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The Dachstein Alpine Circuit

The Dachstein Alpine Circuit

Overview

Austria’s Dachstein Alpine Circuit is a walker’s dream come true. This impressive alpine massif offers crystal-clear glacial lakes, lush pastures, green forests and rugged limestone peaks rising 3000m above sea level. Your high altitude trek begins and ends in the pretty town of Ramsau. Over six walking days, you’ll be rewarded with superb alpine hiking across high plateaux, with panoramic views and great accommodations nestled right in the heart of the mountains.

Highlights

  • Walking a classic European Alpine circuit through the stunning landscapes around the Dachstein glacier
  • Panoramic views as you ride cable cars and funiculars up into the mountains
  • Impressive rugged peaks, virgin forests, glaciers and glacial lakes
  • Hallstatt and the beautiful lake Hallstättersee
  • Relaxing with a cold beer on the sun terrace at the end of a rewarding hike

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Ramsau am Dachstein

Arrive in the idyllic town of Ramsau in the district of Liezen, state of Styria, Austria, located on an elevated plateau between the Dachstein range and the Enns valley. On arrival at your hotel, you will receive your welcome pack, with all the information you will need for your trek, including maps, a guide book and local information.

Day 2: Ramsau – Hofpürgl Hut | 13 km

After a short bus ride, hike up to the summit Sulzenschneid. Via the Linzer Path, you cross the Alpine pasture area ‚Rinderfeld’ with all kind of cattle grazing. Enjoy a fantastic high altitude walk to the Hofpürgl mountain lodge, taking in the wonderful views over the lake, alpine pastures and the giant rocky edifice of the Torstein. Heinz and Regina Sudra offer a warm welcome to this lovely Alpine hut at the twin-peaked foot, which offers dormitory rooms.

Important: Today you’ll need to carry your overnight kit in your day pack as you’ll be staying high in the mountains (your main luggage will be transferred to your next hotel in Gosau).

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, ­approx. 6 hours, ­↑­­­­800 m ↓660 m
  • Accommodation: Hofpürgl Hut (dorm rooms)

Day 3: Hofpürgl Hut – Gosau | 11 km

Today you will enjoy another day of high altitude trekking with stunning views below the sharp ridges of the Gosau Massif. Then via Alpine pastures with grazing cattle, walk all the way to Stuhlalm, which invites for a break and sample some of the homemade produce. Then skirt the peak Donnerkogel (summit ascent possible) to the Gablonzer hut with breathtaking views onto the Dachstein glacier and down into the Gosau valley and Lake Gosau. Cable car descent to the idyllic lakeside town of Gosau, where you will be spending the night (your main luggage will be waiting for you at the hotel).

  • Walking for the day: 11 km, ­approx. 5 hours, ↑­­­­330 m ↓540 m
  • Accommodation: Cooee Alpin Hotel or similar

Day 4: Gosau – Bad Goisern | 15 km

From Gosau, the route takes you along forest paths via Iglmoosalm to the Goiserer Alpine Club’s hut, situated on the mountain crest which offers stunning views onto the Goiserer valley and lake Hallstätter See. Again, you have the option of a summit ascent onto the mountain Hochkalmberg with the rock formation called Stone Indian. Descent via the Waldsteig to Bad Goisern on the beautiful lake Hallstättersee.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, ­approx. 6 hours, ↑­­­­860 m ↓1060 m
  • Accommodation: Pension Maria Theresia or similar

Day 5: Circular Walk Hallstatt | 13 km

From Bad Goisern walk via the scenic Giselawarte and through marvellous and unspoilt farmland to the Soleweg path, running along the historic salt-pipeline all the way up to the Hallstätter salt mine, which we strongly recommend you visit. Reach Rudolf’s tower offering stunning views over Hallstadt and onto the Krippenstein mountain. Descent by cable car to Hallstadt, the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage village with countless tourist attractions and unique beauty. By boat and train back to Bad Goisern.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, ­approx. 5 hours, ↑­­­­540 m ↓230 m
  • Accommodation: Pension Maria Theresia or similar

Day 6: Bad Goisern – Stoderzinken | 19 km

After a short transfer, the route takes you through the forest to the summit of Hochmühleck. Via the summit walk to Viehberg, where traditional huts invite for a break. Walk through a remote karst pine-covered area up to the Brünner hut situated on the Stoderzinken. You will spend the night in the high mountain directly below the sharp peak of Stoderzinken.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, ­approx. 7-8 hours, ↑­­­­1300 m ↓370 m
  • Accommodation: Steinerhaus or similar

Day 7: Stoderzinken – Ramsau | 19 km

Today you cross the high plateau of the Styrian Dachstein. Through pine and larch forests, past little mountain lakes, you hike over solitary and vast karst and gravel areas, heading for the majestic Dachstein. This high altitude trek beneath spectacular summits and through untouched nature towards the mountaineering station of Guttenberghaus is the perfect finale of your Dachstein circuit.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, ­approx. 7 hours, ↑­­­­750 m ↓1380 m
  • Accommodation: Almfrieden Hotel or similar

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own or extension upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in private en-suite rooms in welcoming 3-star and country hotels (4-star hotel in Ramsau) and one night in a characterful mountain hut (dorm rooms, shared facilities). All places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Almfrieden Hotel, Hofpürgl Hut, Cooee Alpin Hotel, Pension Maria Theresia, Steinerhaus, Almfrieden Hotel

Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel (from the ones pictured above) is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days and for dinner, you will have plenty of choices for dining out or at your accommodation. When no restaurant is available on the route, lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Difficulty & terrain

This is a challenging high-altitude trek that requires an excellent fitness level and solid hiking experience. You will walk between 5 and 8 hours per day, mostly on well-maintained walking trails (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from mid-June till mid-September, on Fridays and Saturdays only. The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but in the June-September period, the daily averages are 15 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain. Expect the weather to change rapidly during the day.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

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By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Salzburg.

By train or bus
  • There are good train connections from Salzburg and other Austrian cities. Take the train to Schladming and then by bus to Ramsau.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 overnight stays as listed above (2 nights in a 4-star hotel, 4 nights in 3-star hotels or country inns, 1 night in a mountain lodge)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers on walking days (except overnight at Hofpürglhütte)
  • Ramsau Summer Card (Dachstein Gletscherbahn, all cable cars, tourist attractions, public buses)
  • Cable car descent to Gosaukamm
  • Salzbergbahn descent to Hallstatt
  • Train Hallstatt – Bad Goisern on Day 5
  • Car transfer on Day 6
  • Detailed route descriptions, travel and tour documents
  • GPS-data to use via our smartphone app
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights and hotel upgrades

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