Exercise for the body, relaxation for the mind – long-distance hiking is a meditative experience giving walkers the opportunity to swap the hustle and bustle of the daily grind for a slower pace of life in the mountains. Tirol is home to several pilgrimage trails enjoyed by both religious and non-religious visitors. One of the most popular is the Euregio Maria Pilgrimage Trail 2, a circular route in the mountains between Austria and Germany. At 309 kilometres in length, it takes in numerous pilgrimage sites, churches and chapels connected to Jesus's mother Mary. The trail begins at the Marienbrunnen fountain in Kufstein and leads in a clockwise direction via the villages of Kössen, Siegsdorf, Inzell, Lofer, Fieberbrunn, St. Johann in Tirol, Going, Kramsach, Bayrischzell and Kiefersfelden back to the starting point. Each of the 13 stages comprises around 20-29 kilometres of walking, though they can be adapted depending on how much time you have and how far you wish to hike. En route there are plenty of places offering cosy accommodation. Most of the hiking is on well-maintained trails and roads, all of which are easy to walk, but hikers will need good fitness levels to enjoy the experience. The Euregio Maria Pilgrimage Trail 2 is one of six Maria Pilgrimage Trails in the cross-border Euregio region, recently created to promote cooperation between the respective countries involved.
Long-Distance Hiking Trail
Kufstein (town centre, Marienbrunnen fountain)
Kufstein (town centre, Marienbrunnen fountain)
Brandenberg Alps (Rofan)
Loferer Rocky Mountains
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
intermediate (red mountain trails)
Elevation uphill 4,266m
Vertical metres downhill 4,285m
Best time of year
* These are approximate values and recommendations. Please take your personal fitness level, technical ability and the current weather conditions into account. Tirol Werbung cannot guarantee that the information provided is correct and accepts no liability.
- Accessible using public transport
Kusfstein railway station (IC/EC, REX 2, S4, S5)
Park & ride at Kufstein railway station
Stage 1: Kufstein – Ebbs – Walchsee – Kössen
Uphill/downhill: 590/491 vertical metres, walking time: 8 hours, distance: 29.2 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Stage one of this adventure begins at the Marienbrunnen fountain in the centre of Kufstein. Hikers head along a section of the "Kaiseraufstieg" trail via Ebbs with its baroque parish church – also known as the "Cathedral of Ebbs" – and then north around the Zahmer Kaiser Mountains to the village of Walchsee. After a rest on the shores of the Walchsee lake it is time to complete the final push to Kössen.
Stage 2: Kössen – Unterwössen – Marquartstein
Uphill/downhill: 700/749 vertical metres, walking time: 6 hours, distance: 19.1 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Take the "Schmugglerpfad" ("Smugglers' Trail") from Kössen along the banks of the Großache river to Maria Klobenstein. There, above the Entenlochklamm gorge, hikers cross the river via a hanging footbridge. It is then time to pass from Austria into Germany where the route continues via Unterwössen to Marquartstein.
Stage 3: Marquartstein – Maria Eck – Siegsdorf
Uphill/downhill: 574/509 vertical metres, walking time: 6.5 hours, distance: 22 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Marquartstein marks the start of the third stage. Hikers head north around the Hochfelln mountain – and the northern slopes of the Chiemgau Alps – via Bergen and the Monastery of Maria Eck to Siegsdorf with its baroque parish church and pilgrimage museum.
Stage 4: Siegsdorf – Inzell – Schneizlreuth
Uphill/downhill: 792/858 vertical metres, walking time: 7.5 hours, distance: 24.8 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Leaving from Siegsdorf, hikers take the "Salinenweg" trail heading south-east as far as Inzell. From there the route continues on the "Schwarzbachklammweg" trail to Weißbach and then on to Scheizlreuth on the border between Bavaria (Germany) and Salzburg (Austria).
Stage 5: Schneizlreuth – Lofer – Maria Kirchental
Uphill/downhill: 702/373 vertical metres, walking time: 6 hours, distance: 21.8 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Stage five initially heads south-west through the Saalachtal Valley. Hikers then cross from Germany back into Austria at the Steinpass and continue via Unken along the banks of the Saalach river to Kniepass Castle and Lofer before heading south to the Maria Kirchental place of pilgrimage.
Stage 6: Maria Kirchental – Waidring – St.Ulrich – St. Jakob in Haus
Uphill/downhill: 392/427 vertical metres, walking time: 7 hours, distance: 27 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
From Maria Kirchental hikers head back to Lofer. There the route swings left into the Strubtal Valley, where they cross from Salzburg into Tirol and follow the valley in a westerly direction to Waidring with its parish church. From there it is time to head south into the Pillerseetal Valley, through the village of St. Ulrich and on to St. Jakob in Haus. This marks the end of stage six and is a good base for exploring the Buchensteinwand mountain with its 30-metre-high cross on the summit where visitors can walk inside and climb to the top to enjoy the fabulous views.
Stage 7: St. Jakob in Haus – Fieberbrunn – St. Johann i. T. – Going
Uphill/downhill: 382/464 vertical metres, walking time: 8 hours, distance: 28.7 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Stage seven is relatively long and begins in St. Jakob. The first section leads to the village of Fieberbrunn and then, following the Fieberbrunner Ache river, to St. Johann in Tirol with its parish church well worth a visit. From there, follow the route west along the slopes of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains to the village of Going.
Stage 8: Going – Ellmau – Söll – Bad Häring
Uphill/downhill: 592/763 vertical metres, walking time: 7 hours, distance: 22.7 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Stage eight takes hikers from Going along the Wilder Kaiser Mountains via Ellmau, Scheffau and Söll to Bad Häring, a former mining village perched on a plateau above the Inn Valley.
Stage 9: Bad Häring – Mariastein – Breitenbach
Uphill/downhill: 319/394 vertical metres, walking time: 5.5 hours, distance: 20.2 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Leaving from Bad Häring the route heads into the valley, via the village of Langkampfen along the wide Inn Valley up to the popular Mariastein place of pilgrimage with its iconic tower. Hikers then continue all the way to Breitenbach am Inn, home to one of the oldest parish churches in the Unterland (eastern) region of Tirol.
Stage 10: Breitenbach – Mariathal/Kramsach – Kaiserhaus
Uphill/downhill: 441/235 vertical metres, walking time: 6.5 hours, distance: 24.3 kilometres, difficulty rating: intermediate
From Breitenbach the route leads further west, above the Inn river. Shortly before reaching Kramsach with its Mariathal parish church hikers pass two lakes: the Reintalersee and the Krummsee. The route then swings north into the Tiefenbachklamm gorge and heads along the banks of the Brandenberger Ache river, crossing it several times, via Pinegg to Kaiserhaus at the start of the Kaiserklamm gorge.
Stage 11: Kaiserhaus – Riedenberg – Bayrischzell
Uphill/downhill: 761/678 vertical metres, walking time: 8.5 hours, distance: 25.4 kilometres, difficulty rating: intermediate
Stage eleven leads from Kaiserhaus in an easterly direction through the Ellbachgraben and via Riedenberg and the Fürschlachtklause to Wacht. Follow the trail over the Ursprungpass and cross over into Bavaria before continuing to Bayrischzell.
Stage 12: Bayrischzell – Fischbachau – Osterhofen – Sudelfeld
Uphill/downhill: 716/413 vertical metres, walking time: 6.5 hours, distance: 19.8 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
Stage eleven heads out of the valley via Osterhofen to the Maria Himmelfahrt place of pilgrimage in Birkenstein. Take the trail into the centre of the village of Fischbachau, home to the oldest Romance basilica in Bavaria. Then head back along the same route to Oberberg, turn left and continue via Hochkreuth to Sudelfeld.
Stage 13: Sudelfeld – Oberaudorf – Kiefersfelden – Kufstein
Uphill/downhill: 600/1,200 vertical metres, walking time: 8 hours, distance: 24.2 kilometres, difficulty rating: easy
The final stage is one of the longest. Time to draw on those final energy reserves! The route leads via Sudelfeld in an easterly direction into the Auerbachtal Valley and then on to Oberaudorf before heading down into the Inn Valley. From there hikers head south via Kiefersfelden and the "Hechtseeweg" trail back to Kufstein, the starting and finishing point of this long-distance adventure.