Insider's guide: Our top 10 Alpine resort walks

Hiking
 

Nothing beats exploring the mountains on foot.

Whether you’re an amateur rambler, or a seasoned hiker, we have a trail to suit everyone, whatever your age, ability and preference is! Visit towns along your way, stop to admire breathtaking views and maybe pause for a little tipple in a mountain top hut.

Our handy top 10 walks guide will lead you through some of the most awe-inspiring trails the Alps have to offer.

 

1. Seefeld, Austria
2. Mayrhofen, Austria
3. Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
4. Merano, Italy
5. Champoluc, Italy
6. Chamonix , France
7. Zermatt, Switzerland
8. Grindelwald, Switzerland
9. Lech, Austria
10. Brand, Austria

 

'Three Lakes Walk' in Seefeld, Tyrol, Austria

three lakes walk

Seefeld, situated in Tyrol, 20km West of Innsbruck in Austria, is one of the most popular tourist centres in Tyrol and boasts over 650km of walking trails. This trail will take you past some majestic views, including outlook points over the lakes Wildmoossee, Lottensee and Moserersee.

Enjoy trekking through quiet woodlands, across peaks and valley paths and after all that fresh mountain air, stop at the Wildmoosalm hut for a freshly baked strudel (washed down with a glass of schnapps, of course!) before continuing on your way.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Medium
- Allow FOUR hours to complete this walk... or all day depending on your pace and how often you pause to marvel at the majesty of nature!

Getting there
- By foot: Walk from your hotel in Seefeld to the church of St. Peter on the North-Western side of the town.
- By car: There are many car parks around Seefeld which are a short walking distance from the beginning of the trail.

Route
From the starting point at the church of St. Peter, take the no.2 path up to the Wildmoos Alm.
You will come to the first of the three lakes, Wildmoossee, and nearby there is a famous cafe with its schnapps fountain and ‘strudel siren’ (not to be missed!).
Continue to path no.3 in this area and you will come to the second lake of your walk, Lottenssee. Have a spot of lunch before going on to the third lake, Möserersee, which is a warm water lake and free to swim in.
Begin your descent into Mösern where there are regular buses running back to Seefeld.

Inghams recommends
The Hotel Alpina is just 500m from the centre of Seefeld. It’s a great option for those planning to be out exploring as it offers guests free packed lunches. With this hotel also comes the choice of the ‘Scenic Seefeld’ excursion, a fantastic walking holiday, exclusive to Inghams, on selected dates.

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The Ahorn and Zillertal Nature Park in Mayrhofen in Tyrol, Austria

the alhorn

Surrounded by four valleys and boasting an incredible 1,700km of walking trails across the Zillertal Nature Park, this is a real walk on the wild side! Great for those who love a bit of bird-watching, as there are some wonderful opportunities to spot some stunning birds of prey in the Eagles Valley and at the famous Birds of Prey Show at the Eagles Stage.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Medium
- Variety of trails and routes. Some tougher hikes up the Ahornspitze are available.

Getting there
- By bus: Buses run regularly to Mayrhofen, once in the town, follow directions to the Ahornbahn.
- By foot: The Ahornbahn is a ten minute walk from the centre of Mayrhofen
- By car: There is free car parking at the bottom of the Ahornbahn gondola in Mayrhofen. For access to the Stillup Valley basin, follow the Stillupbach which begins just behind the Ahornstrabe.

Route
For a pleasant walk up and around the Ahorn and to the Ahornspitz summit, take the Ahornbahn gondola from the centre of Mayrhofen.

Follow the wide and neatly maintained tracks to the Edelhutte focus point and from there you can either ascend the summit of the Ahornspitz (and be rewarded with amazing views- if you have the stamina!) or you can retrace your steps back to the Ahornbahn lift.

Inghams recommends
The Chalet St. Lukas is ideally located for hiking around Mayrhofen as the trails start just 500m away. Guests of Inghams can be treated to an excursion up the Stillup valley where they will be treated to a stunning walk with turquoise blue rivers, waterfalls and the Stillup Reservoir.

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‘Soča River Trail’ in the Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

soca river trail
© 2015 Slovenian Tourist Board

Another walk for those who love nature, this trail will take you through the unspoilt Triglav National Park. Closely following each curve and meander of the Emerald River, the Soča River (the river is a shockingly beautiful shade of turquoise), this walk will lead you deep into the beauty of the Kranjska Gora.
Dotted with waterfalls, and tracks that take you to remote villages and farm houses, it’s a shame that Slovenia is often overlooked by keen walkers, but with the Julian Alps in the background, this is not the one to miss.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Easy- This is a relatively easy, downhill and pleasant walk that spans across 8km, following the river.
- Allow FIVE hours to complete this walk

Getting there
- By bus: There is a public transportation service to the start of the walk but only runs at peak times of the year (twice a day during July and August)
- By car: There is car parking available at Trenta, however this a straight line walk, and you will not return to the starting destination again.

Route
The Soča River Trail runs from the source of the Soča River in the Triglav National Park towards the town of Bovec. Along the way you will visit several deep gorges and experience the Triglav National Park in all its majesty.

Inghams recommends
Stay at the Hotel Lek in the Municipality of Kranjska Gora, and you’ll receive a free packed lunch daily as well as a free weekly hiking tour. Also in the area and exclusive to Inghams is the ‘Inghams Wunderwalk’ in the Kranjska Gora, which follows the path of the Pisnica River before arriving at the Jasna Lake.

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‘Cinema Walk’ in Merano, Italy

Cinema

Once again in the delightfully rural Tyrol region, Merano offers walks for all abilities, whether it’s a leisurely stroll, to more intermediate walks through irrigation channels or advanced treks to the high Alps. Not to be confused with the Hollywood type of cinema that we all know so well, this walk offers you an opportunity to sit watch natures very own silver screen- a view from amphitheatre style seats from the top of the cliffs across the Alto Aldidge valley.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Medium
- Allow THREE hours for this walk.

Getting there
- By bus: You will need to take a bus from Merano to Verano, then on to the Merano2000 gondola for this walk
- By car: There is car parking available at the base of the Merano2000 gondola that will take you to the start of this walk.

Route
The highlight of the walk is the stunning view from the cliff on top of the range. Here seats arranged in an amphitheatre style offer breathtaking views across the Alto Adige valley to the Ortler, Texel and high Dolomite mountain ranges.

The route takes us through alpine pastures and open forests and after lunch, in an attractive rustic farmhouse, we continue to the village of Halfling then you can take the bus connection back down to Merano.

Inghams recommends
The Meranerhof Hotel has been run by the Eisenkeil family since 1966 so you’re guaranteed a truly traditional Italian experience. Exclusive to Inghams guests is the ‘Sissy’s Way’ guided walk which treads along the historic path to Trauttmansdorff Castle and Gardens.

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‘The Lago Blu’ trail in Champoluc, Italy

lago blue trail

In the shadow of the Monte Rosa lies the peaceful town of Champoluc. New to Inghams in 2015, Champoluc is both a fantastic ski resort as well as a haven for hikers in the summer. Still within the Tyrol area of the Austrian-Italian Alps, you are deeply submerged in the rural farm life that sprawls across these valleys.

The Blue Lake is a beautiful and relatively short but moderate trek up through the Ayas Valley and away from the village of Champoluc. Mining in this region of the Tyrol valley has turned the lake a, you guessed it, a shocking shade of blue thanks to the copper mineral deposits in the water.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Medium. This trek is mostly uphill.
- Allow THREE hours for this walk.

Getting there
- By foot: From the centre of Champoluc, walk to the church of St. Jacques.
- By car: There is a car park in the village of Champoluc, a short distance away from the start of this walk.

Route
All trails and routes around the Monte Rosa Mountains and around Champoluc are delightfully well marked. Start your climb to the Lago Blu from behind the church of St. Jacques and follow route no.7 (route no.8 crosses this path several times, try to keep straight!).

Pass through the small mountain village of Fiery.

The path goes straight to the beautiful blue lake but from there you have the choice to either return to Champoluc or continue exploring the mountain.

Inghams recommends
The Chalet Hotel Breithorn is an ideal base for a walking holiday. Only 5 minutes from the main gondola to take you to the endless walking possibilities of the Monte Rosa area.

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Chamonix, France

Walkers In Chamonix

This wouldn’t be a complete list of the best alpine walks without a mention of the home of Alpine tourism, Chamonix!

With its magnificent backdrop of Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, Chamonix is currently celebrating 150 years of mountaineering through a programme of exhibitions and activities and there is plenty to do in the sprawling town.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Easy/ Medium/ Hard- Chamonix is a haven for walkers of all abilities!
- All walks are well marked, vary in duration and difficulty, and you are provided with an endless choice.

Getting there
- By bus: N/A
- By car: There are plenty of car parks around Chamonix town with short to long stay durations (including at the base of the Aiguille du Midi.)

Route
There is a huge variety of different walks available in Chamonix and up Mont Blanc and just about all of them are easily accessed by the chairlifts and gondolas that run from around town including the famous l’Aigulle Du Midi.

Inghams recommends
The Chalet Hotel Sapiniere provides you with a free packed lunch for your days hiking, and an ideal spot on the terrace to relax and take in the stunning Mont Blanc views. Exclusive to Inghams guests is a free Chamonix Valley Card which gives you free travel on bus and train within the Chamonix Valley.

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‘The Matterhorn Trail’ and ‘The Gorner Gorge’ in Zermatt, Switzerland

matterhorn trail

With some of the most astounding mountains the Alps have to offer right on its doorstep, the Matterhorn, Dom and Monte Rosa, Zermatt is a prime location for walking, hiking (and snowshoeing!) all year around. We have hand-picked two outstanding hikes and walks that can be easily accessed from the centre of Zermatt by gondola or train, and are guaranteed to leave you breathless at the beauty of the Swiss Alps.

The town of Zermatt is free from traffic, but with over 400km of paths and trails on its doorstep and boasting a superb mountain sport network, transport needn’t be a worry.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Medium
- Gorner Gorge walk is not for the faint hearted- a narrow wooden walkway will lead you through the twists and turns of the gorge and involves climbing and descending a lot of wooden steps.

Getting there
- By foot: The base of the Matterhorn Express/ Zermatt Furi gondola is 15 minutes from the centre of Zermatt.
- By car: N/A- Zermatt is proud to be car-free!

Route
The Matterhorn Trail, take the Matterhorn Express/ Zermatt Furi gondola.
The Matterhorn Trail leads from the peak of the Matterhorn back to the centre of Zermatt.
Along the way you will see the fantastic sights that Schwarzee has to offer, stop for a gourmet bite to eat at Stafelalp and see the Zmutt dam (approx 3 hours and 45 mins)

The Gorner Gorge is a 21 minute walk from the bottom of the Zermatt Furi gondola. The Gorner Gorge is a guided tour, tickets can be bought there for a very good price.

Inghams recommends
At the Hotel Alpenhof in Zermatt you can join the free weekly guided walk to see the famous Stafelap black nose sheep. Inghams guests can now pre-book their Zermatt ‘Peak Pass’ which gives them unlimited use of local lifts.

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‘The Eiger Trail’ in Grindelwald, Switzerland

eiger trail

Be transported to another, Tolkien-esq world with this mysterious descent of the ‘North Face’ of the Eiger mountain. Stroll through the picturesque landscapes of rushing waterfalls, fascinating rock formations and deep, woody forests. The Eiger mountain (or the ogre as it translates!) is part of a trio of famous mountains including the Monch and the Jungfrau (the Monk and the Maiden) in the Jungfrau region. The region has always been popular with climbers due the staggering 1600m vertical face of the mountain which towers over this walk that runs along its base.

Grindelwald boasts a variety of walks for abilities and levels and offers panoramic views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains. Every stop for breath is a photo opportunity!

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Medium Some easier paths run through the alpine moorlands, but for those who fancy a challenge, visit the upper and lower glaciers.
- Allow approx 1 hour and 50 minutes for this walk

Getting there
- By train: The walk begins at the Eigergletscher train station, you can catch the train from Grindelwald.
- By car: It is best recommended that you catch the train to this location as this is not a circular walk.

Route
The Eiger Trail runs from the Eigergletscher station down to Alpiglen, and skims the bottom of the sheer rock that is ‘The North Face’.
There are plenty of opportunities along the way to sit down for a drink and refuel those appetites.

Inghams recommends
Enjoy a balcony room with a view of the Eiger at the Hotel Jungfrau Lodge in Grindelwald. You’ll also receive free use of resort buses and free entrance to the resort indoor pool with your guest card.

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‘The Green Ring’ in Lech, Austria

green ring

Here’s a little treat for the serious hikers out there. For a true nature submersion, indulge yourself with this three-day hiking challenge along ‘The Green Ring’ between Lech and the tiny mountain hamlets of Zürs and Zug. The walk is split into three stages and there are always buses running back to the starting point in Lech if you don’t fancy the whole three day trip.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Hard -This is a THREE DAY walk, and spans across many kilometres. The different stages of the walk vary in difficulty, but due to the stop-and-relax nature of the trail, it needn’t be a constant march from location to location.

Getting there
- By bus: There are plenty of hiker buses that can take you to any starting stage of the walk (in Zürs and Zug) if you don’t fancy doing the entire three day challenge. Hiking buses are free for Inghams guests.
- By car: There are lots of car parks within walk-able distance to the start of this walk dotted around Lech, including the Anger Garage.

Route
Day 1- Begin the walk by taking the Rufikopfbahn gondola up the mountain and then continue across the crests of the mountain towards Zürs. From here you can either take the hiking bus back to Lech, or find comfortable lodging.
Day 2- Wake up in Zürs and breathe in the mountain air before continuing your adventure towards Zug, passing the Zürser lake along your way. Again, you can take a hiker bus back to Lech from this point.
Day 3- possibly the most scenic part of the route, this final day of the journey will take you through valleys and past rivers as you continue your descent back towards Lech.

Inghams recommends
Stay in a picturesque riverside setting at the Chalet Hotel Elisabeth in Lech and enjoy excellent facilities and service after a day’s hiking. Guests of Inghams also receive a free ‘Lech Summer Active’ pass which gives them free access to chairlifts and gondolas, free use of hikers buses and free supervised daily kid’s clubs amongst many more offers.

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‘Lake Lünersee’ in Brand, Austria

lake lunersee
© ALPENREGION BLUNDEZ TOURISMUS

Hidden up in the mountains that tower over the small town of Brand, Austria, lies the beautiful Lake Lünersee. The lake is one of the largest storage lakes in Vorarlberg and there is a huge variety of different activities to indulge in once you get there- including grabbing a traditional Austrian meal (or a delicious ice cream on a hot day!) at the Douglass Hütte which sits on a rock that protrudes over the edge of the lake.

Terrain and accessibility
- Difficulty: Hard- this is a tough mountain hike but the reward waiting for you at the end is worth it.
- Allow FIVE hours for this walk.

Getting there
- By foot: You can walk from the village centre of brand to the bottom of the Blundez path.
- By car: There is car parking in the town of Brand and at the base of the Lünerseebach gondola

Route
Starting in the centre of Brand, the Blundez path will take you up to the Saroltahütte.
Then, following very steep zig-zagging paths and then down to the Heinrich-Hueter-Hütte.
Across the Saulajochsteig and then finally Lake Lünersee will open in front of you with the Douglashütte on its shore.
Enjoy your lunch here before either getting the Lünerseebach gondola back to the base of the mountain or going on to Schattenlagenhütte and getting the bus back to Brand.

Inghams recommends
Within walking distance of the cable-car in Brand is the Sporthotel Beck, the perfect location to take you to the numerous walking trails available.

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