If you know my blog, you know that I love hiking and in this post, I will show you the best hikes in Austria which I’ve done during this year. I live in Munich and therefore all hikes are easily reachable and doable from the area of Munich in one day.
I usually choose my hikes according to the view from the top. The areal of the peak and the view is my motivation to go for it and my reward when I made it to the top. Of course, this is not the only driver. I enjoy being in nature every second, it represents my balance to everyday life, it clears my head, I helps me to drop off all the stress (I mostly put on myself by wanting to do everything immediately and at the same time), it calmed me down, and I could continue this list forever.
So let’s get started with the best hikes in Austria!
Best hikes in Austria: Schlegeis-Stausee (to Olpererhütte)
The winner of the best hikes in Austria and definitely the most spectacular one this year. To Olpererhütte (2364 meters above sea level) at this beautiful barrier lake and the absolute highlight was the suspension bridge. The hike itself is less long and exhausting than you think. It takes only around 1.5 – 2 hours to the restaurant and just when you pass the restaurant and walk a few hundred meters more you will arrive at the suspension bridge.
The restaurant is a really good one also. The food is above the usual quality of mountain restaurants in Austria. I recommend ordering „Kaiserschmarn“ an Austrian sweet speciality, a bit like pancakes.
Summary of the hike:
Distance: 5.7 kilometres
Difference in altitude: 507 meters
Duration: 3-4 hours
Parking: Dornauberg 118, 6295 Dornauberg, Austria
Description of the hike:
You can park at an official little parking lot (Dornauberg 118, 6295 Dornauberg, Austria) just on the side of the street and on the other side of the streets the hike starts. We took the shortest one and direct one to Olpererhütte, but there are more options and longer hikes.
The route we chose was very scenic. The first few minutes lead through a path in the forest and after that you’ll have an amazing view and panorama during the whole hike, always looking at the spectacular barrier lake. Look yourself:
You will pass a little waterfall and the view is becoming more and more spectacular. At one point we reached the mountain pasture and found a little stream which is facing the whole barrier lake and was a perfect pictures spot.
From there it took us another 15 minutes to the restaurant Olpererhütte. Before having lunch there we wanted to explore this amazing suspension bridge we know from pictures. Just pass the restaurant and stick to the right and after a few hundred meters you will reach the suspension bridge. We took some pictures here and enjoyed the view.
(Pssssst: I tell you a little secret: the bridge is not as spectacular as it looks. On pictures, it looks as if it is hanging high above the lake. But actually, it is „just“ hanging above a dried out stream bed. Nevertheless, the view at this place is fantastic and worth it the hike and a stop there.)
Normally you take the same way back down from Olpererhütte. There are other hiking routes but they make the hike way longer.
How to get to there:
Drive by car to Ginzling in the Zillertal area (close to Mayrhofen). Then a toll road leads you through a unique panorama high above into the mountains. Be aware that 2 times on the way there is a barrier, where you might have to wait up to half an hour.
Further information & a more detailed description of the hike:
https://www.olpererhuette.de/trails-zillertal-alps.html (English; but they take a longer route)
Best hikes in Austria: Hike to viewpoint of Lake Plansee
This hike is an unofficial one – I love that, hiking off the beaten track where not many other people hike. To be more precise on that day, I was all alone, I didn’t meet anybody during my hike. I had some holidays left at work and decided to finally do this hike, which I had on my list for a long time. As it was a Wednesday and people usually work on a Wednesday, I decided to do the hike alone. Why not? Sometimes I really enjoy to hike alone and sort out all my thoughts and feelings.
This hike is, like the previous one, a short one. You can extend it, but due to some storm coming up, I was choosing the same route back after I arrived at this amazing viewpoint. I really wanted to avoid being alone in the mountains during a storm.
I had just a vague description of this hike, but made it to find my way and will give my best now to help you find it too.
Summary of the hike:
Distance: approx. 6 kilometres
Difference in altitude: approx. 400 meters
Duration: 3 hours
Parking: Park at the parking lot next to the street at Camping Plansee. Address: Am Plansee, 6600 Breitenwang, Austria
Description of the hike:
Take the little bridge just after the parking which leads you to the other side of the lake. The first part of the hike leads you along the lake. Just follow the little path along the lake (stick to the left at the crossing after the bridge). You follow the path around 15 minutes till you are more or less in the middle of the short side of the road and have a view like this at the lake:
After some dried out river bed or a lot of rubble, a little path on the ride side start to lead up. The path leads through high grass and there are no signs. Don’t mix up the river bed with smaller ones which appear sometimes along the way of the lake. It is a really really big one and looks like in the following.
Here you can see where the path starts on the right:
And this is now the path looks like:
The GPS location of the start of the little path which leads up is: 47°28’01.7″N 10°47’33.7″E
Here I tried to mark the rubble on the map:
And here also an overview of the whole route:
And now just follow the path up and up. It is quite steep and a winding little path. You will get up high quite fast and have a great view of the lake all along your way. I read in another blog that in summer there are many many ticks along this path because it leads through high grass. When I was there in autumn there were non. So if you go in summer, make sure to were long pants and protect yourself from the ticks. Quite in the beginning of this path, you will have a pretty great view at the lake already:
But you should go further up. At one point the way leads you through a forest and the path is not really clear anymore. Just choose the way which feels most comfortable for you and keep walking up. After around 1.5 hours you will reach this spectacular viewpoint at a ridge.
From here on it looked like you could go further, but as I was alone I decided not too, because the ridge was really small and it was going really deep down on the right side. There was a security rope but still no signs and nothing. Therefore I am not sure if the way is safe.
PLEASE BE AWARE: The whole hike is not an official hike and not maintained. Till that viewpoint, the path seemed easy and safe to me. But I don’t recommend you to go further.
From the viewpoint, you have this fantastic view at Lake Plansee and the little Lake Heiterwanger See in the South.
I hope now you know why this hike is on my list of the best hikes in Austria? I could also spot some pretty amazing sand banks at Lake Plansee:
As I said, it seemed too dangerous to go further from my point of view, and a storm came up, therefore I took the same way down and it only took me around 45 minutes.
Have you done this hike and went further after the viewpoint? Let me and others know how it was in the comments below. Thanks, guys!
How to get to Lake Plansee:
Drive by car to Heiterwang and park at the parking at the street in front of the Camping ground Plansee. The address is: Am Plansee, 6600 Breitenwang, Austria
I hope you like my list of the best hikes in Austria? What is your favourite hike and should be included in this list of the best hikes in Austria? Let me and others know in the comments and benefit from your tips!
My further favorite hikes of this year were in Bavaria, the South of Germany, in the area of Garmisch-Patenkirchen, at Lek Tegernsee at Lake Königssee. Read about my favourite hikes in Bavaria in this blog post:
Never stop exploring!
Some more inspiration on Instagram