SAVE UP TO £200 – Select UK holidays reducedBOOK NOW
4
moderate to challenging

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and inns
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£940GBP

Overview

Trip Code: WIA

Trip highlights


  • Trekking through stunning alpine scenery of the Salzkammergut region of Austria
  • Experiencing the exhilaration of trekking across alpine pastures
  • Viewing flora and fauna including ibex, chamois and marmot
  • Enjoying the warm family run hotels

The UNESCO World Heritage listed Salzkammergut alpine region of Austria encompasses 76 crystal clear lakes, the Dachstein Glacier, lush summer meadows and impressive rock faces up to 3000 vertical metres high. During this inspiring walk around the lakes, there is ample time to appreciate the natural beauty of the region and the alpine villages of wooden chalets decorated with colourful window boxes while at night you will enjoy the warm hospitality of your hosts. Staying in pensions and small hotels, you can relax and enjoy the satisfying cuisine typical of the region. There will be opportunities to sight fauna including ibex, chamois and marmot along with numerous butterfly species which are endemic to this alpine environment.

Countries:

Austria

Starting Point:

Bad Ischl

Finishing Point:

Bad Ischl


Expand all | Collapse all

On arrival in Bad Ischl make your way to the hotel. Ischl became a holiday home of European standing from the middle of the 19th century when Emperor Franz Joseph started spending time at his summer residence here. Bad Ischl, a health resort since 1906, is located in the heart of the Salzkammergut and is the starting point for this extraordinarily varied hike. You can visit the spacious thermal bath or visit the famous Café Zauner.

Meals:  Nil

From Bad Ischl you will walk to Kalvarienberg church and along the 'Elisabeth Forest trail', named for Empress Elisabeth of Austria's (Sisi's) former riding paths. Continue via Pfandl, where salt was already boiled in the 12th century. The trail leads via Russbach to Schwarzensee and through meadows to Burgau at Lake Attersee. Following the lakeside path, arrive at your hotel in Weissenbach or Steinbach. Note: At times 3km of the morning's trail must be by bus as the trail can be affected if there is heavy rain or storms. In this instance a bus ticket is included. Walking: 24km/14.9.mi, ascent/descent 584m/1916ft The walk can be shortened by taking a bus from Bad Ischl to Russbach or Pfandl to Russbach (walk 12km less)

Meals:  B

This morning you take the hiking bus to the entrance of Burggraben gorge (included) to start your walk. Over the alpine pasture ‘Eisenau’, the highest point of today's walk, a path winds along the heights of the Mondsee with various wayside crosses, which encourage you to pause. From Scharfling you walk past the Krottensee down to St Gilgen at Lake Wolfgang. Overnight here or further along the lake at the small town of Abersee (you can walk along the promenade or take the bus from St Gilgen to Abersee). Walking: 23km/14.5mi or 16.6km/10.3mi, ascent 700m/2296ft, descent 650m/2132ft

Meals:  B

A change of pace this morning as your day begins with a boat trip on Lake Wolfgangsee, the most famous lake of the Salzkammergut region, to St Wolfgang. Here you can visit the church or take the cogwheel train to the summit of Schafberg (1782m) for magnificent panoramic views of the region*. Back in St Wolfgang follow the lakeside path to Berau. It's a wonderful panoramic path, which runs directly along the water and leads you around the Bürglstein (Bürgl Panoramic Walk) to Strobl. Named after a family of merchants, Strobl was a centre for pilgrims and carters in the 17th century. Continue to Weissenbach for overnight. Alternatively, a hike to the Postalm is recommended. The largest alpine plateau in Austria, it extends in the south of Lake Wolfgang at an altitude between 1000 and 2000m and is known as a beautiful hiking area. *the cogwheel train is open from late April to late October (subject to change) and may also be closed due to inclement weather. Walking: 7.5km/4.6mi, ascent 164m/538ft, descent 141m/463ft or 24,5 km, ascent 1243m/4078ft, descent 1216m/3989ft

Meals:  B

The path from Weissenbach to Bad Goisern, the so-called Bear trail (Bärenpfad), leads into a rather primeval landscape formed by the water. Gorges, deep ponds and gurgling streams characterise the path. Walking past the ‘Kammersbach’ hut you will climb up to the Bärenpfadsattel. Halfway down, you may be interested in the ‘Chorinsky Klause’, an industrial monument (a lock) built at the beginning of the 19th century to move logged timber downstream for milling. Continue to Bad Goisern and your accommodation. Walking: 21km/13.4mi, ascent 895m/2936ft, descent 977m/3205ft Note: if you would like to avoid today's steep descent, you can take a bus to Bad Ischl and walk an alternate route to Bad Goisern (10km/6mi)

Meals:  B

On your way to Lake Hallstatt you will cross the river Traun several times. It is the lifeline of the Salzkammergut and rises in the Totes Gebirge in Styria. The next section on the eastern shore of Lake Hallstatt is unobstructed. It's a spectacular route with fabulous views of the Dachstein mountains. Hanging bridges give the impression of walking above the water. Continue to Obertraun and spend the night in Hallstatt. The almost perfect ensemble of narrow streets, historical houses, lake panorama and the cultural heritage from the Hallstatt era make this place world-famous. Walking: 19km/12mi, ascent 127m/416ft, descent 102m/334ft You can shorten today's walk by approx 8km/5mi by taking the ferry from Hallstatt train station to Hallstatt town (payable locally).

Meals:  B

Today’s walk takes you to the lovely town of Bad Aussee. From Hallstatt return to Obertraun, where the Koppentraun flows into Lake Hallstatt then enter the romantic Koppen valley. A number of well-signposted adventure stations can be found along the way, with special attractions being the water-bearing Koppenbrüller stalactite cave, an old railway tunnel, the huge avalanche channels descending from the Hohe Sarstein (1975m) and the suspension bridge over the wild Koppentraun. In Sarstein, the gorge opens up again and Bad Aussee comes into sight. Surrounded by a lake, mountains, and woods, Bad Aussee is an old market town in the “green heart” of the Salzkammergut. Walking: 17km/12.4mi, ascent 414m/1358ft, descent 277m/909ft You can shorten the route by taking a ferry to the other side of the lake (Hallstatt stop) (10mins, approx EUR4), then walk to Bad Aussee, or shorten the walk further by taking the train between Hallstatt Stop and Bad Aussee (25mins, approx. EUR10).

Meals:  B

From Bad Aussee in Styria you hike on the old salt path. Here is the last place in Austria where salt is still mined as rock salt. Worth seeing is the Alpine Garden, where about 2000 species of alpine plants as well as plant rarities from all over the world thrive. In themed gardens, medicinal plants, aromatic herbs and much more are presented. The lookout tower of the Pflindsberg ruins from 1250 AD offers a fantastic view. The theme trail now merges into the so-called Römerweg; thus, the beginnings of the settlement Michelhallberg, which you cross, are documented from Roman times. On arrival in Bad Goisern you have returned to the province of Upper Austria. To return to the starting point of your trip you will take public transport to Bad Ischl (payable locally). Your luggage will be available for collection or if have booked an extra night with us, it will be delivered to the hotel. Walking 19km/12 mi, ascent 500m/1640ft, descent 660m/2165ft *trip concludes on arrival in Bad Ischl. If you'd like to stay an extra night please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B

Expand all | Collapse all

On arrival in Bad Ischl make your way to the hotel, where you will receive your your detailed travel documents (hiking information and detailed maps). Ischl became a holiday home of European standing from the middle of the 19th century when Emperor Franz Joseph started spending time at his summer residence here. Bad Ischl, a health resort since 1906, is located in the heart of the Salzkammergut and is the starting point for this extraordinarily varied hike. You can visit the spacious thermal bath or visit the famous Café Zauner.

Meals:  Nil

Start your walk from Bad Ischl along the Ischl River following the "Dammweg" trail all the way to Russbach. From here you ascend to the mountain lake, Schwarzensee which you walk around before descending to Schwarzenbach on Lake Wolfgangsee. This evening's accommodation is on the lake shore in the town of Strobl. Named after a family of merchants, Strobl was a centre for pilgrims and carters in the 17th century. Walking: 23.5km/14.6mi, ascent 730m/2395ft, descent 652m/2139ft Note: you can shorten the walk by taking a bus to Russbach, in which case the walking will be 12.5km/7.7mi, ascent 511m/1677ft, descent 507m/1663ft

Meals:  B

There are two options for today. The shorter option offers a change of pace as you begin with a boat trip on Lake Wolfgangsee, the most famous lake of the Salzkammergut region. From St Wolfgang you can explore this charming lake-side village. Visit the church and take the cogwheel train to the summit of Schafberg (1760m) for magnificent panoramic views of the region. It's an easy walk to Berau and along the Bürgl Panoramic Walk to Strobl/ Weissenbach. Walking: 7.5km/4.6mi, ascent 164m/538ft, descent 141m/462ft Or for a challenging day rewarded by spectacular views, follow the hiking path between Sparber and Bleckwand Mountains up to the Postalm alpine pasture, the largest mountain plateau in Austria. There is a surprising variety of flora and fauna to be discovered in the area. Take a break in an original alpine hut and sample some alpine produce from the farmers. Return via the same route or descend to the Weissenbach Valley before reaching your accommodation in Strobl/Weissenbach. Walking: 22km/13.7mi, ascent 840m/2756ft, descent 970m/3182ft

Meals:  B

The path from Weissenbach to Bad Goisern, the so-called Bear trail (Bärenpfad), leads into a rather primeval landscape formed by the water. Gorges, deep ponds and gurgling streams characterise the path. Walking past the ‘Kammersbach’ hut you will climb up to the Bärenpfadsattel. Halfway down, you may be interested in the ‘Chorinsky Klause’, an industrial monument (a lock) built at the beginning of the 19th century to move logged timber downstream for milling. Continue to Bad Goisern and your accommodation. Walking: 21km/13.4mi, ascent 895m/2936ft, descent 977m/3205ft Note: if you would like to avoid today's steep descent, you can take a bus to Bad Ischl and walk an alternate route to Bad Goisern (10km/6mi).

Meals:  B

Today's walk from Bad Goisern to Hallstatt is along the historical 'Brine Trail' to Steeg. The following section on the eastern shore of Lake Hallstatt is panoramic, with views of Hallstatt, the lake and the Dachstein Alps. Hanging bridges give the impression of walking above the water. Continue to Obertraun and spend the night in Hallstatt. The almost perfect ensemble of narrow streets, historical houses, lake panorama and the cultural heritage from the Hallstatt era make this place world-famous. Walking: 19km/12mi, ascent 127m/416ft, descent 102m/334ft You can shorten today's walk by approx 8km/5mi by taking the ferry from Hallstatt train station to Hallstatt town (payable locally).

Meals:  B

There are a number of options today. You can visit the salt mines above Hallstatt, or the Dachstein Adventure World (cable car to 2000m with its viewing platform “5 Fingers” and the Ice and Mammoth Caves). Alternatively we recommend a walk through the Echerntal valley with its impressive waterfalls. Overnight Hallstatt. Optional walking approx. 2hrs, 6km/3.7mi, ascent/descent 258m/846ft

Meals:  B

Leave Hallstatt by boat and enjoy postcard views of the village then take the train to Bad Aussee (tickets for both are included). From Bad Aussee you walk past the Alpengarten (lovely Alpine garden well worth seeing) and the historic salt mountain of Aussee through a gorgeous mountain pasture area to Bad Goisern. Train or bus back to Bad Ischl (payable locally). Overnight stay in Bad Ischl. Walking 19km/12mi, ascent 500m/1640ft, descent 660m/2165ft

Meals:  B

The trip concludes after breakfast in Bad Ischl.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, meats, cheeses, coffee, tea and juices
  • 7 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels and inns (4* in Bad Ischl) on a twin share basis - upgrade option to 4 star hotels, supplement applies (note: itinerary & inclusions are slightly different)
  • Information pack including route notes & hiking map per room booked, GPS Tracks available on request
  • Luggage transfer, maximum two pieces per person of max 25kg per piece, supplement applies for excess
  • Emergency hotline (7 days, 9am to 7pm)
  • Hiking bus to the gorge Burggraben on the standard trip
  • Ferry trip on Wolfgangsee: from Abersee to St Wolfgang on the standard trip, from Strobl to St Wolfgang on the upgrade option
  • 4* upgrade option additional inclusions:
  • - Ferry on Lake Hallstattersee (Hallstatt market to Hallstatt train station)
  • - Train ticket Hallstatt to Bad Aussee

  • Travel to and from Bad Ischl
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Entrance fees and cable cars
  • Storage of luggage
  • Transfers – optional trips on bus/ferry/train to shorten hikes
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Excess luggage
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate to challenging

4

MODERATE to CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 This is a self guided walk with a maximum of 8 hours of walking per day in stages of 10 to 31km. While the paths are well defined and the gradient is not too difficult, the terrain is undulating. The route is reasonably well marked except as noted in the directions provided – the map should be used in conjunction with the directions provided. To join this trip you should be an experienced hiker and be competent in map reading. We have an alternative program in the area which does not require prior walking experience – ask our staff for details. A good level of fitness is also required, although most stages may be shortened through the use of public transport. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds.


Departure dates

Daily from 22 Apr to 18 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
Note:
High season is from 1 Jul to 1 Sep, supplement applies.
Note:
Austrian twin beds are usually two mattresses side by side on one large base. Separate twin beds are rare and cannot be guaranteed. Request single rooms if not suitable. Not all attractions in the area are open after September.
Note:
The option to upgrade hotels to 4 star follows a slightly different itinerary with walks of 2-5hrs daily. 4 star option is available 24 Apr to 16 Oct. See trip notes for details.

Priceper person from

£940GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplement - standardGBP£230
  • 4 star upgrade hotel supplementGBP£320
  • Single supplement - 4 star hotelsGBP£390
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Similar trips