This walk from Ischgl in the Paznaun Valley to Samnaun on the Austrian-Swiss border leads along a route used in centuries past by smugglers to transport goods such as alcohol and tobacco, which back then were much cheaper in Switzerland than in Austria, over the border. The walk includes a ride on the Samnaun cable car, a double-decker gondola with a capacity of 180 passengers. It is one of the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. Hikers who wish to return to Ischgl the same day should set off early and walk quickly. The last cable car from Samnaun back to Ischgl leaves at 14:30. The easier and more relaxing option is to stay the night in Samnaun.
Top station at Idalp
Bottom station of Samnaun cable car
Approximate hiking time
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
intermediate (red mountain trails)
Elevation uphill 812m
Vertical metres downhill 1,324m
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
Car park at the Silvrettabahn cable car (free)
Please check the operating times of the cable cars (https://www.ischgl.com/de/Active/Active-Summer/Bergbahnen-Tickets or https://bergbahnen-samnaun.ch/sum/die-bahnen/)
Places serving food & drink
- Restaurant Idalp (June to September)
- Vider Alp (early July to late August)
- Various locations in Samnaun
The walk begins in Ischgl in the Paznaun Valley. Hikers take the Silvretta-Seilbahn cable car to Idalp at around 2,300 metres above sea level. From there they take a trail leading gently uphill in an easterly direction through rocky terrain onto the Viderjoch ridge. After a further 100 vertical metres of elevation gain they reach the Greitspitze mountain with its impressive summit cross at 2.871 metres above sea level. Follow the trail along the border between Switzerland and Austria as far as the Salaaser Kopf mountain (2,744 metres). The trail then leads downhill to the Zeblasjoch (2,539 metres). It is here that the real descent down into the valley begins. following the Schergenbach river, to Samnaun-Ravaisch. The final section is completed using the Luftseilbahn Samnaun and Alp Trider cable cars. Then change to the Flimsattelbahn and Flimjochbahn for the last bit back to Idalp.
An alternative (and shorter) route to Samnaun starts at Idalp and leads along the border path to the Alp-Trida-Sattel before heading back using the Luftseilbahn Samnaun cable car.