BY BALANCE EDITORIAL TEAM | NATALIE BLOW | IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE AUSTRIAN TOURIST BOARD
There’s no better way to explore the natural world than by foot. And anybody looking to embark on rewarding hikes, complete with jaw-dropping panoramic views that are guaranteed to keep you pushing on, should look no further than Austria’s stunning landscapes.
With vast mountains, enchanting forests and peaceful lakes, its breathtaking scenery and vibrant hiking culture takes escapism to a whole new level. It’s a place where nature-lovers can leave city stresses behind and truly immerse themselves in the moment.
Whether you’re into long-distance treks, scaling peaks or relaxed wanderings, there’s something for everyone.
Something For Everyone: The Saalfelden-Leogang Vitality Trails
Those hoping for a gentle stroll to rebalance the mind, body and soul will find the selection of vitality trails in the Saalfelden-Leogang region in SalzburgerLand an exciting prospect.
We’d recommend embracing the calming power of water on a spectacular hike through the Stoissengraben gorge, which is nestled amid high mountains with the energetic Buchweißbach River at its heart. You’ll feel rejuvenated as you walk off your worries, and let the water carry them away.
Although there are endless natural spectacles to be witnessed along this route, the most eagerly anticipated is surely the waterfall which waits for you at the end of the gorge, like something from a fairytale. Remove your shoes, set your feet free and enjoy a cooling barefoot paddle in the river.
Distance: Approximately 2km
Difficulty level: Easy
The Intermediate Option: The Pinzgau Stroll
Among the most stunning high trails in the Eastern Alps, the Pinzgau Stroll in Zell am See-Kaprun is one of Austria’s greatest natural cinemas, boasting equally satisfying options for the hardiest of hikers and those with more limited mobility.
Winding up to an impressive 2081m, this spectacular trail offers hikers unbeatable views over the snow-capped peaks of Hohe Tauern National Park, the Salzach Valley and the Kitzbüheler Alpen. Be sure to pack a few snacks as it’s a long old walk with limited stops, but some world-class picnic spots.
Those who don’t fancy taking on the full hike will be glad to know that cable cars are readily available to ferry passengers straight to the top of Schmittenhöhe. No matter what route you decide on, uninterrupted views over the magnificent Lake Zell are guaranteed.
Distance: Approximately 17km
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Feeing brave? Take A Sunrise Hike on Mohnenfluh Mountain in Lech Zürs am Arlberg
Take a three-hour sunrise hike on Mohnenfluh Mountain to experience the magic of Austria’s Vorarlberg region for yourself. Although a demanding ascent at times, following this trail is a truly rewarding experience; there’s something special about watching the sun majestically appear over the dewy, misty pastures as you look towards the peak.
Setting off before dawn means you’ll reach the summit just as the sun begins to slowly make its way over the horizon, feeling the first rays of sunlight warmly tickle your face. You’ll realise you made the right decision in embarking on this adventure.
Recoup your energy for the descent with a hearty breakfast from a mountain hut near the peak - all breakfasts are served with a free side order of breathtaking Alpine views. When you get back to the bottom, be sure to reward yourself again with a taster or two from the area’s famous cheese selection.
Distance: Approximately 11km
Difficulty level: Hard
Want to know more about where to escape the everyday in Austria?