From Garmisch – Partenkirchen to Innsbruck
- Dates: Middle of June – middle of September
Our Tirol and Bavaria hiking trail crosses from Germany to Austria through two beautiful mountain ranges, the Bavarian Alps and the Tyrol. It links the mountain trails of the Wetterstein and Karwendel Mountain Ranges passing through alpine valleys.
Enjoy the refined culture, stemming from over 2000 years of heritage, of today’s Garmisch- Partenkirchen. Directly behind town sits the massive Zugspitze mountain, the highest peak in Germany. As part of the Wettersteingebirge (Wetterstein mountain range), the Zugspitze is the highest of the peaks that define the border between Germany and Austria.
As we hike, we will make a traverse from Garmisch Partenkirchen in Germany all the way to Innsbruck in Austria. We pass two stunning mountain ranges and alpine parks.
As part of the Northern Limestone Alps, the Wetterstein and adjacent ranges are known for rugged mountains, deep blue lakes, and picture-perfect scenes.
Breathe in the alpine atmosphere during our hikes and sample some of the best local food.
You’ll find yourself mesmerized with spire-shaped limestone peaks like the Sonnenspitze, and the southern wall of the Wetterstein Mountains will leave you awestruck as you parallel the German/ Austrian border.
There is a very nice collection of mountain huts (for lunch) and hotels (for sleeping) on this trip. Two nights are spent high up in the mountains in beautiful, rustic mountain guesthouses .
The villages of Ehrwald and Mittenwald boast some of the prettiest mountain chalets in the area.
Decorative artwork adorns some of the chalets, and a delightful mix of wood and stone architecture, with hanging flower boxes on every window, makes the whole place feel like a fairy tale.
TRIP ITINERARY TIROL AND BAVARIA HIKING
- 7 Hiking days, 8 nights
Day 1, Arrival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
We meet in Garmisch – Partenkirchen at the train station at 5 pm and check in at the Hotel in the old part of the town.
- Night and dinner at Hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Day 2: Wankberg hiking and top of Zugspitze
Mount Wank offers one of the greatest panoramic views in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region. In spite of its popularity, however, you will be able to enjoy peace and quiet throughout the tour.
After our hike we take a train and cable car up to the highest mountain of Germany, the Zugspitze. It offers some of the best views of the Alps.
The 90-year-old cogwheel train takes us from Garmisch-Partenkirchen via Grainau to Lake Eibsee and through the 4.5-kilometre Zugspitz tunnel to the Zugspitze plateau at 2,600 m. We continue up to the summit with a cable car to enjoy the views. From top of Bavaria (Germany) we step over the boarder into Tirol (Austria) and take the cable car down into Ehrwald, Austria.
- Hike: 11km, +550m, – 710m
- Night at Spa Hotel in Ehrwald
Day 3: Coburger Hütte and mountain lakes hiking loop
Today features a dramatic trek into the Mieminger Kette, the mountain range high above the Inn
River Valley. Hiking start is at Ehrwalder Alm above town, before ascending the Ganghofersteig
trail around Taja Peak. We enjoy a delicious picnic at the mountain lakes and will stop for a coffee and Apfelstrudel at the Coburger Hut on the shores of the Drachensee before returning to Ehrwald. This mountain range features the spire-like limestone peaks such as the iconic Sonnenspitze.
- Hike: 14.9km, +/-750m
- Night and dinner at Spa Hotel in Ehrwald
Day 4: High above Gais valley
Leaving Ehrwald with the Ehrwald Alm gondola and our belongings for 2 adventurous days in the mountains. We ascend to a high traversing trail along the southern side of the Wetterstein range, with amazing views over the Leutasch Valley far below. This trail winds along the rocky southern wall of the Wetterstein Range, paralleling the German/Austrian border along the ridge. After a delightful lunch at the Steinernes Hut, we follow the Südsteig trail along the steep Wetterstein range. Our wonderful Alm for the night is reached after a steady descent down to our Alm for the night.
- Hike: 12km, +800m, – 900m (easier hiking option available)
- Night an dinner at a Alm in the mountains
Day 5: Over Wetterstein hut to Mittenwald
We continue our high traverse towards Scharnitzjoch (pass), high above the Lautasch Valley. On the foot of the famous Wettersteinwall lies Wetterstein hut, where we’ll stop for a drink before ascending our pass. After a delicious picnic lunch atop the pass, we descend into the Pit valley and the hamlet of Reindlau. A short drive brings us back to Germany and the beautiful, mountain village of Mittenwald.
- Hike: 14.9km, + 1040m, – 1300m
- Night and dinner at historic Spa Hotel in Mittenwald
Day 6: Mountain Hut hiking loop
Today we ascending the north side of the dramatic Karwendelspitze massif high above the idyllic town of Mittenwald.After a morning filled with stunning views, pause for a delicious snack at the Hochland Hut, perched on the north flank of the massif. Following lunch, we continue the “Rundweg” back into the valley and to our Spa Hotel in Mittenwald.
- Hike:16km, + 689m, – 866m (this can also be a possible day off to relax)
- Night and dinner at historic Spa Hotel in Mittenwald
Day 7: Mittenwald – Scharnitz – Hallerangerhaus (1768m)
After a relaxed morning and a delicious organic breakfast at the Hotel we take a shuttle to Scharnitz and the end of the Karwendel valley. It’s a short steep hike today up to Hallerangerhaus mountain guest-house, and surely one of the most beautiful places to spend an evening as we watch the sun going down over the mountains.
- Hike: 2km, +250m
- Night ant Hallerangerhaus mountain guesthouse
Day 8: Along the ancient salt route to Hall and Innsbruck
We say goodbye to the meadows of the Hallangeralm as we head for our first pass. From here the trail takes us down to the Issanger meadow. Now up and over another smaller pass to our descent trail past the ancient salt mines. This ‘salt route’ which in itself is historically fascinating gave the city of Salzburg its name. 2,600 years ago the first salt was taken from this area.
We enjoy a great last lunch stop at the mountain restaurant of Santa Magdalena, before a pleasant forest path to the village of Absam where we take a short transfer to Innsbruck.
- Hike: 12km, +15m, -1300m
- Night and dinner at Hotel in the historic part of Innsbruck
Day 9: Departure day
This trip finishes after a delicious breakfast in Innsbruck.
CHANGES OF PROGRAM FOR TIROL AND BAVARIA HIKING:
Our aim is to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our mountain leaders to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.
COSTS FOR TIROL AND BAVARIA HIKING:
Please contact us for the costs of this tour.
6 nights at charming Spa Hotels and local boutique hotels in private double rooms with ensuite bathrooms, 1 night at a Alm Guesthouse in the mountains in private rooms, and 1 night at a mountain hut in private rooms if available. Breakfast and dinners are included. Lunches and snacks are not included but your guide will lead you to the best mountain huts or can organise picnic lunches.
Luggage transfer is provided to all Hotels but the night at the Alm guest house on day 4 and the night at the mountain hut on day 7. We will put our necessary belongings into our backpack for those 2 nights.
Each person is allowed to transfer 1 piece of luggage weighing no more than 50 lbs.
All lifts and transfers incidental to itinerary beginning in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and ending in Innsbruck are included.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
This tour travels north to south trough the Alps starting in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany and ending in Innsbruck in Austria. Both destinations are easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, bus or plane.
Innsbruck and Munich are the closest international airports to the starting point making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. At the end of the tour Innsbruck airport is 20 minutes away and Munich 2 hours 15 minutes by road.
Hikers should be prepared for distances up to 10 miles and ascents up to 3050 ft.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
The Alpine summer lasts from mid June to early October and is predominantly warm and sunny, but variable. This mountain range in southern Germany is a little lower and affected by the warmth of the plains to the north so it is hike-able from mid-May through mid-October. Temperatures usually hover in the 55-75 degree F range, with the occasional heat wave or cold snap.
Munich – Garmisch-Partenkirchen: approximately 1.15 hours by train from the main station. Multiple flights daily arrive in Munich’s International Airport. Connections are easily made at the airport terminal via Deutsche Bahn (DB) regional rail to Munich Hauptbahnhof (Main Railway Station), to connect to the DB Train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Information and booking may be made at the Deutsche Bahn.
We’ll meet at the train station in Garmisch at 5pm on the first day to take a short shuttle to our Hotel.
PACKING LIST FOR TIROL AND BAVARIA HIKING
When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. If you have any questions with regards to what to bring, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
- Walking boots – comfortable & waterproof, with a good tread. Low cut mountain walking shoes are ok’ if they have a stiff sole for rough terrain. Be aware that early season snow can remain on the high passes and boots may be necessary!
- Walking Poles – optional, but highly recommended
- Backpack– 30-35 litres, ideally with a chest and waist strap and a waterproof cover
- Water container – 1 to 1.5 litres, or hydration system
- Short gaiters – useful for tours in the early season, but not essential
- WATERPROOF jacket and over trousers
- Waterproof over pants
- Walking Pants
- Sun hat
- Warm hat
- Thin gloves
- Base layer e.g. t-shirt, thermal tops
- Fleece jacket/shirt
- Socks – technical walking socks 2/3 pairs
- Duvet jacket/second warm jacket
- Thermal leggings – optional
- Lip salve
- Sunglasses – eye protection is essential
- Supplementary snack bars/chocolate/trail mix
- Passport, plus a paper copy
- Travel Insurance
- Credit Card
- Cash – Euros
- Waterproof bag for documents
Personal First Aid (All guides are first aid trained and will carry their own first aid kit)
- Personal medication – if required
- Antiseptic cream/spray
- Blister plasters
Items for the nights in mountain huts
- Ear plugs – optional, but advised
- Head torch – plus batteries
- Lightweight towel
- Slippers for use in accommodation
- Clothing for use in accommodation and towns
- Toiletries – including shampoo/shower gel as not all accommodations provide this
- Swimwear for pools and spas
- 1 Medium sized – kitbag/holdall/suitcase
Your luggage will be moved most days by a taxi driver. Please restrict yourself to one bag of approximately 15kg (33lbs) per person.