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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Across the Tyrolean Alps Self Guided Walking Holiday
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Highlights

  • Ascending the ‘Kings Path’ to overnight in the high alpine hut at Castle Schachen.
  • Traversing the Wetterstein massif to view the dominating peak of Mount Zugspitze.
  • Summiting Hafeleker with panoramic views of Innsbruck and the Karwendel massif.
  • Indulging in the local cuisine including Knodel dumplings and homemade schnapps!
  • Walking to the accompaniment of alpine cow bells as you cross rich alpine pasture.

Walk from Bavaria up over the high Austrian Tyrolean Alps to Innsbruck. Follow the high alpine route across the imposing Wetterstein and Karwendel massifs amidst a landscape of soaring, alpine peaks, deep gorges and rich, flower filled pastures.

Staying in rustic mountain hut accommodation in the shadow of the rugged summits you will awake to the crisp alpine air, invigorated and ready to explore this region rich in natural spectacles.
Commencing in the Bavarian mountain resort town Garmisch-Partenkirchen you are immediately immersed in high alpine landscape. Follow tunnels and canyons above turbulent waters that carve through the ‘Hell Valley Gorge’ and ascend via balcony trails to cross high alpine pastures leading you toward the mighty bulk of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany at 2961m.

Take the ‘Kings Path’ leading you up to King Ludwig II’s Castle Schachen and traverse rugged rocky terrain beneath a mountain sunrise illuminating the surrounding peaks of the Wetterstein massif. Descend via a wild and idyllic gorge into Austria’s verdant Leutasch Valley, where the trail echoes to the sound of distant cow bells. Moving onward deep into the Karwendel Valley the rich floral Halleranger alpine pasture leads you onward into the Karwendel massif, the largest range of the Northern Limestone Alps with 125 peaks over 2000m, home to sure footed chamois and soaring golden eagles.

The alpine trail follows balcony paths through the Nordkette or ‘North Chain’ peaks and guides you to Hafelekar summit station, which at 2256m affords panoramic views down toward Innsbruck. Complete your journey across the Tyrolean Alps with a welcome cable car ride down the slopes to the renowned winter sports centre of Innsbruck. Located in the broad Inn Valley between the high peaks there is much scope to explore the many attractions of Tyrol’s capital city and to toast your adventure with a tot of Stroh Rum or Tyrolean Schnapps.

DAY 1: Arrive Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is located in Bavaria, South Germany and is easily accessible by train from both Munich (2hrs 30m) and Innsbruck in Austria (1hr 45mins). Innsbruck Airport is 56km away and is served by flights from the UK and the rest of Europe.


Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a mountain resort on the border of Germany and Austria, at the foot of the Alps and the perfect place to commence your adventure into the high alpine landscape. Our local representative will meet you at your hotel in Garmisch at 6pm for a welcome meeting.  They will provide maps and answer any last minute questions you may have.


Overnight: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - 3 star hotel


DAY 2: Round trip high altitude walk to the foot of Zugspitze

Your high alpine walk starts with an ascent up through the rugged tunnels and canyons of the Höllentalklamm or ‘Hell Valley Gorge’. Walking above the turbulent waters you come out at the Höllentalanger mountain hut which provides panoramic views across to the dominating peak of Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain at 2961m.


Crossing the rich alpine pastures you ascend a balcony trail high above the gorge to Kreuzberg, famous as the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics. Here you may rest and enjoy the mountain vista before taking the cable car back down to Garmisch–Partenkirchen for a well earned glass of Weißbeir. 


Walk: 10.9km, 5 hrs, 950m ascent


Overnight: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - 3 star hotel


DAY 3: Walk to Schachenhaus

Your day starts with another exhilarating gorge ascent into the Wetterstein massif and a steep climb brings onto the Keonigsweg ’King’s Path’ leading to Castle Schachen. Built by King Ludwig II’ in the 19th century the modest exterior hides an elaborately decorated interior. The adjacent alpine botanical garden cultivates over 1,000 plant species from the Alps to the Himalayas. Both the castle and the gardens are worthy of exploration before you continue your ascent to your traditional alpine mountain hut for the night.


Note: It is necessary to carry a day pack on day 3 and 4 containing all your overnight requirements. Your main luggage will be transferred on to Scharnitz.


Walk: 9.5km, 4.5 hrs, 1,500m ascent


Overnight: Schachenhaus (alpine hut accommodation - dormitory)


DAY 4: Walk to Scharnitz

Awake to clean crisp air amidst the high mountain landscape to view the sun rising above the ridges and peaks illuminating the valleys in hues of deep red and orange. Ascending the pass into Austria you are surrounded by classic alpine vistas with sky scraping summits and deep lush valleys drawing you further into the Massif.


The route traverses rugged rocky terrain before descending into the idyllic Leutash Valley where the route is lined by summer flowers. Here you have a relaxing days walk to enjoy the surroundings and listen to the distant cow bells echoing across the mountain pasture.


Passing through a further rugged gorge you finish you day at the town of Scharnitz. Originally fortified by the Romans protecting the trade route across the Alps, it is now better known as the gateway to the Karwendel Alpine Reserve. The largest national park in Austria, the sheer mountain sides are home to sure footed ibex and chamois.


Walk: 17.9km, 7.5 hrs, 1,280m ascent


Overnight: Scharnitz - 3 star hotel.


DAY 5: Walk to Halleranger Alm

You start today with a short road transfer deep into the heart of the Karwendel Valley. Relaxed walking is the order of the day as you follow the route through the alpine flora rich Halleranger alpine pasture. You may spot golden eagle and buzzard circling high above the valleys as you enjoy the panoramic views of the Karwendel massif. If you are feeling energetic you may wish to tackle a climb of Sunntiger Spitze at a heady 2321m.


Arriving at Halleranger Alm at the headwaters of the Isar river you stay for 2 nights in cosy alpine hut accommodation, perfectly situated for exploring the Karwendel Massif.


Walk: 5.6 - 19km, 2.5 - 5hrs, 550 - 800m ascent


Overnight:  Halleranger Alm (alpine hut accommodation - dormitory)


DAY 6: Rest day or summit tour of Karwendel massif

Today you have the choice of a well earned rest day at your alpine hut amongst the high peaks of the Karwendel massif or, for the energetic a summit trek. Whichever you choose you will surely enjoy the natural spectacle that abounds.


Walk: 4.6km, 2.5hrs


Overnight: Halleranger Alm (alpine hut accommodation - dormitory)


DAY 7: Walk to Innsbruck

The route leads you up a balcony path traversing several ridges to lead you in the Nordkette or ‘North Chain’ peaks. A real highlight of your trip is reaching the summit station of Hafelekar at 2256m. Face south and you may gaze down at Innsbruck, capital of the Tyrol, in the Inn Valley far below. To the north you are presented with breathtaking views back across the Karwendel massif. From this point you can relax and board the Hafelkarbahn cable car to glide majestically down to Innsbruck.


Roam the winding medieval lanes of the 800 year old town suffused with the spirit of the Hapsburg dynasty. You will surely wish to sample the famous Tyrolean speciality of ‘speck’, aromatic Austrian smoked and cured hams, possibly with a glass of schnapps before setting off to take in the Nachleben (nightlife) against a backdrop of alpine peaks.


Walk: 12.2km, 6hrs, 650m ascent


Overnight: Innsbruck - 3 star hotel


DAY 8: Onward Travel

Your trip across the Tyrolean Alps finishes after breakfast,  though you may wish to add further nights to enjoy the many attractions that Innsbruck has to offer. There are excellent onward travel connections with flights from it’s international airport and long distance rail services to major European cities.

Accommodation

We specifically select your accommodation to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We aim to give you an authentic experience and use traditional cabin hut accommodation in the mountains where the sleeping arrangements are in dormitories. The hotels in Garmisch-Partenkichen, Scharnitz and Innsbruck are 3 star properties with en-suite rooms.


Alternate accommodation

During high season, you might be booked into a different accommodation which is not listed in the description, and the start or end of some of your walking routes may be slightly altered. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described and details will all be sent to you.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party when staying in the hotels we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Solo Walkers

This holiday is not available for solo walkers due to the remote alpine nature of the walk.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning. Lunches, while not included may be picked up in the villages before you set off and you can stop and picnic along the trail. Dinner is not included so you are free to choose from the available options each night.

Availability

This trip is available to start on Fridays and Sundays from the end of June to the middle of September. You can start on other days of the week only if there are 4 or more people in your party.


Grade & Terrain

This walking holiday is graded strenuous. The itinerary involves high alpine distance walking with steep ascents and descents along mountain paths, which can be rocky and exposed in nature. This requires prior experience and a good head for heights. You should be an experienced walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The routes on this walk are sign posted and we provide you with detailed picture route notes to follow at each step, and our team in Austria and the UK are available to offer advice.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party when staying in the hotels we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is not available for solo walkers due to the remote alpine nature of the walk.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodations as per your itinerary. On day 3 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Scachenhaus) and day 4 (Schachenhaus to Scharnitz) it is necessary to carry a day pack containing your overnight requirements. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


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 trousers), sun hat and 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.

Getting to Garmisch- Partenkirchen

Garmisch Partenkirchen is located in Bavaria, South Germany, it has a railway station and is easily accessible by the following:


By Air: You can either fly into Munich Airport (Germany) or Innsbruck Airport (Austria).  Both airports serve airlines both internationally and locally.


From Munich Airport - You can take a train directly from the airport to Munich and then a direct train to Garmisch (2hrs 30mins). Please visit the DB Bahn Website to check times.


From Innsbruck Airport - You can catch a direct train to Garmisch from Innsbruck (1hr 45mins).  Please visit the DB Bahn Website to check times.


Onward Travel from Innsbruck

By Air: Bus route F connects Innsbruck main station with the airport main building. The journey takes about 20 minutes.


By Train: Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof provides rail services to locations throughout Austria and Germany. Please visit the DB Bahn Website to check times.

Included

  • Accommodation for 4 nights in comfortable 3 star hotels (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Scharnitz and Innsbruck). Accommodation for 3 nights in traditional alpine huts in dormitory style rooms.
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Door to door baggage transfer as per itinerary. Necessary to carry a day pack containing all overnight requirements for Shachenhaus (1 bag per person/max.20 kg).
  • Welcome meeting and briefing on evening of day 1 (6pm).
  • Detailed pictured route descriptions with maps and a pre-departure information pack for your group leader.
  • Pre-departure Information pack.
  • 24-hour assistance by phone from our office/local representative in the event of a problem.
  • Downhill cable car ticket to Kreuzberg.
  • Downhill cable car to Innsbruck.
  • Transfer from Scharnitz to Karwendel.

Excluded

  • Flights and transfers to first/from last accommodation.
  • Travel to the start and form the end of the walk
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Entrance fees to gorges.
  • Personal equipment and expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the programme.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
  • Visitor taxes.

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable.
  • Additional nights during the walk.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

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

How fit do I need to be?

This walking holiday is graded strenuous. The itinerary involves high alpine distance walking with steep ascents and descents along mountain paths, which can be rocky and exposed in nature. This requires prior experience and a good head for heights. You should be an experienced walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday. The duration of walking each day is between 4 - 7hrs.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask that you limit your luggage to 20kg per person. On day 3 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Schachenhaus) and day 4 (Schachenhaus to Scharnitz) it is necessary to carry a day pack containing your overnight requirements as your bags cannot be transferred to the remote mountain hut in Schachenhaus. 

Which is the best airport to fly to?

You can fly into either Innsbruck Airport in Austria or Munich Airport in Germany. Check out the travel details for more detailed information.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this holiday is extremely popular. Please note you can start this holiday on Sundays during the season.  This is due to baggage transfer restrictions.  You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a day pack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. You will also require a sleeping bag for the overnight stays in the mountain huts. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.  

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are in the summer months between June and September when the wild flowers are in still in bloom, the weather is fair and the high alpine trail is clear of snow.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You may be able to use public transport or taxis to skip a stage and continue to your overnight stop. However this depends on the stage and may prove difficult in some more remote areas. In case these options aren't possible, you would contact us and we would assist best we can.

Amazing trip!!

5

Wow! What a great trip. The hiking was amazing and challenging, as advertised. The guidebook provided ample instruction to navigate the routes, and provided good details about alternate routes/options in the event of weather/fatigue/etc. All of the accommodations were great--a good mix of huts and hotels. It would have been helpful to have all of the route profiles drawn to the same scale.

Liz

Houston, TX

yes!

5

Loved this trip! The hotel in Garmisch served all organic healthy foods and was close to everything! We came 2 days early and we were so glad we did. There was lots of hiking right in Garmisch and they had concerts every night in the park plaza. The hike from Garmisch to Innsbruck was breath-taking and we loved the mountain huts....simple and from a by gone era with wonderful home cooked meals! The hotel in Scharnitz was just okay...but we again were there on a day when there was a concert at their outdoor bandshell...where the locals were dressed in their Trachten and they served Schnapps from a little portable Bourbon barrel! We cooled down in mountain streams and had views that were stunning....it doesn't get much better than this! However....we are going to try the Dolomites next September and compare! Great job, Macsadventure!

ann forrer

cedarburg

true

A delightful and insightful walk through the Alps.

4

Macs was a simple way to get information on a number of hikes, and ultimately to tailor a hike to our needs The ability to stay in lodges is a wonderful cultural experience. There are opportunities to visit, generally, very pleasant towns along the way. We met similarly-minded, genuinely nice people to share our hike with. Not having to worry about big packs too makes like more pleasant.

Adweisser

Wellington

true

Tyrolean Alps hike

5

Very friendly and responsive service. Hike was exactly as advertised. Good accommodations (excellent in Garmisch P). Clear directions. Reasonable prices for the services provided. Could not ask for much more. This is not a 1st time hike. But the satisfaction and incredible views at the end of the day made it definitely worthwhile.

NT

Boston, MA

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A well designed, energetic yet beautiful trek

4

This was an outstanding walk across the Alps from Garmisch to Innsbruck, part of it is on the King's Path and another on Adler Weg. We were fortunate with the weather which was fine, with only one burst of rain in the week. The chosen path was well within the capability of a strong fell walker with a head for heights and comfort with scrambling, not that there was very much but it was exposed. The flora was rich and varied. The accommodation, two huts and three hotels were well chosen for position: one of the huts did not have a shower which bothered some. All in all it is a great holiday, a pleasant introduction to hut to hut walking in the Alps.

Tony J

Oxford

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Fantastic scenery and friendly people

3

Overall a really enjoyable holiday. It began on the first day by getting a taxi from the airport 30 km/€51as public transport is infrequent. Stayed at Hotel Planinka. In Jjezersko. Hotel staff very friendly, bedroom quite large and clean, but public areas were grubby. The service in hotel was very poor and we would not rate it as a 3 star. The following day we did our first walk , heading towards Ceska Koca. It is quite a climb, with fab scenery and a good mix of walking in the forest and the open. The guide notes were good on the way up. On a few occasions when things were not so clear, the trail markings on the trees guided us. On the way down, the guide notes were limited but our sense of direction and a walkmeter got us there. We stopped off at Gosttiasce ob Jezeru for lunch and drinks. Guide notes say the walk is 10.62km, but it is 14.8 km so this needs to be revised. The next day, the boss at the hotel dropped us off at the start of our walk, or so we thought. He dropped us an hours climb from the start. The climb was very steep. For a short distance it was all fours over rocks. Directions together with trail markings were very good on assent. The view was well worth the climb. Drinking water available on assent even though notes stated the opposite. The decent is steep and while easy to follow from trail markings, the walk notes were not good , other than to follow signs for Mace, of which there were few. The notes were very accurate once we arrived in Mace and essential in finding our hotel. On arrival at our hotel, Pension Zaplata, we were presented with a most refreshing drink, a nice touch as it was 30degrees! Beautiful evening meal and breakfast. Great service, lovely hotel. The next day we started our walk from the hotel. This was a mix of road walk through villages, paths in the open through meadows and forest trails. The notes said it was 17.4km whereas we clocked it as 20km. While we travelled through numerous villages we did not see any shops or places to eat. Not the most interesting of walks with very little shelter from the sun and quite a lot of it on the road. The guidance notes were very good. The accommodation was Hotel Smuk near Trzic. This is a 2 star hotel, so we did not expect too much. However, we were pleasantly surprised. While it was basic, it was clean with a very extensive menu and good food. Staff were friendly with good service. The following morning we were picked up by a friendly taxi and dropped at the start of own walk at Ljubelj, near the Austrian border. The directions at the start of the walk were confusing. When we eventually got on the right track, it was very pleasant with spectacular views. Directions were pretty good overall. Our hotel on this night was Lamberg Hotel Chateau, a 4 star and really beautiful. The next day , we started our walk fro. The hotel. The notes stated the walk was 14 km but we had our suspicion from looking at the map that it was significantly longer. It turned out to be 27 km which is a big error. We walked 21 km in very hot sun and took a taxi from the Vintgar gorge( really spectacular ) to our hotel - Triglavein In Bled. Really beautiful hotel with views over the lake, fantastic food. And great service.We decided not to do the walk on the final day , but instead enjoyed Lake Bled and all the area had to offer. At around 4 pm we were transferred with our luggage to the final hotel , Kristal in Bohinjska. Nice hotel, busy, but seemed short in staff. Beautiful area and lake with lots to do. Overall a very good experience. The people of Slovenia are very friendly and helpful. Fabulous scenery on the walks. Work needs to be done on some areas of the notes, distances need to be revised in some cases and one or two of the hotels needs to be reconsidered.

Anne and Michael

Ireland

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Across the Tyrolean Alps

4.3 6

100.0

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