This holiday is a combination of our one week holiday in Maria Alm and our one week holiday in Bad Hofgastein.
One of Austria’s best kept secrets, Maria Alm is in the Hochkönig region of Austria, in the Salzburgerland close to the border with Germany. The valley is dominated by the rocky peaks of the Hochkönig Massif which provide the awesome backdrop for much of the walking. The main and side valleys boast 220 miles of hiking paths which are well marked and well maintained. The variety of walking is excellent, including forest paths, pastureland and higher mountain trails. Trails throughout the valley will appeal to those interested in butterflies and flowers. One of our regular clients says this is the best moderate grade alpine holiday we have ever run… and has returned every summer since 2015.
There is a wealth of walking, from strolls through flower-filled meadows to more challenging walks to peaks over 2000m. We cover much of the 45 miles of the Königsweg long distance trail. We use the local Wanderbus which travels along the valley throughout the day and stops at all major walking trails and in all the villages. There are a number of ski lifts open throughout the summer, offering further possibilities to extend the walking to higher levels and with the opportunity to reach peaks such as Klingspitz at 1988m, Schneeberg at 1938m and Hundstein at 2117m. The local transport pass is included.
The rustic mountain huts are one of the area’s particular charms, these are magical places which provide welcome rest stops along the way with beer, coffee and apple strudel.
An hour south of Salzburg lies the small spa of Bad Hofgastein. Don’t worry that you may never have heard of it - we think it is set to become a star of our Austrian holidays as it has everything you could want from the Alps. There is a well marked system of paths both above and below the tree line whilst mountain rail and cable ways, combined with an efficient Post Bus network, enable us to wander up into this mountain region. Our walks takes us to high peaks, remote lakes and meadows flush with wild flowers where you can contemplate towering snow-covered and glacier-adorned alpine summits. Lower down we can explore the forests and pastures and catch glimpses of Gastein’s gold mining past and the thermal springs that attracted royalty and celebrities in the 19th century and still attract visitors today.
Bad Hofgastein is located at the confluence of several valleys, so there are many and varied walks. Several of the walks take us along the ‘Salzburger Almenweg’, a long distance trail linking picturesque alpine farms where local cheeses and hams are produced. Peaks well over 2000m such as the Hüttenkogel can be reached as well as panorama paths and impossibly picturesque mountain lakes.
At the end of the day we return to the spa resort of Bad Hofgastein with its vast spa complex of pools and green areas in which to relax.