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Credit: The Travel Intern
June 2018


While Austria and Slovenia aren’t the typical favourite destination for travellers, it does boast remarkably scenic hikes around its spectacular lakes and famed nature reserves. You’ll be able to explore the different nature elements intertwined within the bustling cities as you venture about the various hiking routes. Immerse yourselves in the scenic views as you embark on hiking adventures like no other. 

 

AUSTRIA

1. Kapuzinerberg - Where nature meets architecture


Venture into the enchanting historical city center of Salzburg and you’ll be welcomed by the luscious blend of nature into the perennial beauty of the architecture. A perfect garden within the city. Unlike many trails miles out from town, this hike begins at the heart of the bustling city center, at the foot of an awfully steep slope. Don’t be put off by it! The strenuous stretch of the hike does not last beyond 15 minutes. The rest really is a stroll in the park. 

 


As you inch your way towards the peak, you’ll run into the Mozart Monument. The monument was erected to mark the memorial of the famed musician. Salzburg is after all, the home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

 


Along your hike, you’ll also spot the Golgotha with three crosses. It depicts an integral chapter in the new testament and marks the presence of the Capuchin Monastery that resides within Kapuzinerberg. 


As you venture deeper within the woods, you’ll notice the serene ambience. Embrace the tranquility as you get in touch with nature. 


If you’re an amateur hiker, fear not. The hiking routes are clearly paved out and you’ll spot fellow hikers along the way, so you won’t get lost. 

Address: Kapuzinerberg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

*Protip: Start your Kapuzinerberg hike in the late afternoons. You’ll reach just in time to catch the sunset and get a great view of the city.

 


2. Untersberg - Breathtaking views of the icy alps


Looking for breathtaking scenic views that will leave in awe of nature’s creations? Visit Untersberg, Salzburg’s local favourite! The icy alps will send you soaring through alpine heights as it displays the spectacle of the vast plains and valleys of the city. 

 


Ride on the Untersberg cable as it transports you to the mountain peaks while you enjoy the panoramic views of Salzburg City. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the boundless sceneries and its year-round ice glaze. 

 


From the steep ascent and descent between peaks to the narrow paths with little to none balustrade, the hiking route might prove to be quite a challenge for amateur hikers. Indeed, hiking in wet conditions under snow cover might seem like an arduous journey that is awfully ambitious. However, you’ll soon get the knack of fumbling around on ice and eventually making your way to the furthest peaks of stunning Untersberg. 


Be warned, trekking on ice is no easy feat! Be sure to invest in a good pair of hiking boots and waterproof apparel. 

Address: Untersberg, 83471 Bischofswiesener Forst, Germany

Opening Hours:
9:00am to 5:00pm daily (30 minutes interval)

Price:
Prices for the Cable Car rides may vary according to the seasons. Check the list of prices for the latest updates here.

*Protip: Elements of nature are often susceptible to drastic changes especially on mountain peaks. Always check the weather conditions beforehand as hiking routes may be closed off during harsh conditions.


3. Hallstatt - The steepest hike


Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is indeed a picturesque town with many charms. While most travellers would simply stop by to admire the peculiar cottages and its famed Lake Hallstatt, the real adventures are up the mountains and hills. 


While the routes are clearly marked out with newly paved concrete, certain sections of the route are left in its unadulterated state. The uneven structure of the ground coupled with the countless rocks and pebbles littered across the route might make the winding route to the peak a challenge for a beginner’s stamina. 

 


However, it’s worth the workout when you eventually reach the Skywalk on Hallstatt! Take a moment to soak in the spectacular scenic reflections from Lake Hallstatt. You’ll never find another lake as clean and crisp as this. 

 
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, proceed onwards the hiking trail along the salt mines. You’ll find yourself on a path so steep, you will have to get on all fours to get on with the hike. But do assess your own fitness level and hike safe.  


SLOVENIA

1. Lake Bled Ojstrica Hike


The Ojstrica Hike around Lake Bled might be the best bet for budding hikers. You’ll often find hikers ascending to the peak with their four-legged friends and enjoying the scenery with the light breeze. Not only do you get the best views of the lake, you’ll also be rewarded with the mountainous landscape as a perfect backdrop! 

 


Although the hiking route takes only 15 minutes, its rocky ascent up the hill will leave you gasping and breathless. Be prepared to stretch your limits as you’ll take more than your hiking skills to make it to the top. You’ll probably find yourself having to rock climb at some point. 

Address: 4260 Bled, Slovenia

*Protip: Make an impromptu walking stick by grabbing any long branches along the way. You’ll need it.


2. Savica Waterfall


If you’re looking for a short hike with superb views, the Savica Waterfall might be the hike for you. The hike takes an approximate 20 minutes to get to the waterfalls. Even then, the paths are painstakingly paved in concrete and wooden planks. You’ll even see families bring along their toddlers on this hike! 

 


Concluding the trekking route is the refreshing Savica Waterfalls. You’ll be intrigued by the thick mist surrounding the foot of the waterfall. The momentum caused by the downward spiral of the waterfall and its surrounding air produces the misty phenomenon. It might seem as if you’re somewhere up above the clouds! 

Address: 4265 Bohinjsko jezero, Slovenia

Opening Hours:
9:00am to 4:30pm daily

Price:
3 Euros (for preservation efforts)


3. The Mostnica Gorge


Amateur hikers might have their minds caught up with the hike but the Mostnica Gorge hiking trail is not an easy one to get to. Located deep within the Voje Valley, your first challenge would first be to spot the trail. If you’re getting there by means of driving, you’ll find this a challenge for your driving skills as you manoeuvre through narrow conditions and difficult terrain. 


The hiking route begins at an inconspicuous corner by the parking space. If you’re not vigilant, you just might miss it. Venture down the wooden paths around the corner of the carpark and the 3 gorges will be right before your eyes. The gushing emerald green waters and the natural formation of the gorges are definitely worth the search. 

 


Venture further and you’ll find yourself deep within the mountains and the beautiful Lake Bohinj. 

Pro-tip: Be prepared for wet weather plans as the area is known to have drastic changes in weather conditions. Hailing is a common phenomenon.



Indeed, hiking may seem like a rather daunting experience for beginners. However, it doesn’t have to be that way really! Hikes aren’t all about walking and climbing endlessly. You’ll get the chance to witness nature’s greatest creations, interact with fellow hikers, perhaps even take time off to rewind and relax from the fast-paced city. So, are you ready to take on your greatest adventure yet? 


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