For my wife and me, exploring the open countryside is a perfect outlet from our daily business. When we moved to Munich almost 20 years ago, the distance to the higher ranges of the Austrian Alps shrunk to an easy 2½-hours drive.
Since then, Austria’s Hohe Tauern have become our favorite hiking grounds. Valleys such as Hollersbachtal or Wildgerlostal (as pictured here) are offering trails suitable for all levels of fitness, starting from easy pasture walks. The area was awarded the status of a National Park in the 80s.
During summer, local farmers drive up livestock to their farmhouses and pastures on higher grounds. Many open up their places to hikers that are passing by on the trails. Most offer drinks and basic food, some even provide accommodation, ranging from basic dormitories to well-appointed double rooms.
Warm showers and even e-bike charging points are pretty much the norm on Alpine huts today. Staying there overnight effectively widens your hiking options. Based on higher grounds, you begin your trek right after breakfast. Otherwise you would probably still be on your transfer to the starting point.
The food served at mountain huts is of a traditional, plain-fare cuisine. Should you ever get into the region, I recommend that you check out Kaspressknödelsuppe (soup with a fried, bread-and-cheese patty) and Kaiserschmarrn (sugared pancake, sometimes with raisins and almonds).