Why not extend your stay in Austria by combining our Maria Alm holiday with our Bad Hofgastein holiday?
See what's planned
- Walk below and above the tree line through pastureland, high mountain trails and forest paths.
- Discover the rocky peaks of the Hochkönig Massif.
- Follow challenging walks to peaks over 2000m.
- Use the summer ski lifts to potentially extend the walking to higher levels.
- Pass picturesque alpine villages and traditional farms where local cheeses and hams are produced.
- Make use of the local Wanderbus which travels along the valley stopping at all the major walking trails and in all the charming villages.
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.
- Return flights from Heathrow to Munich or Gatwick to Salzburg (British Airways)
- Airport transfers
- Half board accommodation
- Two walks, two leaders, two grades on some dates
- Local transport and lift pass.
What's not included?
- Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
This is a grade 4 walking holiday which includes half and full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent up to 500-800m (1100m in Bad Hofgastein). 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 5 hours of walking. The highest point normally reached on our grade 4 programme is 1871m on the Langegg to Maria Alm walk during our first week and 2231m at the Hüttenkogel in Bad Hofgastein during our second week. See the itinerary section for more information.
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.
Our return flights are with British Airways from London Heathrow to Munich Airport or London Gatwick to 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 30 minutes Munich or 2 hour 30 minutes Salzburg
Day 2 to 7
Day 2 to 7
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.
Usually on one of our evenings we are able to enjoy a concert of Austrian Folk Music (and alpen horns) in the village square. 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.
Today we will say goodbye to Maria Alm before travelling to Bad Hofgastein by private transfer (approximately 45 minutes) to join the 7 night holiday in the Gastein Valley where we will stay in the Hotel Carinthia. You may be unaccompanied by your Ramblers leader for this transfer, however your leader for your second week in Bad Hofgastein will meet you at the Hotel Carinthia.
Day 9 to 14
Day 9 to 14
During our time in Bad Hofgastein, we will explore the area through a variety of exciting walks which may include one of more of the following examples.
There will be a rest day offered during the week. You can explore the local area or go further afield to places such as Salzburg (1 hours 18 minutes by train.) You can use the Almorama Card to receive free journeys on lifts in Gastein. You can also use the Gastein card for discounted bus rides around the local area. These cards are included in the holiday price. The tour leader will discuss the options available.
Transfer by road to Munich Airport or Salzburg Airport for return flight to the UK.
Walks & Excursions
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 Airport or London Gatwick to Salzburg Airport. Regional flights from Manchester and Birmingham to Munich and return with Lufthansa are available on some dates. The transfer between Maria Alm and Bad Hofgastein are by road and will take approximately 45 minutes. Please be aware that there may be a wait at the airport as the transfers for all flights are combined on arrival and departure.
Please be aware that your leader may be leading both weeks of our two week holiday so may require to leave on the morning of day 8 to return to the airport to bid farewell to our departing Maria Alm 1 week group and greet our arriving Bad Hofgastein 1 week group. This may mean that you require to travel by private coach from Maria Alm to Bad Hofgastein independently. Please ask your leader for details.
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.
General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel
and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.
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.
Breakfast and dinners are included in the holiday and are taken at the hotel restaurants. Breakfast at both hotels are delicious buffets with a selection of organic and local products including yoghurt, fruit, cheese, meat, eggs, sausages, rolls and bread. Dinner at both hotels are four-course meals featuring international and traditional Austrian style cuisine. They typically start with a salad or soup buffet, a selection of three main courses to choose from, including 1 vegetarian option, and finish with delicious desserts. In Hotel Niederreiter in Maria Alm, 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.
Footwear As Hand Luggage
We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.
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:
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
- Lightweight quick-drying trousers
- Walking T-shirt/shirts
- Walking socks
- Fleece or jumper
- Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
- Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
- Swimwear (if appropriate)
- Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
- Day sack liner
- Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
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:
- Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
- Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
- Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
- Holiday money
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
- Your travel insurance details
- Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
- Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
- A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
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
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 & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holidays in Austria.
The local tourist office websites www.mariaalm.at (in German) has pictures and videos of Maria Alm. Meanwhile www.hochkoenig.at/en/urlaubserlebnis/sommer/wandern (in English) is all about hiking in the area. There is also a link from this website to several live webcams.
The local tourist office website www.gastein.com has pictures and information on Bad Hofgastein and also information about the other areas in the Gastein Valley. This also includes some information on activities and hiking in the area.
Cicerone guide to Alpine Flowers. We like this pocket-sized book on the 230 Alpine flowers you are most likely to come across on a holiday in the Alps. There’s a really interesting introduction to the properties flowers need to survive life at altitude and good clear photos with short descriptions arranged according to the predominant colour of the flower. Order it from Cicerone directly and quote code RAMBWH for a 25% discount.
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
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Find out more
2.5hrs from UK
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 54mm
Avg. Rain: 48mm
Avg. Rain: 65mm
Avg. Rain: 70mm
Avg. Rain: 92mm
Avg. Rain: 122mm
Avg. Rain: 132mm
Avg. Rain: 114mm
Avg. Rain: 89mm
Avg. Rain: 72mm
Avg. Rain: 73mm
Avg. Rain: 64mm
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.
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
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.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
- 9.15am to Midday on Saturdays
- 9.15am to 3pm on Saturdays in January & February only
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.
Discover more about our walking grades