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Winter Hiking in Austria

Winter hiking in Austria is a great way to enjoy nature and beautiful winter landscapes. The many pubs and cafés along the hiking routes provide cosy spaces to rest.

Let us introduce you to some of our favourite places for a winter hike in Austria:

Tirol

Kufstein: Find quiet forest trails and idyllic lake and mountain routes for winter hikers, Nordic walking enthusiasts and runners.

Sonnenplateau Mieming & Tirol Mitte: Perfectly groomed winter hiking trails and guided tours such as a nightly lantern walk with mulled wine.

Tannheimer Valley: 81 kilometres of groomed trails, many of them perfect for families and featuring amazing views.

Olympiaregion Seefeld: Dreamy hikes in an untouched winter landscape.

Achensee region: More than 150 kilometres around scenic Lake Achensee.

Kaunertal Valley: Groomed winter trails in the midst of nature, ideal for families.

More information: Winter hiking in Tirol

  • Winterwandern © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland Winterwandern © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland

SalzburgerLand

Filzmoos: 50 kilometres of winter footpaths through snowy forests, featuring spectacular views and cosy huts and hotels. The mountain trail (Höhenwanderweg) at an altitude of 1,600 metres on Rossbrand mountain is particularly impressive and easy to reach with the Papageno lift.

Forstau: More than 20 kilometres of trails, groomed daily. One of the most beautiful is the Auwaldweg trail, featuring breath-taking views over Forstau. The romantic Bachweg trail is illuminated from dusk until 22:30 h.

Gastein Valley: The beautiful surroundings can be discovered by hiking on over 100 kilometres of idyllic hiking trails on a variety of altitudes.

Wagrain-Kleinarl: More than 20 kilometres of winter hiking trails.

Fuschlsee region: You will find groomed winter hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty in Faistenau, Hof bei Salzburg and Hintersee.

Rauris Valley: This 30-kilometre valley in the Hohe Tauern National Park offers pristine nature. On the 35 kilometres of winter hiking trails, you might even spot some wildlife – or at least their tracks.

Lungau: Relaxing winter hikes in a storybook setting.

Hohe Tauern National Park: The more than 400 kilometres of trails are just perfect for winter hiking aficionados.

Zell am See-Kaprun: Enjoy a relaxed winter walk or snowshoe hike.

Hochkönig: 85 kilometres of groomed paths and amazong mountain views.

Saalbach: 22 groomed trails on 140 kilometres;  with a special lift ticket for hikers and free guided walks available.

Saalachtal Valley: Discover the gentle side of the Saalachtal Valley in Szburg: from idyllic, comfortable and well-groomed walking paths in the valley right up to the alpine areas. The Almenwelt Circuit is a marvellous winter hike within the Almenwelt Lofer, with its start at the mountain station of the Almbahn II lift. Here, you can choose between a 1.5- and a 4-kilometre hiking trail while marvelling at the surrounding mountain landscape and watching the skiiers and snowboarders carving their turns.

Großarltal: 35 kilometres of groomed trails.

Salzkammergut: Lakeside and mountain trails at Lake Wolfgangsee, Lake Fuschlsee and Lake Hintersee, amongst others.

Salzburger Sportwelt: 50 winter hiking trails, offering great views.

  • Winterwandern am Dachstein © Österreich Werbung / Herbert Raffalt Winterwandern am Dachstein © Österreich Werbung / Herbert Raffalt

Carinthia

Lesachtal Valley: One of the most pristine and quiet valleys in Austria (and with the awards to prove it), Lesachtal Valley is the right spot to truly connect to nature.

Bad Kleinkirchheim: 60 kilometres of groomed hiking trails through idyllic valleys and snow-covered forests.

More information: Winter hiking trails in Carinthia

  • Advent in the mountains © Österreich Werbung / Lisa Eiersebner Advent in the mountains © Österreich Werbung / Lisa Eiersebner

Styria

Ramsau am Dachstein: 70 kilometres of winter hiking trails, with a special hiking lift ticket available.

Krakautal Valley: Insider tip for winter hikers and snowshoe hikers.

Hochsteiermark: From beginners to seasoned hikers, everyone will find a beautiful trail here.

More information: Winter in Styria

  • Winter magic © Österreich Werbung / Harald Eisenberger Winter magic © Österreich Werbung / Harald Eisenberger

Burgenland

Neusiedlersee National Park: Particularly interesting if you like birdwatching: 35,000 geese spend their winter here. When it gets colder, you can see picturesque ice floes forming on Lake Neusiedl, and for a short while in winter, you’ll be able to ice skate on the lake.

Nature Parks: The six nature parks in Burgenland have some great winter hiking opportunities.

  • Fussweg durch die burgenländische Winterlandschaft © Burgenland Tourismus / Foto Ippisch Fussweg durch die burgenländische Winterlandschaft © Burgenland Tourismus / Foto Ippisch

Lower Austria

Vienna Alps: Enjoy a sunny winter stroll or a challenging circuit with an overnight stay.

More information: Winter hiking in Lower Austria

Upper Austria

Upper Austria offers a wide variety of hiking trails.

More information: Winter hiking in Upper Austria

  • Winterwandern am Dachstein © Österreich Werbung / Herbert Raffalt Winterwandern am Dachstein © Österreich Werbung / Herbert Raffalt

Vorarlberg

Enjoy a winter wonderland and recharge your batteries: Winter hikes and cross-country skiing are both enjoyable and healthy. Designated hiking trails with restaurants along the way can be found in all regions.

More information: Winter hiking in Vorarlberg

  • Blick vom Natursprünge-Weg © Bergbahnen Brandnertal / Michael Marte Blick vom Natursprünge-Weg © Bergbahnen Brandnertal / Michael Marte

Eight Tips for Your Winter Hiking Experience

1.   What type of boots should I wear?

The most suitable footwear consists of snowproof/waterproof high boots that are not too stiff and have a rubber sole with heavy-duty grip. Remember: Always stuff your boots with newspaper in the evening and leave them to dry (not on the radiator!).

2.   What type of lining should my boots have?

Thermal inlays made of lambskin or felt will help stop the cold from the ground.

3.   How can I protect my trousers from wet snow?

Gaiters prevent snow from dropping into your boots from above and will keep your lower legs dry. The best gaiters are those that can be secured by an under-the-heel strap.

4.   What type of socks should I wear?

We recommend mountaineering or trekking socks made of a mixed fabric combining the positive properties of natural fibres and those of synthetic fibres. They’ll keep you warm and will dry quickly.

5.   What kind of clothing should I wear for winter hiking?

Always wear plenty of layers:

  • First layer: Functional underwear
  • Second layer: A fleece pullover or jacket that takes moisture away from the body
  • Outer layer: A functional jacket (waterproof). Important: an integrated or zip-off hood

6.   What should be in my winter-hiking backpack?

  • A drink (e.g. hot tea in a thermos) and a snack
  • A small seat pad for when you want to rest on wet or snow-covered benches
  • Forehead lamp. Hand-held torches are not suitable as you will need to hold your walking poles.
  • Mobile phone. The European emergency number 112 even works without a SIM card.
  • Hiking map

7.   What’s the best hiking technique?

Make economic use of your energy, walk slowly and rhythmically. In deep snow in particular, you can quickly tire if you walk too fast. Rule of thumb: If you’re sweating or can’t talk because you’re short of breath, you‘re going too fast.

8.   What else do I have to remember when winter hiking?

Only ever use marked paths! If you venture off the marked trails you’ll disturb the flora and fauna.

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