© Bergbahn Pillersee/Andreas Langreiter
© Bergbahn Pillersee/Andreas Langreiter

Way of St. James in Tirol

The Way of St. James (commonly known by its Spanish name: El Camino de Santiago) has a huge history and is one of the most internationally renowned Christian pilgrimages in the world. Traditionally, the Way of St. James begins at home and leads to the city of Santiago de Compostella in Spain, as well as to one’s inner self. Those who have already trodden the pilgrim’s path in Spain will be aware of the fact that the refuges along the way are generally very full and the crowds of people thronging along the pilgrim’s trail mean that one has little opportunity for personal moments of reflection and contemplation. Not so along the Way of St. James in Tirol. The fact that the Land in the Mountains was an important section of the Way of St. James during the Middle Ages is demonstrated by the many chapels and churches dotted along the trail. They are dedicated to the patron saints and home to many valuable drawings of saints and medieval pilgrims – not least to be found in Innsbruck in the form of a larger than life pilgrim statue which flanks the entrance to the city, and the “Dom zu St. Jakob” (St. James Cathedral) whose gates are guarded by saints in pilgrims’ dress. Village names en route are often decorated with a scallop crest (the symbol of the route) and weathered milestones also testify to the centuries old history of St. James pilgrims in Tirol. It is not surprising then, that you can experience this pilgrimage in its purest form along the section which runs through Tirol. Well away from the crowds, in the midst of wonderful natural landscapes, majestic mountain peaks and themed trails that invite you to linger, wonder and reflect. The infrastructural facilities are also well developed – many parishes offer simple overnight accommodation for those content with making a “simple” pilgrimage” and in just about every village, the more discerning pilgrim will find selected accommodation for those wanting to savour a little luxury along the way.

  • When visiting St. Jakob in Haus, make sure you stop by at the recently opened Jakobskreuz (St. James Cross) at Buchensteinwand!
  • The trail from Wörgl to Breitenbach leads you to an elevation where imposing views of the Way of St. James can be enjoyed.
  • Rattenberg is right on the Way of St. James. Take a little time to explore Austria’s smallest city and enjoy delicious refreshments at one of the many cafes and restaurants.
  • On the way to St. Georgenberg you will walk through the impressive Wolfsklamm Gorge. At St. Georgenberg you can fortify yourself both spiritually and culinary – this place of pilgrimage is run by monks and also offers overnight accommodation.
  • Pilgrims will also find wonderful accommodation at the Kloster St. Martin Monastery in Gnadenwald, which is managed by the „Waldschwestern“ Nuns.
  • St. James also plays a very significant role in Innsbruck – the famous cathedral is not only dedicated to him, but pilgrims are welcomed by a larger than life statue which flanks the entrance to the city.
  • The pilgrim’s hostel in Inzing is lovingly managed by Father Andreas Tausch, who is also happy to take time out to chat with “his” pilgrims.
  • From Kronburg/Schönwies, you can enjoy magnificent views of the “Oberinntal” Upper Inn Valley.
  • Treat yourself to a shot of the famous plum schnapps at Stanz, a village well known for its’ schnapps-making prowess.
  • One of the most beautiful sections of the Way of St. James is the stage leading to St. Christoph am Arlberg. There, incidentally, is one of the oldest refuges in the Alps: the Hospiz St. Christoph (Hospice of St. Christopher). It is now a luxury hotel, however, more reasonable “Pilgrim’s Meals” can still be enjoyed today.
  • If you are on the East Tirolean section of the Way of St. James: Be sure to include a stopover in Lienz. East Tirol’s provincial capital has not only been an important destination for pilgrims since the Middle Ages, it captivates visitors with its unique character. 

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Starting point  

in Tirol: Waidring

Finishing point

in Tirol: St. Christoph

Mountain chain

Tux Alps

Verwall Mountains

Kaiser Mountains

Wetterstein Mountains

Karwendel Mountains

Kitzbühel Alps

Lechtal Alps

Loferer Rocky Mountains

Length

271.8 km

Duration

12 day(s)

Features

  • Wheelchair-accessible Hiking Route
  • Circular hike

Difficulty rating

intermediate (red mountain trails)

Altitude

1,852m 501m

Elevation uphill 5,589m
Vertical metres downhill 4,371m

Fitness level

Technique

Best time of year

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun

Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

* 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.

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Trail description

Four different routes for the Way of St. James lead through Tirol: coming from Salzburg and/or Rosenheim, the trails merge in Angerberg, just after Wörgl. From thereon, pilgrims from East Tirol can join the route a little later in Innsbruck. Approaching from Munich, some pilgrims choose to take the route via Mittenwald, which converges with the Tirolean principle route at Silz. The entire Tirolean section of the Way of St. James is very well signposted – it is almost impossible to lose your way. As the infrastructural facilities for the Way of St. James are so well developed, participants can easily arrange the daily stages according to their individual stamina levels and mood. The routes mentioned should therefore be simply regarded as a list of significant waypoints.

The Way from Salzburg
Waidring - Erpfendorf - Kirchdorf - St. Johann - über Römerstraße and Römerhof, past the Stanglwirt to Going - Ellmau - Scheffau - Söll - Itter - Bruckhäusl - Angerberg

The Way from Kiefersfelden
Thierberg – Kufstein- Unterlangkampfen – Niederbreitenbach – Mariastein - Angerberg

The Common Way from Angerberg
Achleit - Kleinsöll - Breitenbach - Kramsach - Rattenberg - Brixlegg – Strass - Rotholz - Jenbach - Schloss Tratzberg - Sankt Georgenberg - Fiecht - Vomp - Terfens - Gnadenwald – St. Martin - Hall - Absam - Thaur - Rum - Arzl - Mühlau – Innsbruck

The Way from East Tirol
Nikolsdorf - Tristach -  Lienz - Leisach - Assling - Anras - Abfaltersbach - Strassen - Sillian - Südtiroler Abschnitt: Innichen (IT) - Bruneck (IT) - Sterzing (IT)- Brenner - Gries am Brenner - Matrei - Steinach - Pfons - Ellbögen - Patsch - Igls - Innsbruck

The Common Way from Innsbruck
Innsbruck - Völs - Afling - Kematen - Unterperfuss - Inzing - Leiblfing - Hatting - Polling - Flaurling - Pfaffenhofen - Rietz - Stams - Silz

The Way from Mittenwald
Leutasch – Bichlwald – Mösern – Birkenberg – Telfs – Mieming – Mötz – Stams - Silz

The Common Way from Silz
Haiming - Roppen - Karres - Karrösten - Imsterau - Saurs - Kronburg - Zams - Stanz - Grins - Strengen - Flirsch - Schnann - Pettneu – St. Jakob – St. Anton – St. Christoph

Information on place

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Your destination address: Waidring

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