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Long-Distance Hiking: Cross-Border Adventures from the Glacier to the Sea

Here, long-distance hiking means trekking from the foot of the majestic Grossglockner mountain to the azure blue sea beside the harbour town of Muggia. The long-distance Alpe-Adria hiking trail offers all of this and more.

This cross-border high-altitude trail with a total of 43 stages runs along lakes, streams and rivers in Austria, Slovenia and Italy. The Alpe-Adria Trail follows existing paths and guarantees an extra-special adventure for your long-distance hikes. Each stage follows a defined route. Along the trail, natural jewels, excellent dining and attractive accommodation invite you to stop and stay a while. From farms and rustic chalets to popular hiking hotels, all accommodation can be easily booked online.

Long-distance hiking on the Alpe-Adria-Trail in the Nock Mountains; photo: Franz Gerdl

 

What makes the Alpe-Adria Trail such a special long-distance hiking trail?

It is not only fun and adventure that awaits you whilst hiking on this exciting long-distance trail. You will also experience the cultural diversity of three countries along the way, which are all connected by their long common history. This is an eventful journey for all long-distance hikers who want to experience natural beauty, indulge in great cuisine and meet interesting people in the Alpe-Adria region on foot.

The first stage begins at the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Höhe, the end of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. The destination of this cross-border long-distance hiking trail is the Italian harbour city of Muggia, near Trieste. From start to finish, this hike follows the water in all its forms; from the everlasting ice in the glaciers of the Hohe Tauern to roaring waterfalls, rivers and lakes, all the way to the sea. As you head south on this long-distance hiking trail you will be accompanied by the mild climate, which has many hours of sunshine and pleasant temperatures in store for you.

If you don’t want to take on the entire 750-km-long high-altitude trail, you can simply choose your favourite stage or stages. All of the routes have one thing in common: breath-taking views, incredible spectacles of nature, sparkling alpine lakes and majestic mountain summits.

Pasterze am Alpe Adria Trail

The Pasterze Glacier with the Johannisberg in the background; photo: Hannes Wallner

Long-distance hiking made easy – tips for beginners

Long-distance hiking is an endurance sport. A long-distance hike requires not only careful planning but also good health and realistic self-evaluation. Plan your tour wisely. Pay attention to the current weather forecast and take suitable footwear. We recommend lightweight, well broken-in and waterproof trekking boots with non-slip soles.

Good hiking shoes protect and relieve your feet, as well as improve your surefootedness. And while we’re on the topic, moving safely across the terrain is essential; especially on rockier passages. In terrain without trails, the risk of becoming disorientated increases. Therefore, you should always stay on the marked mountain trails and take regular breaks during your long-distance hike.

Stopping at a chalet is not only the perfect opportunity to relax, but also to take in the landscape and great food. Breaks for food and drink are necessary above all to maintain your performance and concentration. Help protect nature and be sure not to leave any litter behind. Also, avoid noise that could disturb wild animals and grazing livestock. However – little cries of joy are allowed!

The Garnet Gate on the Alpe-Adria Trail; photo: Franz Gerdl

Long-distance hiking in Carinthia without luggage

If you are planning a multi-day tour and want to hike with as little in your backpack as possible, you can have your heavy luggage transported to your next accommodation. This is a wonderful, practical service for all long-distance hikers and particularly for those travelling with children or four-legged friends. The Alpe-Adria Trail booking centre will be happy to help organise your dream hike! http://alpe-adria-trail.com/de/buchungscenter/

No matter what you choose, your rucksack should be neatly packed and include the following items: protection against the rain, cold and sun; a first aid kit; and a mobile phone (Euro emergency hotline: 112). Take maps and a GPS to help you navigate. In addition to plenty of fluids (about 1.5 litres), don’t forget snacks and healthy food. A granola bar or a packet of dried fruit are both especially good at helping little ones get over a motivation hurdle in no time. It is important to choose your route carefully to ensure hiking with kids is a fun experience. Small children always need a destination or goal to work towards. There must be a special highlight as a reward for their hike. A waterfall, educational trail or treat at a cosy chalet, for example, can really motivate kids.

The Gerlitzen Alps along the Alpe-Adria Trail; photo: Franz Gerdl; Foto Franz Gerdl

Discover your favourite stretch of the Alpe-Adria Trail and enjoy the beauty and magic of this landscape. Have fun!