Few long distance hikes offer the variety and grandeur of landscape as this new route, “The Trans-Alpine Crossing”: Beginning in Germany at Tegernsee Lake, the route winds its way through Austria’s Tirol along Achensee Lake and across Zillertal Valley to Sterzing in South Tyrol, Italy. Crossing the Alps by foot, this 7 day hike offers an achievable and rewarding hiking challenge with spectacular views every step. It is well formed and well-marked, and is suitable for people with moderate fitness and limited experience. The Trans-Alpine Crossing offers the opportunity of traveling on foot through these scenic regions, crossing from one country to another, all the time experiencing the similarities as well as changes in cultures as you make your way from Germany’s Bavaria over Austria’s Tirol to Italy’s South Tyrol. Quaint guesthouses, B&B’s and hotels offer accommodation from luxurious to casual—there is a bed for every budget available at villages along The Trans-Alpine Crossing. Face the challenge, feast on the adventure and treat yourself to a truly unique and unforgettable experience in the Alps, one of Europe’s most picturesque and inspiring natural environments. There are a range of shorter walking opportunities; some sections of the long distance footpath can be managed by shuttle bus, train, boat or gondola for those with less time available. If you prefer hiking in the knowledge that your accommodation and luggage transfers have all been pre-arranged, consider a Self-Guided or Theme-Guided Walking Holiday where your luggage will be transferred from hotel to hotel. Please Note: The track description in the Map and in the Elevation Profile includes those sections that are managed by shuttle bus, train, boat or gondola. GPS Data of the entire walking route are available for download from the right menu bar.
Gmund at Tegernsee Lake, Germany
Sterzing, South Tyrol, Italy
Brandenberg Alps (Rofan)
- Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
- Circular hike
intermediate (red mountain trails)
Elevation uphill 3,300m
Vertical metres downhill 3,830m
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.
Day 1: Gmund - Wildbad Kreuth
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 250/180 Meters, Hiking Time: Variable, Distance: 6 - 22 Kilometers
From Gmund, situated on the northern shore of Tegernsee Lake, the route follows Tegernsee High Altitude Trail to the resort of Tegernsee. Meandering some 100 meters above the lake, this walk offers stunning views of awesome Tegernsee Lake. Don’t miss out on visiting the Brewery Pub in Tegernsee. Then, take the unique rowing ferry to Rottach-Egern. The walk continues along a natural trail that follows Weißach River to Wildbad Kreuth.
Day 2: Wildbad Kreuth - Achenkirch
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 850/800 Meters, Hiking Time: 5¾ Hours, Distance: 17 Kilometers
From historic Wildbad Kreuth, a footpath will take you through beech and mixed forest up to the wide open Alpine pastures of Gaisalm. From there, the trail meanders along a gentle mountain ridge in its beginning and across fields of dwarf pine later until you reach the mountain crest at the border between Germany’s Bavaria and Austria’s Tirol. This is where you will enjoy stunning and uninterrupted panoramic views from Tegernsee Lake in the north to the lofty Zillertal Alps in the south. Pause for a rest on quaint Blauberg Alpine Pasture Hut. The walk continues on easy trails that wind through the former hunting areas of the Habsburg Emperors and take you down to Achenwald and Achenkirch.
Day 3: Achenkirch - Maurach am Achensee
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 200/200 Meters, Hiking Time: 4 Hours, Distance: 13.5 Kilometers
Departing from Achenkirch, this day walk sidles along the western shore of Achensee Lake. The well-maintained track undulates over a number of steps and with handrails at some sections to Gaisalm Alpine Pasture Hut. Up there, magical scenery of awesome natural beauty awaits, with pretty waterfalls, densely wooded areas and alluvial cones that reach into Achensee Lake, lovingly dubbed “Tirol’s Fiord”. You will pass by beaches which are popular for swimming. The route follows the lakeside road to Pertisau and eventually sidles along the tracks of historic Achensee Cog Railway to Maurach, the destination end of this walk.
Day 4: Maurach am Achensee - Hochfügen
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 450/750 Meters, Hiking Time: 3¾ Hours, Distance: 13 Kilometers
Ride a bus or take historic Achensee Cog Railway and Zillertal Train to Fügen. Stroll through this lovely and picturesque village until you reach the base of Spieljoch Gondola. The gondola will speed you to Spieljoch Mountain, to an elevation of 1,865 meters. At the top, above timberline, capture panoramic views of the surrounding mountains of Zillertal Valley and of Karwendel, Rofan and Wilder Kaiser Ranges. The route follows an awesome trail past Gartlalm Alpine Pasture Hut to Loas Saddle. Loas Alpine Inn is a true insider‘s tip, serving finest mountain-inspired specialties. An easy trail meanders from the inn to the village resort of Hochfügen.
Day 5: Hochfügen - Mayrhofen
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 900/400 Meters, Hiking Time: 4¾ Hours, Distance: 11 Kilometers
This day walk will take you to historic Alpine villages which are only found here in scenic Zillertal Valley. Beginning in Hochfügen, the track makes its way up to Sidanjoch Col past glacier-carved rocks. Having passed Rastkogel Hut, a short climb takes you atop Mitterwandskopf Peak. The gorgeous path meanders along a ridge to Melchboden, passing picture-postcard tarns which were glacially carved out during the last ice age. Eventually, the path emerges onto the Zillertal High Elevation Road. From there, you can either take the long walk down what will possibly strain your knees; or you can ride a public bus to the village of Mayrhofen. Doing so, you will cut miles from the route and spare hiking time.
Day 6: Mayrhofen - Pfitsch
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 500/850 Meters, Hiking Time: 4½ Hours, Distance: 13 Kilometers
On this day walk you will cross the Alpine Main Ridge. From Mayrhofen, ride a public bus to Schlegeis Reservoir at an elevation of 1,800 meters. The scenic drive winds up the mountain in switchbacks and offers stunning views of the light blue reservoir and the mighty glaciers in its backyard. The track climbs to Pfitscherjoch Col and gradually sidles around a stream with rushing waterfalls. Shortly after having crossed the border to Italy, you will reach Pfitscherjochhaus Lodge at an elevation of 2,275 meters, which is the highest point on this walk. The trail continues across wide open, gentle Alpine pastures and through densely wooded areas, descending into Pfitschtal Valley. Eventually, a lovely meadow trail will bring you to the destination end of this day, which is at St. Jakob or Platz.
Day 7: Pfitsch - Sterzing
Elevation Gain/Elevation Loss: 150/650 Meters, Hiking Time: 5½ Hours, Distance: 20 Kilometers
The last day of The Trans-Alpine Crossing is generally flat, with a few easy climbs and a lot of scenic beauty: The track follows the beautiful and wide open valley, passing quaint farmsteads and historic stone churches that are typical for this region of South Tyrol. A short ascent takes you atop a foothill at Flains from where the trail descends into the Gothic town center of Sterzing. Most trails are rated easy; some short sections are a moderately challenging hike. Those with less time or energy available can ride a bus to Sterzing as well.
For more details on each of the 7 Day Hikes please refer to www.die-alpenueberquerung.com (German only).