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Home to fantastic hiking paths offering spectacular views of sparkling lakes and sweeping valleys, the Austrian Tirol proves ever-more popular with walkers each summer. A varied programme of routes is available: from iconic paths to lesser-known trails, there’s something for everyone. Not sure where to start? Here are five great walks in the Austrian Tirol to begin… 

St. Anton am Arlberg

A real nirvana for walkers, St. Anton am Arlberg encompasses 300 km of paths across the picturesque landscape, which was recently awarded the Tyrolean Wandergütesiegel (walkers’ quality seal). All routes are clearly signposted (distance, time and difficulty level) allowing guests to feel confident enough to tackle the trails themselves.

Spanning 413 km, the Eagle Walk is one of the Austrian Tirol’s best-known long-distance hikes, and stretches from the Kaiser Mountains in the east to the border with Vorarlberg in the west. For those short on time, the final section – taking in the jagged peaks of the Arlberg, from Kaiserjochhaus to St. Christoph – offers a taste of its beautiful alpine scenery. Taking four hours in total, the 17.5 km segment has roped walkways, single-track pathways and scrambles, alongside far-reaching views over the rugged Lechtal Alps.

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Blending tradition, folklore and spine-tingling scenery, the medieval town of Kitzbühel is a hiker’s paradise. Situated between the Hahnenkamm and the Kitzbüheler Horn, the region has more than 1,000 km of well-signposted trails.

Recognised as the classic and most difficult downhill racing course in the world during the winter, come summer, when the snow melts, the Streif becomes a key trail for eager walkers. At 3.8 km long, it’s not the longest hike, but it ascends 900 metres altitude and the steepest section has a gradient of 85%. The record for skiing the Streif is 1.51.58 minutes (achieved by Fritz Strobl in 1997) however, it takes more than two hours to scramble up it…

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Zugspitz Arena

Eight characterful villages form the traditional Zugspitz Arena, located around Germany’s highest peak at 2,962 metres. From meandering gentle routes to sweeping rocky peaks, the region offers more than 150 hikes for all abilities, many of which are guided: from sunrise to sunset tours to orchid or herbal hikes; pass reflective mountain lakes, cascading waterfalls and lush, green pastures.

Make time for the walk from Berwang to Weißenbach, via the Lech River: the path takes in plunging canyons, sparkling reservoirs and charming residential areas. The 12 km trek takes just under three hours and reaches an altitude of 1,342 metres. During the summer, the villages of the Zugspitz Arena offer different guided tours for free, for all visitors with a guest card. 

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Nestled between the Kitzbüheler and the Ziller Valley Alps, Alpbachtal has more than 900 km of marked hiking and walking paths, ideal for all outdoor enthusiasts. Climb the Wiedersbergerhorn or venture across the Tiefenbach Gorge; alternatively explore the family-friendly routes along the winding Brandenberg River. For a more challenging hike, however, tackle the multi-day trail through the breath taking Brandenberg Alps.

Beginning and ending in Kramsach, take in four summits in four days and weave through charming alpine villages, rugged mountains and mirror-like lakes. Spend a night at Brayreuther Hut, which offers guests panoramas across the Inn, Alpach and Ziller valleys and Zireinsee, a refreshing mountain lagoon cradled among rocky peaks of the Rofan range. 

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Known for its warm hospitality, traditional culinary walks and farm stays, the Wildschönau is made for summer holidays. Circa 300 km of walking trails crisscross the region and visitors of all ages are catered for. Families will love the easy walk through the pine forest to Filzmoos Moor: taking approximately three hours, the 6.9 km walk offers a fascinating insight into the alpine flora and fauna.

Parents and children can sample juicy bilberries (the purple fruit stains easily) in the woodland and look out for frogs, dragonflies, butterflies and song birds on the moor. Free guided walks to the Flizmoos Moor are available, with tours departing at the Markbachjoch cable car in Niederau at 9:30 am (book by 5 pm the evening before at the tourist office). Don’t forget your camera! 

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