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Staff member on Tour: Thomas discovers Salzburg Peaks & Kitzbüheler Alps

High-altitude hiking in the Pinzgau region and the Pillersee-valley

In June I seized the early summery temperatures for my first hiking holiday this year. To choose a holiday was easy: due to my preference of high-altitude hiking tours I spontaneously went for our hiking tour Salzburg Peaks and Kitzbüheler Alps’.

Arrival at Maishofen

On Sunday afternoon I embarked together with my mother on the walk to Maishofen to the Hotel Schloss Kammer, the starting point of our hiking holiday. On arrival we immediately enjoyed the cordiality of the hosts and felt at home straight away.

During our exploration tour through the palace with discovered the in-house chapel, the spa area ‘Badstub’n’ and the lavish gardens with swimming pond and herb garden. The perfect first impression of this traditional house was rounded off by an excellent dinner.

To Maria Alm via the ‘Schwalbenwand’-Summit

The initial rain was unable to dampen our anticipation of the first day of hiking. Only after a few minutes walking time the rain eased off and the sun appeared intermittently. After about a 3-hour long ascent we reached the summit of Mount Schwalbenwand on an altitude of 2011 metres. Unfortunately the visibility onto the surrounding mountain world was obstructed by clouds. Nevertheless we enjoyed the moment and then started our descent to Maria Alm. Shortly before the pilgrimage destination we enjoyed a hearty soup with a cheese dumpling in it at the inn ‘Gasthof Hinterreit’. In our hotel in Maria Alm, the newly refurbished Hotel Hinterreiter, we could not resist a plunge into the swimming pond. The in-house whirlpool provided optimal relaxation after our first hiking day.

Along the foot of the ‘Stoney Sea-Mountains’ (Steinernes Meer) to Saalfelden

Today’s tour started along the ‘tracks of the pilgrims’ at the foot of the ‘Stoney Sea-Mountains’. We then reached the Steinalm-alp via lovely forest paths. From here you get to enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view onto the surrounding mountain world with both the Leogang and Lofer Stone Mountains directly in front of you. In case the Steinalm-alp is open, we recommend a break there. 

After a short rest there we started our descent to Saalfelden. Here it is vital to take a short detour to the hermitage, an impressive memorial site built into the rock. Our hotel, the ‘Hindenburg’, exceeded all our expectations. Starting with modern and well-appointed rooms all the way to the lavish spa area, you have everything the heart desires. The absolute highlight is the roof terrace on the 6th floor, where a gondola was converted into a bio-sauna.

From Weißbach into the Pillersee-Valley

After an extensive special breakfast we started our third hiking day with a short bus ride to Weißbach. Right at the beginning you come across the impressive natural bathing area ‘Vorderkaser’. After that we recommend a visit to the ravine ‘Vorderkaserklamm’. After a longer ascent we reached today’s highlight, the alp ‘Hochkaseralm’ situated on an altitude of 1498 metres. During a break surrounded by grazing cattle we enjoyed the view onto the Lofer and Leogang Stoney Mountains. The descent led us via the alp ‘Niederkaseralm’ and the idyllic Grisel-valley. After a long day we relaxed in the swimming pool of the Hotel Pillerseehof and after that went on a short walk to Lake Pillersee.

Brilliant views en route to Hinterglemm

With grandiose sunny weather today we were picked up by the organised transfer and taken to Hochfilzen. From there the route took us along forest roads to the alp ‘Burgeralm’ and up to the refuge ‘Spielberghaus’. After a further ascent we reached the Bernkogel-peak at an altitude of 1740 metres, offering the most stunning view of the entire week. From here you truly have a good view onto all mountains and mountain groups, which you pass by in the course of the week – starting with the Lofer and Leogang Stoney Mountains, the Stoney Sea-Mountains and Mount Hochkönig as far as the Schmittenhöhe-peak and Mount Schattberg. Propelled by the fabulous view we gathered our strength for the ascent onto yet another summit, the Reiterkogel-peak on an altitude of 1818 metres. During a break at the alp ‘Reiteralm’ we enjoyed the perfect ending to our day with some wheat beer and black pudding. All this was topped once again by our accommodation, Hotel Reiterkogel. This hotel won us over in every department and we consider it probably one of the best hotels of this holiday. The spa area offers a very special feel-good oasis and the food could not be any better.

High-altitude Hiking Tour ‘Pinzgau Walk’

Since we decided against a day of rest in Hinterglemm in advance, we said our good-byes heavy-heartedly only after one night in Hotel Reiterkogel. After that we took the Schattberg-Express up to an altitude of over 2000 metres. With temperatures just above freezing we hiked along the ‘Pinzgau Walk’ on lovely hiking paths with permanent views onto numerous peaks of the Hohe-Tauern-Mountains boasting an altitude of 3000 metres. Inbetween we recommend you also attempt an ascent onto one of the numerous peaks with altitudes of 2100 or even 2200 metres. Towards the end of the final tour we had a break at the alp ‘Hochsonnbergalm’ and contemplated this marvellous hiking week over a glass of wheat beer and a traditional dish called ‘Salzburger Gröstl’. On top of the Schmittenhöhe-peak we once again enjoyed the view, before we took the Schmittenhöhebahn-cable car down into the valley.

A Perfect Tour for Summiteers and Gourmets

When I look back at this week, I really would love to return to this amazing hiking region immediately. It was a marvellous hiking holiday with fantastic summit hikes and breathtaking panoramic views.

The Pinzgau region and the Pillersee-valley are simply a hiker’s paradise. On top of that there are excellent hotels, where you get to recharge and enjoy delicious Austrian cuisine, which time and again provides tasty treats. Dear Summiteers and Gourmets – this is the perfect tour for you!



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