On a winter holiday, you don’t always have to ski or snowboard to enjoy and explore the snow-covered landscape. Just slip into your sturdy shoes and warm clothes and off you go onto the dreamy winter hiking trails of the Alps, up and down mountains, through meadows, forests and valleys passing old villages and frozen waterfalls. SnowTrex has put together the most beautiful regions for winter hiking in the Alps.
Winter hiking in the Allgäu
The Allgäu impresses not only in summer with its excellent infrastructure for hikers, but also in winter. During the cold season, several winter hiking trails invite you to go on romantic excursions. Here, you can experience the wild Breitachklamm gorge in its wintery dress or take a peaceful walk in the crunching snow around the enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle. Good starting points for hiking in the snow are, for example, Oberstdorf, Oberstaufen and Füssen.
Winter hiking in the Berchtesgaden area
The Berchtesgadener Land is known for its idyllic mountain world, which exudes its magic especially in the snowy winter. Nestled in the Berchtesgaden National Park, Lake Königssee offers the perfect panorama for an extended winter hike. The dreamy Klausbach Valley or the picturesque town of Schönau also invite you to winter hikes and walks. The route from Ramsau through the magical forest to Hintersee is also highly recommended.
Winter hiking in Zillertal
In the “most active valley in the Alps”, it’s not always about skiing, either. Other winter activities are also available, and there is a wide selection of winter hiking trails. Whether it’s snow-covered villages, waterfalls or glaciers – here, you will find the right winter hiking trail for hikers of all levels. Experienced hikers, for example, can set off in the direction of Hochfügen, while connoisseurs can stroll idyllically along the wintry Ziller promenade. The hiking trails in Zillertal are well signposted and in top condition.
Winter hiking in the Gastein Valley
The Gastein Valley in Salzburger Land is known far beyond the borders of Austria as a place of convalescence. The main town, Bad Gastein, is home to a number of spa and wellness hotels, as Bad Gastein’s thermal springs have been attracting recreation seekers since the Middle Ages. In addition to its fame as a health resort, Bad Gastein is also an important winter sports resort. The Gastein Valley is also perfect for relaxing winter hikes through the picturesque, snowy landscape. Whether along the Achenpromenade or in the high valley of Sportgastein – hiking trails abound!
Winter hiking in the Salzburger Saalach Valley
Salzburg’s Saalach Valley is a real insider tip among winter hikers. Whether on cleared hiking trails or traversing the terrain on snowshoes – there is much to discover. The hiking trails are family-friendly with seating areas and many huts and inns to stop at. Children’s sledges can be hired cheaply from the sports shops and most accommodations, and torchlight walks at night may also be offered. If you are looking for something higher, the Loferer Alm offers fantastic high-altitude hiking trails at an altitude of around 1,400 m. If you are already here, you can also take a day trip to the snowy Mozart city of Salzburg.
Winter hiking on the Mieming Plateau
The Mieming Plateau is a high plateau at an altitude of up to 1,000 m on the edge of the Inn Valley. Particularly in winter, the Mieming mountain range towers imposingly above the plateau – a backdrop that casts a new spell on winter hikers every year. On the sunny plateau, winter shows its cosy side. Winter hiking trails of various levels of difficulty and dreamy destinations, such as the castle gorge and the nearby waterfall, await you here. Experienced hikers should definitely take the approximately 2.5-hour hike from Obsteig up to the Lehnberghaus, where you can even rent sleds for the descent.
Winter hiking in the Achensee region
In the north of Tyrol, not far from the German border, lies the picturesque Achensee. The villages of Achenkirch, Pertisau and Maurach in particular are ideal starting points for romantic winter hikes through the snow-covered landscape. In total, there are almost 150 km of winter hiking trails around Achensee. There are many small valleys, such as the Unterautal, which are particularly popular with winter hikers. A detour to the small Stod waterfall is also worthwhile. In winter, the waterfall is usually frozen over and impresses with its bizarre ice formations. If you want to go high up, you should definitely visit the high-altitude hiking trail on the Rofan. The approximately 1.6 km long circular trail is located at an altitude of just under 1,800 m and its starting point is the mountain station of the Rofan cable car.
Winter hiking in the Fuschl/Hintersee region
The many lakes to the east of Salzburg are a popular destination for excursions at any time of year. The region around Fuschlsee and Hintersee unfolds its full charm particularly in winter. What could be more beautiful than taking a walk by the lake with a blanket of snow and sunshine? You will be surprised by just how much nature there is to discover even in the depths of winter. An excursion to one of the many panorama trails in the region or to the “Felsenbad” near Faistenau is particularly recommended. Those who are looking forward to a fast-paced downhill run after a strenuous ascent should make a detour to the Schlitt’n Hittn. Once you reach the top, you can rent toboggans for a small fee and return them at the bottom.
Winter hiking in the Zermatt region
Fairytale-like mountain landscapes with rugged rock formations and waterfalls – these are the Swiss Alps. Perhaps the most famous mountain of them all: the Matterhorn. At its feet lies the winter sports destination of Zermatt, one of the more popular places in the Alpine region. However, even non-skiers will find a wide range of entertainment options here. Of course, there is also plenty to do for fans of winter hiking. The challenge levels here range from easy to difficult. For example, leisurely hikers can enjoy the snow-covered landscape on the Täsch Panorama Trail and, with a bit of luck, observe the wildlife of the Alps. Those looking for a challenge, on the other hand, should definitely take a snowshoe hike on the Gornergrat. From up here, you have a breathtaking view of the many surrounding 4,000-metre peaks.
Winter hiking in the Dolomites
The Three Peaks in the Dolomites are probably the most striking mountain formation in the Alps. They stand out regally from the peaks of the Three Peaks Nature Park and dominate the landscape of South Tyrol almost majestically. So it is no wonder that many hiking routes in the Dolomite region have the Three Peaks as their destination. Most routes of varying degrees of difficulty require a walking time of 5 to 8 hours, but on some routes, you can also cover part of the distance by car and thus reduce the hike to about 3 hours if necessary.
Many of the trails lead to the popular Dreizinnenhütte (“Three Peaks Hut”) – from here, the breathtaking view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site opens up and offers the perfect starting point for the famous images of the impressive mountain formation. Good starting points for winter hikes include the Fischleintal valley (Sesto) and the Innerfeldtal valley (San Candido). Cosy huts such as the Talschlusshütte and the Dreischusterhütte along the cleared hiking trails invite you to stop for traditional delicacies and refreshments and round off an eventful day.