Venediger High Trail, East Tyrol, Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

Venediger High Trail Trek in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

Venediger High Trail Trek in Hohe Tauern National Park

The Venediger High Trail (Höhenweg) is a multi-day trek through the Venediger Group in Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park. This classic hut to hut hike wraps around Grossvenediger, Austria’s second-largest mountain, delivering views of mammoth mountains, melting glaciers, and countless waterfalls. Venturing into the heart of the Venediger Group is like entering a congregation of wind, water, earth, and stone. Landscapes are eternal and vast. And, time loses meaning altogether. 

With unrivaled glacier views, empty trails and comfortable daily distances, this is a great multi-day trekking option in East Tyrol. While there are some challenging segments, the overall trail is very manageable and suitable for most intermediate hikers. We never felt unsafe, or at risk. Below, we’re going to outline our Venediger Höhenweg route, but also provide a few alternative options at the end of this guide. 

Which Direction Should I Hike the Venediger High Trail

There are two ways to hike the Venediger Höhenweg: the North route and the South route. The North route begins in Matreier Tauernhaus and ends in Hinterbichl in the Virgental Valley. The South route begins in Hinterbichl and ends in Matreier Tauernhaus in Gschlösstal. We recommend the South route for two reasons. First, it’s easier, as demanding ascents and descents are accomplished early in the day when you’re fresh. And second, the landscapes unfold nicely, saving the best for last.

Venediger High Trail 6 Day Hut to Hut Hiking Route

  • Day 1: Hinterbichl / Parkplatz Ströden – Essener-Rostocker-Hütte (8.6 km, 2.5 hours)
  • Day 2: Essener-Rostocker-Hütte – Türmljoch – Johannishütte (7.6 km, 4 hours)
  • Day 3: Johannishütte – Eisseehütte – Bonn-Matreier Hütte (12.1 km, 7 hours)
  • Day 4: Bonn-Matreier Hütte – Badener Hütte (10 km, 5.5 hours)
  • Day 5: Badener Hütte – Neue Prager Hütte (10 km, 6 hours)
  • Day 6: Neue Prager Hütte – Innergeschöß / Alpengasthaus Venedigerhaus – Matreier Tauernhaus (11 km, 4 hours)

Note: This 6-day route starts out slowly, allowing you to acclimate. You’ll feel well-rested and energized before tackling Stages 4 and 5, which are longer and more challenging. This is the route we hiked, however in retrospect, we think it would have been better to combine the first two stages.

 
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Venediger High Trail - Venediger Höhenweg Hiking Guide, Tyrol, Austria

Venediger High Trail Guide Overview

  • Where is the Venediger Group
  • Venediger High Trail Route Map
  • Tips for Hiking Hut to Hut in Austria: discounts, reservations, budget
  • Arrival Day in Hinterbichl: Transit, Where to Stay
  • Stages 1 – 6 Explained: stage overview, where to stay
  • Alternative Hiking Routes: shorter routes, longer routes
  • Austrian Alps Packing List: sleeping bag liner, polarized sunglasses, etc…
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Hiking up to Neue Prager Hut, Venediger Höhenweg, Austria

Where is the Venediger Group

The Venediger Group is a mountain range in the Central Eastern Alps, located in the federal states of Tyrol and Salzburg as well as in South Tyrol, Italy. The majority of the range is located in East Tyrol (Osttirol) and falls within the boundaries of Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park. The highest mountain in the group is Grossvenediger (3662 m). The Venediger High Trail stretches from Virgental Valley to Gschlösstal Valley in East Tyrol.

 

Venediger High Trail Hiking Route Map

Venediger High Trail Stages
  • Venediger Trek Stage 1
  • Venediger Trek Stage 2
  • Venediger Trek Stage 3
  • Venediger Trek Stage 4
  • Venediger Trek Stage 5
  • Venediger Trek Stage 6
Hike up to Zopetscharte, Venediger High Trail, Hohe Tauern Trek, Austria

Pros and Cons of the Venediger High Trail

Pros about the Venediger Höhenweg

We were extremely impressed by the trail engineering of the Venediger Höhenweg. The trail is almost always gentle, making ascents and descents far easier than you’d expect. Trail signage is consistent and ubiquitous, so you’ll never feel lost or unsure of where you are. Furthermore, the trails are empty. You’ll definitely see people at the mountain huts, but you’ll meet very few on the actual trail. If you’re looking for solitude and an almost meditative-hiking experience, this is for you. 

Cons about the Venediger Höhenweg

While we’d love to say that we were completely satisfied with our experience, we simply were not. After hiking a lot in Salzburg and Styria (e.g. Schladminger Tauern High Trail), we’ve grown accustomed to excellent food and warm hospitality in Austrian mountain huts. So, we were shocked at the low-quality food served at Badener Hütte, Bonn-Matreier Hütte, and Neue Prager Hütte. It was difficult to stomach.

Furthermore, we were disappointed by the hospitality in the huts along the Venediger High Trail. Because our experience was so contrary to our other hiking experiences in the Austrian Alps, we simply have to call it out. Our questions about the weather forecast were met with condescension in Essener Rostocker Hütte. The young men serving in Essener Rostocker Hütte were apathetic and completely disconnected from their work. The hut managers in Johannishütte and Neue Prager Hütte were rude and patronizing. All these Hohe Tauern huts need to step up!

 
Venediger High Trail, Hohe Tauern, Austria

Tips for Hiking Hut to Hut in Austria

Responsible Travel in Hohe Tauern National Park

Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest protected area in the Alps. During your visit, adhere to these rules:

  • Respect the habitats of animals and plants. Picking, or removing flowers, plants and rocks is not allowed.
  • Wild camping is illegal. 
  • Take all garbage back with you down to the valley. Leave no trace.
  • Stay on the designated hiking trail.
  • Dogs must be leashed.
  • Do not make loud noises (e.g. playing music loudly).

Make Reservations for Mountain Huts

  • It’s important to make reservations for overnight stays at least 2 weeks in advance. Note: if you’re staying in a mountain hut during the weekend, you should book earlier. That being said, none of the huts were at full capacity when we visited in late July.
  • For most huts, you can choose between sleeping in a shared-dormitory or a private room.
  • You can make reservations for some huts online using an online reservation platform. For others you can make reservations by email, or phone. If you’re calling internationally, we recommend calling via Skype. You’ll have to buy credit (on Skype) in order to make the call.

Here are the contact numbers of the mountain huts mentioned in this guide:

Become a member of an Alpine Club

  • You’ll get a significant discount on your overnight stay if you present your alpine club membership card. There are tons of alpine clubs throughout Europe, so just confirm with the hut owner whether your alpine club is accepted.
  • We’re members of the Österreichischen Alpenverein (Austrian Alpine Club), and so we received discounts on all mountain huts operated by both the Austrian Alpine Club and the German Alpine Club along the Venediger High Alpine Trail.

Maybe Buy a Hiking Map

  • We don’t think a hiking map is essential for this trek. The trail is super straightforward. If you are looking for a map, check this one out.

Bring enough Cash and Budget for 60 EUR per person per day

Note: budget an additional 20 EUR per day if you don’t have an alpine club membership card.

  • Dormitory Mattress (Lager): 10 – 13 EUR with Alpine Club Membership. 20 – 23 EUR without Alpine Club Membership.
  • Private room (2-beds): 22 EUR per person with Alpine Club Membership. 33 EUR per person without Alpine Club Membership.
  • Breakfast Buffet: 14 EUR
  • Half Board (Dinner & Breakfast): 28 EUR – 34 EUR per person.
  • Beer & Wine: 4.50 EUR

Bring Snacks

We recommend bringing several snacks with you (trail mix, energy bars, crackers etc…). You have very limited lunch options on this trek.

Day 1: Because today’s hike is very short, you can eat lunch at Essener Rostocker Hütte. 

Day 2: There are no places to eat between the huts. Bring a snack with you. Or, eat lunch at Johannishütte.

Day 3: Eat lunch at Eisseehütte. 

Day 4: There are no places to eat between the huts. Bring a snack with you.

Day 5: There are no places to eat between the huts. Bring a snack with you.

Day 6: Eat lunch at Alpengasthaus Venedigerhaus in Innergeschöß, or Berghaus Außergschlöß. 

 
Hinterbichl, Virgental, Hohe Tauern, Austria

Arrival Day in Hinterbichl, Virgental

How to get to Hinterbichl, Virgental Valley

By Car. If you’re driving to the trailhead, head to Matrei in Osttirol, the gateway to Virgental Valley. From Matrei in Osttirol, it’s a 25-minute drive along Virgener Landestraße to the small village of Hinterbichl.

By Transit. If you’re relying on public transit, Virgental Valley is accessible by bus from Lienz, the main transit hub in Osttirol (East Tyrol). If you’re traveling from Vienna, Villach, Klagenfurt, or Graz, you’ll likely arrive in Lienz by train. And, then you’ll need to take the bright yellow bus #951 operated by ÖBB-PostBus to Hinterbichl. The Lienz bus station is conveniently located outside the Lienz train station. 

Heimat, Hinterbichl, East Tyrol, Austria

Where to Stay in Hinterbichl

If you’re coming from Vienna (like we did), it’s a very long journey to Virgental. So, you’ll definitely want to spend a night in Hinterbichl, before starting the trek. There are other villages in the valley, but Hinterbichl is the closest one to the trailhead, a mere 20-minute walk. 

Heimat Schnapps, Venediger High Trail, East Tyrol, Austria

We stayed in Heimat – Das Natur Resort in Hinterbichl. Located in the former holiday residence of the Vienna Boys Choir, Heimat is a place of both history and vision. Heimat strives to integrate nature and healing into its concept. Guests can participate in wild herb workshops and receive healing treatments (Kneipp, Reike, Massage) during their stay. Breakfast (included in the room rate) is prepared with local, organic and homemade ingredients. Don’t miss out on Heimat’s homemade jams, chutneys, and teas – all available during breakfast. Other highlights include their sauna, self-service wine and liquor bar featuring homemade Schnapps. Rooms are simple but very clean and comfortable.

Homemade Jams, Heimat, Hinterbichl, Virgental, Osttirol, Austria

 
Trail to Simonysee - Venediger High Trail, East Tyrol, Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

Venediger High Trail Stage 1

Day 1: Hinterbichl / Parkplatz Ströden (1,403 m) – Essener Rostocker Hütte (2,208 m)

  • Distance: 8.6 km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Altitude Difference: 805 m ascending
  • Time Needed: 2.5 Hours

To reach the trailhead of the Venediger High Trail, follow the road from Hinterbichl to Ströden for about 20 minutes. The trail leads directly from the parking lot at Ströden. This is also a popular starting point for day hikes to Umbalfälle (Umbal waterfalls) and Clara Hütte. The route today is easy and gentle. You’ll begin the hike on a gravel road and pass a Kletterpark (recreational climbing park). After about 20 minutes, you’ll pass Stoan Alm (permanently closed).

Another 10-15 minutes will bring you to an intersection, where the trail veers right, leaving the road. As you ascend, the sound of the Maurerbach river will be your constant companion. You’ll eventually cross the river over a bridge. Multiple streams ripple across a flat expansive meadow. And, soon you’ll ascend to Essener Rockstocker Hütte, perfectly framed by the Hohe Tauern moutains.

Optional Hike to Simonysee

Because today’s stage is so short, you’ll likely have extra time to explore the area. One option is to hike to the small lake Simonysee. It’s 1.4 km one-way and takes 45 minutes to reach the lake from Essener Rockstocker Hütte. Another option is to hike to Rockstocker Eck (2749), a peak accessible from the hut as well.

Trail to Simonysee - Venediger High Trail, East Tyrol, Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria

Stay in Essener Rostocker Hütte (2,208 m)

  • Showers: 1 EUR for 2 minutes
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Free
  • Payment: Credit Cards and Cash accepted
  • Food: We recommend opting for their half board option. Dinner is set up as a buffet. It includes soup, multiple salads, a main dish, and dessert. You can return to the buffet as often as you like. The salad buffet is plentiful and delicious.
  • Rooms: Dormitory and private rooms available. We opted for a private room, which was nice given that we had so much extra down time, due to the poor weather and the short hike.

Essener Rostocker Mountain Hut - Venediger High Trail, Austria

 
Descent to Johannishütte, Venediger High Trail, Osttirol, Austrian Alps

Venediger High Trail Stage 2

Day 2: Essener Rostocker Hütte (2,208 m) – Türmljoch (2,790 m) – Johannishütte (2,121 m)

  • Distance: 7.6 km
  • Difficulty:  Easy
  • Altitude Difference: 582 m ascending / 669 m descending
  • Time Needed: 4 hours

Stage 2 of the Venediger High Trail involves ascending to the saddle Türmljoch and then descending into the next valley, where Johannishütte is happily situated. Overall, this is not a demanding route. The steady climb to Türmljoch is made gentle by a series of switchbacks. It takes about 2 hours to reach Türmljoch from Essener Rockstocker Hut. At the top, you’ll have sweeping views of glaciated mountains. From the saddle, it’s a 1 hr 45 minute hike down to Johannishütte. Keep your eye out for marmots. Overlooking Grossvenediger, Johanishütte is one of the most popular starting points for guided tours to the summit.

Dorferbach River, Venediger Group, Hohe Tauern Mountains, Venediger High Alpine Trail, Austria

Stay in Johannishütte (2,121 m)

  • Showers: 4 EUR for a 5 min shower
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Free
  • Payment: Cash only
  • Food: You need to decide between the half board menu, or à la carte by 4:30 p.m. We opted for à la carte, because the half board menu included a creamy soup (which Kati can’t eat). The food here is delicious – the best on the entire route. They source some of their ingredients from their small herb garden outside. Breakfast (14 EUR) is served from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. They only place a few slices of bread on your table for breakfast. If you want more (we definitely did), ask them for more bread. They’ll ask you if the bread is for take away (“mitnehmen”). Say no! Or else, they’ll charge you more.
  • Rooms: Only dormitory rooms available.
  • Taxi Service: Johannishütte is accessible by the Vendiger Taxi service. Many guided groups will begin their ascents to Grossvenediger from here.

Again, you may want to combine stages 1 and 2, because they are both short and “easy.”

Johannishütte, Venediger High Trail - Hut to Hut Hike in the Austrian Alps

 
Hike to Eissee hut, Venediger High Trail, Austrian Alps Trek

Venediger High Trail Stage 3

Day 3: Johannishütte (2,121 m) – Zopetscharte (2,958 m) – Eisseehütte (2,521 m) – Eselrücken (2,663 m) – Bonn-Matreier Hütte (2,750 m)

  • Distance: 12.1 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: ~ 1,197 m ascending / ~ 494 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 8 hours (7 hours hiking + 1 hour for lunch)

Stage 3 of the Venediger High Alpine Trail is long, but in an extremely satisfying way. Some people separate this into two stages, but we think it works well as one stage. We recommend getting an early start (7:30 a.m.), so you don’t feel rushed and have sufficient time for a leisurly lunch at Eissee mountain hut. From Johannishütte, the ascent to Zopetscharte (2,958 m) begins immediately. And, you’ll be happy you’re going the south route, because that means that you’ll conquer this “gap” early in the day. As you gain elevation, you’ll be greeted by the early morning sun, as she slowly wakes up mighty Grossvenediger.

Hike to Eissee hut, Venediger High Trail, Hohe Tauern, East Tyrol

The final stretch to Zopetscharte navigates very rocky terrain. A path has been cleared to make it actually easier than it looks. It took us 2.5 hours to reach Zopetscharte, the highest point on today’s hike. From here, you’ll see Eissee lake. The descent from the gap is aided by several ropes. The trail narrows and there are a few precarious drop offs. As you hike down, it’s easy to slip, because the shale has been grounded to a soft paste-like consistency (almost like sand). We reached the bottom of the valley in an hour. You’ll cross a river over a bridge and turn right. It’s a 20-minute hike from here to the Eissee mountain hut. The hut is named after “Eissee” lake, which you can hike to from the hut (40 minutes one-way).

Hike to Bonn Matreier Hut, Venediger High Trail, Hohe Tauern, Hut to Hut Hike in East Tyrol

After lunch, you’ll be treated to a balcony-like trail that hugs the side of the mountain. There are some very tight areas along the route, but it’s mostly easy. As you wrap around the mountain, you’ll eventually see Virgental Valley and the town of Prägraten below. The flat trail ends abruptly and you’ll hike up a few steep hairpins and continue uphill to Eselrücken (2,663 m), or “Donkey’s Back.” This is where you think you’re close to Bonn-Matreier hut. You’re not. Though, you’ll be able to spot it from here. If you look hard enough, you’ll see the hut smirking at you ;). From Eselrücken, the trail plummets in zig-zag fashion. You’ll cross a river and then start the steady ascent to Bonn-Matreier Hütte. It takes an hour to hike from Eselrücken to Bonn Matreier.

Stay in Bonn-Matreier Hütte (2,750 m)

  • Showers: 3.50 EUR for 3.5 min shower
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Free
  • Payment: Credit Cards and Cash Accepted.
  • Food: You need to decide whether you want halfboard by 4:00 p.m. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. The food was dreadful, absolutely awful. On the upside, the hut staff were the friendliest we encountered on the whole trek. Breakfast is from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m..
  • Rooms: Private rooms and dormitory rooms available.

Bonn Matreier Hut, Venediger Group, Hohe Tauern, Osttirol - Venediger High Trail

 
Venediger High Trail, Hohe Tauern Mountains, Austria

Venediger High Trail Stage 4

Day 4: Bonn-Matreier Hütte (2,750 m) – Kälberscharte (2,791 m) – Galtenscharte (2,871 m) – Badener Hütte (2,608 m)

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Altitude Difference: 800 m ascending / 950 m descending
  • Time Needed: 5.5 hours

Stage 4 of the Venediger High Alpine Route is the most difficult. We don’t recommend hiking this stage with kids. From the hut, the trail meanders through a sea of rocks and you’ll quickly ascend to Kälberscharte (2,791 m), the first Scharte (gap).

From here, the trail goes down and then flattens out. Use the ropes to stabilize your descent. You’ll hike across boulders and slabs of rock for some time. Stay focused and take your time. It’s like walking through a graveyard of a former mountain. You’ll need both of your hands sometimes. Next, the trail climbs up to the second gap, Galtenscharte (2,871 m), which lies beneath Galtenkogels peak and is reachable in an hour from Bonn Matreier Hütte. The view from here is incredible. And, you’ll be happy again that you’re hiking the south route, because you won’t envy the poor hikers approaching Galtenscharte from the other side.

Galtenscharte Ascent, Venediger High Trail, Hohe Tauern, Austrian Alps

The descent from Galtenscharte is a long one (1.5 hours). It’s a bit tedious, though you’ll get in a rhythm soon enough. Like the day before, you’ll be hiking down soft and slippery terrain. Your hiking poles will be invaluable here. As we made our way down the unforgiving terrain, it felt like we were Sam and Frodo off to destroy the ring. The alpine landscapes are harsh and almost foreboding. When you reach the foot of the mountain, you’ll cross a river. Know that the hardest part of the day is over.

The trail continues from the river thorugh soft green meadows. It feels absolutely heavenly after that brutal descent, like eating a divine Crème brûlée (insert your favorite dessert) after a dinner of boiled brusell sprouts (insert your least favorite vegetable). As you follow a balcony trail, you’ll see the lovely Frosnitzbach River Valley rimmed with alms and huts. The final segment of the hike has you cross a roaring river (over a bridge) and make a final ascent to Badener Hütte, which is perched high above you. Admittedly, this last stretch feels long and neverending.

Descent from Galtenscharte, Venediger Höhenweg, Austria

Stay in Badener Hütte (2,608 m)

  • Showers: 2 EUR for unlimited time
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is safe to drink
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Free
  • Payment: Cash only
  • Food: For dinner, you can choose between the 3-course half board menu, or just the entree from the half board menu. We chose the halfboard menu. The soup and dessert were edible. The main dish was nasty. The “mashed potatoes” were made from an “instant” package and the meat was spongy. Dinner is served at 6:00 p.m.
  • Rooms: Private rooms and lager (dormitory) rooms available. We opted for a private room, which was small but cozy.
 
Venediger High Trail - Hike to Neue Prager Hut, Austrian Alps

Venediger High Trail Stage 5

Day 5: Badener Hütte (2,608 m) – Löbbentörl (2,770 m) – Neue Prager Hütte (2,796 m)

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 845 m ascending / 657 m descending
  • Time Needed: 6 Hours

Stage 5 of the Venediger Track is the most rewarding day visually. The trail begins with gentle undulating ups and downs. Some steep sections are secured with ropes, but overall there’s nothing overly difficult about this segment. We hiked across several snowfields and then made the easy ascent to Löbbentörl (2,770 m). When you reach the Törl, or gate, it’s like stepping though the magical wardrobe of Narnia. You’ll be met with a spectacular world of ice and moraine.

It’s a bit slippery going down from Löbbentörl and there was still quite a bit of snow on this side (late July). Keep your eyes out for the trail, as it’s easy to lose because of the snow. Eventually, the trail follows a rim, bringing you closer and closer to Keesboden glacier. It’s like walking along a dragon’s back.

Keesboden Glacier, Glacier Trail, Venediger High Trail, Austrian Alps

The rim trail ends and you’ll gently descend to Auge Gottes (2,240 m), which is a eye-shaped small pond with a grassy interior that has been appropriately named the Eye of God. This pond sits above the lake Salzbodensee. At this point, you’ll start seeing day hikers on the trail.

From here, continue in the direction of Neue Prager Hütte. There’s a fantastic lookout point of Keesboden. Day hikers will be gathered here.

When you’re ready, start the final ascent to the historical Alte Prager Hütte (closed) and then Neue Prager Hütte. The trail has been shaped so that you’re hiking up a natural staircase. It’s long, but never steep. Note: if you needed to shorten the trek, you can descend from the lookout point down to the valley, following the Innergeschöss Glacier hiking trail.

Hiking up to Neue Prager Hut, Venediger Höhenweg, Austria

Stay in Neue Prager Hütte (2,796 m)

  • Showers: 5 EUR for a 3 min shower
  • Drinking Water: Tap water is not safe to drink according to signage.
  • Electronic Charging Stations: Free
  • Payment: Credit Cards accepted.
  • Food: Mediocre at best. A very limited a la carte menu is available before 5:00 p.m. They charge you 5 EUR per person more if you don’t opt for halfboard (what a rip off!).
  • Rooms: Only dormitory-style rooms.
 
Innergschlöss, Venediger Group, Hohe Tauern, Austria

Venediger High Trail Stage 6

Day 6: Neue Prager Hütte (2,796 m) – Innergeschöß / Alpengasthaus Venedigerhaus (1,689m) – Matreier Tauernhaus (1,512 m)

  • Distance: 11 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Altitude Difference: 1,300 m descending 
  • Time Needed: 4 hours

The final stage of the Venediger High Alpine trail begins by retracing your steps back down to Alte Prager Hütte (50 minutes) and further down to the intersection of the Innergeschöss Glacier Trail. The descent continues along trail 902b in the direction of Matreier Tauernhaus. With cascading waterfalls rolling down in all directions, the long descent to the valley is scenically dazzling. It took us 2 hours from Neue Prager Hütte to reach the valley floor. Once at the bottom, you’ll have to cross the marshy riverbed. The hard part’s over. Simply follow the road for 30 minutes to Venedigerhaus in Innergeschöss, a guesthous with a restaurant. Because we arrived here quite early (10:30 a.m.), their kitchen wasn’t open. But, we were still able to order espresso and cake. Fairy-tale-like Innergeschöss is made up of a few rustic wooden houses, all congregated along the flower-lined river. Note: if you’re just “over it” and want to end the hike, there’s a taxi shuttle (5 EUR per person) you can take from Innergeschöss to Matreier Tauernhaus.

Gschloessbach River, Innergschlöss, Venediger Group, Hohe Tauern, Austria

From Innergeschöss, continue along the road. You’ll soon see a bridge on your right. You can cross here and follow the gentle trail for 40 minutes to Aussergeschöss. Or, if you follow the road, there’s a tiny chapel, Felsenkapelle, built into a rock that’s worth seeing. It’s located approximately half way between Innergeschöss and Ausergeschöss.

Aussergeschlöss is a tiny hamlet with a collection of charming wooden structures. We ate a homecooked lunch at Berggasthaus Aussergeschlöss. From here it’s 45 minute descent (170 meters / 2.6 km) to your final destination: Matreier Tauernhaus. You can choose between taking the road (left side of the river), or the trail (right side of the river).

Stay in Matreier Tauernhaus (1,512 m)

Matreier Tauernhaus is a guesthouse, conveniently located at the end of the Venediger High Trail. It’s cozy and effortlessly charming. It’s also the perfect place to eat, relax and sleep after your trek. After checking in and showering, we enjoyed the sauna and wellness area (available from 4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily) for several hours, before heading to dinner. You can choose between half board, or their à la carte menu. We had three meals here, so we can assure you that whatever you choose, you’ll be satisfied. Don’t miss out on their cakes!

Matreier Tauernhaus is also a bus stop. So, you can hop on Bus #955 when you’re ready to make your way back to Matrei in Osttirol, or Lienz. Depending on the time, you may need to switch buses in Matrei or in Huben to make the full journey to Lienz. A bus timetable is displayed at the bus stop.

Matreier Tauernhaus, Venediger High Trail, East Tyrol, Austria

 
Venediger Höhenweg Route Options, Hohe Tauern, Osttirol, Austria

Alternative Venediger Hiking Routes

Venediger High Trail 5 Day Route 

This is a faster-paced route, combining days 1 and 2.

  • Day 1: Hinterbichl / Parkplatz Ströden (1,403 m) – Essener-Rostocker-Hütte (2,208 m) – Türmljoch (2,772 m) – Johannishütte (2,121 m) 
  • Day 2: Johannishütte (2,121 m) – Eisseehütte (2,521 m) – Bonn-Matreier Hütte (2,750 m)
  • Day 3: Bonn-Matreier Hütte (2,750 m) – Badener Hütte (2,608 m)
  • Day 4: Badener Hütte (2,608 m) – Neue Prager Hütte  (2,796 m)
  • Day 5: Neue Prager Hütte (2,796 m) – Innergeschöß / Alpengasthaus Venedigerhaus (1,689m) – Matreier Tauernhaus (1,512 m)

Venediger High Trail 7 Day Route 

This is a slower-paced route, breaking up Day 3 into 2 stages.

  • Day 1: Hinterbichl / Parkplatz Ströden (1,403 m) – Essener-Rostocker-Hütte (2,208 m) 
  • Day 2: Essener-Rostocker-Hütte (2,208 m) – Türmljoch (2,772 m) – Johannishütte (2,121 m) 
  • Day 3: Johannishütte (2,121 m) – Eisseehütte (2,521 m)
  • Day 4: Eisseehütte (2,521 m) – Bonn-Matreier Hütte (2,750 m)
  • Day 5: Bonn-Matreier Hütte (2,750 m) – Badener Hütte (2,608 m)
  • Day 6: Badener Hütte (2,608 m) – Neue Prager Hütte  (2,796 m)
  • Day 7: Neue Prager Hütte (2,796 m) – Innergeschöß / Alpengasthaus Venedigerhaus (1,689m) – Matreier Tauernhaus (1,512 m).

Note: If you want to shorten any of the treks, you can leave out Neue Prager Hütte. You can hike from Badener Hütte down to Innergeschöß and ultimately Matreier Tauernhaus. 

 
Grossvenediger, Venediger High Trail, Hohe Tauern, Austria

Austrian Alps Packing List

Pack your Sleeping Bag Liner, Hiking Poles, Polarized Sunglasses and…

Sleeping Bag Liner. Each hut provides sheets, blankets and pillows, but you need to bring a sleeping bag liner.

Polarized Sunglasses. It’s critical to buy polarized glasses that wrap around your head.

1-Liter Reusable Water Bottle. You can refill your reusable water bottles at the mountain huts.

Hiking Pants. When buying hiking pants, we think flexibility and ability to shed water are two important criteria. We both bought two pairs of these Macpac Women’s Hike Tight Pants and we love them. They’re breathable and extremely comfortable in all types of weather. Bonus: you don’t need to wear a belt.

Hiking Boots. If you want to invest in a serious hiking boot that will serve you well in rocky, high alpine terrain, look into buying a pair of Hanwag Tatra Light Lady GTX. These shoes have an extraordinary profile and aren’t rigid like traditional alpine boots.

Merino Wool Hiking Socks. Icebreaker makes the best hiking socks out there. Socks have lifetime warranty.

Sleeping Pants + Shirt

Hiking Poles. Opt for poles with lever locks (flick lock mechanism), as opposed to twisting locks. They’re more durable.

Hiking Backpack + Raincover. Ideal hut to hut trekking backpacks: Osprey Packs Kyte 36 Backpack for women, or Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Backpack for men.

Sun Hat 

Rain Jacket. There’s always a chance of rain in the Alps. It’s essential to always carry a proper rain jacket. Kati’s North Face Venture Rain Jacket is excellent quality and truly waterproof.

Down Vest or Hiking Vest. Everyone has different preferences, but when it comes to keeping your core warm on the trail, but not overheating, vests are your best friend. Sabrina never hikes without her Eddie Bauer StormDown Vest.

Fleece (one for sleeping/lounging in). It’s always good to have a fleece with you for added warmth. Fleece sweaters are lightweight and dry quickly. Buy this Marmot Norhiem Women’s Sweater Knit Fleece Jacket.

Long-sleeve and Short-sleeve quick-dry hiking shirts

Waterproof House Slippers (something you can also shower in). After a day of hiking, it’s so enjoyable to finally take of your boots and slip on a pair of Crocs. Most huts have slippers can use during your stay, but .. gross.

Cash. Credit cards are not accepted in all the mountain huts.

Basic Cosmetics. Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Sun-lotion, Deodorant, Chapstick, Nail Clippers.

Travel Towel. Opt for a thin, microfiber towel that dries quickly.

Ear Plugs. We always carry several pairs of ear plugs with us when we’re overnighting in mountain huts.

 

Hiking in the Alps - Resources

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Venediger High Trail - Venediger Höhenweg Trekking Guide, Tyrol, Austria
Passionate about hiking in the Alps? Read these guides next:
External Resources

Cicerone’s Walking in Austria

Hiking map (Alpenverein No. 36)

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@moonhoneytravelers
  • A site that never gets old - medieval castles perched on rocks. This particular high and mighty castle is Riegersburg in South Styria, Austria.
  • Rätikon Alps.  This summer we hiked around this limestone range - possibly Austria‘s (and Switzerland’s) best kept secret.  You can read our detailed 5 day hiking itinerary (link in bio).
  • Coastal Hiking.  Until we hiked the Seven Sisters Cliffs, coastal hiking wasn’t something we ever considered. Shame on us.  Inspired by our experience in Southern England, we’ve been researching coastal hikes in Europe. And, we‘re currently planning a coastal trek for this November.  Have you hiked a multi-day coastal trail?
  • When we‘re hiking hut to hut, waking up for sunrise and seeing the sunset is a part of our daily routine. It‘s effortless. However, when we‘re staying in a hotel in the valley, catching the rising and setting sun can be tricky. Dinner often overlaps at the critical hour. And, unlike a mountain hut, it’s way more comfortable to sleep in.  Luckily at Hotel Rodella, watching the world turn shades of pink and red only required stepping outside. Perched above Selva in Val Gardena, the hotel garden is the perfect place to see mighty Sella and Langkofel put on a show.  Thank you @hotelrodella for our unforgettable stay!
  • One magical afternoon along the Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites.  If you have any questions about trekking in the Dolomites, don’t hesitate to reach out.
  • We stayed in 25 mountain huts this summer. Though we‘d gladly return to many, there‘s one in particular that we‘d love to see again soon.  Built in 1879, Berliner Hütte is the oldest hut in the Zillertal Alps. It’s also the finest. With it‘s high wooden ceilings, chandeliers, and elegant staircase, this alpine refuge is one of a kind.  It could easily be the set of an early 20th-century period drama — like if Gran Hotel (best Spanish series ever!) was Austrian and located in the Alps.

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