Probably everyone knows the book „1,000 places to see before you die“. Not sure if crossing the Alps on foot is part of these 1,000 things you have to do or see, however, many “outdoor-people” would definitely put it on the list of not just the “top 1,000 things” to do, but probably within the “top 3”.
In 2012 the time has come: for two weeks it was all down to walking, walking, and a lot more walking. A lot of uphill, a lot of downhill. And not a single day with boring scenery. Having had this in mind for a few years already and having spoken to friends a year before, it soon became clear that there’s not a lot of possible better holidays that could beat hiking across the Alps on foot. And thanks to the book “The nicest hikes: Transalp on foot from Munich to Lago di Garda” from Rosenwirth we “found” a perfect route for this adventure: amazingly this route runs along paths that are very much off the beaten track. There were days when we saw 2 people all day long only – in the middle of August!
But let me explain the route a bit more in detail: the complete hike starts in the Bavarian capital Munich and finishes at the southern tip of Lake Garda. It’s split into 31 day legs. In 2012 we decided to walk “the middle section”, i.e. from Inn Valley (near Schwaz in the Austrian Tyrol) to Terlan near Bolzano in the Adige Valley. Two weeks from hut to hut, with one day of rest in Sterzing/Vipiteno. It has been the first time on such a long hike, however, I think it only took a day or two until one got used to being in the daily routine of having a proper breakfast, packing your backpack, hiking all day long (in a very sensible manner, i.e. the sections where very wisely chosen – not too long and not too short), having a good dinner in mostly great huts, and getting enough rest so that legs and other parts of the body didn’t feel tired the day after… when it all started over again. If you’ve got any doubts whether this is nice or not: it’s wonderful!
Well, and not that out of 31 day legs “only” 13 have been completed, the remaining sections still needed to be tackled. By the time that these lines were written (in summer 2014) two more treks followed – whereat I have to admit that we were cheating a bit on the first three day legs: we didn’t actually walk the section between Munich and Sylvenstein reservoir which is basically flat along Isar river; we cycled it instead, in 2013. But despite it not being mountainous it was a very scenic route along the Isar cycle path. Certainly recommendable.
And only where the proper mountains began, we changed back into our hiking boots another year after that, i.e. in June 2014: 2.5 days in the Karwendel mountains. And again, despite the Karwendel being a very busy part of the Alps, the route was anything but busy – on one of the sunniest weekends of the year.
So, just two days left in the Karwendel – and then the part between Bolzano and Lake Garda through the Brenta Group.
Anyone with questions about this tour, get in touch with me, I’m happy to enthuse about it any time J And simply have a look at the pictures and GPS tracks, they’ll explain a lot more.
One last thing: The best thing about this tour: Good weather is guaranteed! Both in 2012 (Inn Valley to Bolzano), and in 2013 (Munich to Sylvenstein reservoir), AND also in 2014 (Karwendel mountains) the weather was just, well, the only word that can be used is ‘perfect’. Sun all day long, not a single drop of rain – with the only very little exception: each and every year we finished the tour in pouring rain due to a heavy thunderstorm (well, in 2014 it was more like a few drops, but well… 😉 ).
Enjoy your way around this blog – and when the remaining sections are hiked, I’ll put this online, of course.