Walking in the Leutasch Valley
This seven night walking holiday is based in the tiny hamlet of Kirchplatzl, in the heart of the Leutasch Valley - the group of traditional Tyrolean farming hamlets strung out at 1100m high along a sweeping glacial valley next to the German border and in the shadow of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2962m). The last Ice Age has left a wonderful legacy here; the broad, flat-bottomed green valley floor provides endless 1-boot walking trails in the verdant flower filled meadows. The area also offers excellent 2-boot level walking, with more than 450km of walking trails, many accessible directly from the hotel. The trails are rarely busy and you need only climb 400-500m to find exciting walks with some challenging sections and magnificent views of the jagged mountain ranges all around.
Tucked away next to the onion-domed village church is the 4-star Hotel Xander, your home for the duration of your holiday. This is the oldest inn in the valley, with huge bedrooms which are more like apartments, as well as a heated indoor swimming and wellness area; if you want to spoil yourself, beauty treatments and massages are available (payable locally). There's a games room too, with table tennis, pool, table football, darts and pinball. Evening meals are served in the hotel's elegant dining room complete with gorgeous mountain views. Leon Partyka, the hotel's chef has created a menu full of interesting Tyrolean specialities blended with international dishes.
Our itinerary is a suggested week of 2-boot walks. There is also a full programme of 1-boot walks along flat valley trails and using mountain lifts to gain altitude. Leutasch tourist office offers free guided walks on most days too.
The 2-boot option includes steep climbs on days 2, 3 & 4 and a long descent with 1100m altitude change on day 2 but all trails are easy to follow. The 1-boot walk follows flat valley trails or uses mountain lifts to cut out climbing. Walking boots are essential. NB: Some chairlifts and cable cars do not operate in early/late season, we give alternate walking notes for day 2 if this is the case.
Day 1 - Arrive at Leutasch
Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner.
Day 2 - Hochmoos and the Wildmoos 14km/9mi/5hr or 16km/10mi/5.5hr
This circular route from the hotel starts gently alongside the river, the Leutascher Ache, to the Kreith chairlift, which whisks you up to the sunny terrace at the Katzenkopf restaurant (1363m). A shady forest path winds up to 1540m and a succession of dramatic viewpoints open out to the bare topped Zugspitze, sweeping Leutasch Valley and neighbouring Seefeld, backed by the jagged Karwendel Mountains.
Day 3 - Frenchman's Climb and the Leutaschklamm Gorge 15km/9.5mi/6hr
A taxi (included) takes you along the valley to where you begin the steep Frenchman's Climb. This is the route Napoleon took to invade Tyrol in 1805, albeit in the opposite direction! You walk through shady forest along a broad ridge with wonderful views. After a leisurely lunch you head into the spectacular Leutaschklamm Gorge on a series of amazing boardwalks high above the ice-blue waters to a thundering 23m waterfall. After wandering into Bavaria, you explore the delightful village of Mittenwald and then catch the train home. Back at the hotel, enjoy a swim in the pool before dinner.
Day 4 - Gaistal Valley BalconyWalk 17km/11mi/5.5hr
This valley, closed to vehicles, is a Tyrolean idyll of lush alpine meadows, pretty wooden chalets and burbling brooks, topped by jagged grey mountain peaks. Starting from the hotel, there's a steep climb then a marvellous treat of constant views along an easy balcony walk, not only of the Leutasch Valley and familiar mountains, but over to the spiky line of the Stubai Alps beyond Innsbruck.
Day 5 - Free Day
Why not spend the day in Innsbruck, just 40 minutes away? The romantic mediaeval Altstadt is the best starting point, but the whole city centre, small enough to explore on foot, is a jumble of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. There's excellent shopping too or alternatively you could book a day trip to the top of the Zugspitze (2962m) by cable car, before returning to your hotel for some late afternoon sun on the terrace.
Day 6 - A Walk on the Wild Side 13km/8mi/4.5hr
You take the bus and train to Scharnitz to begin today's walk which follows part of the E4 Gibraltar-Crete long distance footpath. It feels like a really wild walk although you are still close to civilisation. The climb through the mixed woodland to spot roe deer and a lone chamois grazing in the lunar landscape of the Kastental cliffs, takes you to the grassy High Saddle (1495m). From this wonderful picnic spot you descend directly back to the hotel for a relaxing sauna and swim.
Day 7 - Seefeld High Mountain Walk 12km/7.5mi/4hr
Today you get a taste of 'high mountain' walking, along straightforward paths and using mountain lifts to cut out the hard work. From the top of the Seefelder Spitze (2221m), you have a magnificent 360° panorama, and you can see the routes of all your walks. The Gaistal, dominated by the Zugspitze, looks magnificent! After dinner at the hotel, perhaps celebrate your last night with a Tyrolean music evening in a local bar.
Day 8 - Leave Leutasch
The above itinerary is based on the level 4 activity rating. The level 4 option includes steep climbs on days 2, 3 and 4 and a long descent with 1100m altitude change on day 7, but all trails are easy to follow. The level 2 walking follows flat valley trails or uses mountain lifts to cut out climbing. Walking boots are essential. NB: Some chairlifts and cable cars don't operate in early/late season; we give alternative walking notes for day 2 if this is the case.
For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Walking in Bavaria
Where you stay
This single-centre holiday is based at the following hotel. If you'd like to extend your stay here, or upgrade your room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.
Hotel Xander, Leutasch (4 Star)
Kirchplatzl is at the heart of the Leutasch valley, with doorstep access to some of the best walking in the area. Tucked away next door to the onion-domed village church is our hotel, owned by the Ennemoser family.
The oldest inn in the valley, it has been sensitively modernised to incorporate all the luxuries you would expect of a four star establishment. Facilities include a heated indoor pool, Finnish sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, and bio sauna; massages and treatments are also available.
The bedrooms are large with sofa, easy chair and kitchenette, plus bathrooms with bath and shower.
Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Transfers included from Innsbruck train station at 15:23, and back to Innsbruck train station at 09:45
Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Reviewed by Mr Byatt on 25/08/2016
Excellent customer service, communication and support. Very good walking guides and local information. Wonderful location.
Reviewed by Mrs Holland-Webb on 01/08/2016
We loved the Leutasch valley as the walks took us through meadows full of flowers with only the sound of bees, birds and cowbells. There was often at least one gasthof where we could sit with a beer and enjoy spectacular mountain views. The accommodation and food was very good and the hotel staff were very welcoming. The local bus, which stopped right outside the hotel, was always on time and we used it alot. We would recommend this holiday to anyone whether they just like to amble or whether they like to scale the heights.
Reviewed by Mr Swetman on 29/09/2015
We thought the Xander Hotel was OK but not brilliant, rooms were quite hot at night with no air conditioning so didn't always sleep that well. Most staff helpful. We had one very wet day and there was no drying facilities which we would have thought would be available for a walking holiday. We did think that the 1 & 2 boot walks were a bit tame compared to what we usually look for, we did have a much more challenging week with Exodus (appreciate you are part of the same group) the following week in the Dolomites. In summary, a good week but not an excellent one.
Reviewed by Mr Campion on 22/09/2015
everyone has their own preferences and interests and what we liked might not appeal to others, so decide what is important to you and investigate whether that is part of the holiday you are looking at.
Reviewed by Mrs Wright on 02/09/2015
Gererally good. Your suggested walks tended to go through forest paths too much for our personal liking. We prefer to be about the tree line walking on the tops of the hills, with the ability to view the surrounding area all the time going down to any villages that we may see on the way. We found that too much time was spent following forest trails with only the occasional view. Your notes were helpful and we followed two of them, the Frenchman's walk and the Day One walk but after that we did our own. For your interest we had an excellent walk, covering over 30 miles, when we reached Sedam Alm at approximately 1,666 metres. We deviated along the way and made 3 stops for refreshments but it including all that it took us about 9 hours. It would take less without deviations! Interestingly some of the gusthof stops had a 'stamping' system whereby walkers could get a card stamped along the way. Much like the pilgrim paths. You may like to look into this? The hotel was good but the food was really only average. The hotel room, which we had upgraded to was very good and I would recommend an upgrade to anyone. We didn't participate in the pool/spa facilities as we were always too late back from our walks, so really we were paying for something that we couldn't use. We found an excellent restaurant in Weidach were we had two evening meals, as we were fed up with the hotel food. Bus service good. Chair lifts good. Manager and David (waiter) had good attitude and were extremely helpful. I hope this all helpful for you
Reviewed by Ms Hole on 19/07/2015
Lovely quiet hotel in a small hamlet with good access to great walks and buses/ trains. Excellent food, the gala evening meal was particularly memorable. Good selection of wines and other drinks at a reasonable price. Nice indoor pool with excellent spa facilities.
Reviewed by Mrs Grassie on 15/07/2015
I have never felt so relaxed going back to work! It was fantastic :))
Reviewed by Mrs Smith on 16/09/2014
Overall very good
Reviewed by Mr Duggleby on 23/08/2014
This was the first time we had used Headwater so we had no way of knowing how good they were. In summary - they were excellent. Their advice on what to book, the hotel, the walking summaries and the overall approach were simply the best.
Reviewed by Dr Gompertz on 15/08/2014
We had a great time in spite on some bad weather. We have sent you a detailed report by post.
Reviewed by Mrs Humphrey on 01/07/2014
very lucky with the weather . wild flowers were even better than expected.
Reviewed by Mrs Beverley on 27/06/2014
Generally very good
Reviewed by Mrs Smith on 18/06/2014
A wonderful holiday. The only exception were the packed lunches. They were dire and need looking in to by Headwater.Suggest future holiday makers make their own from the breakfast buffet.
Reviewed by Mr Bond on 10/06/2014
Overall a delightful holiday and good walking notes, however the first 2 boot walk over the Hoochmoos was described as starting with the Kreith chairlift. Having encountered a similar issue in Oberammergau a couple of years back we phoned and asked you to check with the Hotel Xander specifically that the lift was running on the first Sunday. Your Operations staff called me back and assured me that it was. On our arrival the hotel staff said that it was not running until much later in the season and that this was common knowledge! The Lost Valley walk should NOT feature without further amplification.....the entire meadow area and path is subject to massive construction to stabilise the valley after a near disaster and mud/rock slide as described by the mountain restaurant.....this happened last winter, so again someone has taken their eye off the ball!!! The Hotel is in a idyllic spot and the variety of walking huge....we did all the 2 boot walks in a trip to Innsbruck which should not be missed. Disappointed that a hotel should charge for Internet WIFI in this day and age, especially when mountain walking and reliant on weather forecasts. The hotel had a brief pictorial forecast with Austrian text which was not comprehensive enough...
Dear Mr Bond, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire, and for providing us with your constructive feedback, please be assured that all of the feedback we receive is used to help improve and develop our holidays for the future and is always well received. We were thrilled to read that you had a delightful holiday and found our walking notes useful. Although, we were sorry to read that your arrival coincided with the Kreith chairlift closure. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. The hotelier advised us prior to the start of the season that this lift would be in full operation; we are sorry this was not the case due to construction work on the slope. In order to improve our communication with our customers, we have asked the hotelier to ensure we are updated on changes that may affect our customers holiday. We have also temporarily removed the Lost Valley walk whilst the construction is completed. Replacement walks are available during this time. In closing, we would like to thank you for your feedback and the wonderful photographs you have provided, we hope to use these in our future brochure and web pages. Yours sincerely, Headwater Customer Service team
Reviewed by Ms King-Smith on 10/06/2014
We thoroughly enjoyed the Hotel Xander. The staff are friendly and well-trained and the food is good and there's plenty of it. My only gripe is that often the lunchtime sandwiches were poor - somewhat thrown together rather than carefully assembled - and with boring ingredients which were always the same. Other than that, I loved the place and would happily go back.
Reviewed by Mrs Baillie on 05/06/2014
Wonderful location with many walks close to the hotel.
Reviewed by Mr Haworth-Booth on 04/06/2014
Great area for walking but choose different hotel in a better location. Vienna is a wonderful city with lots to see. Hotel Austria recommended for comfortable rooms, excellent location and friendly staff.
Reviewed by Mr Sherrard on 28/09/2013
Overall, we enjoyed the holiday, although rain was a feature on many days, quite disappointing after the long dry spell that this part of Austria had enjoyed this summer. The weather was not good during our fortnight at Kirchplatzl, but we walked every day. The maps & walk descriptions for the soft & leisurely walks were excellent/accurate; we completed all the soft walks & visited a number of mountain huts where mid-day food was available to supplement (or replace) the picnic lunches provided by the hotel. Because of the weather we took advantage of the indoor pool & sauna on many days. The hotel rooms were comfortable and the food was tasty - however we had hoped for more local recipes on the menus. We usually book the independent walking holidays, and this complements the other Headwater holidays in Switzerland & Bavaria.
Reviewed by Mr Cumming on 13/09/2013
Our holiday in Switzerland ( this was a repeat visit) and Austria was very much enjoyed.
Reviewed by Mrs Hierons on 11/09/2013
The Leutasch valley is very beautiful, with lots of easy to follow routes on the lower slopes. Access above the valley is by funicular or chair lift. Mountain sides are very steep with only a few paths up. The best paths are lower down, wide and well surfaced, for walking or cycling.
Reviewed by Mr Hallewell on 28/08/2013
A very enjoyable week's walking in a beautiful location. Food and service in the Xander were excellent and the guides were spot on. A mix-up with our return travel arrangements was sorted out quickly and efficiently by Headwater. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Mr Harris on 14/08/2013
Fabulous scenery with walks to suit all abilities and superb hotel with excellent food and friendly service. Everything was so easy and stress-free once we were at the hotel. The walks were varied and descriptions clear on the whole. Transport to and from the walks where needed was excellent. I wouldn't recommend travelling via Zurich then train to Innsbruck. This took a very long time and meant ridiculously early starts both going and coming back. If possible I would recommend flights to Innsbruck which is only 40 minutes from the hotel rather than the 4 hours plus by train that we had from Zurich to the hotel.
Dear Mr Harris, Thank you for your lovely feedback, it sounds like you had a wonderful holiday overall. We would also like to thank you for your constructive comments regarding the travel time to resort. I am pleased to inform you that for the coming season, we will be offering flights into Innsbruck via Frankfurt; this will help cut the travel time by half. We are sure you will agree that this improvement will continue to enhance this holiday. We would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Yours sincerely, Headwater customer service team
Reviewed by Mrs Tulloch on 09/08/2013
The setting of the hotel is outstanding,beautiful mountains surrounding the valley in which the hotel sits. Good areas to sit and eat outside with a varied and tasty menu . Friendly , helpful staff. Rooms very spacious. The walking notes were very accurate. Would definitely go back.
Reviewed by Mr Roy on 26/07/2013
Every aspect of the Hotel Xander was excellent; lovely staff and food, with a wide selection at every meal, and a superb sauna/steambath/swimming pool complex to relax in after a day's walking. The only problem was that our room was not the upgrade that we booked, but on our return, this has been swiftly dealt with and our money refunded. Although we had the rep name and telephone number, it would have been nice if he had met us on arrival,or the first day, just to give us the benefit of his expertise of the area. The 'soft' walks were just right, with the option of public transport at the start or finish, on several days. Great scenery , especially the Seefeld High Mountain experience. Of course, the weather helps too, and it was warm and sunny, being perfect for walking. We only got wet once !!! Thanks for a super holiday.
Reviewed by Mrs McQuillan on 17/07/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and have a confidence in Headwater which makes the whole experience special. We would like to travel from HR or Bristol from now on. I suppose we have felt nervous when this company was bought by another and we sincerely hope it retains all the excellent features which we have come to rely on. For this particular holiday the picnics were dire and we did not eat them and would much have preferred to have taken our own sandwiches from the excellent breakfast. There was also a problem with the hot, glass dining room and the numerous flies! This is a problem they must sort out! Otherwise it was a joy to be in such beautiful surroundings with a luxurious 'wellness centre' to look forward to at the end of the day! Thank you,
Reviewed by Mr Hartley on 10/07/2013
Excellent base hotel in beautiful walking countryside. Interesting, adaptable walks.
Reviewed by Mr Pelling on 10/07/2013
Excellent location and walking routes, the only drawback was the extended and tedious travel arrangementa at both ends, a full day wasted on rail journeys where a local airport would have been more convenient.
Reviewed by Mr Doublet on 04/07/2013
Great location and selection of walks. The hotel accommodation was good with great service and food.
Reviewed by Mr Soutar on 21/06/2013
Lovely friendly hotel in a tranquil location with plenty of walking options and easy access to public transport. We were awed by the spectacular views and wonderful flower meadows. We really enjoyed our holiday and so thank you to all at Headwater and the Xander hotel
Reviewed by Mr McKenzie on 13/06/2013
Excellent choice of hotel in beautiful location. Good variety of walks for all levels of independent walkers.
Reviewed by Mrs Browning on 12/06/2013
A very enjoyable week, after the weather improved! Beautiful area and excellent walking - whatever your level. Also, the first-rate local public transport made getting around very easy on days when walking was not chosen.
Reviewed by Mrs Sharp on 29/09/2012
I'm not sure if by Representative youmean our taxi driver, Helmut, who was absolutely delightful and very helpful. The hotel was unaware that we were a party of four. We would have liked to have been offered the option to fly to Innsbruck where possible.
Reviewed by Mr Wells on 29/08/2012
The holiday was one of the best I've ever had. The Alpine walks are superb, up through beautiful woods and meadows with spectacular panoramas at the top of the towering grey mountains on the opposite side of each valley. Lake Lautersee is a joy. (On the other hand I did have a complete week of very warm sun to maximise the pleasure)
Reviewed by Dr Nickson on 07/08/2012
The walking notes were outstanding and they made it so easy. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday.
Reviewed by Mr Mayo on 23/07/2012
Very good holiday
Reviewed by Mrs Smith on 23/07/2012
The hotel staff were excellent; the walking was superb, with the bonus of a wonderful display of wild flowers.
Reviewed by Mr Masterman on 23/06/2012
To explain one criticism above, on arrival at the Hotel Xander on the wednesday, they thought we were arriving the following saturday. We assumed this was Headwater's error. It caused no problems however.
Reviewed by Mrs Honey on 16/06/2012
most enjoyable. Enjoyed the tranquil setting of the hotel.
Departure dates & prices
|May 2017 departures||Tour only|
|June 2017 departures||Tour only|
|July 2017 departures||Tour only|
|August 2017 departures||Tour only|
|September 2017 departures||Tour only|
Self-guided walking, single centre. Managed locally by hotelier.
Saturdays from 27 May '17 to 23 Sep '17, for 8 days (7 nights). Non-standard departures and extra/fewer nights are both possible, please call for details.
All buffet breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and all evening meals.
Starting your tour
Transfers included from Innsbruck train station at 15:23, and back to Innsbruck train station at 09:45
Enquire about this holiday
Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.