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Austria is a country of mountains and lakes with views so perfect you’ll go through memory cards like they’re film roll. Walks in Austria follow beautiful trails across alpine meadows, through deep coniferous forests and across craggy peaks. With glaciers, crashing waterfalls and exquisite nature reserves, you could pin the tail on the trail donkey and find yourself somewhere stunning.
The vast majority of hikes in Austria lie within its mountains, valleys and hills simply because much of the nation is part of the Alps. You can choose your trails to be as strenuous or as gentle as you like, with outstanding valley trails, rushing rivers and enchanting forests.
At height, you can easily enjoy jaw-dropping views down and along vast valleys with perfect peaks jutting out all around. Austria has particularly beautiful mountain lakes which reflect the trees and mountains like a mirror.
From the low-lying regions to the highest mountains, hiking in Austria is hands-down excellent.
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Hikes in Austria benefit from having access to incredible mountain valleys, each leading to a veritable labyrinth of trails. You can set out from a pretty valley town and idle along flat routes, admiring wildflowers, traditional alpine lodges and the surrounding peaks all day long.
If a gentle climb is your thing, throughout the mountain valleys you’ll find trails that gradually wind their way up through coniferous forests, past streams cascading down from the summits above and with birdsong filling the air. Meadows hosting grazing animals are everywhere, only adding to the flawless, picturesque nature of the country.
If it’s a multi-day trek at altitude you’re after, not only will you find phenomenal high routes, you’ll also find fantastic mountain cafes with staggering views. Seriously challenging trails can be found in the Austrian Alps, where you can hike hut to hut and get to know the tremendous mountainous heart of the nation.
Austria has more beautiful mountain lakes than you can shake a walking pole at and they make for brilliant objectives on walks. The best hiking trails in Austria will usually provide you with at least a glimpse of a sprawling lake, sometimes with villages nestled along the banks, other times so secluded you feel like you’re the only person who knows they exist.
In late spring, meltwater cascades down waterfalls and into valleys and the summer hiking season is on the horizon. Plenty of mountain valleys have sweeping rivers, many emptying into the Inn river which itself is a tributary of the mighty Danube.
Cutting across the north east of Austria, the beautiful Danube is an excellent guide for majestic hikes. Winding through forested hills and past verdant vineyards, this river is a hugely important presence.
Quiet walks in Austria are always possible thanks to its incredible number of trails but you’ll notice the busyness of alpine towns and cafes between June and August. The hiking season extends from April to October, with snow still present at altitude.
Many of the lower mountain valleys stay relatively snow-free throughout the year and winter hiking is stunning, with snow heaped high above and clear trails. Classic alpine scenes arrive with spring, when Austria is rampant with birds, wildflowers and sunshine. It is during this time, on the cusp of spring and summer, that hiking is arguably at its best.
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