austria

Wilder Kaiser is a craggy limestone massif in the Kaiser Mountain Range in northeastern Tirol. The Kaiser Mountains (Kaisergebirge) are made up of the Wilder Kaiser (wild emperor mountains) and the Zahmer Kaiser (tame emperor mountains).

We visited this mountain region to hike the Emperor’s Crown (Kaiserkrone), a 5-stage hiking trail that circuits the Wilder Kaiser massif.

The route leads through forests, meadows, and alpine pastures, sticking to easy-moderate hiking trails. This is an excellent hike for anyone new to hut-to-hut hiking in Austria.

The 65-km trail traditionally starts at Aschingerkapelle, Going (Hüttling). However, if you’re traveling by transit, it’s far easier to start the route in Kufstein, which has direct train connections to Vienna, Innsbruck, and Salzburg. 


9. Hohe Tauern National Park

Sandersee, Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria - where to hike off Grossglockner High Alpine Road

Spanning 1,856 km2, Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest national park in Austria and the largest protected area in the Alps.

Home to Austria’s highest mountain, Grossglockner (3,798 m) and the Hohe Tauern range, this alpine region is a playground for hikers and climbers.

Hohe Tauern National Park is divided into a core zone and an outer zone and stretches across the Austrian States of Carinthia, Salzburg, and Tyrol.

A great introduction to Hohe Tauern National Park is driving the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Along the route, you can park your car at Glocknerhaus and hike to Sandersee.

There are also many long-distance hiking routes that traverse the protected area, including the Glocknerrunde (Glocknertrail), the Venediger High Trail, and the beginning of the Alpe Adria long-distance trail.


Best Base in Hohe Tauern National Park

We recommend staying in Kals am Großglockner, Prägraten am Großvenediger, or Matrei in Osttirol.


10. Lienz Dolomites

Dolomitenhütte, Lienz Dolomites, Austrian Alps, Austria

The Lienzer Dolomiten is a mountain group in the Gailtal Alps (Gailtaler Alpen, or Drauzug), which form part of the Southern Limestone Alps.

To get to the Lienz Dolomites, head to the Austrian town of Lienz, which is located in East Tyrol (Osttirol).

Though these gorgeous limestone mountains resemble the Italian Dolomites, they actually don’t contain any dolomite rock. But, their looks will certainly deceive you. 

In a single day, you can hike from the Dolomitenhütte to Karlsbader Hütte, a mountain hut located at Laserzee.

After the hike, enjoy lunch at Dolomitenhütte, or even stay the night here. You can learn more about this trail in Best Day Hikes in Austria.

If you’re interested in a multi-day hike, research Der Grosse Törl-Weg. We haven’t hiked this trail, but it’s on our bucket list.


Stay in Lienz

We recommend staying in Privatzimmer Bundschuh (budget), Hotel Holunderhof (midrange), or Parkhotel Tristachersee (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Lienz.


11. Hochkönig Mountains

Salzburg Hiking Trails, Austria

The Hochkönig is a massif in the Berchtesgaden Alps in Salzburg.

The Hochkönig holiday region is famous for their charming mountain pasture huts, family-friendly trails, and challenging Klettersteige (via ferrata routes).

Here are some hikes we’ve enjoyed in the Hochkönig: Mühlbach High Trail, the Hochkeil and Troiboden Lake sunrise hike and Taghaube Peak Hike


Stay in Mühlbach am Hochkönig

Landhaus Rieding (budget), Das Grünholz Aparthotel & Restaurant (midrange-luxury), Hotel Bergheimat (luxury), or AlpenParks Hotel & Apartment Hochkönig (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Mühlbach am Hochkönig.


12. Dachstein

Dachstein, Austria in late October

The Dachstein is a dramatic mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps, sprawling across the states of Salzburg, Carinthia, and Styria.

From exciting via ferrata climbs to moderate hut-to-hut hiking trails, the Dachstein offers a myriad of hiking possibilities. Here are a few things we recommend:

Day Hikes:

Hut to Hut Hikes:


Stay in Filzmoos

Filzmoos is a small alpine village directly facing the Gosaukamm mountains, which form part of the Dachstein range. From Filzmoos, you’re well-positioned to hike in the Dachstein and visit other towns like Ramsau am Dachstein. Read our Filzmoos Hiking Guide.

We recommend staying at Bauernhof Krahlehenhof (midrange), meiZeit Lodge (midrange), or Hotel Neubergerhof (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Filzmoos


Stay in Ramsau am Dachstein

Ramsau am Dachstein is a small town located on sloping alpine pastures at the foot of the Dachstein. Wonderfully scenic and well-positioned for day hiking and mountaineering activities, Ramsau is an ideal destination for summer holidays in the Austrian Alps.

We recommend staying at Pension Adlerhorst (budget), Hotel Sporthof Austria (midrange), or Hotel Berghof (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Ramsau am Dachstein.


13. Schladminger Tauern

Klafferkessel, Schladminger Tauern High Trail

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

The closest town, or transportation hub, is Schladming. This is one of Austria’s premier skiing destinations. However, summer is also an incredible time to visit.

We hiked across the range on the Schladminger Tauern High Trail, a 5-stage hut to hut hike, and it was an unforgettable experience.

Day hikers should head up to the alpine pasture Ursprungalm (via a toll road) and hike to the Giglach Lakes. From Ursprungalm, you’ll follow a wide dirt road to Oberere Giglachsee (the upper Giglach Lake).

From here, follow the circuit trail that wraps around both lakes, in the direction of Ignaz – Mattis Hütte. This easy 8.2 km hike takes 3 hours total. Allow more time for lunch in one of the lakeside mountain huts.

More Day Hikes: Schladming Summer Hiking Guide


Stay in Schladming

We’ve stayed in Schladming several times, both in summer and winter. Here are our favorite hotels in Schladming: 

Midrange | TUI BLUE Schladming is situated across the street from the Planai gondola valley station and bus stop in the town center of Schladming. We were extremely satisfied with our experience here. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. The staff is extremely hardworking and motivated (beyond excellent). There’s even a rooftop wellness area with a large infrared sauna, steam sauna, and outdoor Finnish sauna. Private garage parking available (reservation needed, extra fee). 

Luxury | Stadthotel Brunner is a stylish boutique hotel and restaurant, set on the main square of Schladming, a 5-minute walk to the Planai gondola valley station. We really enjoyed the lovingly-prepared breakfast, delicious restaurant, and rooftop spa area. Outdoor parking available.

Luxury | JOHANN Schladming is a newly renovated luxury hotel in the town center of Schladming, a 4-minute walk to the Planai gondola valley station. This standout hotel has a bar, à la carte restaurant, wellness area (3 saunas), rooftop swimming pool, gym, and private parking. 

For a more peaceful setting, also consider accommodations in Rohrmoos, the hamlet located on the plateau above Schladming. We love Thalers Mariandl (midrange). 

Look for accommodation in Schladming.


14. Gesäuse National Park and the Ennstaler Alps

Hesshütte mountain hut, Gesäuse National Park, Ennstaler Alps, Austrian Alps, Austria

Encompassing a chunk of the Ennstaler Alps, Gesäuse National Park is a protected alpine area roughly stretching between Admont and Hieflau.

Characterized by lush, verdant forest and craggy limestone peaks, Gesäuse (Xeis) provides thrilling climbing opportunities, strenuous via ferrata routes, and gentle walks.

We sampled a part of the Gesäuse Hüttenrunde (hut to hut circuit), starting in Admont and ending in Gstatterboden.

Though we loved the mountain huts we overnighted in (Mödlinger Hütte and Hesshütte), we weren’t impressed with the route, as it often follows forest roads. We think Gesäuse is a better destination for rigorous day hiking or 2-day hikes.

A highlight of our visit was staying two nights in Hesshütte, a mountain refuge located at the saddle between Hochtor and Zinödl.

We wrote this Hesshütte hiking guide, which outlines four possible ascent routes plus additional hikes you can do from the hut.


Stay in Admont, Gstatterboden, or Hieflau

If you want to stay directly in the National Park, check out Gesäuse Lodge in Gstatterboden.

If you fancy something romantic, consider staying at Hotel Schloss Röthelstein in Admont.

Also check out the recently opened, top-rated NaturparkResort Alte Schule, housed in an old school, in Hieflau. 

Look for accommodation in Admont.

Look for accommodation in Hieflau.


15. Hochschwab Group

Alpine Ibex, Hochschwab, Styria, Austria

Hochschwab is a mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps, located in the Austrian state of Styria.

For those based in Vienna (or Graz), Hochschwab is a fantastic hiking destination for 2-day hikes. The easiest way to get here is by car. 

The range takes its name after the highest mountain, Hochschwab (2277 m), which you can summit on a very long day hike, or a 2-day hike if you stay overnight in the Schiestlhaus mountain refuge.

Read this Hochschwab trail guide for an ideal 2-day hiking itinerary.

Another extremely rewarding hike is from Seeberg to Voisthaler Hütte.

What sets Hochschwab apart from other alpine destinations is the abundance of wildlife. Rife with families of ibex to solitary chamois, Hochschwab feels like one of the last thriving wildlife areas in the Austrian Alps.


Stay in Thörl, Aflenz or Seewiesen

We recommend staying at Frühstückspension Seeberghof inSeewiesen, der Bodenbauer in Thörl, or Ferienwohnungen Hotel Garni Dörflerwirt in Aflenz.

Look for accommodation in Thörl.

Look for accommodation in Aflenz.

Look for accommodation in Seewiesen.


More Hiking Destinations in Austria

Radstädter Tauern, Salzburg | Lake Tappenkarsee Hike 

Mieminger Chain, Tirol | Lake Drachensee Hike

Wetterstein Mountains, Tirol | Rotmoosalm to Wangalm Hike (trail guide coming soon)

Rofan Mountains / Brandenberg Alps | Hochiss Peak (coming soon) and Unnütze Ridge. 

Schneeberg and Rax, Lower Austria | Best Hikes in the Vienna Mountains

Wachau Valley, Lower Austria | Dürnstein to Krems, Vogelbergsteig Dürnstein, and Seekopf and Hirschwand Circuit Trail



Austria Trip Planning Essentials

Use our Austria Travel Guide and Austria blog archive to plan a unique and memorable trip to Austria. 


When to Visit Austria 

We recommend visiting Austria between June and October for hiking and between December and March for skiing and winter adventuring.

Summer Travel | Summer in Austria

Autumn Travel | Autumn in Austria

Winter Travel | Salzburg in December, Vienna in December, Vienna in January


Getting around Austria

Austria has an excellent public transit system. We’ve used it extensively to travel throughout the country. We highly recommend using transit if you’re visiting cities (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, etc…), and/or doing hut-to-hut hikes. 

Some areas like Mayrhofen, Schladming and Lech am Arlberg have wonderful seasonal transit systems in place (e.g. summer hiking buses). However, if you’re not visiting during the high season, bus frequencies are significantly reduced and it’s far easier to get around with your own vehicle. 

If you’re planning on visiting multiple destinations across Austria, we recommend renting a car. 

Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:

Car Rental 

We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Check car rental rates here

If you’re driving into Austria from a neighboring country, don’t forget to purchase a vignette at/near the border. 


Hiking in Austria

Where to Hike in Austria

Read Best Day Hikes in Austria and these region-specific hiking guides:

Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria 

Austria is a premier hut-to-hut and long-distance hiking destination. The quality of the mountain huts are superb. We particularly love the high-alpine trails, which are called Höhenwege in German. We’ve summarized our favorite multi-day hikes in Trekking Austria. If you’re new to hut hiking, read this in-depth guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria.


What to See & Do in Austria


Austrian Hotels


Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations, Austria

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati