The Arnoweg – a circular hike through the province of Salzburg

Hiking Collection by Valerie

One federal state, one long-distance hiking trail, 1,200 varied kilometres (745 miles) and a whopping 80,000 meters in elevation gain (262,467 feet) – welcome to the Arno trail.

Created by the Archdiocese of Salzburg (part of the Roman Catholic Church), the route takes you through Salzburg province in eight stages; Kalkberge, Pinzgauer Grasberge, Keesberge, Grasberge and Nockberge, Niedere Tauern, Kalkberge Ost, Voralpen and Alpenvorland. Your adventure begins and ends at an impressive fortress overlooking the city of Salzburg.

You can choose whether to take on this mighty hike all at once or in parts, as each section has its own charm. The first stage takes you through limestone mountains and impressive rocky landscapes whereas stage two, the Pinzgau Grasberge, leads through lush meadows to cozy alpine huts. On stage three, you will hike through the Keesberge mountains, exploring the impressive glaciers and green valleys. Stage four is a comfortable adventure in the Grasberge mountains, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly-gentle natured Niedere Tauern on section five, you’ll need alpine experience for this section. On stage six and seven you will climb up to considerable heights once more until dropping back down to Salzburg old town on stage eight.


You should be sure-footed and have a head for heights for every stage in this Collection. I also recommend that you reserve your accommodation well in advance. In spite of the challenge, enjoy the silence, the wonderfully varied nature of the Salzburg countryside and the unforgettable moments on such a long-distance hike. On the way, there are a lot of great highlights waiting for you.

One thing is certain – at the end of this trail you will be incredibly proud of yourself, rightly so. Have fun!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    63:47
    99.3 mi
    1.6 mph
    28,225 ft
    27,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Section 1 of the famous Arnoweg long-distance hiking trail takes you through the limestone mountains over a length of 160 kilometers. From the Untersberg to the Steinernes Meer and the Leoganger Steinberge, this section holds a lot of stone and little water, but lots of fantastic panoramic views of the wide Alpine foothills. You do not need to have any special alpine knowledge for this part of your long-distance hike, but you should still be in good physical shape and have a certain sense of direction.A wonderful highlight awaits you as you enter this section - the Hohensalzburg Fortress. And also on this tour there are some unforgettable natural spectacles to be discovered - from imposing peaks, via an exciting staircase to crystal-clear lakes and a ravishing gorge.The usual duration for this section is around ten to 21 days. Use your strength well and only hike as many (altitude) meters as your condition and the weather allow - this chain of limestone mountains is a striking weather and climate divide.For a well-deserved night's sleep, you will find several huts along the way - for example in the Zeppezauerhaus (komoot.de/highlight/374082), in the Ingolstadt house (komoot.de/highlight/129758), at the Schmidt-Zabierow-Hütte or the Passauer Hütte (komoot.de/highlight/200194). Always remember to reserve a bed in time. The hiking trails are particularly popular in the warmer season!And so you hike through the many different and all beautiful sides of the first section of Arnoweg. After 160 kilometers, the long-distance hiking trail takes you further towards Pinzgauer Grasberge.

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  • Difficult
    39:28
    68.9 mi
    1.7 mph
    19,175 ft
    18,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Have you successfully completed Section 1 and are you motivated to now venture onto the second part of the long-distance hiking trail? Or maybe you are just getting started and starting the Arnoweg adventure from Saalfelden. Either way, the landscape will be a little softer from now on.You hike across the lush meadows of the Pinzgau grass mountains, past many alpine pastures and comfortably grazing alpine cattle. It is a proud 111 kilometers to discover. And there are so many highlights waiting for you - from quaint huts to charming villages and idyllic heights.In this section, too, the following applies again: divide your strength and only go as far as your physical condition allows. The beautiful surroundings tempt you to hike further and further, but believe me: The nice huts, such as the Bürglhütte and the Steineralm, as well as the accommodation options, such as the Statzerhaus or the Pinzgauer Hütte, are waiting for you on the way worth a stop or two more. Also remember to reserve a bed in time.The usual duration for this section is around six to 13 days, but is entirely dependent on your endurance and motivation. If you show enough of it, you will soon reach section 3 of the Arnoweg: the Keesberge.

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  • Difficult
    51:49
    83.3 mi
    1.6 mph
    23,900 ft
    24,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The third Arnoweg section leads you towards the Keesberge. Their name is derived from the old high German "chees" for ice or glaciers. Because what distinguishes this section of the long-distance hiking trail is the constant change between green valleys and impressive glaciers.From Krimml (1,076 meters) you go to the Gamsspitzl (2,888 meters), from Fusch (813 meters) to the ice fields of the Pfandlscharte (2,663 meters) and from Heiligenblut (1,288 meters) to the Zittelhaus (3,105 meters) on the rock tooth above the glacier roof of the High Sonnblick. As you can see: it goes high for you! That's why you definitely have to have a lot of sure-footedness and a head for heights.Well-planned tour planning is also required. I will help you by showing you the entire section. Where and when you stop and spend the night is up to you and depends entirely on your condition. So much can be said: The usual duration for the 134 kilometers and over 7,000 meters in altitude of the first part is eight to 17 days.Speaking of overnight stays: The first part of the third section not only takes you past numerous highlights, but also past several huts to stop for a bite to eat. The Warnsdorfer Hütte (komoot.de/highlight/306060), the Kürsinger Hütte (komoot.de/highlight/139186) and the Neue Thüringer Hütte (https: // komoot.de/highlight/283959), the Neue Fürther Hütte (komoot.de/highlight/556478), the St. Pöltner Hütte (komoot.de/highlight/556476 ) and the Berghotel Rudolfshütte (komoot.de/highlight/506945) are happy to provide you with a warm bed on time, while other huts serve you a delicious meal along the way.And as soon as you have reached the Fürthermoaralm, part 2 of the demanding Keesberg section begins.

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  • Difficult
    39:08
    57.3 mi
    1.5 mph
    20,975 ft
    20,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The second part of the third Arnoweg section also goes up and down. You are still in the middle of the Keesberge. And the upcoming 92 kilometers and over 6,000 vertical meters make you suddenly aware of this. But don't worry - you can do it. And the effort will be rewarded with unbeatable highlights and cozy huts. If you want to save yourself a (significant) piece of the tour, you also have the option of only getting on in the Rauris Valley.But first things first. Because even on this part of the Arnoweg you need to be sure-footed again, reliable head for heights and perfect planning. The usual duration of the tour is six to 13 days. As always, whether you get them over with faster or take more time is up to you, your ability and your condition.On the way you will encounter a number of exciting highlights: one or the other waterfall, a great viewing platform and even a wildlife park are among others. And this time you don't have to rely on your tent to stay overnight.The Gleiwitzer Hütte (komoot.de/highlight/822449), the Trauner Alm (komoot.de/highlight/352080), the Glocknerhaus (komoot.de / highlight / 127845), the Zittel house (komoot.de/highlight/540963), as well as several nice accommodations in Bad Gastein - your section goal - will be happy to accommodate you and your hiking backpack.And with that you made it and successfully completed the largest section - the Keesberge. It continues: to section 4, the grass and nock mountains.

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  • Difficult
    50:56
    88.9 mi
    1.7 mph
    21,900 ft
    21,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    You ended up in the Gastein Valley. And with that you leave the Keesberge behind and hike further through the Grasberge. Section 4 of the Arnoweg takes you over a proud 143 kilometers and almost 7,000 vertical meters to the Salzburg Lungau. And what you find there may exceed your imagination of idyllic alpine meadows. Mass tourism and mechanical disruptive factors are an absolute foreign word here.The usual duration for this section is eight to 16 days. As always - but especially after the strenuous climbs of the Keesberge - your stamina decides how long it takes you to do it. The tired legs find peace in several huts along the way: the Tappenkarseehütte, the Sticklerhütte, the Neue Bonner Hütte and the Dr.-Josef-Mehrl-Hütte are at your service.As always, there are some highlights waiting for you on the way - a raging waterfall here, an impressive castle there. Otherwise, the motto of this section is: just hike and indulge in the natural enjoyment of the grass mountains. Before going uphill and downhill again for a while along the border between the Lungau and Carinthia. But with a magnificent view: the Julian Alps in Slovenia and Friuli accompany you in the south and the view of the Lower Tauern opens up to the north.You will soon reach the latter and get ready for section 5 of the same name on the Arnoweg.

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  • Difficult
    32:13
    54.4 mi
    1.7 mph
    14,250 ft
    14,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Section 5 of the Arnoweg lures you on the wrong track at the beginning: Although the Niedere Tauern (from Tamsweg) look like comfortably hikable grass mountains, you shouldn't underestimate them alpinistically. On the way you will always come across steep carts and rugged peaks. But this is absolutely feasible. In any case, you also have to bring good surefootedness and a head for heights.The usual duration for the almost 90 kilometers and 4,350 vertical meters is five to ten days. Depending on your stamina and tiredness after the last few days - yes, maybe you just want to stay one day longer in one of the dream huts - you should plan a little more time.The Landwirseehütte, the Keinprechthütte and the Ignaz-Mattis-Hütte are happy to offer you a place to sleep. But there are also a few more huts waiting to cater for you. As always, make sure that you prepare your accommodation options before the start of the section and reserve a bed everywhere in good time. Be sure to take a look at the route planner - it also shows you all the huts that no longer found a place in our highlights.In any case, you will encounter some highlights on the way. Several lakes offer you a promising snack spot or a nice refreshment on hot days. A few peaks and gaps that need to be overcome on the way require your strength, but reward you with magical prospects. And also a waterfall - the Johannesfall - comes under you.The section concludes with one of the most beautiful high-altitude hikes on the north side of the Lower Tauern: It goes out to Radstadt - destination of the fifth Arnoweg section and potential place to stay after a few challenging days.

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  • Difficult
    23:21
    33.9 mi
    1.5 mph
    11,650 ft
    12,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    With a length of almost 55 kilometers, the Kalkberge Ost are the shortest section of the Arnoweg. But that doesn't make them any less uninteresting than the others. On the contrary: what is waiting for you on this stage is a lot of variety.You start your hike in the medieval town of Radstadt, from where you climb up to the first summit of this section - that of the Rossbrand grass mountain. We continue through the limestone blocks Bischofsmütze and Tennengebirge. And in between, a few wooded hills and alpine pastures provide for the idyllic breather.This part of your long-distance hike is also characterized by a few natural highlights such as the "Black Lacquer" and the "Berlin Cross". But also several huts, including the Hofpürglhütte, the Stuhlalm and the Laufener Hütte (a self-catering hut by the way) help to enchant you with the charm of the limestone mountains and provide you with a warm and well-deserved bed if you reserve in time.Your goal is the manageable place Abtenau. And this is usually achieved after four to seven days. Do you have some strength left? Then you can continue towards Section 7 - Prealps.

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  • Difficult
    26:49
    49.3 mi
    1.8 mph
    11,125 ft
    11,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Time for section 7 of the Arnoweg. You head towards the Prealps. The centerpiece is the Osterhorn group. And you will also climb a few of their peaks, such as the Hohe First (1,718 meters) and the Dürlstein (1,697 meters). In addition, you will enjoy the view from the Königsbergerhorn (1,621 meters) and the Zwölferhorn (1,521 meters) on the following almost 80 kilometers.You can already tell: You are dealing with some sizes of the Prealps here. That's why you should really be sure-footed here. Especially for the Schober (1,328 meters) and the woman's head (1,304 meters) you should also be free from giddiness.The usual duration of this tour is four to eight days and can of course be extended as required (and by marveling at the many beautiful highlights along the way). Among other things, an impressive gorge, a peaceful lake and a nostalgic gondola lift await you. In addition, you will always be spoiled with incredible views of the lakes of the Salzkammergut.You can find overnight accommodation, for example, at the Posch’n hut, in the Berghof Zwölferhorn, in several restaurants in Fuschl am See or Thalgau or in Straßwalchen-Irrsdorf. As always, I recommend here: plan and reserve first - then go hiking. This is the only way to ensure that you definitely have a place to sleep.After the last ascent to Kolomansberg (1,098 meters) you finally reached your destination in Thalgau. Just one last section. And that’s what the Alpine foothills are for.

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  • Difficult
    22:21
    49.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    5,150 ft
    5,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eighth and final section of your Arnoweg hike. You soon made it. And so much in advance: It goes much more comfortably. Even if you are still 80 kilometers ahead of you. What characterizes this section? Firstly, the elongated off-road waves in this area. Secondly, the great all-round view that results from this.The usual duration for this final section of the Arnoweg is four to seven days. In the many small villages and charming towns that you cross on the way, there are also some accommodation options. For example in Straßwalchen, Mattsee, Seeham, Arnsdorf, Oberndorf and of course Salzburg. Although you are no longer traveling in alpine, lonely heights - I would still like to advise you to call your accommodation here in good time to reserve a bed.And so you make your way through the Alpine foothills and pay a visit to one or the other highlight along the way. Here you will meet especially steeped in history, such as the Silent Night Chapel, Mattsee Castle or the old town of Salzburg. And finally end up in the heart of the same.All that remains for me to say is: Congratulations! You have successfully mastered the Arnoweg and thus almost 1,200 kilometers, countless meters in altitude, many experiences of success and probably one or the other temptation to give yourself up. And with flying colors. You can be proud of yourself!

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    9
  • Distance
    584 mi
  • Duration
    349:52 h
  • Elevation
    156,400 ft