Austrian Tyrol walking holiday, self guided

Description of Austrian Tyrol walking holiday, self guided

Eight days in the secret Leutasch Valley, one of the most tranquil, unspoilt high valleys in the Austrian Tyrol and an ideal retreat for people who want to relax and get away from it all. Our walks take you through beautiful alpine landscapes of extraordinary contrasts, from fertile, secluded valleys and flower-filled meadows to dramatic river gorges, lakes, dense forests and pretty alpine villages, all surrounded by the spectacular jagged peaks of the mighty Wetterstein mountains.

Highlights:
Full programme of flexible self-guided walks and excursions
Optional Cycle Rides
Superb 4-star hotel with excellent cuisine
Heated swimmng pool, Jacuzzi, saunas and spa
Self-guided tour of Innsbruck
Outstanding alpine scenery of dramatic valleys, snow-capped peaks, silent forest tracks, picturesque villages

Climate: Mid-June to early September are ideal times to walk in Austria when days are warm and sunny with temperatures averaging 16.5 degrees C. In early summer wild flowers clothe the meadows in spectacular colour while September brings mellow colours and numerous fine days, perfect for walking.

Your base: The Leutasch Valley is situated at 1130 metres above sea level, west of the delightful city of Innsbruck, less than an hour by road or rail. An excellent bus system serves neighbouring villages, making the towns of Mittenwald and Seefeld easily accessible.

Grading of Walks: The walks in our programme are designed for the average walker and in spite of the sheer size of the mountains viewed from the valleys, the walks are no more difficult than any moderate walks in England. In fact only the Wetterstein Hut route involves a strenuous climb. And if you use a pair of poles, you will be able to walk further without tiring and gain more enjoyment from your walking. We include easy options on most days ao that anyone who can manage a few miles on the flat can enjoy the forest and meadow trails on the main valley slopes, as well as venture into side-valleys and walk back from lift top-stations.

Hotel: The hotel is 4-star, set in a superb location at Leutasch-Platzl surrounded by mountains and alpine meadows. It is family-run, friendly and efficient. The hotel boasts an excellent indoor pool and spa facilities, numerous treatments from massage to facials and special baths. There is also a bar, lounge and games room, The cuisine is excellent with extensive buffet breakfasts and four-course dinners which include buffet-style salad starters a wide range of desserts and a choice of eight main dishes. All rooms are large, light and very well equipped with lounge area, fridge and basic cooking facilities; all rooms have both baths and showers and most have balconies overlooking the mountains.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Depart Innsbruck airport by bus for the train station. Train to Seefeld and bus or taxi to Leutasch. (Full directions provided).
Day 2:The Leutasch Valley (5 or 9 miles, easy flat terrain) Today you walk straight from the hotel alongside a gushing river to explore the gentle charms of the sunny Leutasch Valley, one of the most picturesque in the Austrian Tyrol. There are no crowds here: simply open meadows and forest trails, pretty villages and tiny hamlets, which run alongside the river at the foot of the Wetterstein mountain range. A highlight today is the beautiful lake at Weidach and lunch basking in the sunshine at the nearby trout restaurant, flowers all around. For the shorter walk, simply take the bus back to the hotel. Perhaps take a cycle ride, go for a swim or a sauna or indulge in a facial or massage. Or simply chill! For the longer walk, join a riverside path to Puitbach, crossing alpine meadows populated only with cows, bells clanging in Tyrolean fashion. A forest path takes you on to tiny hamlets that remain predominantly traditional farming communities; here pretty frescoed houses and onion-domed churches punctuate Alpine pastures backed by the mighty peaks of the Wetterstein range. Then back to the comforts of your hotel via Gasse and its bakery famed for its Applestrudel!
Day 3:The Wetterstein Hut (3, 8 or 10 miles: moderate; some steep ascents, high mountain paths, easy walking to finish) A walk into a Tyrolean idyll of lush alpine meadows, wooden chalets and burbling brooks, overlooked by jagged mountain peaks. After a flat start through meadows and hamlets, there is a fairly long steady climb of 580 metres up to the Wettersteinhutte for lunch, enjoying fabulous views from the terrace over the Seefeld Plateau. This is the highest point of the walk at nearly 2,000 metres. After lunch, embark on a stunning balcony walk which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Finally, descend gradually to the Hammermoos Alm back to the entrance to the Gais Valley where there is a bus stop for the return to KirchPlatzl. Or, for 10 miles, simply walk back to the hotel along the valley rather than take the bus. If you are selecting the easy walks, today you simply follow the afternoon section of the Leutasch Valley walk.
Day 4:Day in Innsbruck: No trip to the Austrian Tyrol is complete without a visit to Innsbruck, the crossroads of Europe, the city in the heart of the Alps, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. A short bus ride to Seefeld is followed by a scenic 40-minute train ride. Once in Innsbruck, you can take a self-guided tour of the city’s highlights, including the City Tower, the 15th century Helblinghaus and the Golden Roof. After lunch further explore this charming and lively city with its labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and jumble of mediaeval buildings. Then there are fascinating museums and monuments including the Hofburg Palace, home to the Hapsburgs, Austria’s royal family. And you simply must sample coffee and scrumptious Austrian cake! Return by train to Seefeld and bus back to the comforts of your charming hotel.
Day 5:The Gaistal Valley & Ganghofer Trail (7-10 miles: easy; mostly flat terrain) A wonderful walk in the secluded and totally unspoiled Gaistal Valley. A short bus ride to the Salzbach Bridge, then a gentle, short ascent on an easy-going trail to the Hammermoos alpine pasture and Gaistal Alm. Here stop for lunch in the most idyllic surroundings imaginable, breathing fresh mountain air, soaking up the sun from a flower-filled terrace, surrounded by jagged peaks, digital cameras clicking. Your route along the Ganghofer Trail winds through high pastures in the footsteps of Ganghofer who spent many months each year here in his nearby hunting lodge, entertaining well-known personalities such as Richard Strauss. A short, gradual descent to the valley floor to walk alongside the river to the bus stop and a short ride back to your hotel. Several bus-stops are accessible from the valley walk, providing the opportunity to finish after 7 miles, or even 8 or 9!
Day 6:Seefelder Spitze and the High Mountains (6-9 miles, easy to moderate with the option of a more challenging walk to the Seefelder Spitze) A short bus ride to Seefeld to board the funicular for a thrilling ride to Rosshutte. After a short easy walk on the Zirbenweg enjoy a coffee on the sunny terrace of the Rosshutte Panorama restaurant before being hoisted up by cable car to the Seefelder Joch Top Station at 2060 metres. Here you will enjoy quite spectacular views in all directions from the highest mountain top around. From the wide grassy ridge at the top you can continue on an optional walk to Seefelder Spitze at 2222 metres. Alternatively, you can opt for another cable car excursion across an awesome gorge from the mid-station at Rosshutte. Finally descend gradually and easily on foot via Lake Kaitwassersee and the Hocheggalm where you may like to stop for a beer or a coffee in stunning surroundings. Your descent continues on a forest road to Seefeld. Return by bus to the hotel, having spent an unforgettable day in the high mountains of the Tyrol. (Packed Lunch today)
Day 7:Leutaschklamm & Mittenwald (5 or 7 miles: easy, few gradients) A short walk from the hotel to join the bus in the nearby hamlet of Gasse. Ride on the bus along the valley to Lehner to join a riverside path to Reindlau via Porta Claudia, the old border gate. Then on to the spectacular Leutaschklamm. This is a favourite route in which you walk on an equally spectacular steel trail, clinging to the side of a dramatic gorge high above the teeming Leutascher Ache (don’t worry - you are fully enclosed and quite safe!). The path crisscrosses the ravine below by a series of footbridges as you admire not only the scenery but also the feat of engineering which brought this about. Then from the gorge you cross a bridge, quite literally, between Austria and Germany to lunch at the Gletscherschliff Mountain Hut with stunning views of Mittenwald and the Karwendeljoch across the valley from the terrace. Gently descend to Mittenwald itself, wonderfully situated against a mountain backdrop: here you can stroll through pedestrianised streets, exploring pavement cafes, sampling traditional coffees and cakes, admiring historic buildings whose facades are adorned with brightly coloured frescoes. You can visit the church, one of the finest in the Bavarian Alps or the famous Violin Museum where you can watch a demonstration of the violin maker at work. The German writer, Goethe, called the town a ‘living picturebook’ and it has remained so ever since, 200 years later. Return by bus to Gasse and your hotel. For the shorter walk, you simply start by taking the bus further along the valley, omitting 2 miles of walking.
Day 8:Depart for Innsbruck and your flight home.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Austrian Tyrol walking holiday, self guided

Environment

Walking is the least carbon intensive way to travel and ensures that the environmental impact of our walking clients is kept to a minimum. Where it is necessary to travel by means other than on foot, we encourage the use of public transport. On this holiday, we make use of the excellent local bus system to access some of the walks and we encourage clients to transfer from the airport by train. We aim to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local rural economy. We accommodate our walkers in a small local hotel which is family run and central to the life of the village. They employ local people and prepare meals from locally grown produce as far as possible.

In our office we recycle paper, cardboard, ink cartridges and printed material. We purchase recycled printer cartridges, paper, envelopes, labels, pens, toilet tissue, bin liners. We turn off printers, photocopiers, computers, battery chargers and transformers at the end of each day and avoid ‘screen savers’, use energy-efficient bulbs and low-energy appliances. We cut CO2 emissions by keeping thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting. We do not use tumble dryers nor take disposable plastic bottles to the countryside, instead promoting the use of water bottles manufactured by companies like Sigg.

We keep our customers informed electronically via email, electronic newsletters and our website. We encourage clients to remit their payments electronically via PayPal or by bank transfer. All our customers receive our Tips for Sustainable Tourism and, as part of this, we encourage people to learn at least a few words of German.

Community

We endeavour to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local economy. In choosing to lunch at local restaurants and visit small farms and smallholdings en route, we are patronising establishments which employ staff from the local rural community.

Bringing people to a new region, arranging their accommodation and food, transporting them from place to place, walking the ancient footpaths, visiting their cafes and restaurants and teaching through carefully-researched commentaries something about the country’s rich history, culture and folk law, has the effect of giving people a sense of community with the place. People sometimes return on their own or with friends, visit the same hotels and restaurants and renew their sense of being at one with the beautiful local countryside.

OUr visitors are encouraged to engage with the local community, taking advantage of the cultural events organised by the local Tourist Office. This helps to foster an understanding of the communities they are visiting. Our cultural commentaries further add to understanding local history, folklore and traditions.

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