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Lower Austria's most beautiful peaks – hiking the Viennese Alpenbogen

Gerhard

Lower Austria's most beautiful peaks – hiking the Viennese Alpenbogen

Hiking Collection by Tamara

14-32

days

3-6 h

/ day

187 mi

35,400 ft

35,525 ft

On the Viennese Alpenbogen long-distance hiking trail, you experience ever-changing landscapes at your own pace. From rolling hills dotted with ruins and castles to panoramic alpine trails to Lower Austria’s most scenic peaks, the route has a lot to offer. Lower Austria is rarely associated with panoramic mountains and rustic huts. This adventure shows you how magnificent the mountain world in southern Lower Austria can be. On the way, you can stop off at beautiful vantage points equipped with benches and maps.

You hike a total of 300 kilometres (186 miles) in 19 stages in a wide arc from Katzelsdorf municipality to Bad Fischau. Starting at the foot of the Rosalia Mountains, south of Wiener Neustadt, you get the first taste of your hiking adventure ahead on the first stages. Ahead, you see the mighty peaks that you will climb along the Viennese Alpenbogen, like a panoramic picture. The path winds through small villages and quiet forests, leading over the gentle hills of the Bucklige Welt.

You pass the spa town of Bad Schönau and enter the Wechselgebirge hills which gradually become higher before turning into alpine mountains. Next, you head through the Schwaigenland, a landscape of picturesque alpine pastures along the Wechsel. Continue east until you reach the magnificent, historic UNESCO World Heritage Semmering Railway and its surrounding countryside, where you walk in the footsteps of emperors, artists and writers.

The Semmering represents the transition to the high alpine terrain. Accompanied by rugged rock faces and picturesque valleys, the route takes you to the Raxalpe and the Schneeberg, the two highest mountains in Lower Austria. At the Schneeberg, you surpass the 2,000 metre (6,561 feet) altitude mark and enjoy an incredible panorama. Next, you hike from the Schneeberg massif into the gentler Gutenstein Alps, which form the northern end of the Viennese Alps in Lower Austria. The last section runs through the forested Piestingtal valley to Bad Fischau.

The stages are designed to end in places with various overnight accommodation or directly at mountain huts. There is no accommodation available at the end of the eighth stage in Feistritzsattel. Here, you can hike on to Trattenbach or organise a pick-up in advance. You can easily reach the starting point in Katzelsdorf with the regional bus from Wiener Neustadt train station. You can catch a train from the end destination, Bad Fischau.

Along your adventure, you can hop on or off the train if you don’t want to hike the entire route in one go. For example, stage 9 ends in Semmering, where there are rail connections,. You can also reach Hochschneeberg (stage 14) by train. You can find more information at oebb.at.

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Wiener Alpenbogen

182 mi

35,375 ft

35,350 ft

Last updated: November 4, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    07:06
    14.8 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,075 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The official starting point of the Vienna Alpine Arc is in Katzelsdorf, not far from the border between Lower Austria and Burgenland. At the information center of the Viennese Alps in Lower Austria you can find interesting facts. From the center with the castle, it initially goes over the wooden Leithabr

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  • Intermediate
    04:12
    9.29 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage of the Vienna Alpine Arc starts in Bad Erlach. The route leads past the famous Linsberg Asia thermal baths and with a view of Linsberg Castle you reach the banks of the Pitten. After you have crossed the town of Pitten, you climb up the Schlossberg, on which the mighty Pitten Castle

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  • Difficult
    06:36
    13.4 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,800 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you start at the Landgasthaus Thaler in Thernberg. More than 21 kilometers and a few meters in altitude await you on this stage, so grab your breakfast. Strengthened, it goes up to the Thernberg ruins, which are enchanted and overgrown in the forest. If you want to explore the remains of the castle

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  • Difficult
    05:57
    12.5 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,650 ft
    2,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this stage, the Bucklige Welt shows you where it got its name from: From Wiesmath, or alternatively from Stickelberg, you hike in a steady up and down through the hilly landscape. Time and again, the open ridge offers wide views of the Vienna basin and the Schneeberg massif. Past ancient martyrs

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  • Intermediate
    03:07
    6.36 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 5th stage starts at the information board of the Viennese Alpine arc at the Kaiser Franz Joseph monument next to the Hotel Post in Kirchschlag. From there, the path zigzags up to the well-preserved Kirchschlag castle ruins, the first highlight of this stage. After enjoying the view of the Bucklige

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  • Intermediate
    03:50
    7.84 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,775 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a night in Bad Schönau, you can walk through the beautiful spa gardens at the beginning of the sixth stage of the Viennese Alpine arc. The music pavilion, the pond and the Rosalia band are worth seeing stops along the way. Following the rushing Erlenbach, you enter the forest and walk steadily

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  • Difficult
    06:47
    14.5 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,300 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Starting from Gschaidt, the seventh stage first leads you up to the Blickplatz Luckerbauerriegel. The day starts promisingly and you can learn interesting things about the forest inhabitants on the forest adventure trail that follows. In a curve it goes back to Gschaidt and from there through the forest

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  • Difficult
    05:56
    12.0 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,675 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this stage you switch from the gentle hills of the Bucklige Welt to the panoramic mountains of the Alps. From the center in Mönichkirchen you go to the Salaerium water park and then you follow the mountain railway up to Mönichkirchner Schwaig. Past the two alpine inns, you hike to the “Wiener Alpenblick

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  • Intermediate
    04:33
    9.65 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,000 ft
    2,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The official starting point of the ninth stage is the Feistritzsattel. From the parking lot it goes into the forest and there past the Königsbrünnlein. On flat paths, you continue to walk relaxed to the Fröschnitzsattel and then pass the Franklbauerhöhe. Always along the Styrian-Lower Austrian border

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  • Intermediate
    04:53
    9.68 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,575 ft
    2,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a night at lofty heights on Semmering, you walk towards the train station. The path runs above the tracks of the famous Semmering Railway, which has been bringing nature lovers to the mountains since 1854 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You walk past the Wolfsbergkogel train station and the

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  • Difficult
    04:30
    7.43 mi
    1.6 mph
    3,825 ft
    250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Today, hut hopping is on the plan, because this stage takes you along promising paths to cozy huts that pamper you with delicacies from front to back. From the center of Prein an der Rax, you initially walk along the main road next to the Preinerbach until you turn right towards Griesleitenhof. Arrived

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  • Difficult
    05:56
    10.1 mi
    1.7 mph
    875 ft
    5,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The twelfth day continues with great views on the Viennese Alpine arc: After a hearty breakfast in the Habsburghaus, you set off towards Jahnkreuz. Between pine fields and impressive peaks you hike through the alpine landscape. You climb 200 meters downhill to the Neue Seehütte and can treat yourself

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  • Difficult
    04:55
    8.03 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,850 ft
    350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The 13th stage of the Viennese Alpine Arc brings you from the valley back up into the wonderful alpine world. After a night in fashionable Reichenau an der Rax, you walk from the spa park to the bank of the Schwarza and cross it. Past the old castle you follow the course of the Schwarza to the Hirschwang

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  • Difficult
    07:01
    9.61 mi
    1.4 mph
    3,375 ft
    3,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    You have often admired it in the last few days, today the time has finally come: You climb the Schneeberg, Lower Austria's highest peak. From the Naturfreundehaus Knofeleben, head north up the slope. You walk through sparse forests and when you arrive at Erlwiese, the path splits: Here you can decide

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  • Intermediate
    02:20
    4.80 mi
    2.1 mph
    625 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a restful night at the Edelweisshütte, the day starts with a fantastic view. You follow the gravel road with your back to the Schneeberg past the cozy Almreserlhaus and a short time later you reach the Leiten drought. There you can enjoy the mountain panorama again at 1,249 meters before going

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  • Intermediate
    04:41
    9.18 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,050 ft
    2,975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 16th stage starts at the Öhler Schutzhaus and after a delicious breakfast in the hut you make your way towards the valley. Following the ridge path, after a short time you will reach the highest point of the Dürren Wand. A rock marks the summit and from there you have a great view of the Hohe Wand

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  • Difficult
    05:19
    10.8 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,275 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage of the Viennese Alpine arc takes you back to the wonderful mountain world of the Alps: You start in Pernitz and follow the route through the Raimundviertel into the forest. At the chapel you turn right and meet the Blättertalbach. The stream leads you past a sculpture garden to a clearing

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  • Difficult
    05:34
    11.3 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,575 ft
    2,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a night in the Waxeneckhaus, you head east. Surrounded by wooded slopes and fresh mountain air, you initially hike through sparse forest in an arc to Geierhöhe. Then the flat path begins to climb and leads you past the Robert Krenn Kreuz to the small Fozeben ski hut. Even if the hut is not managed

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  • Intermediate
    02:51
    5.86 mi
    2.1 mph
    950 ft
    1,150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The last stage of the Viennese Alpine arc is already approaching: From the center in Markt Piesting you climb the Schlossergassl to the Waldbad, which invites you to refresh yourself in the morning. Then you dive deep into the forest and hike past fragrant black pines up to the Red Cross, from where

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    19
  • Distance
    187 mi
  • Duration
    96:06 h
  • Elevation
    35,400 ft35,525 ft

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Lower Austria's most beautiful peaks – hiking the Viennese Alpenbogen

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