Dachstein Circuit

Dachstein Circuit information and booking

  • Duration
    12 days
  • Difficulty
    moderate - challenging
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Schedule Details

  • 7 nights in 3 star mountain hotels/inns, 4 nights in mountain huts
Equipment Required
Wet weather gear, sleeping sheet for huts (blankets provided), sunscreen, walking boots, warm clothes, day pack and sun hat – walking sticks are recommended. A comprehensive gear list is included in the pre-departure information provided on booking.


  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery of the Salzkammergut region of Austria
  • Experience the exhilaration of trekking across alpine pastures
  • Viewing flora and fauna including ibex, chamois and marmot
  • Enjoying the warm family run hotels

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

The Dachstein massif southeast of Salzburg is like a small mountain range with dozens of peaks of 2500m or more, typified by its series of glaciers and sharp descents to the valley floor the limestone mountain contains some of the largest caves in Austria. During this exhilarating circuit trek, there is ample opportunity to take in the awesome views of ice fields and alpine meadows, limestone peaks and dramatic lakes. At night you stay in atmospheric mountain hotels interspersed with 4 nights in mountain huts high up on the central massif.

What's included

  • 11 breakfasts, 11 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, meats, cheeses, coffee, tea and juices. dinner will consist of 1 to 3 course hikers meals in the huts and 3 courses in the hotels which may include regional specialties
  • 7 nights accommodation on a twinshare basis in 3 star mountain hotels/inns, 4 nights in mountain huts on multishare basis.
  • 1 x trip with the salt mountain railway 1 x schladming-dachstein summer card (your ticket for the dachstein gletscherbahn cablecar) 1 x cable car journey to the zwieselalm 1 x boat trip from obertraun to hallstatt 1 x alll-inclusive card for the dachstein adventure world (12 day trip only) 1 x entrance & guided tour in the koppenbrüllerhöhle
  • Daily service hotline from 9am to 7pm
  • Hiking maps and dachstein hiking book


Day 1 Arrive Gosau
Arrive in Austrian lakes town of Gosau. On check in you will receive your hiking pack including guidebook, maps, transfer tickets and hotel vouchers. Gosau is a beautiful rambling village in the Gosautal Valley at the foot of the impressive mountain ridges of Gosaukamm.
Day 2 Hike to Hofpürgel Hutte with overnight backpack (5/6.5hrs)
This morning we recommend you take the bus (10 minutes) to the shores of the Gosausee and one of the most spectacular sights on the trail. From the lake you ascend 552m by the cable car up the flanks of Zwieselalm and hike to the Hofpürgl Lodge, where you will spend your second night. The cable car takes you to Gablonzer Hut where the days walk begins. From here the panorama is spectacular, with views of Dachstein with the Gosau-Torstein and Schneeloch Glaciers visible. During the days hike further views of Gosaukamm open out as you ascend through forests of dwarf pines and cross green alpine pastures. When you round a bend and view the imposing peak of Torstein (2948m) the second highest peak in the Dachstein mountains, you will know that the hut is only a short distance away. Note: As your luggage will be transported from Gosau to the hotel in Ramsau, where you will spend the third night, you will need to carry your overnight gear with you today.
Day 3 Descend to the Türlwand, overnight Ramsau on Dachstein (5/7hrs)
Today involves a superb high altitude walk crossing the Kesselwand and taking you over the gravel slopes beneath north face of the rocks and cliffs of Gosaustein. En route there will be meadows of flowers and very old “Wetterzirben” (Alpine pines) and the route is dominated by the rock formations of Hochkesselkopf and Torstein, creating a perfect alpine panorama. Descend to the Türlwand and overnight in a 3 star hotel in Ramsau on the Dachstein. Here you will find your main luggage.
Day 4 Rest day in Ramsau
Day at leisure to explore Ramsau and the region with Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card.
Day 5 Ascend Dachstein Glacier, walk to Guttenberg Lodge with overnight backpack (4/5hrs)
This morning you ascend the Dachstein Glacier Lift from the Türlwand Hotel to Hunerkogel, with your overnight gear in your pack. Today's walk takes you over the Schladminger Glacier where walking poles are highly recommended. The route requires careful attention as you climb over scree and grass with some rocky and possibly icy sections. The descent to the hut is short and steep, and is a cosy base for the night. An alternative route is recommended in the event of thunderstorms and fog. Note: As your luggage will be transported to the hotel in Stoderzinken, where you will spend the fifth night, you will need to carry your overnight gear with you today.
Day 6 Walk to Grafenbergalm and on to a hotel above Gröbming (6/7hrs)
Today's walk crosses the high plateau of “Am Stein” and includes some challenging sections. The route continues across alpine meadows followed by a climb through a forest with fantastic views when you reach Grafenbergalm (1783m) and a great view back to the Dachstein Glacier from the viewing point above Lake Grafenbergsees. If you still have the energy on reaching your accommodation there is a highly recommended walk behind the chapel to the summit of Stoderzinken (2048m) which will take around 45 minutes return trip. This is particularly good at sunset or sunrise. Your main luggage will be waiting in the hotel.
Day 7 Walk via Notgasse (6/7hrs), or continue to descend to Bad Mitterndorf (7/8hrs)
The day begins with a descent through dwarf pines before you come to a narrow ravine, just after Notgasse. The route continues along an ancient mule path (Saumpfad) through this ravine which often has snow still present and is only 2 metres wide in parts with 60m high sides. Taking a forest path you reach the beautiful alpine hamlet of Viehbergalm (1445m) with some huts open selling local alpine produce. Crossing the summit of Hochmühleck (1731m) there is a great view to the mountain chain Kemetgebirge before you descend through forest to Steinitzenalm (overnight in a hut) or continue to Bad Mitterndorf where your luggage will be waiting for you in the hotel.
Day 8 Walk to Bad Aussee, continue to Obertrauner Höhenweg then boat to Hallstatt (7/8hrs)
The hike takes you through the centre of the Styrian-Salzkammergut and is quite a contrast to the previous days walks. It is an easy path from Steinitzenalm (980m) via Gschwend with a snack stop at Jausenstation Stiger (800m). The trail follows pastures and meadows to Lake Ödensee which is a great place to take a swim, have lunch and enjoy the scenery. The route continues along a flat path following the River Traun to reach Bad Aussee. There is an option to shorten the start of the walk by walking to Pichl-Kainish (2.5-3hours) then take a train to Bad Aussee. Continue to Obertrauner Höhenweg dock where you take a boat to Hallstatt. A visit of the Koppenbrüller cave is included (guided tours on request!). Overnight in a hotel in Hallstatt, where two nights are spent. Hallstatt (511m) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a traditional salt village more than 4500 years old. The town has many wood carvings including the Charnel House in the Gothic parish church.
Day 9 Visit caves and ride the Krippenstein cable car
A free day to discover the Dachstein Adventure World. Using the Krippenstein cable car, you can visit the three stages up the mountain including the mammoth and ice caves and the 'five fingers' viewing platform. Some short walks are also possible from here with superb views over the lakes below and the Dachstein massive.
Day 10 Visit Hallstatt salt mines, walk to Bad Goisern, with overnight backpack (7/8hrs)
Today you carry your overnight backpack and take a cable car ride to the entry of the salt mines of Hallstatt where we recommend you visit the salt mines and learn about the ancient salt industry and the “man preserved in ice”. Following this you walk along the “Brine trail” to Bad Goisern. Ascend to the Goiserer Lodge (overnight stay) starting from Hochmut. Goiserer Hut is built on a crest and offers a wonderful view into the mountain range Tote Gebirge and to Bad Goisern. There is a great terrace with good food and panoramic views. For a better view of the Dachstein Glacier you will need to ascend a further 45 minutes to Kalmberg Summit (1883m).
Day 11 Walk to Gosau (3/4hrs)
From Goiserer Hut you descend through dwarf pines, alpine roses and old larch trees passing small alpine huts, meticulously built with stone walls. You continue through a forest to Iglmoos-alm which is open to the public from the beginning of July to the middle of October. About an hours further descent brings you to Gosau and your overnight hotel where your luggage awaits you.
Day 12 Trip concludes
The trip concludes after breakfast.