Self Guided Hut to Hut in the Austrian Alps
Amazing Walks & Unforgettable Accommodation
- Choose from two breathtaking 7 night itineraries
- Itineraries to suit both high level walkers and intermediate walkers
- Or add it on to a larger walking itinerary at our bases in the Austrian Alps or Dolomites
Self Guided Hut to Hut in the Zugspitz Arena
Choose from 2 spectacular itineraries
These two ‘Hut to Hut’ routes offer the opportunity to walk amongst spectacular mountains and dramatic valleys, with the freedom and flexibility that self-guiding allows and the chance to stay high in the mountains after everyone else has left. We like to say that the routes cover the ‘best of’ parts, the ‘must-do’ trails and the hidden gems of the area, so you can join us knowing that you are walking and seeing all that the Zugspitz Arena holds.
Using our comprehensive route notes, you will cover a rich variety of terrain, encountering lakeside paths and woodland trails, high plateaus and rocky passes and corries. Both routes also give you the chance to visit Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze (2962m), which sits on the border with Germany and neighbours the village of Ehrwald, your start and end point.
A mix of mountain huts and comfortable hotels, you get to experience the best of both worlds. Some of the huts along the routes are Alms; working farms that sit high in the mountains and graze their own animals and produce wonderful food. You will drop in and out of picturesque Tirolean villages and pass stunning alpine lakes. The scope and access of the routes are maximised by using lifts, buses and trains during the week.
We provide airport transfers to Ehrwald from Munich airport if arriving on either a Thursday or Saturday, otherwise you are free to arrive as you wish, perhaps taking advantage of the rail line to Ehrwald’s village train station. On arrival, you will have the opportunity to chat with a dedicated ‘Hut to Hut’ host before you set off and talk through each day’s stage and any logistics.
On a Collett’s hut to hut holiday, we take all the hard work out of the planning for you, and leave you to simply enjoy the trek! At the planning stage, we offer a factsheet for each of our routes which give a brief day by day description of what to expect, along with figures indicating height gain and distance covered each day. Once you settle on your preferred route we make the relevant reservations for the huts and then, nearer the time, we send you a detailed route guide printed on waterproof paper for you to use on your chosen itinerary. We also supply the relevant 1:25,000 Mayr map. On your first evening in the Zugspitz Arena, we will arrange a meeting with one of our Hut to Hut Hosts, who will take time to run through the route in detail with you, answering any last minute queries and supplying any further fine details.
Two Superb Self Guided Walking Tours
Discover the hidden corners of Alpine Austria
Our hut to hut holidays are available between late June and mid-September – depending on the itinerary. We especially recommend July, late August and September being the best periods when the huts and walks are generally quieter. The earlier you book, the easier it is for us to guarantee your accommodation and confirm your arrangements.
If you would like us to check availability in the huts, please contact Kelly to talk through the itinerary of your choice and to let her know your specific travel dates. We ask you not to book flights until we have confirmed all the accommodation for your itinerary.
For more detailed information about each tour click on the bullet point headings beneath each tour overview…
Tour 1 – Zugspitz Arena Circuit
A complete and dramatic circuit of the Zugspitz Arena, walking on all four mountain ranges that converge to form this striking natural bowl, and dropping in and out the 3 Tyrolean villages; Ehrwald, Lermoos and Biberwier. This is an excellent introduction to the area, with its backdrop of limestone peaks and ridges, stunning lakes, and picturesque valleys, accessed by a number of cable cars and chair lifts. The accommodation is a wonderful mix of Alms (working farms), village hotels and a remote hut in a high cirque. There is the option to take a cable car to the summit of Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze (2962m) for breath-taking 360⁰ views.
Tour 2 – Zugspitz Arena & Wetterstein Tour
This route takes in all four mountain ranges converging on the Zugspitz Arena, as well as crossing the German border into Bavaria and exploring deeper into the wilder Wetterstein range. This varied and challenging tour visits the dramatic Hollentalklamm (‘Hell’s Valley’) gorge via a series of tunnels, bridges and engineered footpaths passing gushing waterfalls. The final day offers the opportunity to ascend to the summit of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak at 2962m, for impressive 360⁰ views. You will also follow sections of two European long-distance trails; the E4 and Via Alpina. A number of lifts, buses and a train are used during the week, which vastly increases the scope of the route and the areas you are able to access.
Accommodation in a Alpine Hütte
Remote huts that range from the basic to the surprisingly comfortable
For the first and last nights of your holiday, you will be accommodated in Ehrwald, either in a lovely local hotel or guesthouse. For the nights along the tour you will be accommodated in mountain huts or alms, and one village hotel, all on a half board basis. The alms are working mountain farms and many have their own livestock, and so you will find yourself eating and drinking some of their own products, cheeses, milks and cakes. In the huts and alms you will sleep in dormitory-style accommodation, in bunk beds or in some cases, on sleeping platforms where you sleep on mattresses in a row alongside one another. On some nights, it is possible to upgrade to a private room, subject to availability and a supplement of £15 per person per night – see the individual factsheets for details. The washing facilities are communal, with shared washbasins and showers, and in some cases, coin operated showers. In the hotels, you stay in private en-suite rooms. The mountain huts offer a hospitable atmosphere and great camaraderie amongst fellow walkers. They are also fantastic vantage points to watch the sun go down behind striking limestone cliffs.
Food in the Mountains
Good food in Alpine Huts
Breakfasts vary depending on the hut, but can be buffet style or served as a set plate. A normal hut breakfast is continental and can be quite simple, and includes cereals, bread, meats, cheeses, yoghurt, jam and honey, tea and coffee. In a remote hut, the choices might be more limited. On some days your route will allow you to stop at another hut or alm for lunch. Even so, you can also buy lunch items from the accommodation in which you are staying. Evening meals in the huts are taken from a set menu, often with two or three choices for each course. But please note – some of the more basic huts will offer a fixed menu with no choice. Food tends to be healthy and hearty and is typical local cuisine, ideal for those long days out on the mountain. For vegetarians and other special dietary requirements, meals will have much less choice and variation. There are very limited supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables in the huts, so vegetarians might feel less heartily fed than non-vegetarians.
Airport Transfers to the Zugspitz Arena
From Munich Airport
Airport transfers from Munich Airport can be booked, if arriving on a Thursday or a Saturday only. If you need any help or advice or have any questions regarding how our Airport Transfer System works please call us on 01799 513331.
Our transfer service is not a personal taxi service and waiting can be unavoidable, so please do not book a transfer unless you are relaxed about the possibility of having to kill time in Munich (if time permits) or at the airport. It is very straightforward to arrive in Ehrwald by public transport, and we can help to pass on more information about this if you would prefer to eliminate the possibility of waiting.
In short, we send one vehicle down to the airport to drop off all our departees for their flights home, whilst the same vehicle will collect all our arrivals to take them up to the mountains.
Transfer Times – We will contact you about 2 weeks before your holiday with the times of your transfers. These are determined by the flight times of everyone we collect on that day but 5pm is the deadline for a transfer, as this allows us to get everyone up to the mountains in time for dinner. We try to keep waiting to a minimum but we can make no guarantees. For example, if your flight lands at 11am and we have other arrivals landing at 4.30pm, the transfer is likely to set off at 5pm. On the other hand, you might be our only arrivals on that day, in which case we will meet you from your flight and take you straight to your destination.
Your flight should arrive before 5:00pm and leave after 10:30am on the day of your departure. Make sure you understand how our transfer system works by reading this page in full – Thank you.
Journey Time to Ehrwald – 2hrs
Homebound Transfers – on your day of departure, be prepared for an early start. If someone has a flight home at 10:30am, we have to leave the mountains at about 6:30am – 10.30am is the earliest we allow guests to book a return flight. Again, departure times are dictated by the flight times of all our transferees.
Train from Munich and Innsbruck Airports
Train travel in the area is straight-forward and reliable, with Munich and Innsbruck airports being the most convenient to fly and then travel by train from. There is a bus that connects Innsbruck airport with the main station (20mins) and then the journey time from Innsbruck station to Ehrwald is 1hr50 with one change at Garmisch-Partenkirchen station. From Munich airport the journey takes 2hrs50 with a change in central Munich and then a second in Garmisch-Partenkirchen station.
Ehrwald Station to Hotel Sonnenspitze
From Ehrwald station it is then a 20 minute walk through the village to our base in the Hotel Sonnenspitze. Please print and refer to our Driving, Train and Walking Directions here for walking directions.
There are 2 bus lines that connect the station with the main village square, a 10 minute ride away. Please contact us for details and bus times.
Alternatively, it is a 5 minute taxi ride. The company ‘Shuttle & More’ offer taxis within Ehrwald and offer a 24 hour service with excellent English.
Price: €5 – €8.
Tel: 0043 664 266 7166
The ‘Werdenfels & Bayern Tickets’
For journeys in either direction between Munich airport and Ehrwald, a straight-through ‘Regio Werdenfels Ticket’ can be purchased. The ticket price is €19 plus €4 for every additional person up to a maximum of 4 additional people. Alternatively, you can buy a ‘Bayern Ticket’. This allows unlimited travel on DB and S Bahn trains from Munich airport, Munich and Ehrwald within a single day. Valid from 9am Monday to Friday and 12am midnight on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. The ticket price is €23 plus €5 for every additional person up to a maximum of 4 additional people.
Booking Train Tickets
You can plan and book rail tickets for all European travel via the website: www.bahn.com. Normally you can buy tickets up to 90 days in advance. Tickets can be paid for online and then printed out at home in advance. Equally, tickets can be bought from machines at the station/airport on the day of travel.
Further information & prices
Late June to late September, with limited availability in August when the huts and alms are particularly busy.
£725 per person with Airport Transfer (Thursday and Saturday only)
£650 per person without Airport Transfer
Arrive on the day of your choice, except Wednesday which is our day off.
Please note that all bookings are subject to availability in the accommodation – please do not make any travel arrangements until we have confirmed your accommodation arrangements.
Based on Half Board accommodation in dormitory style rooms in mountain huts/alms and private double rooms in the hotels.
Some dormitories have sleeping platform bed arrangements; sleeping side by side in a row.
A few huts have the option to upgrade to a private room – subject to a supplement of £15 per person per night.
All dormitories are mixed sex and vary in size from hut to hut.
No single supplements apply for dormitory accommodation but are applied to private rooms.
You must supply your own sleeping bag liners for all dormitory accommodation.
Towels are not provided in any hut accommodation (but are in the 3 hotel nights) – please bring your own.
- If required – return airport transfers from Munich. (Flights arriving in Munich must land before 5.00pm, and depart from Munich no earlier than 10.30am – please see www.colletts.co.uk/austria/travel)
- Half board accommodation in Ehrwald for the first and last night of your trip – normally in a 3* guesthouse or hotel
- Breakfast and dinner each day
- A meet and greet in Ehrwald with a member of the Collett’s team, who will know your route and itinerary
- All accommodation
- Detailed route laminates
- Relevant map
- Detailed pre-departure information including packing suggestions
What’s Not Included
- Lunches (lunch items are available for purchase at each hut and hotel)
- Drinks/snacks and any other purchases in the accommodation
- Lifts/cable cars, buses and trains – see routes notes for details and estimated costs
At Your Own Risk
Your self guided hut to hut itineraries will be spent entirely at your own risk and it is important that you understand that whilst these routes are accurate at the time of writing, the situation on the ground may change and the itineraries rely on your sound judgement and decision making throughout.
Our self-guided hut to hut itineraries are put together on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you may not otherwise have discovered having organised the itinerary yourself. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in a part of this wonderful walking area, with the support of knowing that many of the logistics have been arranged for you.
It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.
It is important that you understand that these routes are put together using our extensive knowledge of the area, to provide a route which we believe will be enjoyable and realistic for people who decide that they have the appropriate level of fitness and ability in order to complete the itinerary safely. The information provided uses only marked paths which are in use at the time of writing, however, it is your responsibility to continually assess the suitability and safety of the route throughout the walk and to undertake any action necessary to avoid any terrain which each or any member of the group is not comfortable with. The route choice also assumes an ability to read maps and navigate competently.
It is the responsibility of each individual in the group to make an assessment of the information provided, and to make an informed decision about whether the itinerary is suitable for them.
Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organisers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.
In pictures – Self Guided Hut to Hut in the Austrian Alps with Collett's
Guest Reviews - Hut to Hut Hiking
I have previously done hut to hut trekking in the Dolomites and my wife has always been keen to do this. I looked at trying organise this myself but after looking at Collett's and they did everything but the walking it was an obvious choice.
First time we have travelled with Collett's and it won't be our last. Organisation was excellent fro(...)
My holiday was a Hut-to-Hut Walk in the Dolomites, to which I added some Via Ferratas. Having booked all my accommodation for the eight days, the pack of information you sent me was very comprehensive. Consequently, everything went like clockwork.
I wanted to amend my Hut-to-Hut itinerary slightly, to spend 2 days on Via Ferratas, and you w(...)
Many thanks for an excellent hut to hut holiday. The trip notes provided were thorough and it all went without a hitch but best of all are your chalet staff who were all extremely helpful and a credit to Collett's.
The trip itself was demanding but well worth it with some of the best scenery that I have ever seen.
No doubt I will holiday(...)
We had an excellent week of walking, despite unexpected snow in August! The route was well thought out and at a good level for our children (the youngest being nine). The scenery was stunning, the accommodation and food along the way were great. A fantastic week and one that we'd love to do again.
Collett's were one of the few that organizes short (3-4 days) self guided hikes in the Italian Dolomites (as far as we could find on the internet).
Value for money?: Yes, the planning of the routes, booking the rifugios and the information we got on arrival were well worth it.
I thought the three staff members I met in the reorder and during my hut to hut tour were absolutely first class, friendly helpful and I enjoyed meeting them as they happened to be doing some visiting of the rifugi. They were Beth, max and Alison.
They are also really loyal to Collett's and spoke so warmly of the company.
The so-called huts are 3* chalets with great food and each day begin with a chair lift to get right up close and personal with alpine fields of wild flowers and amazing rocks formations. This part of northern Italy was part of Austria before WWl which explains the Italian Tyrol which still looks, feels and sounds more like Austria. La Marmola(...)
Chris was very knowledgeable & thorough with the self guided routes &maps plus additional info such as bus times. He put all my concerns to rest.
The hut to Hut routes & plans were excellent. The hut to Hut tour was right in the area I wanted to explore & it was the perfect level for my first solo trek. Good support, but plenty of independ(...)
The professional image of the website determined our decision to go with Collett's for our holiday.
It would have been nice to receive the hard copy of the itinerary, guest handbook, maps and route prior to our departure for us to vet. We live in Australia, and were told on the 15th June that these would be posted to us, however, we had al(...)
We were a grownup family of 6, each person thought the hut to hut holiday was one of the best they had enjoyed. The "huts" were very welcoming and standards were high for that type of accommodation . Thank you.
The reception hosts at the Haus Valentin where outstanding friendly and informative with attention to detail, I was impressed that even though I was a late arrival and missed any talks, the Hut to Hut people made a clear point of seeking me out to chat about my routes starting the next morning.
When I return I would with out doubt look at s(...)
We were a grownup family of 6, each person thought the holiday was one of the best they had enjoyed. The "huts" were very welcoming and standards were high for that type of accommodation . Thank you.
Chalet was great.
We walked largely from hut to hut where the food was very good. The first night was in the Hotel Panorama where the food was excellent.
We spent in total 3 off 11 nights in the Chalet Angelo. We were a self guided group using an outline of a route supplied by Colletes. This worked very well. The routes were excellent and ju(...)
We were recommended you by friends who stayed with you last year. We chose Collett's because it offered assistance in booking the hut to hut walk and we liked the idea of getting help with planning our own itineraries for day walks. We also very much enjoyed the organized walks. Kelly was extremely helpful and friendly in going over our hut to(...)
We did the hut-to-hut tour and all the hotels and one hut we stayed in were excellent apart from the hotel in Ortisei which felt a little tired. Really well organised holiday and all the staff were really helpful. The hotel Panorama in Corvara was excellent.
2 years ago I was searching for a Dolomites wildflower guide and stumbled across you online. We had a few days open before a hut-to-hut hike starting from Bolzano, and I'd always wanted to try Via Ferrata. After those days in the Dolomites, my husband promised me we could return. So we did this year - and will again, I hope. And what price cou(...)