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Der Wolfgangsee, Im Sommer wie im Winter ein beliebtes Wanderziel, Bild: eFesenko / shutterstock

Experience the beauty of the Austrian Alps while winter hiking

A hike through the snow-covered landscape of the Alps is always a pleasure. On lonely paths, you can hear the snow crunching under your shoes and you can observe one or the other animal. On somewhat busier paths, there are usually inns or snack stations where you can warm up while indulging in culinary delights. But what all hikes have in common is the clear, fresh air, which seems to be a tad fresher in winter.

Animal hike in the Montafon

The Montafon offers guided hikes with llamas. In Innerberg, hikers meet with the llamas and their owner. The animals, which are native to the South American Andes, are very tame and therefore perfect for long leisurely walks.

At the beginning of the excursion, hikers warm up with a punch while getting acquainted with the animals. With the llamas, you can then leisurely walk along old miners’ paths through the former mining region. The Andean animals slow down the hike and thus also the hikers on their way. The first stop is the Panoramagasthof Kristberg, where holidaymakers can warm up and fortify themselves.

Next we go to the St. Agatha Miners’ Chapel. It is the oldest church in the Montafon. A lot of information about the former mining region is given here. Raw materials such as silver, copper or iron were mined in the Montafon for centuries. After this short excursion into history, it goes back to Innerberg.

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Winter hikes in Innsbruck

Downtown Innsbruck, Image: LorenzoPeg / shutterstock

From Tyrol’s capital Innsbruck there are many opportunities for wonderful hikes in winter. The vast majority of these tours also offer many opportunities for refreshments. To get out of the city and into the winter landscape as quickly as possible, the Hungerburgbahn is a good choice. Here you will find the most popular winter hiking trails to the alpine pastures in the Karwendel mountains. Probably the most frequented path is the one to the Arzler Alm, which is also open in winter. About 150 m above is the Rumer Alm, which is easy to reach and open even in the cold season. This hike to the alpine pastures in the Karwendel offers a magnificent view over the valley with Innsbruck to the Patscherkofel to the south.

On high-altitude hiking trails through wintry Styria

Bad Mitterndorf in Styria
Bad Mitterndorf in Styria, Image: photoflorenzo / shutterstock

The winter high-altitude hiking trails offer an alternative for holidaymakers who do not want to ski up a mountain. The hike from the Tauplitzalm to the Lawinenstein is a wonderful summit hike on groomed slopes for pedestrians.

Via the Tauplitz Alpine Road, the path leads by car or ski bus to the valley station of the gondola lift. This takes you up a few metres in altitude, with a wonderful view of the valley to Bad Mitterndorf, the Grimming and above all over the Tauplitzalm ski area from here. From the mountain station, it then goes on groomed paths to the summit of the Lawinenstein, from which the holidaymaker has a 360-degree panoramic view. The view sweeps over the valley to the Grimming, over the Dachstein to the Totes Gebirge. From the summit it goes back to the mountain station, which takes the hiker back towards the valley. However, if you still want to stop for a leisurely snack, the path leads past the mountain station of the gondola lift to the Krimandlhütte at the Lawinenstein chairlift.

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Torchlight hike in the Hohe Tauern

Krimml Waterfalls in winter
The Krimml Waterfalls, Image: Cristian Andriana / shutterstock

The Krimml Waterfalls are located in the Hohe Tauern National Park. With a height of 385 m, they are the largest waterfalls in Europe.

In the period from the end of December to mid-March, torchlight hikes to the Krimml Waterfalls are offered every Wednesday. It starts at the Krimml music pavilion and goes via the village of Krimml to the waterfalls. Since the hike only covers about 30 meters in altitude, it is classified as easy. On the half-hour trail, the hiking guides provide valuable impressions.

At the foot of the waterfalls, the Krimml innkeepers invite hikers to a drink and there is a small supporting programme.

Winter hiking at Lake Wolfgang

At Lake Wolfgang, there is a suitable hike for every taste. A very nice and also flat hike is the Seeweg circuit. On a cleared winter hiking trail, which is suitable for all weather conditions and also for prams, you can walk through a fairytale winter landscape for about an hour. The start and finish point is the Strobel village square. The path leads along Lake Wolfgang on a narrow path through the “Blinklingmoos” nature reserve. From here there is a wonderful view over the lake to St. Wolfgang and the mountains around Lake Wolfgang. At the fork in the road with the signpost “Zum Lipphaus” it goes to the Bahndammweg and back to Strobel.