A wealth of alpine walking
3rd Jul 2021 – 10th Jul 2021
- See website for other dates
Tour code: 19670
Last Modified: 22nd September 2020
See what's planned
If you are looking at this one week holiday why not make your stay two weeks by joining us on Salzburgerland Alps.
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. 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. 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 in the cost of the holiday.
What's not included?
This is a grade 4 and 6 walking holiday where you can choose the grade of walk you wish to participate in on a daily basis depending on the group ability and size.
Our grade 4 programme includes half and full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent up to 600-800m. Some of our walks involve chairlifts or gondolas plus the option of walking all the way down. Paths are generally good and we will find ourselves on small forest paths. Half day walks will involve approximately 3 hours of walking whereas full days can be up to 4 ½ hours of walking. The highest point normally reached on our grade 4 programme is 1871m on the Langegg to Maria Alm walk.
Our grade 6 programme includes full days of walking which can be up to 6 hours of moderate walking. We will encounter good standard forest paths but these can become narrow and rocky at times. The walks have ascents of up to about 800m and descents of up to 1100m. The highest point we reach on our grade 6 programme is 2117m at the top of the Hundstein.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
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 or Salzburg Airport. On arrival we travel by road to Hotel Niederreiter, Maria Alm, for 7 nights. On arrival and depending on our flight arrival time, there may be an opportunity for a short walking tour of the village with a local guide who will outline the history of the area with particular emphasis on the ancient pilgrimage church.
Transfer Time = 3 hours Munich or 1 hour 30 minutes Salzburg
Day 2 to 7
Day 2 to 7
Breakfast & Dinner
During our time in Maria Alm, we will explore the area through a variety of exciting walks which may include one of more of the following examples.
Maria Alm to Kronreith and Ramseiden (Grade 4). This walk allows us to explore the beautiful alpine area directly north from Maria Alm. The paths are well made and some tracks take us through shady forest areas. We can stop for refreshments at Kronreith – probably our first taste of Apfelstrudel and cream!
Langegg (Grade 4) We start with a bus journey to a chair lift which takes us soaring up to 1450m before a steady climb to 1850m with surreal panoramic views across to the Hundstein and over adjoining rolling green valleys. The gradual ascent will allow time to see many alpine flowers before taking lunch at the Griesbachalm. We return through good forest tracks either to the chair lift or on a longer steady descent to Maria Alm.
Massingsattel (Grade 6) We start our walk along the tranquil river towards Waldhaus and Rohrmoos. Our path climbs steadily through alpine forest until we reach Lechneralm with wide open views of the verdant valley and Maria Alm below. From the Massingsattel at 1344m, the highest point of the day, we follow a pleasant forest path gently downwards to Brimbachalm for a picnic lunch. After lunch we continue to the Natrun lift station and take the lift down to the hotel, or the more energetic can take the path down.
The Klingspitz (Grade 6) This high level walk takes us to one if the highest peaks in the area, the Klingspitz at 1988m. The views as you approach the summit are dramatic and impressive, stretching down the rolling lush valley as far as Saalfelden. A steady climb and many panoramic photo stops will see us at the summit just before lunchtime. We will drop down to a col to take a picnic lunch after which we will continue towards Reicheralm and onwards to reach Dienten for our bus back to Maria Alm. A long but rewarding day.
The Panoramaweg to Arthurhaus (Grade 4 and 6) This is a wonderful walk along the base of the dramatic Hochkönig massif range, undulating all the way to the top of the valley at the Arthurhaus. One of the best walks on the programme for wildflower lovers! From the Filzensattel car park we walk uphill to Pichalm and continue on the well marked path towards the Erichhütte, a good place for coffee and local cake. From the terrace on a clear day there are panoramic views as far as the Grossglockner. We continue to Vierhütten for our well deserved picnic lunch and a drink at the Alm, admiring the many wildflowers along the way. Mountain huts may be used for lunch – if you haven't tried Kaiserschmarren, then this would be a good opportunity! From our final destination, the Arthurhaus, we catch the bus back down the valley.
Usually on one of our evenings we are able to enjoy a concert of Austrian Folk Music and alpen horns in the village square. There will be a rest day offered during the week; there are several options including a visit to Salzburg (2½ hours by bus and train) or Zell Am Zee (20 minutes via Saalfelden), or visit the stunning Weissbach Gorge and lunch in a local gasthof. Alternatively, use the included Hochkönig Card to take the bus up to the valley to any of the villages and use the lift to visit the many alms higher up, relax and have some lunch or take a walk. The Hochkönig Card is included and gives you free use of the local cable cars and buses in the Hochkönig area. The outdoor swimming pool in Maria Alm is also included. The tour leader will discuss the options available.
We say goodbye to Maria Alm and transfer by road to Munich or Salzburg Airport for our return flight to the UK.
Walks & Excursions
Two Grades, Two Leaders, Two Walks
On ‘2x Walks, 2x Leaders, 2x Grades’ departures, where we provide two tour leaders and offer a choice of easier or harder walks each day, we hope to be able to accommodate your choice of walk. However, safety considerations do govern the sizes of groups in each walking grade; the minimum number of participants for a guided walk at a given grade and the maximum group size will be as indicated for the walk grade.
For safety reasons the minimum number of participants on a walk will be 4 plus the leader.
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.
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.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
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.
Your Travel Details
Return flights are with British Airways from London Heathrow to Munich or London Gatwick to Salzburg Airport. Regional flights from Manchester and Birmingham to Munich and return with Lufthansa are available on some dates. Please be aware that there may be a wait at the airport as the transfers for all flights are combined on arrival and 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.
Passports and Visas
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.
Where are we going to stay?
Hans Neiderreiter Oberdorf 6 A-5761 Austria
Maria Alm is a traditional resort located in the middle of the mountains of the Steinernes Meer, the Hochkönig and the Pinzagu grass mountains. The village is dominated by its church with its 76m needle-like-steeple, the tallest in the Salzburgerland and one of the pointiest in Austria! Maria Alm is a very traditional alpine picture perfect village and is an ideal place to experience nature as its location is perfect for hiking, climbing and cycling! The village band perform a live concert every Sunday and Tuesday evening (weather permitted) which is definitely worth a visit after an early dinner. The village includes a variety of facilities such as a small supermarket, sport shops, cafe's, bakeries, a post office, a village doctor, a bank and a tourist information centre.
We stay in the very comfortable family run three-star superior Hotel Niederreiter in the centre of beautiful Maria Alm. Renovated in 2017, the hotel is designed with a mixture of traditional and contemporary furnishings, and its exterior is decorated with colourful flower boxes. This Alpine style hotel has a sauna, Jacuzzi, small natural outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi. It has its own ‘Konditorei’ or cake shop, serving their homemade cakes, tarts and their own ice cream based on an original Italian recipe. All rooms have en suite facilities with showers, a telephone, a safe, cable-TV and hairdryer. The bedrooms have Austrian style double beds which can be separated to make singles, and most rooms have balconies.
Breakfast and dinners are included in the holiday and are taken at the hotel’s restaurant. Breakfast is buffet style with a selection of yoghurt, fruit, cheese, meat, eggs, rolls and bread. Dinner is a four-course meal, starting with a salad and soup buffet for starters, three main courses to choose from, including 1 vegetarian option, and finishing with delicious desserts. Once a week there is a buffet evening with traditional Austrian music. Lunches are not included but can be taken in local cafe's or as a picnic.
Footwear & Kit List
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.
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.
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
Find out more
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Staying Healthy On Holiday
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.
Staying In Touch
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.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
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.
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.