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Guided & Self Guided Walking Tours

Lake Walking in the Salzkammergut

Scenic Austria
- the romantic backdrop for the “Sound of Music”; the land of ancient baroque villages and medieval castles; the land of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven and some of their favorite cities including lovely Linz, sensational Salzburg and elegant Vienna. East of Salzburg, you find a breathtaking region dotted with many lakes called the Salzkammergut.  The landscape includes fjord-like steep rocks and cliffs bordering lush, green mountains and pristine green-blue mountain lakes. This stunning panorama of natural beauty has drawn European tourists for centuries and was the favored summer resort of the Habsburg monarchy.  Note that the Hallstättersee region was recognized by the UNESCO as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its great natural and cultural heritage. The idyllic village of Hallstatt is “the jewel of this region” but Bad Ischl, Bad Goisern, St. Wolfgang and St. Gilgen are some of our other favorite villages you will visit.

Our walking vacation offers about 4 hours of fairly flat walking each day but as you stay in each hotel 2 nights you can take a rest day or two if you prefer.  Austria is famous for its many, well organized walking trails.  Accommodations are charming 3 star family hotels chosen for their comfort, friendly service and authentic Austrian ambiance.  Daily breakfast, dinner and on walking days a packed lunch are included in the tour price. If you have extra time we strongly recommend that you spend a few days at the beginning or end of the tour in close by Salzburg, the birth place of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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Daily itinerary:

 

Day 1: Individual arrival in your hotel in Abersee near St. Wolfgang

Day 2 - St. Wolfgang-St. Gilgen
Begin the day with a short boat ride from Abersee to St. Wolfgang.  Here we’ll walk along the lake and then gently up the pilgrim’s path to “Falkenstein Mountain”, really a cliff with a very nice view over the lake and the small villages.  The idyllic ‘Fürberg Walk” brings us to the village St. Gilgen, where Mozart’s mother was born. Gilgen is smaller than neighboring St. Wolfgang, just across the lake, yet presents a unique baroque and rococo character with plenty to do. Colorful streets, lined with cafes, bars, fascinating shops and old frescoed houses lead to the onion-domed church and enchanting Mozart fountain. Return by boat to our hotel in Abensee.

 

Day 3 - Schwarzensee and Strobl
Another morning boat ride to St. Wolfgang. First we’ll walk up to the shimmering lake Schwarzensee, where we’ll rest in a nice mountain hut with a terrific view over the lake and enjoy some tasty local specialities. We’ll walk down on a small footpath into the valley next to a gorge and around the Bürglstein, a rock outcrop jutting into the lake.   In the afternoon we end in Strobl and transfer to the “Emperor’s Town” Bad Ischl.

Day 4 – Rest Day in Bad Ischl
Emperor Franz Joseph’s favorite town was Bad Ischl, the cultural and geographic centre of the Salzkammergut, where he and his wife Elisabeth (the captivating “Sisi” of the famous film) regularly spent their summers.  Visit the Emperors Villa, Café Zauner and the Hotel Austria,

 

 

Day 5 – Bad Ischl to Bad Goisern
Salt always has been an important raw material of the Salzkammergut.  Today we follow the “historical salt water path”, the world’s oldest pipeline, which was established in 1607. In order to make the brine flow, the pipeline (as well as the path) slopes down slightly, and therefore it is a relatively easy walk to Bad Goisern.  This lovely village was once known as the “Monarchy’s prettiest town” and retains all its charms today.  

 

Day 6 – Walk to Hallstatt
Today’s walk is slightly ascending and offers beautiful views on the quaint little town of Hallstatt and the marvellous and massive of the Dachstein Mountain (the highest in Upper Austria). Hallstatt owes its prosperity to the salt mines ('hall' is a Celtic word meaning 'salt'). In the afternoon we’ll cross the lake by boat and return to Bad Goisern.

 

Day 7 – Bad Ischl to Strobl
Transfer to Bad Ischl from where we follow the “Elisabeth-Walking Path”, one of Sisi’s favourite hiking and riding tracks.  We’ll admire the idyllic little lake Nussensee and then continue along the River Ischl to Strobl.  From late medieval times to the 17th century Strobl was a center for pilgrims.  In Strobl we’ll have gorgeous views on St. Wolfgang, Schafberg and the lake itself.  

 

Day 8 – Departure after breakfast

 

Included:

Daily Lodging in 3 star hotels and inns. Daily breakfast and dinner. Transportation and entrance fees as described in the itinerary.

2013 Departure Dates: May 5, 25, June 8 & 22, July 6 & 20, August 3 & 24, September 7

Tour Price: $1295  Single Supplement: $275
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Daily Distance: 3
4 hours of easy to moderate walking

Note: This tour is also possible as a Self Guided Tour.

2013 Self-Guided Tour Dates:
Daily departures: April 5 October 20
Tour Price: $995  Single Supplement: $275

 Please contact us for more information about this tour.

 

 

Zugspitze Walk-Around  
 

The Zugspitze is a dramatic mountain situated high above the town of Garmisch Partenkirchen in Southern Bavaria, Germany, on the border with Austria.  It is one of the best known summits of the Alps and offers breathtaking 360 degrees panoramic views over countless peaks in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Germany -   an experience you’ll never forget.  It is part of the Wetterstein Mountain Range that belongs to Bavaria (Germany) and Tyrol (Austria).  The summit can be quite easily reached by cable car and is a popular European tourist spot. We’ve designed a spectacular walk around the Zugspitze Massive, viewing it from different angles and exploring beautiful hiking territory.   On both sides of the Wetterstein Mountain Range we’ll utilize charming inns and hotels for tranquil, relaxing nights.   There are adventurous and sensational crossings of gorges with thundering waters leaving unforgettable impressions but also quiet, idyllic alpine pastures on this beautifully   varied walking tour.  The walking itineraries have easier days interspersed with more strenuous sections requiring good basic stamina.  You walk on well maintained, sometimes stony, hiking paths and forest roads.  Any significant changes in altitude are covered by transfers or cable car. 

 

 

This outstanding 7 day/6 night tour begins in the late afternoon in our hotel in Garmisch Partenkirchen, easily reached by train from Munich or Innsbruck.    Garmisch Partenkirchen, site of the 1936 Winter Olympics is one of the most important health resorts in the Bavarian Alps as well as the “Mecca” for winter sports in Germany.  From here the route follows through the Partnachklamm an extraordinary narrow gorge created by runoff from molten snow from the Zugspitze.  Afterward walk across soft hills and alpine pastures to Mittenwald, famous for manufacturing string instruments and another popular stop with tourists. 

Next is the Geisterklamm, the Ghost Gorge. T he path was hewn with German precision into the rock and bold bridges cross up to 40 meters above the water. On this impressive route you’ll admire not only the gorge but the feat of engineering which made this experience possible.   Then relax on a comfortable stroll into the sunny Leutasch Valley one of the most picturesque valleys in Tyrol.  No crowds here but open flower filled meadows and forest trails, pretty villages and tiny hamlets always with the Wetterstein Range as a stunning backdrop. Picture book pretty is also the Gaistal Valley with brown ponies grazing in the meadows.  Then we follow in the footsteps of Ludwig Ganghofer, a local writer who spent many months here each year, on a trail that bears his name and winds though high pastures. Our final walk brings us to the famous scenic view on Lake Eib at the foot of the Zugspitze.

Included:

Daily Lodging in 3-star hotels and inns. Daily breakfast and dinner. Transportation and entrance fees as described in the itinerary.

2013 Tour Dates:
Choose your own departure date! (4 people minimum)

Tour Price: $1225  Single Supplement: $175

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Daily Distance: 5 hours of moderate walking

 

Note: This tour is also possible as a Self Guided Tour.

2013 Self-Guided Tour Dates:
Wednesday to Sunday Departures: June 15 September 30
Tour Price: $895  Single Supplement: $175

 

Please contact us for more information about this tour.

 

 

Panoramic Bavarian Alpine Walk

Idyllic, mystic and singular the blue-green lake Königssee is imbedded into grand mountain scenery. The mountains are very high, but there are beautiful crosses to the next valleys. To see the sun rising over the steep rocks of the Stony Sea is really worth the effort. Alpine pastures are on the edges of the mountains and you will walk from mountain hut to mountain hut with exciting views to the alps and glaciers. Some of you may know the city of Berchtesgaden where you find the "eagles nest", and also a very interesting information center about the sad time and history of "Obersalzberg – Hitler's Mountain Resort". 

Included:

Daily Lodging in 3 star hotels and inns. Daily breakfast and 5 dinners. Transportation and entrance fees as described in the itinerary.

2013 Departure Dates:June 23, July 14, August 18, September 1

Tour Price: $1295  Single Room: $1400
Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Daily Distance: 3
6 hours of walking per day

Note: This tour is also possible as a Self Guided Tour.

2013 Self-Guided Tour Dates:
Friday, Saturday, or Sunday departures: June 7 September 22
Tour Price: $1075  Single Room: $1200

 Please contact us for more information about this tour.

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