GERMANY AND AUSTRIA’S RUGGED MOUNTAINS, DEEP BLUE LAKES, AND PICTURE-PERFECT SCENES.
- "Hikes were perfect! Just the right level of effort and challenge. Every day had its own charm. The inns were great and we enjoyed the fabulous breakfasts and German food was great after long day of hiking!"- Rauni E.
Hike through the mountains and forests of Germany's Bavaria and the Austrian Tyrol.
Walk all the way around the Zugspitze.
Experience a true gemütlich atmosphere as you drink coffee and eat apfelstrudel on the sunny deck of a mountain hut in the Alps.
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 in the high meadows of the Wetterstein mountain range. The Eibsee is the first of many beautiful alpine lakes we see, and it’s a quick hike across the border to Austria, where the Hochthörle Hütte awaits with a cozy wood-paneled restaurant and incredible views. Breathe in the alpine atmosphere, then spend the afternoon snapping photos as we descend to Ehrwald, a sunny Tyrolean village with eight lakes and waterfalls.
Hiking days are not terribly strenuous on this trip, but the views are terrific. You’ll find yourself mesmerized with spire-shaped limestone peaks like the Sonnenspitze, and the southern wall of the Wetterstein Mountains will leave you awestruck as we parallel the German/Austrian border.
We’ve hand-selected a nice collection of mountain huts (for lunch) and hotels (for sleeping) on this trip. The villages of Weidach, Reindlau and Mittenwald boast some of the prettiest mountain chalets you’ve ever seen. Decorative artwork adorns some of the chalets, and a delightful mix of wood and stone architecture, with hanging flower boxes on every window, makes the whole place feel like a fairy tale. Take in these cute little villages before settling in with a nice meal and comfortable bed each night.
Luggage is transported every day during this trip, and optional side hikes, like a climb to the summit of the Gehrenspitze, give frisky hikers an extra chance to stretch their legs.
Finish the tour back in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where a hot shower, a bottle of wine and a fluffy down comforter await.
Travel independently to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Overnight in a classic Bavarian hotel. Meet your group and guide(s) tonight, for dinner and orientation.
Climb aboard the classic Zugspitzbahn train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the Eibsee lake at the foot of the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. From this famous scenic lake, we hike over the border into Austria along the dramatic northwest face of the Zugspitze. Make a pleasant stop for lunch at the Hochthorle Hut before descending into Ehrwald.
Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2650/2600 ft.
Today features a dramatic trek into the Mieminger Kette, the mountain range high above the Inn River Valley. We begin our hike in the Ehrwalder Alm (meadow) above town before ascending the Ganghofersteig trail around Taja Peak. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Coburger Hut on the shores of the Drachensee before returning to Ehrwald via the Ehrwalder Almbahn gondola. This dramatic range features spire-like limestone peaks such the iconic Sonnenspitze.
Distance: 9.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2700 ft.
Leaving Ehrwald, we ascend to a high, traversing trail along the southern side of the Wetterstein range with amazing views over the Leutasch Valley far below. This trail winds along the rocky southern wall of the Wetterstein Range, paralleling the German/Austrian border along the ridge. After a delightful lunch at the Rotmoosalm Hut, we descend back into the valley and transfer to Weidach for the night.
Distance: 12 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2900/4050 ft.
We leave the valley floor heading uphill to the north towards Scharnitzjoch (pass), high above the Lautasch valley. From here, intrepid hikers often make a side trip to the summit of the Gehrenspitze, the most prominent peak on the north side of the valley above Weidach. The views are simply stunning, with views of Germany, Austria, and Italy to the south. After a picnic lunch atop the pass, we descend into the hamlet of Reindlau and hike back to the hotel in Weidach for the night.
Distance: 8.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3050/3300 ft.
Today we return from Austria into Germany, and begin by ascending the north side of the dramatic Karwendelspitze massif high above the idyllic town of Mittenwald (meaning “Middle of the Forest” in English). After a morning filled with stunning views, we pause for a delicious repast at the Hochland Hut, perched on the north flank of the massif. Following lunch, we continue the “rundweg” (round trip) back into the valley and our hotel in Mittenwald.
Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2700 ft.
A short transfer from Mittenwald takes us to Kranzbach, where we begin our final traverse north of the dramatic Wettersteinwand (Wetterstein Wall). After a few hours of trekking, we stop for a gourmet picnic lunch before our final descent into the famous Partnachklamm (Partnach River Gorge) which leads directly to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Tonight, we celebrate our hiking tour around the entire Zugspitze massif.
Distance: 9.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 600/2150 ft.
Awake to a delicious breakfast, then depart.