This winter walk from Grainau to Ehrwald has an incredible highlight. The ride up to the Zugspitze is an experience itself, but the magnificent mountain panorama is without equal

Standing atop the 2,962-metre peak of the Zugspitze, you are treated to a stunning view over the snow-covered mountainscape with its white valleys and vast expanses of nature. The scenery is truly spectacular and whets your appetite for the planned walk. And the best part: the Zugspitze Railway takes you to the glacier and its panorama platform effortlessly.

The Bavarian Zugspitze Railway offers you two ways of reaching the summit. Starting from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the rack-and-pinion railway ascends to the top with stops in Hammersbach, Grainau and Eibsee. The trip to the Zugspitzplatt plateau takes 45 minutes. As soon as you reach the station, you are treated to sweeping views over the alpine landscapes around you. The last leg of the journey up involves a glacier cableway that takes you right to the viewing platform. A faster and more spectacular ascent is offered by the newer Eibsee Cable Car, which carries you from Eibsee station to Germany‘s highest peak in just ten minutes. In good visibility, you get to enjoy a breathtaking panorama of around 400 peaks in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, some of them 250 kilometres away. Tip: Online webcams can give you an idea about the current weather and visibility conditions.

A panorama cabin of the Tyrolean Zugspitze Cable Car takes you down to Ehrwald in just ten minutes; it has capacity for up to 100 passengers. From there, you can easily reach the Romantik Hotel Spielmann by foot. For your return journey, you can take a train (Regionalbahn) from Ehrwald to Grainau. Holders of a TOP SNOW CARD (ski pass of 2 days or more) ride for free during the winter. Alternatively, a free bus drives from Ehrwald to Garmisch via Grainau five times a day, all year round.

The hike

The day tour starts in Grainau. Destination: Ehrwald in Tyrol. You can start the walk from either point – in both places, a cosy Romantik Hotel welcomes hikers home after a long and beautiful day in the great outdoors. From the Romantik Alpenhotel Waxenstein in Grainau, you can reach the lower station of the Zugspitze Railway in around 1.5 hours. The path has a very gentle ascent and takes you through beautiful mixed woods, past Lake Badersee to Lake Eibsee (located at an altitude of 1,000 metres). Intermittent clearings grant you wonderful views of the Ammergau Alps. On your way back, you take a gently sloping hiking path from the lower station of the Tyrolean Zugspitze Cable Car to Ehrwald. The path runs parallel to the access road.

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Romantik Alpenhotel Waxenstein, Grainau (DE)

Romantik Hotel Spielmann, Ehrwald (AT)

hiking map

Hiking in winter – just wonderful

This winter walk from Grainau to Ehrwald has an incredible highlight. The ride up to the Zugspitze is an experience itself, but the magnificent mountain panorama is without equal


Walk in the snowWalk in the snow

Oberstdorf in the Allgäu

Around Oberstdorf, hikers are spoiled for choice with around 140 kilometers of winter hiking trails. Whether in the remote Stillachtal or over snowy meadows and through mysterious mountain forests to Einödsbach, a lonely hamlet, – for those who seek silence, the otherwise bustling traditional place in the Allgäu offers a lot. One attraction is the Heini-Klopfer-Skiflugschanze – also known as the Leaning Tower of Oberstdorf. The ski jump can be visited by chairlift and inclined lift up to the viewing platform in the winter season and offers a wide view of the Freibergsee and the Stillachtal.

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Upper Bavaria

A winter wonderland with a view of the summit awaits the hikers on the Eibsee near Garmisch. The crystal-clear lake lies directly below the Zugspitze and is rightly considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the Bavarian Alps. In just two hours, the groomed trail is easy to handle even in winter. After each bend, you have a beautiful view of the shimmering green lake with its eight small islands. The trail is suitable for the whole family – when there is snow, taking the sledge makes the most fun.

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When the fresh snow crunches under your feet and the cold winter air clears your head of all the ballast – then you look forward to a cozy rest in one of the numerous inns and snack stations along the trails. Austria offers plenty of everything.

Winter idyll in Forstau // Photo: SalzburgerLand TourismusWinter idyll in Forstau // Photo: SalzburgerLand Tourismus

Salzburger Land

The winter hiking paradise Salzburger Land delights the guest with miles of cleared winter hiking trails that lead through snow-covered forests. Particularly impressive is the 12 km long hiking trail at 1,600 m on the “Roßbrand”, which is easily accessible by the Papageno railway. Or the romantic Bachweg near Forstau im Pongau, which is illuminated by the onset of darkness – an impressive winter spectacle.

The incredibly beautiful surroundings of the Gastein Valley, with its snow-covered nature, invite you to exciting winter hikes. There are over 100 km of idyllic winter hiking trails in various altitudes to hike

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Winter hiking on the Dachstein // Photo: Austria Werbung, Herbert RaffaltWinter hiking on the Dachstein // Photo: Austria Werbung, Herbert Raffalt



From rugged to comfortable the landscape as well as the winter hiking offer of the federal state east of the Salzburger Land, whose most famous holiday area is the Ramsau am Dachstein, present themselves. With over 70 km of trails for winter hiking, the high plateau offers ideal conditions for enjoying nature on foot. Even romantics will find wonderful winter hiking trails in Peter Rosegger’s Waldheimat around the mountain village Fischbach in the northeast of Styria.

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On the sunlit southern side of the Alps, winter can be enjoyed best. Lush cities, quaint villages, quiet pastures – that’s how rich in facets is the South Tyrolean countryside.

Snowshoeing on the Alpe di Siusi // Photo: Alpe di SiusiSnowshoeing on the Alpe di Siusi // Photo: Alpe di Siusi


Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm)

Snow-capped view of the Dolomites: on one of the highest mountain pastures (1,680 m) in the Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park, hikers can expect a magnificent mountain panorama. The Seiser Alm cable car takes you up to the sunlit plateau. There you can comfortably enjoy the snow-covered landscape at low slopes on groomed paths. A special highlight are guided snowshoe tours.

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From the snow to the thermal baths – the ideal mix: first a hearty winter hike on Meran 2000, the snowy skiing and hiking area up to 2,300 m above the Art Nouveau city with Italian flair, then a soothing sauna bath in the valley or relaxing massages at the Merano thermal baths – this is pure holiday happiness.

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Of course, Switzerland with its magnificent mountain panoramas and glaciers is almost predestined for a hike in winter. The tours offer indescribable views – and in the end, often a nice stop.


The Philosophers’ Way is considered one of the most beautiful winter hiking trails in Switzerland. Alone for the reason ofthat the Engadine Lake District from St. Moritz to Maloja are literally at your feet. Its starting point is at the mountain station of the funicular, which goes up from Samedan / Punt Muragl to Muottas Muragl. In a large loop, the route leads easily up and down in a constant change. At the end of the tour you either take the funicular back down to Samedan – or treat yourself to a racy descent on the only sledge track in the Engadine.

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Great views of the Swiss mountains // Photo: Beatenberg TourismusGreat views of the Swiss mountains // Photo: Beatenberg Tourismus

Bernese Oberland

The sunny high-altitude hike in Beatenberg on the Niederhorn allows dream views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and offers a deep view of Lake Thun. The route runs alternately through forests and over promising snow-covered alpine meadows. Although this route is not a designated sledge track, many visitors take the sleigh for the ride on the downhill sections. On foot or on skids – the winter tour is definitely a pleasure.

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