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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.