Walking is well developed in Austria. The country has about 44.000 km of marked trails. Many, but not all of them are partly in high mountains. Because of the mountainous terrain, care must be given to your equipment. About 700 huts (Schutzhütten), operated by the different alpine organizations, exist in Austria. You should check beforehand when huts are open. On some mountain tours a sleeping bag is needed. On many trails you can use inns and hotels for overnight accommodation.
Many trails are local, although many long distance footpaths also exist. Of the twelve E-paths no less than six pass through Austria. They are E4, E4Alpine, E5, E6, E8 and E10. They usually follow Austrian long distance footpaths called Weitwanderwege (WWW) numbered 01 to 10. Other long distance footpaths are the various Hauptwanderwege which are also marked and described in guidebooks (Wanderführer in German). Some trails are circular – Rundwanderwege.
Guidebooks for many trails can be ordered from the relevant regional sections of Österrreichischer Alpenverein. A booklet “Mountain Rambles in Austria” (available in English, French, German and Dutch) is published by Österreichische Fremdenverkehrswerbung in Vienna. It gives suggestions for walks and lists the necessary guidebooks and maps for each walk. It can be obtained from most Austrian tourist agencies abroad. For the ten Weitwanderwege there exist a series of guidebooks published by the Verlag Styria, including a summary guidebook “Auf Österreichs grossen Wegen / Die Weitwanderwege 01 bis 10”. Kompass-Wanderführer exist for some of the Austrian regions (Länder). Guidebooks also exist in other languages as Austria is a very popular country for walkers from other countries. You can find guidebooks in major bookstores in your own country.
The Freytag & Berndt bookstore in Vienna (and in Innsbruck) is well stocked with guidebooks and maps. They can send you free of charge a yearly brochure about alpine literature and welcomes orders for books and maps. You can write in English.
Walking maps for Austria include the Freytag & Berndt Wanderkarten. These exist at a scale of 1:50 000 for many paths of the country, and at a scale of 1:100 000 for remaining parts. Alpine organisations also publish maps.
Österreichischer Alpenverein – Sektion Weitwanderer
T: +43 650 5436 278
Österreichischer Alpenverein, Olympiastraße 37, A-6020 Innsbruck