Hiking in Austria: 10 Reasons to Go

Hiking in Austria: 10 reasons to go and experience it yourself

There is a whole range of activities, whether you’re exploring one of the national parks, taking in the beauty of the Alps on a long-distance trail, or hiking in Austria with your family.

Explore a national park, hike a long-distance trail in the Alps, or enjoy a day hike with your family in Austria.

1. There is a great deal of variety in the landscape.

The topography of Austria varies from the flat steppe landscape of the Pannonian lowlands in the East to the high Alpine regions in the West.

There is a wide range of landscapes in the country, including rolling hills and gentle pastures, rugged mountain peaks and glaciers, wetlands and lake plateaus, as well as Mediterranean-like landforms in the South.

You can hike a glacier, see the largest ice caves in the world, or see Europe’s highest waterfall.

Eisriesenwelt / Ice Cave near Werfen Ice World

2. Self-guided tours are possible when hiking in Austria.

In the Austrian Alps, even inexperienced hikers can easily go on self-guided hikes. Signposts along the trail indicate directions, durations, and sometimes even the level of difficulty, and paths are clearly marked using red-white-red markings on trees or rocks.

Signpost stone pine trail

Take all necessary precautions, such as checking the weather, choosing the right trail for your fitness level, and carrying a map.

3. There is something special about a break at an Austrian mountain hut.

Almost every trail when hiking in Austria has at least one mountain hut offering local cuisine and sometimes accommodation for long-distance hikers.

Mountain hut at Duisitzkarsee

Enjoy a refreshing elderflower juice or pint of beer before hiking!

Get up very early the next morning to see a beautiful sunrise in the mountains if you stay the night!

4. When going hiking in Austria, home-made food is a delight.

Austrian dishes, regional specialties, and even produce from Alpine pastures are served in the mountain inns.

A delicious snack at an alpine hut in the area of Grossarl

Among the popular cold plates are the famous Austrian “Brettljause” – a substantial snack of bread, cheese, and speck – and breads with all kinds of spreads, as well as traditional warm dishes such as Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten (pork roast), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles) and Kaiserschmarren (sweet pancakes with shredded fruit).

5. With summer cable cars and chairlifts, you can conquer any mountain.

Many Austrian regions offer summer cable cars and chairlifts that take you up to panoramic trails and scenic summit platforms, offering amazing views to holidaymakers of all abilities.

Aussichtsplattform 5fingers

Because Austria’s cable cars are constantly investing in sustainability, this is the most environmentally friendly way to reach the summit!

6. Families will enjoy hiking in Austria on trails.

Austria offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all ages.

Explore adventure hiking trails with interactive stations, educational trails, or easy, pushchair-accessible walking trails.

Family Hike on the Schmittenhoehe

In every region, there are many themed hikes, as well as short hikes for younger children.

A multitude of panoramic trails provide breathtaking views over mountain ranges and lakes, as well as multi-day hikes for families.

7. There are untouched natural landscapes to be found here.

Gesäuse National Park

A total of 27% of Austria’s surface is under natural protection. Six national parks, 50 nature parks, seven biosphere reserves, and countless local protected areas protect unique species, cultural landscapes, and traditional lifestyles.

Austrian national parks also offer educational programmes dedicated to sustainable tourism, including car-free holidays, e-mobility, and locally sourced food and energy.

8. Hiking in Austria is a long tradition and considered part of local culture.

Austria’s unofficial national pastime is hiking, which has a long tradition.

Known for hiking or mountaineering, Austria’s “hiking villages” are ideal bases for day hikes of varying difficulty.

In these villages, you can plan your hiking tour and get guided hikes for free, as well as receive free help with planning your hiking holiday.

Boots for hiking

9. Combining nature and culture is easy.

Culture and hiking can be combined in several Austrian cities.

You can stroll along its streets full of imperial elegance and then take a cable car to reach the mountains in just 20 minutes from Innsbruck, sometimes referred to as the “capital of the Alps”.

Salzburg city view

In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salzburg is a perfect base for hiking in Austira while going on a holiday. The surrounding area, like the Untersberg Mountain, or the Golling Waterfall, is simply breathtaking.

10. The full Austrian experience awaits you.

Conquering one of the countless mountain peaks, hiking in Austria from pasture to pasture, embarking on a multi-day hike, or simply enjoying a leisurely day hike – all can be enjoyed.

Take a break from your daily routine and immerse yourself in exciting adventures, natural beauty, and traditions. Experience Austria like the locals to discover what makes the country so unique and authentic, breathe in the clean air, take in the soothing scent of a forest or mountain meadow, and recharge your batteries.

Mondsee amazing lake view from Austria

Gravelbiking through Austria

Visit Austria Website

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