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    Hiking along Austria's Rivers & Lakes

    Austria's hiking trails provide plenty of opportunity to encounter water spectacles, from tranquil rivers and lakes to enchanting gorges, canyons and waterfalls.

    Vorarlberg

    • Bregenzerache Path

      Get to know the different facets of the River Bregenzerach on a hike in the Bregenzerwald. Flowing upstream from Sulzberg to Au, the Bregenzerach is the most important river of the region. It rises above the village of Schröcken at an altitude of 2,400 m (1.5 mi) and flows into Lake Constance after 80 km (50 mi). The river is gentle in parts, and is great for bathing. The Bregenzerwald region is known for its unique wooden architecture and the cheese makers that dot its landscape. Combine this hiking trip with a culinary tour of the area, or an architecture walk in the villages!

    • Kesselfall and Bürs Gorge

      The Kesselfall is a set of waterfalls in the Brandnertal Valley, created by the Alvier torrent, roaming through a 40 m (131 ft) deep ravine. This natural attraction can easily be reached on foot from the village of Brand. From Bürs, located at the start of the valley, you can also visit the Bürs Gorge, which is well worth checking out. There are plenty of other things to do in the Brandnertal. Despite its modest size, visitors can e-bike, swim in Alpine lakes, and explore the nearby town of Bludenz, which hosts a chocolate festival every summer.

    •                         Bregenz Ach estuary at sunrise
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    •                         Die abenteuerliche Bürser Schlucht Brandnertal
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    Hiking along the Lech River Trail / Lech at Arlberg
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    Lechweg

    Vorarlberg - Tirol

    This 125 km (77 mi) hiking trail along the River Lech leads from its spring near the Formarinsee in Vorarlberg (one of Austria's most beautiful spots) through Tirol to the Lechfall in Füssen, Germany. The Lech, with its distinct turquoise water, is the last wild river in Europe. The trail itself passes by one of the largest ibex colonies on the continent and a waterfall that magically dries up every year and flows anew. It also crosses Austria's longest pedestrian suspension bridge. 

    The European Hiking Association certified the Lechweg as a Leading Quality Trail. You can walk it in three different ways, depending on your preference and fitness level. The comfortable option takes 8 days to complete, the classic one 7 and the sporty one 6. Don't fancy carrying your stuff all day long? The Lechweg shuttle brings it from door to door, so, allowing you to hike just with your day bag.

    Tirol

    • Waterfall Path Hintertux

      The magnificent natural spectacle of water thundering down the mountainside into a valley is a sight not to be missed. Visitors will be enchanted by the Schraubenfall and Kesselfall Waterfalls with their naturally formed granite bridges, caves, and ravines along the Waterfall Path Hintertux. This circular trail only takes about 2 hours and is suitable for intermediate hikers. It takes you past a river as well as the two waterfalls!

    • Water Walk Stuibenfall

      The Stuibenfall in the Ötztal Valley is Tirol's highest waterfall. Hike up to the gushing water and marvel at Stuibenfall's raw force. Those who feel particularly adventurous can climb the fall next to the water. If you take a trip here we also recommend visiting the Ötzi Village in Umhausen, an open-air archaeological park, which shows the how people lived in Neolithic Age, the period when “Ötzi the Iceman” was alive.

    •                         Waterfall in Ötztal valley, Stuibenfall
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    •                         archiological open air park Ötzidorf
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    SalzburgerLand

    Gorge Route in the Saalachtal

    The Gorge Route leads to numerous, impressive cultural and natural monuments. Within a radius of just 2 km (1.2 mi), the Pinzgauer Saalachtal is home to 3 extraordinary natural spectacles known as the "Saalachtal Natural Wonders": the Vorderkaserklamm Ravine, the Seisenbergklamm Ravine, and the Lamprechtshöhle Cave. At the foot of the Loferer and Leoganger Steinberge Ranges, along with outliers of the Steinernes Meer massif, nature has created bizarrely shaped rock formations, thunderous waterfalls, and one of the biggest caves in Europe featuring a subterranean watercourse, all just a short distance apart. The full tour takes 6 days to complete, with 95 km (59 mi) and 31 hours spent on the trail. Guided hiking trips are available.

    Liechtensteinklamm Gorge in St. Johann im Pongau
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    Liechtensteinklamm

    The Liechtenstein Gorge in St. Johann in Salzburg has attracted the adventurous since 1875. It is not only one of the longest and deepest accessible wild ravines in the Alps, but also one of the most beautiful ones.

    And there's more: The new wooden "Helix" spiral staircase right through the gorge allows nature fans to get even closer to the spectacle. The secured trail with roughly 440 steps is one kilometre (0.6 mi) long and takes hikers 30 m down into the gorge, allowing them to observe the interplay of water and rock up close - a truly mystical experience.

    The hike to the Liechtenstein Gorge takes about 1.5 hours one way and makes a fun day out for the whole family (Please note it's not accessible with prams!). The entrance fee is included in the SalzburgerLand card.

    Styria

    • Schladminger Tauern Peak Trail

      The long distance Schladminger Tauern Peak Trail is a high Alpine route leading from hut to hut, with spectacular mountain views and wild waters along the way. The 72.6 km (45 mi) long trail which takes 6 to 7 days in total leads you past many of the more than 300 beautiful mountain lakes in the area, as well as some waterfalls and torrents. You need to be an experienced hiker to complete some of the sections. Early in the season some paths might be covered with snow, so make sure to check the weather with local authorities.

    • Bärenschützklamm Mixnitz

      The Bärenschützklamm is one of Austria's most beautiful water gorges, declared a natural monument in 1978 thanks to its unique natural wealth. Untamed waterfalls, craggy cliffs, and countless steps lead up to the mountain pasture region. 100 years ago, the Alpine Association made the gorge accessible using the first free-hanging gorge ladders. The trail can feel like a small adventure at times, but it is family-friendly and suitable for most fitness levels. In the summer months, the gorge provides welcome refuge from the heat, with a constant cool breeze from the water.

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    •                         Bärenschützklamm gorge
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    Carinthia

    • Jungernsprung Water-Wonders-Walk

      The legend says a maiden trying to escape from the devil ended up at the edge of a cliff. In her despair she jumped and - carried by angels – arrived on the ground without harm. Today, the wild waters of the Zopenitzen torrent roaring down the 130 m (427 ft) rock face and the name of the waterfall remind us of the story: the Jungfernsprung (jump of the maiden).

    • The Ragga Gorge

      At just 800 m (0.5 mi), the Ragga Gorge is one of the shortest, but also one of the deepest ravines in the Alps. Open for visitors since 1882, it remains as fascinating today as it was back then. You descend down wooden stairs into the gorge, where a series of impressive waterfalls await.

    •                         Liechtensteinklamm Gorge in St. Johann im Pongau
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    •                         Raggaschlucht gorge
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    Upper Austria

    Dr. Vogelgesang Gorge

    The longest gorge in Upper Austria and the second longest in the whole of the country (1.5 km / 0.9 mi), the Dr. Vogelgesang Gorge is more than just a beautiful natural attraction - it even holds a doctor’s title! Dr. Moritz Vogelgesang was the local GP at Spital am Pyhrn. His efforts to make the gorge accessible are the reason why it was named after him.

    Fun fact: “Vogelgesang” means bird song in English, so, in case you ever hear people raving about the "bird song gorge", it's the same thing!

    The hike to the gorge takes approximately 1.5 hours and is suitable for both beginners and families, provided you are comfortable with walking around 500 wooden and stone steps. There is a cosy mountain at at the end of the trail, so, you will be rewarded not just with stunning views but a delicious Austrian meal on top!

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