Walking Tour in Austria and Italy, Austrian Lakes District, Leutasch Valley and the Dolomites
Holidays in the Austrian Lakes District mean sunshine, dreamlike mountains and swimming in crystal clear lakes. Our magnificent walks take us through gentle rolling fields to majestic mountains, sleepy valleys, alpine streams and quaint villages with geranium-bedecked chalets. Highlights are the Loser peak with views down to Lake Altaussee and Lake Grundlsee and The Three Lakes walk to Lake Toplitz. Enjoy local culinary delights in some of the most romantic settings.
We continue into the friendly Leutasch valley, which stretches along the base of the Wetterstein range of mountains, the border between Austria and Germany. It has a real "country" feel, with small village churches and fields of hay dotted amidst original alpine forest. Our walks will take us into the Gais valley which is known for its Alpine meadows and the spectacular walking areas, as well as being the home of the turn-of-the-century German-language author Ludwig Ganghofer. The Austrians have a reputation for being high spirited and charming. It takes a lot of willpower to walk past the inviting outdoor cafes, especially with the smell of freshly baked strudel in the air.
We travel via the Brenner Pass into northern Italy to the "King of the Alps" - the Dolomites. These jagged rocky peaks are an inspiring sight, especially at sunset when the mountains take on a breathtaking hue of pink, known as "Alpenglow". We walk through green meadows, alive with flowers and explore such famous mountains as the Stella group and the Puez Geissler N.P.
Our Hotels and Cuisine
Our Hotel in the Austrian Lakes District is a romantic and quiet hide-away in an incredibly unspoiled setting. It has it's own private access to the lake, a beautiful terrace and a very nice spa centre. As there is absolutely no traffic, the only "noise" comes from a little creek next to the building.
Food and beverages are outstanding and the breakfast is certainly the best we have experienced - a great beginning for a day of walking in the Alps. On our return, the delicious homemade cakes on display in the Brahms Café will certainly tempt you. The German composer Johannes Brahms preferred the Seevilla Hotel during his many stays in the Salzkammergut Region and two of his compositions were even premiered here at the Hotel Seevilla.
The next 3 days we stay in the beautiful Leutasch Valley. Our hotel is ideally located in a very quiet position and with glorious views of the mountains in a homely and family atmosphere.
It has a heated indoor pool and a beautiful swimming lake. The cozy restaurant serves the typical Tyrolean cuisine. Our family run hotel in the famous Groedner Valley has a traditional Alpine style and is full of atmosphere and charm. The tastefully furnished premises offer panoramic mountain views, a wellness centre and the restaurant serves delicious Italian cuisine.
The Romantic Path tour was our third tour with Walkabout Gourmet Adventures, all with Gilles as our amazing guide. After the delays due to the Covid pandemic we were so pleased to finally undertake our challenging walking tour in the Austrian Lakes district, the Leutasch Valley before moving to the awesome Italian Dolomites. With the weather turning out to be far from ideal, with frequent wet and cold days, Gilles demonstrated his experience in adjusting the daily itinerary to ensure we still enjoyed great walks while remaining safe and of course happy. The highlight was a relatively short climbing walk, 6.4 kms with 500 metres of ascent, up above Passo di Gardena after a large snow storm overnight. There was a significant amount of climbing but the spectacular views made it all worthwhile The accommodation and restaurants as usual were wonderful, a reward for the effort walking each day. Logistically, things could not have been simpler. The meeting point in Munich was opposite one of the main railway stations and the drop off in Balzano was perfect for travelling to our next destination. The time travelling between each hotel was relatively short with time for a short hike on arrival to stretch the legs. We are looking forward to our next adventure with Walkabout Gourmet Adventures." Philip from Sydney, Australia 
A totally fabulous experience - the itinerary, the comfortable hotels, fine food, spectacular scenery and the company of our fellow walkers. From the first time I saw photos of The Romantic Path tour, it was on my "to do" list. Our walking destinations included beautiful alpine countryside and lakes in Altaussee and the Leutasch Valley, a challenging walk on the Loser Circuit, spectacular rock formations in the Dachstein Mountains and the breathtaking Dolomites! Col Raiser, Alpe di Siusi and, my favourite, Dantercepies to Crespeina with its lunar landscape - they just keep you wanting more! Many thanks to our hardworking guides, Gilles and Callum, for your excellent guiding expertise, friendship and gentle encouragement to physically challenge ourselves so that we could experience the diverse scenery of all the walks." Cheryl from Brisbane QLD, Australia 
What a wonderful and very happy holiday. The weather was perfect and walking in Austria and the Italian Dolomites was spectacular. Gabriella and Giles were wonderful, caring guides who went out of their way to ensure our safety on the walks, our comfort in the three delightful hotels and our general well being throughout the holiday. Thank you, it was very much appreciated. It was a prefect holiday and it was fun to share the experience with a wonderful group of fellow walkers. Thank you for a great walk and holiday." Denise & Peter from Sunshine Coast QLD, Australia 
What a wonderful and very happy holiday. The weather was perfect and walking in Austria and the Italian Dolomites was spectacular. Gabriella and Giles were wonderful, caring guides who went out of their way to ensure our safety on the walks, our comfort in the three delightful hotels and our general well being throughout the holiday. Thank you, it was very much appreciated. It was a prefect holiday and it was fun to share the experience with a wonderful group of fellow walkers. Thank you for a great walk and holiday." Clare from Townsville QLD, Australia 
Everything about this tour pleased me: the walks, the different settings, the food and the people. Despite very cool weather in Austria, the beauty of the countryside and the lakes was stunning.The Seevilla hotel on a lake provided an enchanted place from which to explore the Loser mountain, the snowy Dachstein area and the Grundlsee. Trout with almonds for lunch at Toplitzsee was outstanding. We somehow managed to acquaint ourselves with the small but charming town of Bad Aussie as Bad Aussee was affectionately known by the group, explore Innsbruck, visit Mondsee on fair day, and discover the history of a salt mine on a tour that ended with a slippery dip! The Dolomites were at their best as the sun came out to reveal expansive meadows with jagged peaks in the background, snow still clearly around. Walks in these high alpine areas were much enjoyed.The group acquired a taste for schnapps, which we sampled on two memorable occasions at the Wildmoosalm, where it ran like water from a small feature on the bar, but also was available from a suspended glass balloon above our heads. Of course this drink was accompanied by the best strudel ever tasted. Thank you Gabriela and Gilles for providing us with great walks and a feast of experiences." Wendy from Sydney, NSW Australia 
Graeme was right! Walking in Austria and the Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy is spectacular. Starting our adventure in Austria travelling and walking through beautiful green fields and mountains, admiring homes decorated with brightly coloured flowers in planter boxes, staying in and passing through quaint villages, friendly cows/goats/sheep in the fields, plum trees laden with fruit for us to sample and masses of lakes everywhere. Our wonderful hotel Seevilla, in Altaussee we also had the opportunity to ride bikes around the lake. At our next location we once again enjoyed wonderful walks and enjoyed delicious apple strudel and snapps at a mountain hut. It was so good we persuaded Gilles to take us back the next day... Finally we travelled to Ortesei in the Val Gardena at the foot of the Dolomite Mountains. This spectacular show of nature is amazing and really a must for anyone keen on the outdoors. There are so many choices of where to spend the day, whether walking, E-biking on your free day or simply staying at the hotel or exploring the local villages. We had a wonderful group to share the experience with and of course our guides Gilles and Gabriella went out of their way to make our trip special. We loved every minute of our Walkabout and would highly recommend this adventure to everyone keen on an active holiday." Davina and Stuart from Brisbane, QLD, Australia 
The Beautiful Seevilla hotel in Austria is probably my favourite memory from the trip. The view of the lake from my bedroom window was pure magic. The group were good company, I am just disappointed I didn't get to do any of the glorious walks in the Dolomites due to being unwell. The walks I did go on were lovely. Hope to do another walk with WGA who after 23 years of walking with the company are like family." Sandy from Melbourne, VIC, Australia 
A truly memorable holiday which surpassed our expectations. The guides, Gilles and Milo were professional, knowledgeable, flexible, accomplished in managing group dynamics and fun! Our first walk with Walkabout Gourmet, we are already planning the next one." Michelle from Melbourne, VIC, Australia 
So many things made this tour special. Start with the 3 locations and walks, all uniquely interesting and spectacular in their own way. Blessed with good weather, the group was able to do all the walks in the program, which had been carefully prepared to sample the best of each area. We have long wanted to walk in the Dolomites, which proved to be as wonderful finale to the tour. Next, the hotels. We have walked in Austria before, including the Salzkammergut, and have a good idea what to expect. But the Seevilla at Altausee was far above anything we had experienced elsewhere. Outstanding location, rooms, cuisine and service. The Rainell at Ortisei was also excellent, notwithstanding the large party of noisy Icelanders! The lead guide Gilles should be declared a national treasure of France. Two examples of his leadership illustrate the point. A sudden back problem meant that my wife could not walk the full distance every day. Gilles went out of his way to involve her in part of each walk as much as possible without retarding the main group. Another example was the tactful manner in which Gilles dealt with one of the party who was not fit enough to take on the two longest walks. The person accepted his advice to walk a different route with my wife. The second guide, Milo, was ever-helpful, diligent and companionable. The tour also contained several sightseeing components, the highlights being our trips up to the Dachstein Glacier and the Zugspitze mountain. Our party of 12 friendly, diverse and interesting guests melded well and proved excellent company throughout. Amusing story. The Rainell at Ortisei has only recently opened its new large wellness centre, which includes a nice pool, but hadn't quite thought things through. Guests going from their room to the pool wear plain white toweling downs which are then hung on a row of hooks. Each guest then leaves their plane white room access card in the gown pocket. Imagine the scene as one of our party returns to her room to find that neither of the two cards in the pocket give entry to her room. Similar scenes, mostly involving Icelanders, are going on all over the hotel!" Martin from Sydney, NSW, Australia 
Gilles and Milo were outstanding and caring and went out of their way to help. We had a great group of fellow travellers. The accommadation and food were excellent and the scenery exceeded expectations. However we did find that on some days the hiking was difficult for our age level." Aeky from Yarrawonga, VIC, Australia 
I enjoyed every day, the hotels well run, comfortable, nice food and convient. The walks, great as you would expect in the Tirol, good altitude so we missed the heat. As usual the company was Australian, a mix of people which lead to fun times and good experiences. The waiks on the high plateau were my favourites, the mountain huttes were a highlight for lunch Thanks to Gilles, a very successful trip!" Alf from Bowral, NSW Australia 
We were trying to find the right words to describe how we were feeling when we were hiking on the Romantic Path tour. One clear blue day, as we walked past cows in the meadows against the backdrop of the magnificent Dolomites it came to us - pure joy. The walks were varied ranging from gentle to challenging (if you're hiking in the mountains there's going to be some 'up' and there's going to be some 'down'), with all providing spectacular scenery. The added bonus - we made some great new friends. And what can we say about our guide Gilles - what a gem!" Jane & Daryl from Canberra, ACT, Australia 
My dream was to walk in the Dolomites and the lakes and mountains of Austria have long been a favourite and I managed to convince my husband and my mother to accompany me on the 'Romantic Path'. My husband wasn't convinced that walking was a holiday but he was surprised how much he enjoyed it and my Mum surprised us all with her achievements. I loved every minute... Gabriela and Gilles were wonderful guides, the walks chosen were varied and ranged from simply beautiful to spectacular, the hotels were comfortable and quiet offering a 'local feel', and the food was excellent and copious for hungry walkers. The people on this tour also contributed towards it's success... What a caring, supportive, interesting, fun and happy group. I will remember forever those mountains, wildflowers, and lakes and the companionship of hiking in such beautiful places with wonderful people. Thank you, thank you, thank you." Anne from Brisbane, QLD, Australia 
Climb every mountain, forge every stream, follow every rainbow... This describes our walk perfectly. After my hubbie and I meet skiing in Tyrol 30 plus years ago we were keen to revisit this romantic area. The rewarding alpine walks were stunning with panoramic views and gorgeous alpine meadows... We managed alpine ascents and descends under the close care of our wonderful guide Gilles. The Dolomites were stunning! Christine and Rick Harbig." Christine from Hawthorn, VIC, Australia 
We have enjoyed all of our WGA tours, and know that mountain ones especially are going to be challenging, occasionally arduous (we are 75 and 72), breathtakingly beautiful and ultimately rewarding, for 'hanging in there'. We therefore realised that the Tyrol and Dolomites were not exactly going to be 'un gateau' as Guide Gilles would say, but for us, they delivered in spades. As did Gilles, the ultimate mountain man. The accommodations were all different but excellent and the walks were a great topographical mix of tranquil lakes reflecting magnificent fringing mountains (and the occasional nude 'ice breaker', in dress behaviour - relaxed Austria), snow capped peaks, glaciers and waterfalls. Plus mountain fauna, birdlife and flora. And livestock. (The latter is an 'in joke' with Gilles). Life is worth living, and WGA provides a unique dimension. Thank you." Alan and Barb from Kew, VIC, Australia