Zillertal Alps

Key information: Zillertal Alps

  • A huge selection of great walks in this magnificent area of peaks and glacial beauty by the Austro-Italian border.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating88
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest5
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating88

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,000+
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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WALK SUMMARY

The Zillertal Alps are a huge area of peaks and glacial drama by the Austrian-Italian border, draining through numerous valleys into the deep, wide Ziller valley. Each of these tributary valleys is gorgeous and gives access to walking bliss.

Bits of the Zillertal are spoilt by its skiing popularity, but, while there are areas to avoid, there are areas of pristine landscape, and good summer lift-access to the high ground!

The Zillertal area is well loved, and well walked, so the more popular walks won’t generally feel that remote, although you can get away.

Its mountain huts are one of Austria’s glories, and there are plenty of them in this area, usually in superb or at the least very pretty and charming locations. Note, though, that you do need to book ahead. The contact details of huts in a number of the best areas are in the Cicerone books or can be found locally.

There are a plethora of great walks here, from short explorations to multi-dayers. You can spend a varied week day-walking here.

Multi-dayers

There are two main multi-day walks here:

Höhenweg (Zillertaler Rund Tour/ Rucksack Route/Berliner Höhenweg): one of Austria’s great walks: a marvellous 9 day (up to 80km) horseshoe around the high mountains, climbing for two days up the main eastern ridge to the high border mountains, where it traverses westward for four days below the high peaks, crossing three high passes, before descending the main western ridge for three days. It is a hut-to-hut walk, so heavy loads don’t need to be carried, but still a demanding walk.

Zillertal South Tyrol Tour: another gorgeous walk in the high mountains, most of which is actually in Italy, on the southern flanks of the range. 8 days (55km) or less, if you start at an intermediate roadhead.  It is, again, a hut-to-hut walk, so heavy loads don’t need to be carried. Relatively unknown, so expect fewer people.

There are other multi-dayers and, with the good huts, you can devise your own, to suit you and your tastes and capacities. Just look at maps and guidebooks and salivate.

Day walks

Great day walks abound.

Zillergrund: this eastern tributary has a tempting selection in the great bowl at its head, surrounded by 3,000m peaks, several of them nestling glaciers. The 1.5hr 500m climb to the superbly sited Plauener Hut at 2,364m looks like a joy.

Zemmgrund: this valley leads to another great circle of peaks and glaciers on the Italian border. Its lower reaches are forested, then, beyond a section of gorges, you are in immaculate highlands of perfect meadows below huge, serene peaks. The climb to the wonderfully positioned Berliner Hut is the day walk Walkopedia covets. Even better, you could overnight in the hut and explore the high slopes the next day – the hut is at the beginning of the Berliner Hohenweg and at the heart of the Hohenweg/Rucksack Route.

The Zamsergrund: another beautiful valley leading to the high peaks of the border ridge – and the 2,275m Pfitscher Joch pass into Italy. The 2hr walk to the hut on the pass is well known and loved. There are plenty of other good walks in the area.

In the northern end of the Ziller valley, above Mayrhofen, you can walk the eastern ridge via Laberg; and explore the western Reanken Niedermoor area beyond the ski scarring.

This can be tough walking in remote mountains with uncertain weather. Come fully prepared,

Have a look at TripAdvisor –  you should get good, current views on the area.

Walking in Austria  – Kev Reynolds for Cicerone: more than 100 walks in the Austrian Alps, including 9 in this area. Trekking in the Zillertal Alps – Allan Hartley for Cicerone is the book for the Hohenweg and the South Tyrol Tour. As usual, inspiring books (indeed, Walkopedia was alerted to some of these walks by them), packed with valuable information, including good detail on the routes. As Austrian maps are good, Walking in Austria has less on each walk than some other Cicerones, but that is fine. Recommended. Find relevant books on Amazon.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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