The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Austria really knows how to do winter - trees heavy with snow, picturesque alpine villages, log fires and glühwein create a magical atmosphere.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 30100
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Austria knows how to do winter – fir trees heavy with snow, picture postcard alpine villages, log fires and glühwein. The village of Bach, our base, combines undisturbed tranquillity with age-old customs.
In the northern Tirol, between the Lechtal Alps to the south and the Allgäu Alps to the north, the village lies at just over 1,000m, with the surrounding peaks rising to well over 2,500m. The many side valleys allow us access to excellent snowshoeing routes.
Walks take us through snow-covered meadows and spruce woods to the beautifully situated Wasealm Hut with views up the Griess valley. On another day we head west to walk between the Kalbele and Körber Lakes – a walk described as “walking through hills covered in icing sugar”. The highlight of the week is a walk to the Bernardseck Hut, starting with a lift in a snow-grooming machine, then beyond towards the summit of the Muttekopf.
The hotel manager, an experienced snowshoe walking leader with an intimate knowledge of the area will normally lead most of our walks. We include all local transport for our snowshoeing programme.
As with all winter activities snow cannot be guaranteed. However, the walks are equally spectacular on snowshoes or walking boots.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We fly from London Heathrow to Munich. On arrival we transfer by road about to Bach im Lechtal. This will take approximately 3 hours.
The Griessauer High Route. We take the free bus to Griessau to start this easy walk. On reaching a plague chapel we climb gently along the High Route, then descend to Grünau. After lunch we walk back through the snow-covered meadows to Bach.
Wasenalm. A gentle climb through meadows followed by a somewhat steeper ascent to a mountain hut for lunch. In the afternoon we continue along the Mühlsteig back to the hotel. 5 hours; 7km (4½ miles); 450m ascent & descent.
Gibleralm Panorama Route. From Bach we walk to the Hofalm, then gradually upwards to the Gibleralm. From here it is a short walk to the Elbigenalm. We can return to the hotel via the meadows along the river Lech, or by using the free bus. 5 hours; 6.8km (4.2 miles); 400m ascent / 500m descent.
Today is often taken as a free day. Whilst we have chosen Bach im Lechtal for the excellent snowshoe walking on offer, other winter sports are available in the area.
Winter walking – many of the summer hiking trails are prepared for winter walking. Whilst most of these are in the valleys, some go as high as mountain huts. There are 3 mountain huts around Bach, which are open in the winter and make good winter walking destinations.
Cross country (‘XC’) skiing – there are 120km (80 miles) of prepared XC ‘Loipen’, one of which goes past the hotel. Many of the others can be accessed using the free bus in the valley between Steeg about 12km (8 miles) to the west and Forschach about 25km (16 miles) to the northeast.
Downhill skiing - there is one chairlift in Bach, which gives access to a blue and a red downhill ski run (not included in the free bus pass). The nearest extensive downhill skiing is about 25km (16 miles) to the west in Warth which has 17 ski lifts. There is a free ski-bus to Warth which takes about 25 minutes. The road to Lech am Arlberg is closed in the winter.
Please note that none of these activities will be included as a part of our holiday nor can we take any part in organising them. If you would like to take part in any of them you need to make sure you have adequate insurance and make your own arrangements locally.
Bernhardseck Hut & the Muttekopf. This walk should be the highlight of the week. We take a piste machine part way to the hut at 1812m, then continue at high level to the Muttekopf from where there is a tremendous mountain panorama. After lunch there’s a long descent back to the valley.
Körbersee. We catch a bus to the Salober ski lift, then start our walk at nearly 1700m. We walk from the Kabel lake to the Körber lake with the option to walk around the lake and explore the adjacent slopes. After lunch we climb to the ridge and descend back to the Käbel lake, then down by ski lift to catch the bus back to the hotel.
We bid farewell to Bach and the mountains. We return by coach to Munich Airport for the flight back to the UK.
Departure dates for your selected tour
16th Jan 2021 - 23rd Jan 2021 (7 Nights)
30th Jan 2021 - 6th Feb 2021 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
We stay in the very comfortable three-star family run Hotel Grüner Baum in the centre of the high alpine village of Bach im Lechtal. The hotel combines tirolean tradition with modern comforts, with rooms well appointed and designed using natural materials. The hotel also has its own extensive spa suite, free to guests. There's also free Wifi throughout the hotel.
This is a grade 4 snowshoeing holiday where you’ll strap on a pair of snowshoes and walk off-piste into a beautiful wilderness out of bounds to skiers. You can expect full and half days of walking. The full days can be up to 5 hours of walking whereas the half a day can be 3 hours. On some days we may offer a morning and an afternoon walk if possible. Some of the walks are at the top end of the holiday grade because it takes more energy to cover snowy mountain terrain on snowshoes than when summer walking, but it’s worth it!
The highest point normally reached on this holiday is 2100m on the spectacular airy ridge between the Bernardseck Hut and the Muttekopf peak.
Paths are snow covered and can be icy or steeper in places, but manageable with your snowshoes. Our routes take us through meadows and woodland areas, some along the valley and some climbing through forest onto the high meadows to give marvellous views. We may also use cable cars to whisk us up or down the mountainside.
This holiday is at Grade 4 / Snowshoeing. The local guide and your tour leader will offer guidance in snowshoeing technique and will arrange a full programme. Walks will be arranged by our leader in consultation with the local guide who will lead almost all of the walks.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Austria
The currency in Austria is the euro. You may wish to take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM. Credit cards may not be accepted in smaller towns and rural areas.
The hotel does not accept credit cards – the only form of plastic payment they accept is an EC card. There is a bank and ATM close to the hotel in Bach. We recommend taking some euros with you from the UK until you can get some locally.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
We fly from London Heathrow to Munich and return with British Airways.
Travel between Munich airport and Bach is by road and takes approximately 3 hours, including a short break.
If you intend to join and leave the party in Austria it is assumed, unless you have informed us otherwise, that you will join and leave at the hotel. If this is not your plan, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R2). We offer regional flight options on this holiday but due to the location and travelling time to our resort we operate just one transfer vehicle between the airport and hotel. This may mean that there is a wait at the overseas airport in one or both directions.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge and will be taken at the hotel. The hotel provides a large buffet breakfast including muesli, a large selection of breads and local specialities. There are 4 courses at dinner including a large salad buffet. The menus choices always include one vegetarian option. Lunches are not included but we hope to enjoy them in the wonderful mountain restaurants.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Paths can be very icy in certain conditions. We recommend that you use ice-grips on the sole of your boots. You can usually purchase these in resort. Or you might like to purchase them in the UK for around £35-40, and you can do so from the following website: www.icegripper.co.uk/store/chain-traction/icetrekkers-diamond-grip. Yaktrax ice grips are available from branches of Cotswold Outdoors.
Walking or Ski poles are also recommended as they are particularly helpful in soft snow.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Austria
In Austria the electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
The following map covers the area in which our snowshoe walks will take place: Freytag & Berndt WK351, Lechtaler-Allgäuer Alpen, 1:50,000
The following link is to a webcam at the Jöchelspitze above Bach: www.lechtaler-bergbahnen.at/lechtaler-bergbahnen/wetter_livecam.htm
This link is to a 6 minute video on Youtube made by the Hotel Grüner Baum showing our groups having a lot of fun in the snow on this holiday in February 2012:
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Austria
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Austria. You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. You may wish to consider immunisations against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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