The Adlerweg (Eagle's Way) across the Austrian Tyrol
The main route of the Adlerweg route is a 300km (188-mile) long-distance path traversing the Austrian Tyrol, keeping mostly to the mountains that form the northern side of Inntal, the Inn valley. Made up of 23 principal stages, with a total height gain of nearly 17,000m.
Austria has alot to offer walkers and trekkers - it's a mountainous country comprising of peaks and valleys of the eastern Alps. The latest Cicerone guidebook to Austria covers The Adlerweg, or Eagle's Way than runs from St Johann to St Anton following established mountain and valley tracks.
I caught up with the Cicerone author Mike Wells to find out a bit more about the route:
"The main route of the Adlerweg route is a 300km (188-mile) long-distance path traversing the Austrian Tyrol, keeping mostly to the mountains that form the northern side of Inntal, the Inn valley.
Made up of 23 principal stages, with a total height gain of nearly 17,000m. In addition, there are six easier variant stages for walkers and trekkers that avoid the more airy parts, and eight more difficult ‘Alpine’ stages that provide an alternative high-level route through the Lechtaler Alps.
Well maintained and waymarked throughout, the Adlerweg follows established mountain and valley tracks and allows you to reach the tops of two mountains, Rofanspitze (2259m) and Birkkarspitze (2749m).
Accessible to walkers of all abilities, it can be completed by a fit walker in 15 days, although if you wish to take things more gently, and allow time to visit attractions en route, it would be best to allow three weeks.
Most of the stages are well connected by public transport (train, postbus, cablecar and chairlift), making it possible to tackle shorter trips as day excursions or weekend overnight breaks.
The path was conceived and implemented by the Tyrol regional tourist organisation, who named it the Eagle’s Way (adler being German for ‘eagle’) as, when overlaid on the map, its silhouette appears in the shape of an eagle, the outspread wings of which reach from one end of the Tyrol to the other, with Innsbruck, in the middle, as its head.
Hiking in the Tyrol would not be complete without Austria’s legendary hospitality and native cuisine. Since overnight accommodation in the form of serviced mountain hutten, inns, guesthouses or hotels can be found at the end of each day’s walk, all you will need to carry is a sheet sleeping bag. Everywhere along the way there are convenient places to eat and drink.
These range from simple alpine pasture huts in the mountains, offering locally produced fare, to award-winning restaurants in the towns and valleys. Indeed the accommodation and refreshment opportunities are so well spaced that, with a little forward planning, it is possible to walk the whole route without once needing to take a picnic lunch. On most stages, frequent water fountains and springs provide a safe source of drinking water."
The Adlerweg crosses Gruba bowl from Rofanspitze, just visible right of centre, passing beneath Rosskopf
Eagle motif found at key points along the Adlerweg
Mike Wells has been a keen long-distance walker and cyclist for over 20 years. He has walked all the major British trails, the GR5 through the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean and has explored the Italian Dolomites' Alta Via routes. He has also walked in Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway and Chilean Patagonia.
Mike has cycled the C2C route across northern England as well as the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela. He has completed an end to end traverse of Cuba, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape.