Autumn time in Austria and particularly in Lienz where AdventureAustria are based, is just as much of an attraction for hikers as it is in summer. The alpine scenery changes to a wonderful array of yellow and red and the pleasant, mild September and October temperatures are preferred by many walkers to the hotter summer months. Hiking in the Austrian Alps during the autumn time is a truly memorable experience.
Autumn time in Lienz
Should you be coming to Lienz on a walking holiday in autumn, then here is a small selection of great day hikes most of which are suitable for children too.
Hiking on Zettersfeld
Zettersfeld is the ski resort in Lienz with dozens of pleasant hikes to choose from in summer and autumn.
Neualplseen – from the top of the chairlift ‘Steiner Mandl’ at 2,200 meters above sea level, visitors can hike a wonderful circular route which takes you around many crystal clear alpine lakes. From the lift head northwest on path 913 for about an hour. Once you have reached the first lake, you can take the path which goes around the lakes. This takes approximately ½ hour. Total time approximately 3 hours.
For those with more condition and requiring more of a challenge, a hike to the peak of Schleinitz is recommended. Total time approximately 6 hours.
Naturfreundehütte – this is an easy route (perfect for small children) which starts at the Zettersfeld middle station at 1,800m. The route has very little gradient and takes approximately 45 minutes. From the middle station walk eastwards following signs to Naturfreundehütte. You can return on the same path or take an alternative detour over ‘Michaelskirche’ (St Michael’s Chapel) back to Zettersfeld middle station. Total time approximately 2 hours.
Dolomitenblick – a beautiful path offering stunning views across the Lienz valley to the Lienzer Dolomites opposite. This circular walk takes about 3 hours in total and starts at the Zettersfeld ski lift main car park. Total time approximately 3 hours.
Hiking on Hochstein
Viewing tower at the Venedigerhütte – a great tip for all the family is a visit to the viewing platform at the Venedigerhütte. This is located close to the Moosalm on the middle station of the Hochstein. It is however quite hidden away tucked away in the woods. From the tower itself you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of Lienz, Zettersfeld and the Isel Valley. Total time approximately 1 hour.
Moosalm See and Reiterkirchle and return – the small Moosalm reservoir is an idyllic lake set close to the Moosalm at the Hochstein middle station. After 20 mins walking from the Moosalm up the ski slope, you can reach the lake. From there, there is a path leading to the Reiterkirchel (a small chapel). The walk takes approximately 1 hour and from the chapel there are splendid views of the Lienzer Dolomites, Pustertal Valley and Lienz itself. Total time approximately 3 hours.
Hiking in the Debantal Valley
Nature and culture path to the Lienzerhütte – from the ‘Seichenbrunn’ carpark in Debantal take the footpath to the Lienzerhütte which takes approximately 2 hours. This wonderful path showcases the beautiful surroundings and nature with a series of information points and notice boards detailing the importance of the plant and animal eco system as well as mountain life in the ‘alms’. There is also a small museum in the ‘Hofalm’. The return walk from the Lienzerhütte can be along the same path or along the gravel track used for access by the hut. Total time approximately 4 hours.
Hiking on Iselsberg
Ederplan – starting point is the carpark ‘Zwischenbergen’ which can be found by driving through Stronach on Iselsberg. This pleasant walk takes approximately 2 hours and leads to the ‘Anna Schutzhaus’, a mountain lodge named after the wife of the famous painter Franz von Defregger. After some refreshments at the hut, the walk to the peak takes another 30mins or so where visitors are greeted with an incredible view of no less than 5 different valleys; Drautal, Pustertal, Iseltal, Debanttal and Mölltal as well as spectacular views of Lienz and the Lienzer Dolomites. Total time approximately 5 hours.
Hiking in the Lienzer Dolomites
Karlsbaderhütte – starting from the excellent Dolomitenhütte walkers should take the path to the Innsteinkapelle, a small chapel in the woods (1/2 hour). From there the path takes you on a windy uphill track above the tree line into the heart of the Lienzer Dolomites. Visitors get to go past the famous Laserzwand, a shear drop of several hundred meters. After approximately 3 hours you reach the Karlsbaderhütte and the Laserz mountain lake. Here are outstanding views of Hochstein and Lienz in a truly high alpine environment. Total time approximately 7 hours.
Nature path Lienz – Leisach – Amlach – Tristachersee
This educational path is perfect for families with young children where they can learn about different aspects of the alpine and forest worlds with information boards and signs indicating special trees, plants and mushrooms etc. The nature path is divided into 4 sections and takes roughly 3 hours to walk the whole path.
Section 1 ‘Eichhörnchen’ – the so-called squirrel path starts at the Pfarrbrücke (Pfarr Bridge) close to Lienz town centre and goes along the River Isel to Schloss Bruck (Bruck Castle).
Section 2 ‘Spaz’ – takes walkers along hiking path number 1 to the ‘Waldschenke’ guesthouse in Amlach.
Section 3 – ‘Häschen’ – leads to the base of the Lienzer Dolomites after walking through the small Amlacher town of Ulrichsbichl.
Section 4 ‘Reh’ – finishes on a wooden path surrounding the ‘old lake’ at Tristachersee Lake.
Here are a few other general tips should you be considering an autumn walking holiday in Austria:
Correct equipment – you’ll be needing hiking boots, warm clothes, hat, wet weather gear, change of clothes etc
Food and drinks – take plenty of fluids especially hot drinks if it’s particularly cold as well as enough food and snacks to last you for your trip
Weather – always check the weather forecast before you leave and be aware of changing conditions as you are hiking
Hiking routes – whether you are hiking for just one hour or for a week, always choose a hiking route that is suitable for your condition and ability
Current conditions – check with the local tourist office, hotels and mountain lodges on current conditions of your planned walking route. This could save you a long wasted journey if your chosen route is blocked by rocks or snow making it unpassable.
Cycling in autumn
As well as hiking in the mountains during autumn, a small cycling tour offers visitors a fantastic cycling experience during the autumn months.
Family bike ride in the Iseltal Valley
The cycle path from Lienz to Matrei is easy to cycle and the relaxing 29km is almost level the whole way. The route goes from Lienz to St Johann in Walde past the ruin Kienburg through Huben and past many beautiful meadows and fields before reaching Matrei.
Drauweg Innichen to Lienz
Part of the well-known Drau Cycle Path (Toblach to Maribor) is the Innichen to Lienz section which offers a superb day trip for budding cyclists. The route is approximately 45km long and is a gentle downhill path pretty much all of the way. The route which is away from any busy roads, takes you along the banks of the River Drau through the Pustertal Valley. Amazing scenery and plenty of interesting stops along the way make this an extremely popular tourist activity. Depending on your fitness levels you can choose to do the following combination:
Innichen to Lienz – downhill 45km
Lienz to Innichen – uphill 45km
Lienz – Innichen – Lienz – uphill and downhill 90km
If you choose the one-way route you can opt to return using the train. And if 45km is still too far you can opt to start or finish at Sillian which reduces the route from 45km to 35km.
Bad weather program in Lienz
Even the sunniest town in Austria can experience bad weather in autumn. In Lienz and East Tyrol there are enough bad weather options to keep you busy until the next rays of sunshine arrive…
Visit the town museum at Schloss Bruck Castle and learn about the history of Lienz and see works of art from famous Tyrolean artists at the same time.
Don’t get wet outside, get wet inside! Large indoor pool with steam rooms, sauna etc. Slide, fountains and whirlpools for the children.
Wet weather activities
When the weather is bad activities such as rafting, kayaking, canyoning and wakeboarding make great alternatives.
Wellness and spa
Relax and unwind in a wellness and spa centre or one of several 4 and 5 star hotels for a day. Feel fit and reenergized for the next day ahead. Most are open every day and in the evening as well.
Massage and special treatments
Spoil yourself and get pampered… dozens of massages, treatments and therapies available in most hotels and salons.
Be a local! One of the favourite pastimes here is drinking coffee (or tea) and eating a delicious homemade cake or pastry in one of dozens of cosy cafes. Try a topfen torte or apple strudel…
Loacker chocolate and confectionary factory
Our version of Willy Wonker! Adults can visit the Loacker museum whilst children can be amazed at the thousands of sweets and chocolates. Shop and restaurant.
National Park House in Matrei
Learn about the history of one of the biggest parks in the Alps – the Hohe Tauern Park with a museum, interactive exhibits and souvenir shop.
Kuenz schnapps distillery and tasting
This family run business have been producing quality schnapps using traditional methods for generations. Visit this fascinating farm and distillery and experience exactly how this amazing spirit is made and produced.
Aguntum Roman village
A newly built viewing tower at the Aguntum Roman village offers excellent views of this working excavation site. The works has so far revealed the city walls, an atrium house, a trading quarter, a large bath house and an early Christian burial church. A modern museum displays many of the artefacts found at the site.
Shop till you drop
Go shopping! Over 150 high quality clothes shops, jewellery shops, boutiques, perfumery and cosmetic shops, sports shops and traditional shops selling their wares.
What else can you do?
Indoor archery, climbing, tennis, pool, skittles and squash are available for those wanting to be active. There is also a modern cinema showing the latest films – but only in German.
If you are considering an autumn holiday in Austria then Lienz in East Tyrol would be an excellent choice with plenty to see and do even if the weather is not being it’s friendliest. Get in touch today and let us help you plan your autumn holiday to Austria.