Put on your hiking boots and get out into nature! Discover the mountains of Gastein on a hiking tour.
Once the sun’s rays have melted the last remnants of snow and flowers start to bloom, do you have the feeling that you would like to get outside and back to nature up on a mountain? Understandable, as there aren’t many places where you can really leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and enjoy your summer holiday to the full. On the new Gastein Trail, you can experience the valley in a new dimension while learning about all its unique facts.
As part of the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, you will find 600 kilometres of hiking trails set in a particularly unspoilt and flawless natural paradise. Witness the marmots frolicking between the Alpine roses and the old pine trees. Take a break at one of the stunning mountain lakes and listen to the hum of the bees. Observe the birds of prey as they circle in the sky and then swoop down from the to hunt their prey. The region which has been awarded with the Austrian Hiking Seal of Quality has not neglected the need for quality concerning infrastructure and trail networks. For those who want to head up high in sporty mode will find the perfect challenge on the via ferratas. For a printed version of all the hiking trails, we have a separate booklet.
Well sign-posted hiking trails, an intact infrastructure, services which are geared towards the requirements of the hiker and continuing development of services on offer are among other things, the cornerstones of the Austrian Hiking Seal of Quality. As one of 11 regions in Austria, Gastein has been awarded this seal of quality.
How should I deal in the correct manner with cows/calves?
Be especially cautious when you encounter cows with their calves! The mother will do everything to protect her young and will react strongly to stroking and the invasion of space. Keeping distance is especially important. It is best to pass the cattle calmly and quietly. Carry a stick of some sort. Always keep your dog on a lead, cattle and horses see dogs as a particular threat. Do not feed the animals!
How are the trails marked?
The hiking trails in Gastein are outlined with yellow signposts and red-white-red markings. Do not leave the marked trail and turn back if you have lost sight of the markings.
What should I take along with me on a hike?
Sufficient water and some small snacks are essential, especially in spring and autumn when not so many of the mountain huts are open. Also, make sure you have enough sun cream with you, as well as waterproof clothing as the weather can change quickly in the mountains. A true to scale hiking map, to be used for orientation or simply to look for worthwhile places to visit. Hiking poles are recommended, especially for the descent which can often be more tiring than the ascent.
What type of footwear is required?
Hiking or mountain boots with a good tread are essential. Ankle length boots an advantage. Please note that if joining a guided hike and your footwear is not suitable, it is at the discretion of the hiking guide whether you can participate in the hike.
With which hike should I start on my holiday?
At the start of your holiday, it is essential that you start with a short hike (for example the Gasteiner Höhenweg), so that you can assess your fitness level. Challenge yourself by going up steeper paths from time to time. The crucial dimension is not the length of the trail (km), but the altitude difference. While on a mountain hike at high altitude, Alpine experience, sure-footedness and a head for heights are vital.
Can my dog accompany me on a hike in Gastein?
In principle, dogs can be taken on hikes. When hiking with your dog, please ensure it is on the lead. If other animals (cows, horses) approach, take your dog off the lead – your dog will be much faster than the other animals and can quickly run away. On public transport (buses and also gondolas) a regulation is that dogs be on the lead and wear a muzzle.
Which hikes are especially recommended for families?
Particularly suitable are short hikes with possibilities for adventure and a worthy aim. The Bärenweg in Dorfgastein provides a route that is amusing with several play stations. The Astenalmen in Bad Gastein has a large play area and animals which the children can pet. For little one still in prams, walks that are not too steep are recommended as pushing a pram can be quite exhausting. Promenades and forest paths are recommended such as; Angertal, Sportgastein, Kötschachtal, Gasteiner Höhenweg, Achenpromenade.
On which hikes will I work up a sweat?
Motto: The more altitude, the better! Gastein has something to offer everyone: From strolls to Alpine mountain tours – from the valley floor to over 3,000 m. It is important that you make an early start for longer tours, as hiking at altitude in the midday heat is not recommended. In addition, you should ensure that you have enough water with you to replenish the body with lost fluids. Insider tip: Here in Gastein you can drink safely from the streams and mountain springs. A source of water is never too far away. Please be aware of grazing livestock nearby! Aim to take a break every 1½ hours and drink water.
Can I hike from hut to hut – in other words simply spend days up on the mountain without having to come back down to the valley?
Yes, this is something that can be easily done in Gastein. Take a hike along the west side of the valley, along lovely ridges and into a hidden landscape with a trail taking you from hut to hut, where you can forget about the stresses of everyday life. The Gastein Trail is well signposted and allows you to take in the beauty of the Gastein mountains from every angle.
What is an overnight stay in an Alpine hut like?
We recommend that you make a reservation in advance to be sure that you have somewhere to stay. An overnight stay will often be in a dormitory style room, but there also double rooms available.
What is the Gasteiner Hiking Pin?
The Gastein Hiking Pin is awarded to every hiker as a reward for his/her efforts and as motivation to continue. There are points awarded for each hike – the proof is required by way of a stamp which you will find at the respective mountain peaks or huts. From small children to Grandma and Grandpa – collecting points for the Gastein Hiking Pin is fun for all. Don’t worry, you don’t have to reach the required points for the pins all at once – your points are valid forever, that is they don’t expire. When you return to the Gastein Valley, you just continue collecting the points.
Where will I find suitable hiking maps?
For shorter walks and hikes, the free orientation map will suffice. The maps can be obtained from either your landlord or the Tourist Office. If you are planning a lengthier hike, a true to scale map is imperative – you can purchase one of these maps for a small charge from the Tourist Office.