Austria is a land of idyllic mountains, world-famous for its Mozart villages and crystalline alpine lakes. The Austrian alpine zone is composed of two main regions, the Bavarian Tyrol and the Salzkammergut.
The Bavarian Tyrol is the region of Austria which borders Germany and runs towards the Italian Dolomites. Centered around the impressive Zugspitze, the Tyrol is defined by its towering dolomite peaks and long jagged ridgelines. Our High Peaks of Bavaria and Tyrol trek winds between these awe-inspiring peaks to peaceful villages built in the traditional alpine style, with painted stucco walls, gorgeous woodwork, and old-world interiors. At the heart of the Bavarian-Tyrol sits Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a lively mountain city that has hosted the Winter Olympics.
The Salzkammergut is the mountain region above Salzburg and home to our The Heart of Austria trek. The Salzkammergut is dotted with historic spa towns that lie along the landmark salt road that descends from the UNESCO world heritage village of Halstatt. Originally used as a trade route to transport salt to the cities below, today, the salt road is the perfect setting for trekking and tourism. Steeped in medieval lore, the Salkammmergut will satisfy both your hunger for adventure and history. The jewel of the Salzkammergut is its stunning alpine lakes, which stretch across the entirety of the valleys below and support the area’s whimsical fairy-tale-like mood.
Eating is almost a good enough reason to travel to Austria on its own. Austria has a unique and thriving culinary culture, built on the back of the high quality of Austrian baking. The Austrian dark and nut breads have to be tasted to be believed. Beyond baking, the cuisine in the Tyrol and Salzkammergut pulls a great deal of inspiration from the alpine ingredients available around them. Fresh jams, venison, fresh-caught trout, and the ultra-classic Knödle are all delicacies that will both satisfy and delight.
Austria has a little something for everyone. The hiking in both the Tyrol and Salzkammergut ranges from relaxing to demanding. Whether following well-traveled historic pathways and roads or exploring the wilderness and remote huts of the high mountains, Austria will continue to surprise and delight you. The city of Salzburg itself is worth its own visit, with the home of Mozart, as well as a historic downtown bustling only a couple hours from the lakeside villages of the Wolfgangsee and Hallstattersee.
Fall in love with Germany and Austria during this 8-day village-to-village hiking tour through Bavaria and the Austrian Tyrol. Beginning in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a town with Roman roots and more than 2,000 years of cultural heritage, we hike a counterclockwise Zugspitzeturm—a complete circumnavigation of Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze. Our adventure begins by hopping on a cog wheel train and alighting...View trip details
Brilliant blue lakes, lush meadowlands, and hundreds of limestone peaks with cascading glaciers are the hallmarks of our eight-day hiking tour through the Salzkammergut region of Salzburg, Austria. While the history runs deep in the Salzkammergut, with evidence of human habitation going back 7,000 years, it is the blend of spectacular mountain scenery and impeccable Austrian innkeeping that makes the...View trip details
This is an exploration of the Lake District found around Salzburg, one of Europe’s most amazing cities. The Dachstein is the northernmost high limestone range in the Alps. It is characterized by beautiful verdant valleys, brilliant blue lakes, and towering peaks with cascading glaciers. These attributes earned it recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villages have been inhabited,...View trip details
The hiking on our Austria: Mozart Alpine Lakes Walk is some of Ryder-Walker’s most gentle. Many of the hikes follow either pilgrim’s routes, which have been well traveled for centuries, or the historic Salzkammergut Salt Trail. Much of the hiking here follows the idyllic shores of the Wolfgangsee and Hallstättersee, as well as a charming section out of Bad Ischl...View trip details
Our Wilder Kaiser trek follows mellow trails traversing the landscape along Austria’s famous Wilder Kaiser mountains. The literal translation of Wilder Kaiser is Wild Emperor, which seems fitting for such a rugged range of peaks. You follow the entire Wilder Kaiser range from west to east, along the sunny south side, Südwand. Along the way, you encounter idyllic alpine villages,...View trip details
Your journey begins in the charming town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Garmisch, located on the west side of town and Partenkirchen on the east side, evolved as separate towns, and still maintain somewhat separate identities, in spite of the modern hyphenated name. This is often overlooked by visitors, but the locals will point out subtleties, such as the color of the stitching...View trip details
Scenic valleys, countless lakes, and rolling hills typify the Salzkammergut. For most, the trip will begin in Salzburg. As you travel out of this fabled village the magic of the region is immediately apparent. From the first idyllic lake you come upon, the Wolfgangsee, you know you have arrived in a very special place. After a brief layover in Bad...View trip details