Hiking on the Wachau World Heritage Trail, © Robert Herbst

Lower Austria´s top 10 alpine tours

We have climbed up to Lower Austria's most challenging peaks, to bring you the region's most demanding tours.

Ötscher, Rauher Kamm, © Niederösterreich-Werbung/Michael Liebert

To the Ötscher via the Rauher Kamm gorge

This classic mountain tour in the Mostviertel spans almost 13 kilometres, and leads via the Rauher Kamm gorge to the 1,893 metre high Ötscher summit. This very demanding ascent of the Ötscher should only be tackled by experienced and skilled mountaineers in dry and stable weather conditions, as the marked route includes climbing sections where safety equipment is not provided.

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Sonnwendstein, © Niederösterreich-Werbung/ M. Liebert

From Maria Schutz to the Pollereshütte on the Sonnwendstein

The 3.6 kilometre hiking route from the pilgrimage site of Maria Schutz leads along a forest path, and then along the north side of the Sonnwendstein on the narrow, steep Gebirgsjägersteig trail to the Pollereshütte inn. Once there, hungry mountaineers can feast on Blunzengröstl (a traditional dish containing potatoes and black pudding) or Pinzgauer cheese dumplings. At 1,523 metres above sea level, the summit boasts magnificent views of the Viennese Alpine Arc.

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An Alpine summer in the Rax mountains, © Niederösterreich-Werbung/Robert Herbst

From the Knappenhof to the Ottohaus

The approx. 4.5 kilometre route leads to the Ottohaus inn, via the Törlweg path. Built in 1893, this mountain inn offers a fantastic view of the 4,000 sqm Rax Alpine Garden. It also inspired Sigmund Freud, a regular summertime visitor. Was the legendary Holzfällerbraten (“lumberjack roast”) on the menu back then? We don't know, but you have to try it!

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Annaberger Haus, © Karl Schachinger

Annaberg – Tirolerkogel – Eibl – Türnitz

Magnificent views of the surrounding mountains await on you this almost 14.5 kilometre alpine tour. On a clear autumnal day, you can even see Wachau and the Gesäuse National Park! The route starts in Annaberg, and takes you up the Tirolerkogel to the Annaberger Haus, and on over the Eibl to Türnitz. It is possible to take a Postbus back to Annaberg.

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An Eldorado for hikers, © Veronika Marx

To the Wetterkoglerhaus, via the Marienseer Schwaig

The approximately 3.5 km long route, which is suitable for the whole family, leads from the biotope in Mariensee, past the Marienseer Schwaig inn, and to the Wetterkoglerhaus inn. The cosy Wetterkoglerhaus is at the highest point of the Wechsel (1,743 meters above sea level), also known as the Hochwechsel, and therefore offers the most impressive view in the Wechselland area.

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Hike to the alpine Hocheck, © Christian Handl

From Kaumberg to the Hocheck

The 15 kilometre hike from Kaumberg to the Hocheck (1,037 m above sea level) is a physically challenging mountain tour. It starts in Kaumberg, which is just under an hour’s drive away from Vienna. The Hocheck is the easternmost one-thousand-meter peak in the Lower Austrian alpine foothills. When they reach their destination, hikers are rewarded with outstanding views from the Meyringwarte lookout post at the summit of the Hocheck.

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Vogelbergsteig Wachau, © photography.pfeffel.at

Vogelbergsteig in Dürnstein

The varied, sometimes steep route along the Vogelbergsteig path leading to the Fesslhütte inn and the historic Dürnstein Castle ruins is one of the most beautiful hiking tours in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wachau. There are several opportunities for hikers to take in impressive views of the Danube and Dürnstein and the surrounding landscape.

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Fischerhütte, © Wiener Alpen in Niederösterreich/Franz Zwickl

Schneeberg – Nandlgrat

This almost 14 kilometre long, challenging mountain tour on the Schneeberg requires a very good level of physical fitness and coordination, and leads experienced mountaineers along high rock formations and rock faces of the Nandlgrat trail, and up to the summit. You can regain your energy for the descent, surrounded by the breathtaking landscape, at the Fischerhütte or the Edelweisshütte inns.

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Skywalk Hohe Wand, © Naturparke Niederösterreich/Robert Herbst

Hike to the Grosse Kanzel on the Hohe Wand

The approximately 3 kilometre long, family-friendly ascent to the Grosse Kanzel begins in the middle of the forest, at the Pension Toni Seiser guesthouse in Höflein. The path leads through mountain forests and along the Grafenbergsteig path to the Wilhelm-Eichert-Hütte, Turmsteighütte and Hubertushaus inns. Tip for mountaineers: The Grosse Kanzel can also be reached via two fixed-rope climbing routes (Springlessteig and Wagnersteig path).

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Obersee, © Rene Jagersberger

Ybbstalerhütte – Dürrenstein – Seetal Panoramic Tour

In any case, mountaineers tackling the almost 22 kilometre long 2-day tour to the 1,878 meter high Dürrenstein, with an overnight stay at the Ybbstalerhütte inn, should be in good shape. The path leads through jungle-like trenches, past the cold pole of Central Europe, through lush pine fields and alpine meadows, and past the most beautiful lakes of Ybbstal.

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