Self-Guided Hiking Tours

Austria | The Heart of Austria

Hike to the most beautiful lakeside village in Europe.

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  • Heart of Austria hiking tour.
  • The mountains of the Dachstein
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  • Hallstatt Austria
  • "Accommodations were outstanding. Hosts extremely helpful and friendly. Routes easy to follow. Visited Austria several times before, but this was unique."- Tom Bechler
  • "All the food that was included in our tour was absolutely delicious. All restaurants really poured their heart and soul into every dish."- Julia Brozina

Trip Highlights:

  • A legendary blend of first class Austrian innkeeping and great hiking.
  • Views of more than 100 peaks in the Dachstein mountain range.
  • Two nights in Hallstätt, one of the prettiest lakeside villages in Europe.

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 in some cases by up to 7000 years. The history is incredible. Also known as the Salzkammergut, this region has been the playground and vacation destination for Monarchs and Noblemen for centuries, if not millennia.

Austrian inn keeping is legendary and we stay in truly charismatic accommodations in the mountain town of Bad Goisern, the lush meadowlands of Gosau, and the mythical lake side hamlet of Hallstatt.

Ryder-Walker recommends that our guests finish the trip with a night or two in Salzburg. This is one of Europe’s most engaging “pedestrian” cities. Incredible architecture and people-watching make this a wonderful city to explore.

Trip Itinerary

Arrive and transfer to Bad Goisern, a historic market and spa town recognized by UNESCO for its culture and rural treasures. Meet your guides for a warm welcome and evening orientation.

Today you’ll climb through mountain pastures and enchanting forests before cresting with outstanding views of the distant Dachstein peaks and the Hallstattersee. Your exciting descent delivers you to the idyllic village of Gosau. First time visitors to Gosau are typically overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the natural surroundings. Rugged and majestic mountains encircle the village while rolling pastures and tranquil mountain lakes make the region feel like a fairy tale. It’s easy to understand why people chose to inhabit this picture perfect region more than 7,000 years ago.

Today you hike out of Rußbach, which is famous for its fossil’s. A highlight of this loop hike is an authentic Austrian lunch enjoyed in a family run farmhouse. Enjoy walking through the forest before traversing open meadows with big views of the Gosaukamm mountain range.

Your panoramic hike direct from the hotel leads to the Gosausee, one of the most beloved lakes in the region. Circumnavigate the lake and stop for a great lunch lakeside. Return to your hotel in Gosau.

The triangular pinnacles of the Hoher Dachstein, surrounded by glacial tongues, provide a stark contrast to the well-watered valleys below. Descend from the mountain hut to your lake side hotel in Hallstatt, considered by many people to be one of the most beautiful lake side villages in the world.

A short transfer provides a boost to the Glacier Garden lying to the west of the village. Today’s hike takes you to the Wiesbergshaus – a glorious Austrian alpine hut with delicious lunch options. Enjoy spectacular views of the Dachstein peaks and the surrounding glaciers before returning to Hallstatt.

Between placid fjords, peaks, glaciers, and rolling hills, you’ll be pleasantly overwhelmed with beauty in every direction. You start with a short ferry ride across to Obertraun and follow the trail back to Bad Goisern.

We recommend a transfer to Salzburg for an extended feast of culture and Austrian delights.

The Heart of Austria | Austria

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