Upper Austria

Scenic Upper Austria in the Northwest of the country, remains something of a well-kept secret. Aside from the popular Salzkammergut region (which has its own section on this site), this tranquil area is often overlooked by tourists.

About this Austria walking region
The landscape of Upper Austria ranges from the fertile riverbanks along the Danube to the pretty wooded hills of the Mühlviertel between the Danube and the Czech border to the alpine terrain of the Salzkammergut, the Kalkalpen National Park and the Pyhrn-Priel areas further south. The popular Salzkammergut region has so much to discover that we’ve given it its own section on this website – but for the best part, Upper Austria remains undiscovered by mass tourism, which is partly what makes it so appealing. We have hand-picked some of what we believe to be the finest areas for walkers and hikers.

The Mühlviertel is one of the region’s many highlights; an unspoilt area of natural beauty, featuring forests and meadows, fields and marshes. With its age-old traditions, this is a land where time stands still and where tourists rarely venture.

Located south of the historic town of Steyr is another gem, the National Park Kalkalpen, Austria’s second largest national park (the largest being Hohe Tauern). The scenery comprises masses of untouched forest, interspersed with peaceful alpine meadows, valleys and gorges. The park’s highest peak is Mt. Hoher Nock (1,963m/6,440ft).

In the region’s southern area, bordering on National Park Kalkalpen, lies the popular Pyhrn-Priel walking area, with its rich cultural heritage. The almost magical beauty of this area’s natural landscape makes it a wonderful destination for walkers and hikers.

Walking in Upper Austria
The walking areas we are featuring here are also popular with cross-country skiers during the winter months. Walkers can enjoy a number of excellent alpine trails in the Kalkalpen National Park and the adjoining Pyhrn-Priel walking area, which is surrounded by the mountains of the Totes Gebirge and Sengsengebirge ranges, where the higher peaks reach up to between 2,000m/6562ft and 2,500m/8202ft. In the Mühlviertel, the heavily forested mountains average more modest heights of 800-1200 metres (2625ft-3937ft), the highest of which is Mt. Plöckenstein (Plechý in Czech) at 1,378m/4521ft which straddles the Austrian-Czech Republic border. As one of Europe’s oldest ranges, time has shaped the landscape into rounded mountains with few rocky parts. The Mühlviertel and Bohemian Forest hills are typically high plateaux, covered in ancient moorland. Mühlviertel is renowned for its extreme weather – long summers countered by bitterly cold winters.

Mühlviertel Alm

Go your own way! Gentle hiking options in Upper Austria’s north-east ● Peaceful and wild-romantic, with a refreshing lack of mass tourism ● Away from the major urban centres ● Crystal-clear air and a wonderful landscape of forests, meadows, fields and ancient farmhouses ● Network of around 600km/373mi waymarked walking trails.

Mühlviertel Central

Just north of Upper Austria’s capital city, Linz ● The wonderful roll of the wooded countryside is more Bohemian than Austrian ● Explore the picturesque Freistadt, with its medieval border town feel ● Many well-preserved Gothic churches, various fortresses ● A stronghold of folk traditions ● Wide choice of easy walks and rambles.


Belongs to what’s affectionately dubbed ‘The Green Roof of Europe’ ● The most northerly part of the Mühlviertel ● Where Austria meets Germany and the Czech Republic ● Access to 500km/311mi of walking trails ● Numerous opportunities for exciting cross-border walks ● Good access to Mt. Plöckenstein (1,379m/4,524ft).

National Park Kalkalpen

One of Upper Austria’s prime hiking regions ● National Park Kalkalpen with its large expanses of untouched forest, wild gorges and hidden wildflower meadows ● Classic Alpine landscape, which rises to Mt. Hoher Nock (1,963m/6,440ft) ● Steyr Valley and Ennstal Valley, providing access to several mountain peaks above 2,000m/6,562ft.


Located in the southern part of Upper Austria, next to National Park Kalkalpen ● Less touristy than some other Austrian Alpine regions ● 600km/373mi of best-maintained hiking trails ● Themed walks and rambles and rustic mountain huts ● Unspoilt villages such as the quaint Hinterstoder ● Mt. Grosser Priel (2,514m/8,248ft).


Travel Information

Best time for a walking holiday...
May to October

Fly to...
Linz (AT), Salzburg (AT), Vienna (AT), Munich (DE)

Austria Walking Regions