Getting to Schladming
It’s a good idea to spend the night in the town of Schladming, before and after this hike. That’ll make your experience more relaxing. We recommend:
Budget | TUI BLUE Schladming is an all-around excellent accommodation in Schladming offering guests a bountiful breakfast (included), spa facilities (saunas), and a great location (located across from the Planai-Hochwurzen Cable Car).
Midrange | Thalers Mariandl is an alpine modern guesthouse featuring bright, beautifully-designed rooms, an extensive spa area, and a quiet location. You can walk to the center of Rohrmoos in a few minutes.
Luxury | Hotel Schwaigerhof is the place to stay when you don’t want to worry about where to eat, or what to do. This full-board hotel (breakfast and dinner included) spoils guests with its pools (indoor and outdoor), wellness area, and views of the Dachstein massif.
Look for accommodation in Schladming.
The best way to get to Schladming is by train. If you’re flying, Salzburg Airport is the closest airport to Schladming, followed by Graz.
Stage 1: Hochwurzen (1852 m) – Rossfeld – Hochfeldmandl (2082 m) – Giglachseen (1921 m)
On Day 1, you can either hike to the Giglachseen lakes from Hochwurzen (longer), or Ursprungalm (shorter).
- This segment of the tour is called “Höhenweg Giglach” or High Trail Giglach.
- The traditional starting point for the Schladminger Tauern High Trail is the Hochwurzen Gondola in Rohrmoos, which is very close to Schladming. You’ll take the Hochwurzen gondola (Gipfelbahn in German) to the summit, where the trail begins. The gondola costs 10.50 EUR per adult (as of 2018) one-way (see pricing here). If you’re arriving in Schladming via train, you can hop on a bus to Hochwurzen, directly from the train station.
- The 11.3 km hike to the beautiful Giglachseen lakes takes 6 – 6.5 hours. Total ascent: 830 meters. Total Descent: 720 meters.
- As you ascend, you’ll see views of the Dachstein mountain range and pass some fairytale-like lakes, including Klammsee and Brettersee.
- The final stretch of the hike offers epic views of the Giglachseen lakes. As you descend further, you’ll see the mountain hut Ignaz-Mattis Hütte (1,986 m).
Alternative Stage 1: Ursprungalm – Giglachsee (1921 m)
- If you have less time on Day 1, or simply want to take it easy, you can start the hike in Ursprungalm, which is a tiny alpine hamlet.
- To reach Ursprungalm, you’ll need to take a bus from the train station. These buses only depart three times a day, so make sure to check the schedule before. We bought a Hiking-Combo Ticket (Kombitickets für Wanderer in German) for 19 EUR from the bus driver, which covered the bus ride to Ursprungalm as well as the Planai Gondola descent on the last day. See current pricing here.
- The hike from Ursprungalm to the Giglachseen (Giglach Lakes) takes 1 hour. These two mountain lakes are a popular destination for day-hikers, so you’ll see more people on this segment of the trail than any other.
- You’ll first arrive at Giglachseen Hütte. Follow the trail for another 20-minutes to Ignaz-Mattis Hütte.
- We opted for this route because we started our day at 4:30 a.m. from Vienna and the weather wasn’t promising. After lunch at Ignaz-Mattis Hütte, we hiked up to Klammsee and Brettersee to see some of the highlights of the Giglach High Trail.
Stay in Giglachseenhütte or Ignaz-Mattis Hütte
- Giglachseenhütte is located close to Oberer Giglachsee (Upper Giglach Lake).
- Ignaz-Mattis Hütte is perched above Unterer Giglachsee (Lower Giglach Lake). This is where we stayed. The mountain hut has a sunny terrace with heart-expanding views of the Lower Giglach Lake. The interior is rustic, warm and cozy. We slept in the lager (dormitory), which was really comfortable. Food was excellent!