Wandern im Zillertal
Österreich Werbung / Peter Burgstaller
Zemmgrund 282, 6295 Mayrhofen, Austria

10 Reasons to Go Hiking in Austria

Whether you’re exploring one of the national parks, experiencing the beauty of the Alps on a long-distance trail, or heading out on a family day hike - Austria offers unlimited opportunities.

Whether you’re exploring one of the national parks, experiencing the beauty of the Alps on a long-distance trail, or heading out on a family day hike - Austria offers unlimited opportunities.

1. The landscape is incredibly varied.

From rolling hills and gentle pastures to rugged mountain peaks and glaciers, Austria offers a wide range of landscapes. Visit Europe’s highest waterfall, walk along quiet rivers and lakes, hike an actual glacier, or see the largest ice caves in the world.

Eisriesenwelt bei Werfen /   Salzburger Land
Eisriesenwelt bei Werfen / Salzburger Land
Österreich Werbung /

2. Well-marked hiking trails allow for self-guided tours.

Even inexperienced hikers can easily go on self-guided walks in the Austrian Alps. Paths are clearly and consistently tagged via red-white-red markings on trees or rocks, and signposts along the way indicate directions, durations and sometimes even the trail’s level of difficulty. Simply make sure to take all necessary precautions such as checking the weather, choosing the right trail for your fitness level, and taking a map with you (tip: get one at your local tourist office!).

Wanderung am Rofan, Seeblick
Wanderung am Rofan, Seeblick
Achensee Tourismus /

3. A break at an Austrian mountain hut is something special.

On most every sign-posted hiking trail in Austria, you will sooner or later come across a mountain hut offering local cuisine and sometimes accommodation for long-distance hikers. Have a glass of refreshing elderflower juice or a pint of beer before hiking on!

Wandern im Lammertal (Salzburger Land)
Wandern im Lammertal (Salzburger Land)
SalzburgerLand Tourismus /

4. The home-made food is simply delightful.

In the mountain inns, home-made Austrian dishes, regional specialties and even produce right from the Alpine pastures are served. Cold plates are popular (such as the famous Austrian “Brettljause” – a substantial snack consisting of bread, cheese, and speck) and breads with all types of spreads, but also traditional warm dishes such as Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten (pork roast), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles) or Kaiserschmarren (sweet shredded pancakes).

Brettljause auf einer Almhütte in der Region Grossarl
Brettljause auf einer Almhütte in der Region Grossarl

5. Conquer any mountain with summer cable cars and chairlifts.

In most Austrian regions, you’ll find summer cable cars or chairlifts that will take you up to panoramic trails and scenic summit platforms, allowing holiday-makers of all abilities to enjoy fantastic views.

Karwendel-Bergbahn in Pertisau
Karwendel-Bergbahn in Pertisau
Karwendel Bergbahn /

6. Austrian hiking trails are perfect for families.

There are plenty of hiking trails in Austria suitable for the entire family. Discover adventure hiking trails with interactive stations, explore educational trails, or find easy, pushchair-accessible walking trails. Many of Austria’s hotels – such as the Kinderhotels – specifically cater to families.

Familien genießen perfekte Wanderwege und Lehrpfade auf dem Aussichtsberg Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See
Familien genießen perfekte Wanderwege und Lehrpfade auf dem Aussichtsberg Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See
Schmittenhöhebahn /

7. You’ll find untouched natural landscapes.

About 27% of the Austria’s surface is under natural protection. 6 national parks, 50 nature parks, 7 biosphere reserves, and a host of locally protected areas have been set up to protect unique species, cultural landscapes, and traditional ways of living. Many regions in Austria have also started to implement a sustainable tourism scheme which encompasses car-free holidays, promoting e-mobility or locally-sourced food and energy. The Austrian National Parks also offer dedicated educational programmes.

Nationalpark Gesäuse
Nationalpark Gesäuse
Österreich Werbung / Rainer Mirau
8913 Weng im Gesäuse 2

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

Hiking has a long tradition in Austria and is the country’s unofficial national pastime. Dedicated to hiking or mountaineering, Austria's “hiking villages” are a perfect base for a holiday with day hikes of varying difficulty levels. These villages offer special services for your hiking holiday, such as free help to plan your hiking tour and free guided hikes.

Wanderschuhe
Wanderschuhe
Österreich Werbung / Diejun

9. Easily combine nature and culture.

There are several cities in Austria that make combining culture and hiking breaks easy. The best example is probably Innsbruck, sometimes dubbed the “capital of the Alps”. Salzburg, the city of music, is also a perfect base for a hiking holiday in the surrounding mountains.

Salzburg Stadtansicht
Salzburg Stadtansicht
Tourismus Salzburg GmbH /
Salzburg Stadt

10. Get the full Austrian experience.

Austria offers a huge variety of different hiking options and themed walks. Conquering one of the countless mountain peaks, hiking from pasture to pasture, embarking on a multi-day hike, or just enjoying a leisurely day hike – all of it is part of the Austrian hiking experience.

Wanderszene in Österreich
Wanderszene in Österreich
Österreich Werbung / Leo Himsl