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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Self-guided walking tour on the Dachstein Circuit
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Highlights

  • Walking a classic European circuit through the stunning alpine landscapes of the Dachstein
  • Panoramic views as you ride cable cars and funicular railways up into the mountains
  • Admiring rugged peaks, virgin forests, glaciers and lakes from high mountain plateaux
  • Taking in the view from the ‘Sky Walk’ viewing platform over the Dachstein Glacier
  • Relaxing with a cold beer on the sun terrace at the end of a rewarding hike
  • The convenience of staying alternate nights in rustic mountain lodges and charming inns/hotels

Austria’s Dachstein hiking circuit is truly a walker’s paradise. This impressive alpine massif is filled with reflective lakes, glacial ice, serene pastures, virgin forests and rugged limestone peaks rising 2500m above the valley floor. Stay alternate nights in characterful Austrian inns and spectacularly-located mountain lodges in the UNESCO World Heritage region of the Salzkammergut.

With 3-8 hrs of hiking time planned each day, this is an inspirational walk for keen hikers with a good level of fitness, who will be enchanted by the Dachstein mountain range and the ambience and camaraderie of its authentic mountain lodges. As you walk, keep your eyes peeled for ibex, chamois and marmot that thrive in this pristine alpine habitat.

As this tour alternates between lower level inns and higher-placed lodges, cable cars and funiculars are also included on some days, to whisk you up into the mountains so you can easily reach the best trails. You’ll also cross by ferry to the beautiful lakeside ‘salt town’ of Halstatt, as well as following the oldest industrial pipeline in the world, which has been carrying salt water since the late 1600s!

Your hike begins and ends in the pretty lakeside town of Gosau, with its waters relflecting the glaciated Dachstein. Over 8 walking days you’ll be rewarded with superb alpine walking across high plateaux, with panoramic views and great accommodations nestled right in the heart of the mountains. This is a classic European alpine circuit just waiting to be discovered.

DAY 1: Arrive Gosau

Arrive in the idyllic lakeside town of Gosau, at 700m altitude it is located right next to the Dachstein mountain range, in the heart of the Austrian Alps.


You are in Upper Austria’s Salzkammergut region, which offers spectacular views to the Gosau ridge and renowned Dachstein Glacier.


On arrival at your hotel you will receive your welcome pack, with all the information you will need for your trek, including maps, guide book and local information.


Overnight: Gasthof Brandwirt, Gosau


Family Schnitzhofer run the charming 50-bed Gasthof Brandwirt, a traditional 17th century property located in the heart of Gosau with a fantastic elevated position and views over the surrounding alpine countryside. The homely restaurant offers delicious Austrian fare— Schweinsbraten and Wiener Schnitzel being popular choices!


DAY 2: Cable car to Zwieselalm, walk to Hofpürgl Mountain Lodge

Your Austrian trek begins with a cable car ride from Gosausee Lake up the flanks of the Zwieselalm. You can walk, take the bus or drive your own car the 4km to the cable car station.


Today you’ll need to carry your overnight kit in your day pack as you’ll be staying high in the mountains (your main luggage will be transferred to your hotel in Ramsau).


Enjoy a fantastic high altitude walk to the Hofpürgl mountain lodge, taking in the wonderful views over the lake, alpine pastures and giant rocky edifice of the Torstein.


Walk: approx. 10km, 3-4hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent 850m/860m


Overnight: Hofpürgl Mountain Lodge, (1705m altitude), Dachstein Circuit


Heinz and Regina Sudra offer a warm welcome to this lovely Alpine Club hut at the foot of the twin-peaked ‘Bishop’s Cap’, which offers dormitory rooms (double rooms on request). There is even an indoor bouldering/climbing wall for rainy days!


DAY 3: Walk to Südwand mountain lodge, descend to Türlwand and Ramsau

After a good alpine breakfast, lace up your hiking boots and stride out on a high altitude path as you walk across scree fields below the Gosaustein. Gentle hills at the foot of the Hohkesselkopf open up views to the Hohe Tauern peaks, as you hike to the charming Südwand Lodge, an ideal refreshment stop for Kaffee und Kuchen, or something a little stronger!


Enjoy breath-taking views from the terrace of this pretty stone mountain refuge over the surrounding peaks and valleys, before descending to the Türlwand, reaching  Ramsau for an overnight stay at the foot of Mount Dachstein (your main luggage will be waiting here for you).


Walk: approx. 12.5km, 4.5hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent 895m/882m


Overnight: Hotel Tuerlwand, (1,715m altitude), Ramsau


This mountain hotel’s private rooms are cosy and offer outstanding picture-postcard views of the valley or mountain itself. Relax on the sun terrace with a cold beer, or ease those muscles in the hotel’s sauna.


DAY 4: Cable car to Dachstein Glacier. Walk to Guttenberg Mountain Lodge

Today you’ll start with a gondola ride (7 mins and payable locally) to the impressive Dachstein Glacier. Marvel at this expanse of crevassed ice, which provides fantastic photo opportunities to turn family and friends green with envy! A special highlight is the ‘Sky Walk’ viewing platform.


Continue on the alpine route 674 to Guttenberg mountain lodge. Please note that there is an alternative route through the valley available, if weather conditions are unstable at higher elevations.


You’ll carry your overnight things in a day pack as your main luggage will be transferred to your accommodation above Gröbming.


Walk: approx. 9.5km, 4hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent t/descent 264m/861m


Overnight: Guttenberghaus, Dachstein Circuit


Meet the Perhab Family, who run this delightful timber-clad mountain hut, full of old-world charm (it is over 100 years old!). Accommodation is in dormitory rooms, with double rooms on request.


DAY 5: Walk ‘Am Stein’ Plateau and Grafenbergalm to Stoderzinken

Revel in the stunning alpine vistas which stretch out before you, as you follow the mountain path over the ‘Am Stein’ plateau to the small alpine hut at Grafenbergalm, nestled in a green basin with small tarns and groups of pines. Continue along paths lined with rhododendron and through forests, then on switchbacks up to the mountain slopes of the Stoderzinken.


Your main luggage will be waiting for you upon check-in.


Walk: approx. 13km, 6hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent 552m/860m


Overnight: Steiner Haus, above Gröbming


Tine and Harald Steiner and their team pride themselves on offering hearty and tasty home-cooked food for their guests. Stay in private rooms. It’s even possible to pre-order a 6-course gourmet menu (min. 4 diners).


DAY 6: Walk to Steinitzenalm

Hike from the Stoderzinken on an ancient path once used by merchants through the stunning 500m-long ‘Notgasse’ rock gorge with its 2000 year old rock paintings. Continue to the alpine pastures of the Viehbergalm and further to the summit of the Hochmühleck, the highest peak in the area with magnificent views. Descend steeply to the Steinizenalm/Bad Mitterndorf*, where you’ll overnight.


Your main luggage will again be transferred to tonight’s accommodation.


Walk: approx. 17km, 6hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent 552/1370m. *It may be that you are booked to stay at Bad Mitterndorf and this is a further hour’s descent from Steinitzenalm


Overnight: Steinitzenalm, 1000m altitude


This cosy mountain chalet lodge is home to Bernadette and her family, who spend the Austrian summer welcoming hikers to this idyllic mountain setting. Stay in dormitory accommodation (double rooms on a request basis).


DAY 7: Ödensee Lake. Ferry from Obertraun to Hallstatt

Hike down through forest and open meadows to the Ödensee Lake, then on to Bad Aussee (or you can shorten this day by taking a train from Bad Mitterndorf to Bad Aussee if you wish). Continue through the lush and untouched Koppen valley to Obertraun, where you catch the ferry across to Hallstatt.


Walk: approx. 26km, 7hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent 315m/807m.


Overnight: Gasthof Grüner Anger, Hallstatt


Your hosts Andrea and Gottfried Sulzbacher run this delightful inn, located in the southern part of Hallstatt, near the funicular station. The Gasthof is just a five mins walk from the centre, and around 200m from the lake, in a peaceful location.


Your main luggage will again be transferred to tonight’s accommodation.


DAY 8: Salzberg funicular railway to salt mine, brine pipeline trail to Bad Goisern

Take the Salzberg funicular railway from Hallstatt Lahn to the entrance of the salt mine, Hallstätter Salzwelten. You may like to take time to visit the salt mines (entrance payable locally) and learn about Hallstatt the ‘salt town’.


Continue further along the brine pipeline hiking trail to Bad Goisern. You’ll be walking above the oldest active industrial pipeline in the world, which first operated in 1607. Today the 'brine' continues to flow, but through plastic pipes. This salt water (33% salt) rivals that of the Dead Sea (30% salt). Ascend on the path up to your mountain lodge accommodation.


Walk: approx. 17.5km, 7hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent 1628m/885m.


Overnight: Goiserer Mountain Lodge, Dachstein Circuit


Your final night in the mountains is at the traditional Goiserer mountain hut, which is over 80 years old and was renovated in 2013. Stay in dormitory accommodation (no double rooms are available at this hut).


You’ll carry your overnight things in a day pack as your luggage will be transferred to Gosau.


DAY 9: Walk Iglmoosalm to Gosau

Make the most of the views and superb mountain walking for one last time on your Austrian adventure, as you take a short descent to Gosau.


Walk: approx. 7km, 2-3hrs, altitude difference ascent/descent 46m/873m


Overnight: Gasthof Brandwirt, Gosau


DAY 10: Onward travel

After breakfast bid farewell to Austria’s Salzkammergut region, having completed the Dachstein Circuit.


 


 

Accommodation

You will stay for 5 nights in private rooms in 3*standard hotels and 4 nights in dormitory-style accommodation when in the mountain lodges (private double rooms may be requested in advance at a supplement, with the exception of Goiserer Mountain Lodge which only offers multi-bedded rooms). All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. Please note that hotels in this region do not tend to have ‘true’ double or twin rooms; 2 x single mattresses, each with their own bedding, are usually found placed together on a double bed frame.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you in the hotel/inns on those 5 nights, although there is a single room supplement payable. Single rooms are not available in the mountain lodges. This walk is not available for solo travellers due to the terrain/remote location.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning. Many accommodations are happy to provide a packed lunch - this should be requested on arrival, or you can often pick up lunch in the villages or stop along the trail. A half board supplement is available.


Alternative accommodation


The accommodation listed in the itinerary and on our website are the hotels we use most often but if they are not available, you might be booked into an alternative hotel of the same or better standard and we will send you the details as soon as your booking is confirmed.



 

 

 



Gasthaus Brandwirt - Gosau



Gasthaus Brandwirt - Gosau

Family Schnitzhofer run the charming 50-bed Gasthof Brandwirt, a traditional 17th century property located in the heart of Gosau with a fantastic elevated position and views over the surrounding alpine countryside. The homely restaurant offers delicious Austrian fare— Schweinsbraten and Wiener Schnitzel being popular choices!


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hofpuergl Mountain Lodge



Hofpuergl Mountain Lodge, Dachstein Circuit

Heinz and Regina Sudra offer a warm welcome to this lovely Alpine Club hut at the foot of the twin-peaked ‘Bishop’s Cap’, which offers dormitory rooms (double rooms on request). There is even an indoor bouldering/climbing wall for rainy days!


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Tuerlwand - Ramsau



Hotel Tuerlwand - Ramsau

This mountain hotel’s private rooms are cosy and offer outstanding picture-postcard views of the valley or mountain itself. Relax on the sun terrace with a cold beer, or ease those muscles in the hotel’s sauna.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Guttenberghaus - Dachstein Circuit



Gutenberghaus - Dachstein Circuit

Meet the Perhab Family, who run this delightful timber-clad mountain hut, full of old-world charm (it is over 100 years old!). Accommodation is in dormitory rooms, with double rooms on request.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Steiner Haus - near Groebming



Steiner Haus - near Groebming

Tine and Harald Steiner and their team pride themselves on offering hearty and tasty home-cooked food for their guests. Stay in private rooms. It’s even possible to pre-order a 6-course gourmet menu (min. 4 diners).


 

 

 


 

 

 



Steinitzenalm



Steinitzenalm

This cosy mountain chalet lodge is home to Bernadette and her family, who spend the Austrian summer welcoming hikers to this idyllic mountain setting. Stay in dormitory accommodation (double rooms on a request basis).


 

 

 


 

 

 



Gasthof Gruener Anger, Hallstatt



Gasthof Gruener Anger - Hallstatt

Your hosts Andrea and Gottfried Sulzbacher run this delightful inn, located in the southern part of Hallstatt, near the funicular station. The Gasthof is just a five mins walk from the centre, and around 200m from the lake, in a peaceful location.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Goiserer Mountain Lodge - Dachstein Circuit



Goiserer Mountain Lodge - Dachstein Circuit

Stay at the traditional Goiserer mountain hut, which is over 80 years old and was renovated in 2013. Stay in dormitory accommodation (no double rooms are available at this hut).


 

 

 

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day of the week from the beginning of July to the end of September.


Time of Year

The Dachstein Circuit is best enjoyed from July to end of September, as you will be walking in the high mountains and alpine landscape. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans. Please note that in early/late season there may be snow still lying on the ground.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This tour is not available for solo walkers due to the remote nature of the environment.


Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate to strenuous and includes daily walks of between 7-26 km following footpaths, tracks and mountain paths. As you will be walking at high elevations, there may be some snow on the ground early/late in the season. Some of the ascents and descents are steep and can be exposed so require a good head for heights and sure-footedness in places. You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Much of the walk is way-marked however you will need to be competent in navigating with a map and compass in case of poor weather. You will also be provided with a guide book advising you as to the route each day.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to up to 2 pieces (max. 20kg per bag). On certain days you will need to carry an overnight day pack with your necessary kit, and will then have access to your main luggage the next day.


Travel Insurance 

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information 

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Travel Information

Getting to/from Gosau


By Air - The closest airport is Salzburg,
with flights available direct from the UK with British Airways as well
as many low cost airlines including Ryanair, Thomson Airways, easyJet,
Flybe, Norwegian, Jet2, Thomas Cook and Monarch.


A convenient airport for intercontinental travellers is Munich in Germany, which is around 150km from Salzburg.


Train times can be found at German Rail www.bahn.co.uk and Austrian Rail www.oebb.at.


From Salzburg airport: There is a city bus which operates from
the airport to the main railway station in Salzburg. You can then take a
train to Steeg Gosau (10km from Gosau). The trip takes around 2 hours
and is indirect. Alternatively there are trains to Golling which is 30km
from Gosau. From the train station you need to take a bus or taxi to
the first hotel.


 

Getting to/from Gosau

By Air - The closest airport is Salzburg, with flights available direct from the UK with British Airways as well as many low cost airlines including Ryanair, Thomson Airways, easyJet, Flybe, Norwegian, Jet2, Thomas Cook and Monarch.


A convenient airport for intercontinental travellers is Munich in Germany, which is around 150km from Salzburg.


Train times can be found at German Rail www.bahn.co.uk and Austrian Rail www.oebb.at.


From Salzburg airport: There is a city bus which operates from the airport to the main railway station in Salzburg. You can then take a train to Steeg Gosau (10km from Gosau). The trip takes around 2 hours and is indirect. Alternatively there are trains to Golling which is 30km from Gosau. From the train station you need to take a bus or taxi to the first hotel.

Included

  • 9 Nights accommodation (5 in 3* inns/hotels in private rooms, 4 in mountain huts in dormitories).
  • Baggage transfers as per itinerary.
  • Cable car ticket on days 2.
  • Ferry ticket on day 7.
  • Funicular railway ticket on day 8.
  • Hiking maps and Dachstein guide book.
  • Emergency telephone support from our partners and our UK office.

Excluded

  • Flights and travel to/from Gosau.
  • Lunches and dinners.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Cable car ticket on day 4
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Entrance fees to attractions/museums.
  • Any items specifically not mentioned in program.

Extras

  • Single room supplement if applicable. Single rooms only available in inns/hotels.
  • Upgrade to private double rooms in mountain huts (not available for Goiserer hut).
  • Additional nights at the start/end of the tour.
  • Half board supplement.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is particularly popular in the summer months. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

This walk is graded moderate to strenuous and includes daily walks of between 7-26 km following footpaths, tracks and mountain paths. As you will be walking at high elevations, there may be some snow on the ground early/late in the season. Some of the ascents and descents are steep and can be exposed so require a good head for heights and sure-footedness in places. You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 2 pieces. On certain days you will need to carry an overnight day pack with your necessary kit, and will then have access to your main luggage the next day

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

Due to the fact that you'll be walking in a high alpine landscape, this tour is only available from July to September (the mountain huts also start closing into October). At the very start/end of the season you may see some snow patches in the higher climes.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. Please bear in mind that if you are high in the mountains, then you will need to descend into the villages.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureThe Dachstein Alpine Circuit
 
4.2

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun (4)
  • Great accommodations (4)
  • Well organised (4)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Trying something new (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid adventurer (3)

Reviewed by 6 customers

Displaying reviews 1-6

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4.0

YES

By Rick

from Bend, OR

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • Exhausting

Best Uses

  • Holiday
  • Trying Something New

Comments about macs adventure The Dachstein Alpine Circuit:

We were looking for an adventure that included hut to hut accommodations. We were happy to find the trip included that, plus hotels on alternating days. Unfortunately, the weather was not very cooperative, which can make for a less then perfect trip.With the help from our local contact, we were able to alter our trip and experience stuff we wouldn't have seen otherwise. Thanks for that!!

 
3.0

A good strenuous walk

By Justin

from Umbria

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Staggering views, scenic villages, wonderful foo

Cons

  • Too much walking in trees,

Best Uses

    Comments about macs adventure The Dachstein Alpine Circuit:

    Very pleasant but wouldn't do again. Some cockups on arrangements soon put right

     
    4.0

    Great Hiking in Austria

    By Trekkeross

    from Portland, OR USA

    About Me Avid hiker and traveler

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Spectacular views, uncrowded trails
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Challenging hiking with spectacular views

      Comments about macs adventure The Dachstein Alpine Circuit:

      Three women in their 60s/early 70s who love to hike throughly enjoyed the Dachstein Circuit. The trails were sometimes challenging--rocky, muddy with slippery roots. Most were clearly marked. The views were superb. We had some rain on three days, but fortunately we had sun on the days with high alpine views. The accommodations were excellent, the luggage transfer flawless. The Dachstein booklet which describes each day needs some revision. The maps are so small they aren't useful and the directions are sometimes confusing.

       
      5.0

      Superb Adventure with Strong Support from Macs Adventure

      By Gary

      from Portland, OR USA

      About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Portage of main luggage is most useful
      • Well Organised

      Cons

      • Hike times are overly optimistic

      Best Uses

      • Bonding
      • Holiday
      • Thrill Seeking
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure The Dachstein Alpine Circuit:

      Prepare for strenuous hiking at high altitudes to best enjoy the experience.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great holiday but the weather not always like the brochure!

      By Anne and Phil

      from Scotland

      About Me Keen Walkers

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Once in a Lifetime Experience

      Cons

      • Exhausting

      Best Uses

      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure The Dachstein Alpine Circuit:

      Challenging walking in spectacular terrain - just a shame we were enveloped in cloud and rain for first 3 days with perhaps 20 metres visibility! Common sense and local advice should be heeded - no glacier walking for us but took alternative route - disappointing. Sun shone later in holiday and we could appreciate the heights and the environment. This alpine walking is hard work - distances were generally further than stated - but tremendous rewards. Study map (Kompass 1:50,000 provided) and route notes in detail. Hallstatt is UNESCO world heritage site - would recommend extra day to visit salt mines and enjoy area. Huts are basic - no hot water - need sleeping bag liners, towels and toiletries. We went half board - all food generous and robust.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Fabulous views - highly recommended

      By Lisa A

      from Plymouth

      About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

      Pros

      • Beautiful landscape
      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about macs adventure The Dachstein Alpine Circuit:

          The luggage pick-up was excellent as was the choice of hotels and huts along the route. Also having the vouchers in pack made life really easy and the book that comes with the map gives a fantastic amount of information about the area and the walk.
          I would recommend taking the train on the longest day as 26km is a bit of a push when connecting with the last ferry of the day. We had booked an extra day in Hallstatt which I would recommend doing, in order to enjoy the town more.

          Displaying reviews 1-6

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