A walking holiday at Lake Achensee and its Mountains, Austria
Richard Hammond describes this 7-night, self-guided, single-centre, walking holiday taking in a number of activities and walks as well as free local buses to view the stunning Lake Anchensee.
In a nutshell:
This trip has the hassle-free benefit of having only one base - the 4-star superior Hotel Wiesenhof in the Tyrolean village of Pertisau, complete with pool and spa and excellent restaurant. If you can bear to leave its comforts, the alluring Lake Achensee and the Karwendel Mountains which shelter it are a huge draw for walkers. Choose between paths near to the water’s edge or the mountains above. Mountain biking and an introduction to Nordic walking can also be arranged, as well as a day trip by bus or train to Innsbruck.
Price: £1,145 per person (not including train travel to Austria or transfers)
What's included: 7 nights at a 4-star superior hotel; routes and maps; 7 breakfasts; 7 lunches; 7 dinners; afternoon tea & cake; visitor's card.
Departures: May, June, July, August, September, October.
Nearest station to start/end of trip: Jenbach
How to travel by train to Jenbach: It is possible to travel from London to Austria without flying within a day. Take the Eurostar to Paris then change stations in Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon for the connecting train to Zurich where you take the train to Innsbruck and then change to the final train to Jenbach. The total journey time from London to Jenbach is about 14 hours. The transfer in Paris can take 20-30 minutes on the Paris metro (9 stops), but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer (see our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris) depending on where you stay overnight. For more details on the train journey from London to Zurich, including some suggestions for where to stay near the train stations if you want to break up the journey and spend more time in Paris or Zurich, see our flight-free journey planner: Train from London to Zürich.
Optional extra: Spend two nights at Innsbruck (from £182pp) or Munich (from £298pp).
What's the trip like:
There is no fixed itinerary for this trip. From your base of Pertisau, on the western shores of Lake Achensee, you have the lake, mountains and two green valleys on your doorstep to explore. The tour suggests seven walks, all accessible to walkers of average fitness and most offering the option to shorten or extend routes. You can use your visitor’s card to travel on the local buses for free, or upgrade to a 'local area holiday card' to include cable cars and boats.
From Pertisau there is a choice of routes (11km to 18km), including a trail along the lake to Achenkirch (11km, 2.5hrs) via the village of Gaisalm. Into the Karwendel Mountains (11.5km, 4hrs) taking the cable car from Pertisau before descending through forest to Maurach. Along the Falzthurn Valley (18km, 5hrs) is a long walk starting on foot from your hotel through the meadows and woodland of the Karwendal Valley. You can turn back at any time but it’s worth going on to Gamailalm for the views back over the Lake. Look out for wildflowers and birdlife during summertime.
One hour, or a 20 minute bus ride from Pertisau is the village of Maurach, where you will find a choice of routes from 7.5km to 14km.
To Rofanspitze (10.5km, 4hrs), which starts and ends by cable car, goes though high Alpine meadows to reach the peak of Rofanspitze where you can take in stunning views of the lake. St Notburga's Way (10km, 4hrs) is a circular walk passing St Notburga's church before a museum dedicated to Austria’s patron saint of servants and peasants. Dalfaz Waterfall (7.5km, 3hrs) starts on the lakeside opposite Pertisau, climbing up through woodland to reach the Waterfall. Continue through Alpine pastures to the Dalfazalm for refreshments before returning by cable car to Maurach, where you take the bus back to Pertisau. Through Steinernes Tor (14km, 4hrs) offers four different aspects of the surrounding mountains. From the top of the Rofan cable car continue to the rock face at Steinernes Tor. Return to Pertisau by boat.
In addition to Innsbruck and Nordic walking, you can also arrange a cruise on the Achensee lake, ride the steam cog railway, pay a visit to a schnapps distillery or - if you’re feeling really brave - try the AirRofan skyglider experience to 'fly' down the mountain at 85km/h!
How to enquire/book this holiday:
This holiday is provided by Inntravel, one of the founding tour operator members of Green Traveller. One of the great things about this holiday is its flexibility: you have a choice of start/end dates and you can add additional nights on to the itinerary. If you'd like to know more about this holiday, please see more details on the relevant page given below and if you'd like to book it, do contact them directly or complete their booking form and a member of their team will be in touch with you: