Self-Guided Hiking Tours

Austria | The Heart of Austria

Hike to the most beautiful lakeside village in Europe.

Austria
  • The heart of Austria
  • The heart of Austria
  • The heart of Austria
  • The heart of Austria
  • The heart of Austria
  • The heart of Austria
  • Heart of Austria Trip
  • Heart of Austria hiking tour
  • Heart of Austria hiking tour
  • Hiking tour in Austria
  • Heart of Austria hiking tour.
  • The mountains of the Dachstein
  • Austrian mountains and landscape
  • Hiking in Austria
  • Hiking in the mountains of Austria
  • Austria Alps
  • Austria Hiking Mountains
  • Hallstatt Austria
  • The heart of 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 inn keeping and great hiking.
  • Views of more than 100 peaks in the Dachstein mountain range.
  • Two nights in Hallstatt, 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, for 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 you stay in truly charismatic accommodations in the mountain town of Bad Goisern, the lush meadowlands of Gosau, and the mythical lakeside hamlet of Hallstatt.

Ryder-Walker recommends that you 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

Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.

Arrive in Bad Goisern. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy a lovely dinner.

Today you climb through mountain pastures and enchanting forests before cresting at Goisererhütte, with outstanding views of the distant Dachstein peaks and the Hallstättersee. Descend to the idyllic village of Gosau. Rugged and majestic mountains encircle the village, while rolling pastures and tranquil mountain lakes make the region feel like a fairytale.

Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2600/2675 ft.

From your hotel in Gosau transfer by van to the neighboring village of Rußbach. Rußbach is at the foot of the Gamsfeld, an impressive but hike-able summit. Details of more moderate outings on the flanks of the peak are provided. The Gamsfeld is famous for having the best preserved and varied fossil beds in the Alps. Return to Gosau hotel.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1600/3500 ft.

Hike from your hotel to the end of the valley and explore the area around Gosausee, the most famous lake of the region. Circumnavigate the lake and stop for a great lunch lakeside. Return to your hotel in Gosau.

Distance: up to 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1150 ft.

After a short transfer, hike beneath the famous Plassen and connect to Hallstatt, the most famous village in the area. Perched on the lakeshore, Hallstatt is one of the Alps most interesting places, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Distance: up to 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: up to 1500/2900 ft.

Use the Krippenstein cable car to access the high karst terrain below the Hoher Dachstein. This plateau is home to the largest caves in the Alps. Traverse the plateau to the Wiesberghaus on a superb trail with synoptic information stations. Wiesberghaus offers great food and we highly recommend their homemade dumplings (Knödel). Return via the same route or descend to Hallstatt on foot.

Distance: 8 miles w/ lift. Elevation gain/loss: none/2000 ft w/ lift.

For the longer option, take a bus to Obertraun or catch a ferry at the center of Hallstatt to access the opposite lakeshore. Follow the scenic Panoramaweg the entire day. This idyllic lakeside ramble circumnavigates the Hallstättersee and brings you back to Bad Goisern. If the weather is warm enough, bring your swimsuits and take a dip in the lake! Overnight in the same hotel in Bad Goisern.

Distance: up to 8.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: none.

The Heart of Austria | Austria

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.