Out, up, happy

(Long-distance) hiking in Osttirol

Short and sweet

  • Over 2,500 kilometers of signposted hiking trails
  • NEW: The Höfe Trail - Austria's first long-distance hiking trail especially for families
  • Long-distance hiking tips: Iseltrail with new suspension bridge and Glockner crown
  • Adventure tips and hikes for families against alienation from nature


Osttirol is situated In the midst of the striking peaks south of the main Alpine ridge and attracts families, adventurers and those seeking relaxation in equal measure thanks to its unspoilt nature and living tradition. Hardly any other region stands for such intense nature experiences as the "Land of Mountains". The possibilities for mountain sports enthusiasts are as varied as the vacation region itself. Whether it's a day tour or a long-distance hike: south of the main Alpine ridge, there are not only routes to suit all abilities, but also space, unspoiled nature and meditative tranquillity. While high-alpine tours around and on Osttirol's 266 three-thousand-metre peaks are particularly popular with experienced mountaineers, hikers of all ages will be delighted by the family-friendly routes and water and nature playgrounds.


If you want to set off on a longer hike, you'll find the freedom of nature and yourself on one of Osttirol's 21 long-distance hikes. Even scientific studies prove that hikers are happier people. Nature lovers experience an extraordinary diversity of species in the midst of partly untouched, high alpine wilderness that is unparalleled in the Alps. In total, East Tyrol scores with over 2,500 kilometers of hiking trails and more than 120 managed huts that invite you to stop off and stay overnight. New: the Höfe Trail, Austria's first family hiking trail and the suspension bridge over the Isel Gorge between Virgen and Prägraten.


An overview of all routes and an interactive map with information on route lengths, altitude and difficulty levels can be found at: www.osttirol.com

Long-distance hiking in harmony with body and mind

Der 2020 eröffnete Iseltrail verläuft entlang des längsten frei fließenden Gletscherflusses der Alpen. Die 74 Kilometer lange Osttiroler Weitwanderung kann in fünf Etappen absolviert werden.

Anyone who undertakes a multi-day tour is not just looking for a sporting challenge. It's often about leaving everyday life behind, discovering a region with all your senses and finding yourself again. The peace and quiet during the slow uphill and downhill walk is like a balm for the soul, creating space for slowing down and inner reflection. In addition to the positive mental effect, this meditative sport has been proven to promote physical fitness, improve metabolism, strengthen the immune system and increase muscle strength and endurance. The level of difficulty, on the other hand, is (almost) a secondary matter, rather the journey is the goal - whether on a moderate loop such as the one around the Lienz valley floor, a multi-faceted route such as the Iseltrail, a majestic route such as the Glocknerkrone or a challenging adventure such as the Hoch-Tirol-Trail: whatever is good for you and your fitness level allows is permitted. Incidentally, all 20 long-distance hiking routes have rewards in the form of sweeping summit panoramas, wild mountain streams, crystal-clear mountain lakes and blooming alpine meadows. Below are selected long-distance hiking tips in East Tyrol to help you slow down step by step.

NEW: from farm to farm on East Tyrol's first family hiking trail

The Höfe Trail is Austria's first long-distance hiking trail for families. Thanks to easy trails with five daily stages, even the little ones can experience the natural mountain landscape of the East Tyrolean Gail and Lesach valleys. Churning butter and making cheese, grinding grain and baking your own bread on the farm: young and old can take part in the life of mountain farmers on every day of the hike. Overnight stays are in quality-tested, family-run accommodation, including meals with regional products. The best time of year for the family hike is from mid-May to the beginning of November, depending on the snow conditions and the opening hours of the accommodation. The Trail Angels, an information and booking center set up especially for this purpose, support East Tyrolean holidaymakers with planning and are also on hand with help and advice during the trip.

Long-distance hiking trail Iseltrail - NEW

Spectacular suspension bridge from spring 2024

(73.7 kilometers / 5 stages / 2,120 vertical meters / difficulty: easy-medium)

The Isel is the longest free-flowing glacial river in the Alps and has many faces: sometimes as a small stream, sometimes as a thundering waterfall. Pleasure hikers and nature lovers alike will love the Iseltrail, which is marked all the way from the Dolomite town of Lienz to the glacier gate in the Hohe Tauern National Park. The crowning glory of the hike is the expanse of the upper Iseltal valley, also known as the Umbaltal valley. There, the glacier tongue of the Umbalkees marks the beginning of the arctic-like wilderness. Apart from the Clara hut (the only accommodation option) and the occasional herd of grazing sheep, the influence of humans is negligible. All stages up to the Umbaltal valley can be freely divided up and individually arranged. The highlight of the tour is the new suspension bridge over the gorge in the Virgen Valley. It has a span of 86 meters and leads over the canyon, which is more than 80 meters deep.

Glocknerkrone - NEW since 2023

On the road in the realm of the king

(65 kilometers / 6 stages / 3,737 vertical meters / difficulty: medium)
The East Tyrolean "Glocknerkrone" trail, newly created in 2023, runs through all vegetation zones in the area of Austria's highest peak: the Grossglockner. The six day stages lead across meadows and valleys to glaciated high mountains, with mountain farming landscapes in between, some of which are reminiscent of Tibetan high valleys. The five huts along the route that can be used as stage destinations or overnight accommodation include the Sudetendeutsche Hütte, the Kalser Tauernhaus, the Lucknerhütte, the Glorer Hütte and the Alpengasthof Glödis Refugium. Tip: Ascent and descent are possible on every section - ideal for all those who just want to get a taste of the Glockner air for a day.

Nature adventure playground for young and old

At the Hohe Tauern National Park wilderness camp in East Tyrol, the program includes forays into the high mountains, wildlife watching, setting up a camp site and spending the night under the stars.

Rangertour mit Kindern

Alienation from nature? Not with East Tyrol

Experts are sounding the alarm because the health effects of excessive computer gaming and excessive social media use are a serious concern. On average, children only spend around one hour a day outdoors, compared to seven in front of a screen. Alienation from nature is the keyword. To get the younger generation excited about outdoor activities again, the focus must be on fun. And there is plenty of that in East Tyrol: under the motto "Out of the virtual world, into the untouched nature of East Tyrol", children and young people learn that hiking is anything but boring - for example in the Oberhauser Zirbenwald, the largest contiguous stone pine forest in the Eastern Alps.


There, the essential oils of the cones, the twittering of birds and the clear air alone have a relaxing effect. Or at the Hohe Tauern National Park's wilderness camp, where youngsters go on a two-day expedition with the rangers. There they follow the tracks of wild animals, set up campsites and set off in search of food, using all five senses: kids learn to touch, taste, smell, walk barefoot and listen to the voices of the forest. This encourages creativity as well as peace and balance.

Splash, splash, soaking wet: Galitzenklamm water playground

High mountain lakes, waterfalls, glaciers - East Tyrol is a realm of water. The Galitzenklamm gorge at the foot of the Lienz Dolomites is an insider tip and a unique natural experience. The entrance is located where the Galitzenbach flows into the Drau. In the adventure park, little ones can cross narrow bridges and follow a water trail to the water playground, while older children can continue up to one of the many via ferratas. The gorge is open daily between 9 am and 6 pm from May 1 to September 15, 2024. Adults pay 8 euros, children 7 euros (via ferrata: 10.50 or 8.50 euros), family tickets from 27 euros (2 adults +1 child)

Mountain meadow adventure at Golzentipp

A total of 13 stations such as a marble run, a water course or a skill test entice families to take a stroller-friendly round on the children's mile in the Golzentipp hiking area in East Tyrol. The site at the Laba reservoir lake with views of the Hohe Tauern with the Grossglockner to the north, the Lienz Dolomites to the north-east and the Gailtal Alps to the east and on to the Carnic ridge, which forms the border with Italy, is a highlight for the whole family. A separate relaxation zone with barbecue area invites you to linger. Summit conquerors can walk another 20 minutes from the Jochsee lake to the 2,317-metre-high summit of the Golzentipp and enjoy the impressive panorama.


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