Hike one of the great circular alpine routes amid the grand cliffs and spires of the mighty Dachstein
Spectacular views as you walk along mountain plateaus and glaciers high above the lakes and valleys
Catch glimpses of ibex and chamoix as you stroll through this pristine alpine habitat
Stay alternating nights in rustic mountain lodges and charming hotels
Ferry crossing to the serene and beautiful World Heritage town of Hallstatt
Hiking the Dachstein: self-guided walking holiday in the Austrian Alps
Walk the classic Dachstein Alpine Circuit around one of the highest peaks in the Northern Alps with the comfort of luggage transportation.
Beginning and ending in the pretty lakeside town of Gosau, you will circumnavigate the impressive alpine massif of the Dachstein in a counter-clockwise direction. On this 9-day itinerary, you will enjoy an incredible breath of mountain landscapes, from dramatic jagged peaks and cliffs rising to almost 3,000 m to green alpine pastures, reflective lakes, tranquil forests and flower-packed meadows.
This tour combines stunning scenic highlights and altitude changes. You will spend alternate nights in characterful lower-level Austrian inns and spectacularly-located high mountain lodges, where a cold beer and warm camaraderie await you! On some of the days, cable cars and funiculars are included to take you higher up into the mountains so you can easily reach the best trails.
Both the impressive mountain landscape along with the beautiful lakeside village of Hallstatt and the entire region Dachstein Salzkammergut have been awarded World Heritage Region status by UNESCO.
|A tree for your booking
Respect for our planet’s limited resources and climate-friendly mobility are two major challenges of the 21st Century. We are therefore delighted to cooperate with the Austrian Federal Forest Authority on the “tree for your booking” project; a new tree planted for each hiking tour booked through us in the Salzkammergut region! Along with your travel documents, you will receive a photo of “your” tree, which you will even have the chance to visit during your trip.
|9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS||From €899 per person sharing*
*A solo supplement will apply to bookings for single travellers.
|ACCOMMODATION||You will be staying in new accommodation every day, consisting of 5 nights in private rooms in 3*standard hotels and 3 nights in dormitory-style accommodation when in the mountain lodges.
At one of the lodges (Guttenberghaus) It is possible to request private double rooms in advance at a supplement. If you want to request this, then please let us know in the comments box on the booking page. Our hosts will always try to accommodate travellers who are not used to communal bunks in their own rooms, if at all possible. Please note that double/twin rooms in this region typically consist of a double bed frame with two separate mattresses.
|MEALS||Breakfast is included in the price.
Most accommodations are happy to provide a packed lunch. This should be requested on arrival. Alternatively, on some stages, you can buy lunch along the way in a local village or inn.
For dinner, you can either pay yourself at the accommodation (generally cash only) or you can pre-book a half board supplement to include dinner on each night. Please let us know in the comments box on the booking page if you would like to do this.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start your trip on any day of the week (subject to availability) from July to September.|
|DIFFICULTY / TERRAIN||The tour mainly covers alpine terrain. You will need appropriate mountain equipment and basic stamina. Necessary mountain equipment: ankle-high boots, functional clothes, rucksack, food and water, rain and sun protection, first-aid kit, mobile phone, possibly hiking sticks,… Even in the midsummer there could be a drop of temperature, so please make sure that you have warm clothing with you including gloves and cap. Your route is recorded for posterity when you enter your name in every hut logbook in the Dachstein Mountains. The routes are well signposted, although the signs could partly be covered by snow. Hence, it is imperative that you take your maps and the Dachstein hiking book with you. An experienced guide is available to accompany you upon request.
The carrying out of the tour is dependent on weather conditions! Alternative walking routes are always possible.
Day 1: Arrival in Gosau
Individual arrival in Gosau and settle in to your hotel, in an idyllic alpine setting right next to the Dachstein mountain range. You will receive your documentation pack on arrival at your hotel in Gosau.
Day 2: Zwieselalm to the Hofpürgl Mountain Lodge
Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 850 m | Descent: 860 m | Walking time: 4-5 hrs approx.
Begin by catching the local bus (or walking the 6 km) to the cable car station at Gosausee lake. Stop to admire the sight of the Dachstein peaks and glaciers reflected in this pristine mountain lake before taking the cable car to start of your hike on the Zwieselalm, quickly ascending to an altitude of 1,475 m. From there, you will enjoy a beautiful high altitude walk through idyllic alpine pastures. This path was used to smuggle prints of the Bible during the time of the Counter-Reformation, hence it is known today as the “Bible Path”. Your destination today is the Hofpürgl mountain lodge, where you can relax with a refreshing drink on its panoramic terrace high in the mountains.
Overnight stay at the Hofpürgl lodge*
*You will need to carry your overnight kit in your day pack as the Hofpürgl lodge is high in the mountains and only accessible by foot. Your main luggage will be transferred from Gosau to the Türlwand where you spend the following night.
Day 3: Hofpürglhütte - Südwandhütte, descent to Türlwand and Ramsau
Distance: 12.5 km | Ascent: 895 m | Descent: 882 m | Walking time: 6 hrs approx.
High altitude hike from the Hofpürgl lodge to the Südwand lodge, descent to the Türlwand.
The second part of the Dachstein circuit leads you from the Hofpürglhütte over steep climbs up to 2,300 m altitude. You will be rewarded for your efforts with spectacular views views to the Hohe Tauern peaks. First you follow the Salzburger Almenweg to the -Rinderfeld, an alpine pasture strewn with limestone boulders. You then climb to the Tor (“gate”), the highest point of the stage, where you cross the Salzburg – Styrian border. Stop for some well-earned refreshment at the Südwand lodge, with its scenic terrace bar, before your final descent to your hotel in Ramsau, where your luggage awaits you.
Overnight stay in Ramsau under Mount Dachstein.
Day 4: Ramsau - Guttenberg lodge
Today’s destination is the Guttenberghaus, the highest Alpine Club hut in Styria at 2,147 m. The hut recently celebrated its 100th birthday and still retains its rustic character.
For the alpine hike to Guttenberg lodge two variants are possible:
Distance: 6.5 km | Ascent: 1044 m | Descent: 69 m | Walking time: 4-5 hrs approx.
Walk directly from your hotel over the Ramsau plateau, with a view of the imposing Dachstein massif. Ascend on trail 616 through a sparse forest to the Guttenberg lodge. This route is recommended in cloudy and foggy weather conditions.
Distance: 9.5 km | Ascent: 264 m | Descent: 861 m | Walking time: 4-5 hrs approx.
The second variant begins with an ascent by cable car to the Dachstein mountain station at 2,687 m (ticket to be paid on spot but must be reserved in advance). Enjoy spectacular views from the the ‘Sky Walk’ viewing platform before setting off on the high-altitude hike on trail 674 across the Schladming Glacier and a vast rocky plateau to Guttenberg lodge.
Overnight stay at Guttenberg lodge*
*You will need to carry your overnight kit in your day pack as the Guttenberg lodge is high in the mountains and only accessible by foot. Your main luggage will be transferred from Türlwand to Gröbming where you spend the following night.
Day 5: Walk across the ‘Am Stein’ Plateau and Grafenbergalm to Stoderzinken
Distance: 13 km | Ascent: 552 m | Descent: 860 m | Walking time: 6 hrs approx.
Today’s walk is a beautiful high altitude hike from Guttenberg lodge over the “Am Stein” plateau. The high rocky mountains give way to forests and meadows, as you descend steadily to the small mountain hut Grafenbergalm, surrounded by pine trees and small mountain lakes. Continue along forest paths and then finally ascending again to the slopes of the Stoderzinken, one of the most beautiful panoramic mountains in North Styria.
Overnight stay at the Steiner Haus above Gröbming. Your main luggage will be waiting for you upon check-in.
Day 6: Bad Mitterndorf via the Notgasse gorge
Distance: 22 km | Ascent: 627 m | Descent: 1590 m | Walking time: 7 hrs approx.
Today’s hike takes you from the Stoderzinken, through the Notgasse (old merchants passage through a 30-metre-high gorge with up to 2000 year-old rock carvings). The beautiful larch forest gives way to the tranquil alpine pastures of the Viehbergalm, berore you ascend over the summit of the Hochmühleck, with stunning views. Finally, you descend steeply to the Steinitzenalm lodge and then on to the spa town of Bad Mitterndorf.
Overnight in Bad Mitterndorf
Day 7: Walk along the river Traun and ferry to Hallstatt
Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 166 m | Descent: 286 m | Walking time: 4-5 hrs approx.
Begin by taking a short train ride from Bad Mitterndorf to Bad Aussee*. A pleasant stroll then takes you through the romantic Koppen valley, gradually downhill along the turqoise Traun River to Obertraun and to Lake Hallstatt. We recommend a visit to the Koppenbrüller Cave, before catching the ferry from Hallstatt station to the picturesque lakeside hamlet of Hallstatt.
*If you want a longer walk, you can skip the train and walk the initial part through a forest and open meadows to the Ödensee Lake (ideal for a refreshing swim), then on to Bad Aussee (an extra 10 km approx.)
Overnight stay in Hallstatt, where your luggage awaits you.
Day 8: Hallstatt to Goiserer lodge
Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 11088 m | Descent: 52 m | Walking time: 7 hrs approx.
After breakfast in Hallstatt, you take the ferry back to across Lake Hallstatt to Hallstatt station. The lake was formed about 10,000 years ago by glacial ice and its appearance is very reminiscent of the fjords of Norway, with towering forest-covered cliffs on all sides. You then hike along the eastern shore of Lake Hallstattersee to Bad Goisern, following a very scenic path. A suspension bridge takes you over the deepest part of the lake. From Bad Goisern, a long and steep ascent takes you up past the Trockentannalm to the Goisererhütte, at 1,592 m altitude. Once again, the stunning high mountain views are a reward for your efforts.
Overnight in Goiserer lodge. You will carry your overnight things in a day pack as your luggage will be transferred from Hallstatt to Gosau, where you can pick it up tomorrow.
Day 9: Descend to Gosau and departure
Distance: 7 km | Ascent: 46 m | Descent: 873 m | Walking time: 2-3 hrs approx.
A short descent through larch and pine forest to Gosau gives you one last chance to admire the mountain scenery. Collect your luggage in Gosau. This is the end of your arrangement, unless you have booked any additional nights. If you wish to book an extra night in Gosau just let us know at the time of booking.