Day 2: Blaubergalm hut in Achenkirch, © Georg Pawlata
Day 2: Blaubergalm hut in Achenkirch, © Georg Pawlata
Day 3: western shore of Lake Achensee, © Georg Pawlata
Day 3: western shore of Lake Achensee, © Georg Pawlata
Day 4: spectacular views at every step, © Georg Pawlata
Day 4: spectacular views at every step, © Georg Pawlata
Day 5: footpath to Melchboden, © Georg Pawlata
Day 5: footpath to Melchboden, © Georg Pawlata
Day 6: Schlegeis reservoir, © Georg Pawlata
Day 6: Schlegeis reservoir, © Georg Pawlata

Long-Distance Hiking Trail
The Trans-Alpine Crossing

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 the Austrian Tirol past Lake Achensee and across the Zillertal Valley to Sterzing in South Tirol, Italy. Crossing the Alps by foot, this seven-day hike offers an achievable and rewarding 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 via the Austrian Tirol to Italy’s northernost province.

This long-distance hike can be shortened in places using a bus, train, boat or cable car. There is also a special service on offer which means hikers can have their luggage transported from one accommodation to the next.

Important! The route shown on the map as well as the altitude profile include the sections which can be completed using bus, train, boat or cable car. The GPS data of the actual walking sections can be downloaded at the bottom right.

This long-distance hike can be shortened in places using a bus, train, boat or cable car. There is also a special service on offer which means hikers…

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Starting point  

Gmund at Tegernsee lake, Germany: Blaubergalm (Achenkirch)

Finishing point

Sterzing, South Tirol, Italy: Pfitscherjoch (Finkenberg)

Mountain chain

Brandenberg Alps (Rofan)

Tux Alps

Zillertal Alps


110 km


7 day(s)


  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

intermediate (red mountain trails)



Elevation uphill 3,300m
Vertical metres downhill 3,830m

Fitness level


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.

Trail description

Day 1: Gmund - Wildbad Kreuth
Elevation gain/elevation loss: 250/180 vertical metres, hiking time: variable, distance: 6 - 22 kilometres
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 metres above the lake, this walk offers stunning views. Don’t miss out on visiting the brewery 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 metres, hiking time: 5¾ hours, distance: 17 kilometres
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 can enjoy stunning and uninterrupted panoramic views from Tegernsee lake in the north to the lofty Zillertal Alps in the south. Pause for a rest at the quaint Blaubergalm 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 metres, hiking time: 4 hours, distance: 13.5 kilometres
Departing from Achenkirch, this day walk sidles along the western shore of Lake Achensee. The well-maintained track undulates over a number of steps and with handrails at some sections to the Gaisalm hut. Up there, magical scenery of awesome natural beauty awaits, with pretty waterfalls, densely wooded areas and alluvial cones that reach into Lake Achensee, lovingly dubbed “Tirol’s Fjord”. You will pass by beaches which are popular for swimming. The route follows the lakeside road to Pertisau and eventually heads along the tracks of historic Achensee Railway to Maurach, the end of this stage.

Day 4: Maurach am Achensee - Hochfügen
Elevation gain/elevation loss: 450/750 metres, hiking time: 3¾ hours, distance: 13 kilometres
Ride a bus or take the historic Achensee Railway and Zillertal Train to Fügen. Stroll through this lovely and picturesque village until you reach the base of the Spieljoch cable car. The gondola will speed you onto the Spieljoch mountain, to an elevation of 1,865 metres. At the top, above timberline, capture panoramic views of the surrounding mountains of the Zillertal Valley and the Karwendel, Rofan and Wilder Kaiser Mountains. The route follows an awesome trail past the Gartlalm hut to the Loassattel ridge. The Loasalm hut is a true insider‘s tip, serving finest mountain-inspired specialties. An easy trail meanders from the hut to the village resort of Hochfügen.

Day 5: Hochfügen - Mayrhofen
Elevation gain/elevation loss: 900/400 metres, hiking time: 4¾ hours, distance: 11 kilometres
This day walk will take you to historic alpine villages which are only found here in the scenic Zillertal Valley. Beginning in Hochfügen, the track makes its way up to the Sidanjoch ridge past glacier-carved rocks. Having passed the Rastkogelhütte hut, a short climb takes you up onto the Mitterwandskopf mountain. 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 Alpine Road. From there, you can either take the long walk down, which will 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 metres, hiking time: 4½ hours, distance: 13 kilometres
On this day walk you will cross the Main Alpine Ridge. From Mayrhofen, ride a public bus to the Schlegeis reservoir at an elevation of 1,800 metres. 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 the Pfitscherjoch ridge and gradually sidles around a stream with rushing waterfalls. Shortly after having crossed the border to Italy you will reach Pfitscherjochhaus hut at an elevation of 2,275 metres, the highest point on this walk. The trail continues across wide open, gentle alpine pastures and through densely wooded areas, descending into the Pfitschtal Valley. Eventually, a lovely meadow trail will bring you to your destination for this day, which is at St. Jakob or Platz.

Day 7: Pfitsch - Sterzing
Elevation gain/elevation loss: 150/650 metres, hiking time: 5½ hours, distance: 20 kilometres
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 Tirol. A short ascent takes you atop a foothill at Flains from where the trail descends into the Gothic town centre 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 seven stages please refer to (German only).

Information on place

Arrival date

How to get here by plane, train, bus or car.

Ihr Ziel: Achenkirch am Achensee, Österreich

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