The province of Salzburg has direct access to some of Austria′s most scenic alpine regions. Salzburg is famous for hiking and accordingly, there is plenty of information available online and in special guide books on where to go hiking. This website targets international visitors who are most likely to stay in the city of Salzburg and who might fancy to do some hiking to supplement a sightseeing vacation. Therefore, we will give only a few examples for hiking routes that are easily done by public means of transport and in relative vicinity to the city of Salzburg.
Hiking Opportunities in General
Let us start with a few general notions about hiking in Salzburg: The province has more than 7,200 kilometres of designated and labelled hiking paths. These labels normally comprise of red-white-red stripes (like the Austrian national flag); theme hiking routes can have "branded" marks, such as a shell for the Jakobsweg (the route of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela). 30 percent of the total surface of Salzburg comprise of nature reserves, the most important one is the National Park Hohe Tauern.
There are innumerable hiking routes and if you live in Salzburg for a longer period of time or if you plan to do a lot of hiking, we recommend special maps and guides. Probably the best-known hiking maps are sold by Freytag, an Austrian publishing company. You get appropriate maps and guides in most bookshops in the city of Salzburg, even though the best will be in German only. That being said, you can still expect to find hiking guides in English and other languages in the bigger bookshops and in touristy areas.
Specific Hiking Recommendations
Now let us come to the practical hiking suggestions: If you spend a week or two in Salzburg and want to spend a few days hiking, we can recommend several destinations that are within easy reach and very scenic. The Untersberg is the closest really big mountain near Salzburg, it comes with a cable car and a network of rather difficult hiking paths. Take the cable car to the summit to walk around there if you are inexperienced; if you are experienced in alpine terrain, fit and if you have proper hiking boots and other gear, climbing the Unterberg all by foot can be a very rewarding experience. You can get to the base of the mountain by city busses.
A bit further away from the city, you find the town of Fuschl, just by Lake Fuschlsee, at the edge of the Salzkammergut. There are busses that go from Salzburg to Fuschl. From the village centre, a mountain called Filbling is within walking distance. Lake Fuschl is pretty, but in addition, the Filbling comes with a tiny mountain lake. Get a map in case you want to climb the Filbling and expect an intermediate route in terms of difficulty. You don′t need to be overly sportive to do the Filbling, but hiking boots are recommended.
There are several routes available, plan to spend at least two or three hours hiking. If you don′t have hiking boots or if you prefer an easy route, you can walk around Lake Fuschlsee. Takes easily four hours at a gentle pace and is stunningly beautiful especially in autumn. A bit outside of Fuschl (you will need a taxi or car to get to the base) you will find a mountain called Schober. Plan three to four hours to climb this remarkably diverse mountain. However, make sure to bring appropriate hiking gear (boots!) and expect to climb on rock for the last few metres before the summit. You will be rewarded with stunning views into the Salzkammergut.
Hiking within Salzburg City
By far the easiest way to get some decent hiking experiences in Salzburg is to hike the "Stadtberge", the array of hills in and around the city. The Mönchsberg (the hill that is connected with the hill of the fotress Hohensalzburg Castle) offers nice vistas on the old town, but locals will make fun of you for doing "Seniorenwandern" ("hiking for retired people").
Similarly easy is the Kapuzinerberg, the mountain with the Capuchin Monastery, which has been described in a separate article. You can walk to the Franziskischlössl and enjoy a drink there. The Glasenbachklamm is a gorge within reach and has proper paths that are suitable even for children. The Gaisberg is a mountain in the south of Salzburg that has a network of hiking paths worth exploring; the Nockstein is a cliff branching off the Gaisberg that is also interesting for hikes.
Official Website on Hiking in Salzburg
Governmental Website on Hiking & Cycling