Not skiing or riding today? Discover the awesome beauty of Tirol’s winter wonderland with thickets of snow-laden trees, silent white meadows and trails running parallel to frozen creeks. No special skills required… just the desire to experience nature, the outdoors and get some exercise. Pull on your boots, wrap up warm and get moving – here are five of the best walking trails in Tirol to take advantage of this winter!
1. Close to Heaven
The picturesque setting of Maria Waldrast Abbey, in a place of great beauty on foot of lofty Serles Peak at an elevation of over 1,600 meters, is peaceful and unspoilt. If you enjoy exploring woodland areas and amazing views then this delightful 12-kilometer long loop walk around Waldraster Jöchl is the perfect choice for you. Having returned to the trailhead, pause for a rest, and warm yourself up over hot mulled wine served at the friendly inn of the abbey.
A gentle high-lying valley, dotted by dozens of weathered cabins and barns and a lovely chapel named “Maria Schnee” (‘St. Mary’s in the Snow’): Situated some 600 meters above the village of Pfunds, winter wonderland lovers find a peaceful slice of paradise in Pfunds Tschey. This amazingly scenic walk is quite manageable and showcases the enduring might of nature. It winds through the high-altitude valley in easy ups and downs for some two hours.
3. In the Realm of Chamois
Towering high above Achensee Lake, majestic Karwendel Mountain Range affords wonderful winter walking opportunities for the hale and hearty. Departing from Pertisau, this wide open trail provides access to pristine Falzthurntal Valley and is a great way to commune with nature. A gentle grade through wintry woods winds to Gramaialm Alpine Pasture Hut on foot of Sonnjoch Mountain and takes some two hours to complete. Travel by foot to enjoy Karwendel Nature Park’s scenery up close and personal, and you might even spot some wildlife, such as chamois.
4. Surrounded by Lofty Peaks
Kaisertal is widely considered one of Austria’s most beautiful mountain valleys. For a breathtaking jaunt in more ways than one, the route climbs 285 wooden steps for a good cardio workout in the beginning. Moreover, the vistas of Kufstein and the lofty peaks of Wilder and Zahmer Kaiser Mountain Ranges will take your breath away. This delightful 4-hour loop walk takes you through sunny open vistas, into hushed stands of sweet-smelling pine, spruce and fir, and to Antonius Chapel and Hinterkaiserhof Farm with its rewarding snack station.
5. The Mountaineering Village
At an elevation of 1,356 meters above sea level, Kartitsch is a tiny village at the gateway to chocolate-box Gailtal Valley in East Tirol. A hotspot for avid mountaineers in the summer, the area is blessed with heavy snowfalls each winter, visited by those who live for waist-deep powder dumps. From Klammerwirt Inn in Rauchenbach explore snow fields and meadows en route to Kartitscher Sattel — along with stunning views of the Carnic Ridge. The loop will bring winter walkers back to the trailhead after an exhilarating 2.5 hour trip with a big reward at the apex: Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering “Kaiserschmarrn”, which is served at Klammerwirt Inn.