Then you have reached the Mulchenhütte on Alp Lauiboden and everyday life is far behind you.

Then you have reached the Mulchenhütte on Alp Lauiboden and everyday life is far behind you.

Then you have reached the Mulchenhütte on Alp Lauiboden and everyday life is far behind you.

This day is something very special for Martin Gstrein’s guests, after all, the Wildspitze, the highest mountain in the Ötztal Alps, is on the program. The 3772 meter high summit is technically not too demanding, but all climbs lead over partly cracked glaciers that can only be climbed with the appropriate equipment and experience – or with the company of a mountain guide. Willy, Andreas, Manuela and Uli love the mountains and are hiking every day during their holiday in the Ötztal, but only on easy paths and climbs. They have already walked through tens of huts and climbed some promising peaks. But glaciated mountains have been taboo so far, as hikers they lack the experience.

More about hiking:

Photo show: Glacier hiking in the Ötztal Alps Extreme hiking: 900 kilometers on foot through Germany Five Alpine hiking trails that are really worthwhile Alpine summer 2012: hiking, feasting, meeting herdsmen

"Just take a big step and nothing will happen"

The Ötztal mountain guide, whose security and calm radiates to the group, has that. And so, after a short acclimatization phase, the guests trudge almost routinely with the crampons over the huge ice flow of the Taschachferner and enjoy a mountain and glacier world that they were previously only able to admire from below. Now they stand in the middle of it for the first time and look fascinated, but also a little fearful into a dark, deep hole. "Watch out, just take a big step over the crevice and nothing happens."

Carelessness claims victims every year

Martin knows the Taschachferner and its dangers. "We have crevasses every year" he tells "and yet there are always mountaineers who go without a rope." Whereby many have more luck than sense: "Some come to the hut and say that they have sunk into the soft snow. They were already in the crevice with one foot."

The Wildspitze is one of the most popular mountain destinations in Austria and is repeatedly underestimated. On the other hand, you don’t have to do without the summit even if you don’t have the appropriate alpine experience. The local mountain guides offer daily tours to the elegant double summit, the corresponding equipment can be borrowed free of charge. "The mountain guides used to be at the hut for 14 days at a time and took the guests up to the Wildspitze" Alexander Scheiber remembers, who has been managing the Breslauer Hütte for many years. The stately stone building at 2844 meters above sea level is the ideal base for the usual ascent from the mountaineering village of Vent over the Mitterkarjoch.

Mountain guides give important tips

With every meter towards the summit, the view becomes more impressive – and the air thinner. "Go slowly but steadily" Martin explains the trick of running as effortlessly as possible even at these heights. After all, he wants to bring his guests safely and above all the entire group to the summit. With success, after one last steep section everyone stands proudly next to the summit cross of the Wildspitze. For Martin everyday life – and yet he is happy: "It is always nice when people experience something that goes beyond their imagination". And for Willy, who had wanted to stand on the highest peak in Tyrol at least once since his first visit to the Ötztal, a dream has finally come true. Further information:

Mountain guide: A tour with a mountain guide on the Wildspitze costs from 90 euros / person depending on the group size, with a private mountain guide 300 euros (plus expenses).

Mountain schools: Alpin School Alpin Guide,; Alpin Sport Center Ötztal,; Mountain sports and adventure school Sölden,; Mountain guide office in Vent,

Just walking from alpine pasture to alpine pasture is monotonous? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. There is a lot going on in the alpine pastures. A short course in "Kasn" Stirring butter together, storing straw à la Heidi and adventures on the Milky Way – in the alpine summer 2012, hiking holidays with an adventurous character are all the rage. We have put together worthwhile holiday destinations in Austria, South Tyrol and Switzerland in our photo show.

Salzburger Almenweg

Enjoyable hiking in the valley of the alpine pastures: under the sign of the gentian, the Salzburger Almenweg leads over 350 kilometers and 120 alpine pastures through the Pongau mountains. But don’t worry: The Almenweg is a long-distance hiking trail without alpine extremes. Most of the route leads over mountain meadows between 1000 and 2000 meters above sea level. There is time to pause and enjoy the mountain scenery of Dachstein, Tennengebirge, Hochkönig and the ice-covered three-thousand-meter peaks of the Hohe Tauern. A leisurely three-day Almenweg tour starts in Grossarltal, for example: on the shores of the mystical Tappenkarsee, the largest mountain lake in the Eastern Alps, hikers listen to the legends that surround the water. On the rustic Draugsteinalm, they learn in a short course "Kasn on the Alm" how hard it is to earn a piece of cheese.

Hohe Tauern National Park

Delicacies for hiking gourmets: a total of 19 holiday resorts make up the Hohe Tauern National Park holiday region in the Salzburg region. In addition to scenic attractions, Europe’s first organic model region is also rich in culinary summit experiences. You can leisurely hike from alpine pasture to alpine pasture, enjoy the views and stop off at one or the other hut. Pinzgauer Almschmankerl is available, for example, at the Senningerbräualm in Hollersbachtal. The Hohe Tauern Pleasure Trail is the culinary one "Summit experiences" on the trail in the valley: eleven selected, different establishments tempt you to "good taste" – from the elegant gourmet restaurant to a small private brewery to the 500-year-old Schwaigerlehen farm.

Other beautiful hiking destinations in Europe

The best hiking trails in Germany Hike in the Pyrenees: GR 10 – the "Anti-Camino de Santiago" Hiking in the Canary Islands: The most beautiful tours in Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera Hiking in the most beautiful Cyclades islands The most beautiful hiking trails in the Alps

Alp Lauiboden

Heidi playing on vacation: the journey through time from Flumserberg in Switzerland only takes half an hour by car. Then you have reached the Mulchenhütte on Alp Lauiboden and everyday life is far behind you. In this corner of Switzerland, the clock must have been turned back at least a hundred years: There is no electricity in the original Schilstal, people cook over an open fire, and a kerosene lamp provides light. The water flows in the well in front of the house, the toilet is shared with the dairymen and people sleep on the straw. The dairymen also provide fresh alpine products such as cheese, butter and milk – and are also happy to have help with work. The only thing missing is the Almöhi stepping into the parlor.

Mieming high plateau

Adventure on the Alm: In Austria, numerous family hotels have moved a large part of their children’s program to an Alm. For example the Landhotel Stern in Obsteig on the Mieming high plateau in Tyrol. The historic Tyrolean inn has made contact with nature its motto. Whether you are having a picnic on the spacious meadows, swimming in the beautiful mountain lakes, climbing and hiking or while "Hay snoring" in the Heusstadl. The high point for young and old is the night on the alpine pasture. Everyone collects wood, makes a fire, pitch the tents and fetch water from the stream. And in the morning before breakfast, the cows are milked together with the shepherds themselves – milk couldn’t be fresher.

Fane Alm in the Eisack Valley

Alpine experiences on the Milky Way: only every two years at the milk festival on the Fane Alm in the Eisack Valley, the hiking trails turn into the Milky Way. Different stations tell interesting facts about milk. It’s about customs and superstition in the Alpine region, about stories and mythologies about milk, about milk in cosmetics and the question of how cheese, mozzarella and ricotta are made. And how do the holes get in the cheese anyway? With so much theory, of course, practice should not be missing: Samples all about milk beckon – Kasnocken, jacket potatoes with cheese, quark and butter, Kasbrettl, curd cheese strudel, Kaiserschmarren, rice pudding and pot cake.

Further information

At, those interested can determine their type of hike and then search for suitable offers sorted by federal state; Pleasure hiking in the Valley of the Alms: Salzburger Almenweg: Salzburger Land Tourismus, Postfach 1, A-5300 Hallwang near Salzburg, Tel. 0043 / 662 / 6688-44,,; Grossarltal: The three-day hike with four overnight stays with breakfast (two in the valley, two in an alpine summer hut), snack and transfer with the hiking taxi to the starting point costs from 115 euros per person in a holiday apartment or in a shared room ( Delicacies for hiking gourmets: Hohe Tauern National Park, Tel. 0043/6562/40939, Seven overnight stays on the organic farm, pleasure hike, delicacy menu, guided tour through the Hollersbach herb garden, entry to the National Park Worlds and Krimml Waterfalls cost 239 euros per person in a double room. "High Tauern pleasure trail": Three nights in a three-star hotel with breakfast, a hike with a national park ranger, a visit to the brewery with beer tasting at the Anton Wallner Bräu in Krimml, a visit to the Pietzer chocolate factory in Mittersill and two gourmet menus from 179 euros per person. Playing Heidi on vacation: Heidiland Tourismus, Tourist Office Flumserberg, CH-8898 Flumserberg, Tel. 0041/81 / 72018-18,, An overnight stay at the Mulchenhütte costs 60 francs per day, from three days onwards 50 francs per day; Adventure Alm: Landhotel Stern, A-6416 Obsteig am Mieminger Sonnenplateau, Tel. 0043/5264/8101, Family summer offer: seven nights with half board, family program costs from 995 euros for two adults and up to three children under the age of twelve. Alpine experiences on the Milky Way: Südtirol Marketing Gesellschaft, Pfarrplatz 11, I-39100 Bozen, Tel. 0039/0471 / 9999-99,;

When thinking of llamas, most people probably don’t think of exciting trekking or leisurely hiking in Germany first. Rather, associations of cheeky, spitting, wool-draped animals that originally come from the Andes are awakened. But even in Germany’s landscapes – from the Alps to the Rhön – there are now more and more active activities with the South American camels, ranging from short hiking tours to multi-day trekking tours to artistic courses. See llamas, country and people in action in our photo show.

Llama hiking in Germany
Photo series with 6 pictures

The essence of the lamas

More and more farms keep llamas instead of cows or pigs and thus offer activities from taster hikes to llama painting courses. The slender four-legged friends from the Andes are calm and good-natured pets that are loved by children in South America, like cats and dogs in this country. Lately the frugal animals, which have a balancing and relaxing effect on people due to their friendly nature, are also spreading more and more in Germany. Around 5000 llamas are now kept nationwide. You can meet them in the most varied of ways.

Adventure farm in Ostallgäu

It is often farmers who earn extra income in Germany by breeding llama. Like Christa and Daniel Frick from Nesselwang, who not only keep a dozen horses, a few pension cows and two cats, but also twelve llamas on their farm. Who on the "Lama adventure courtyard" Moves into his holiday quarters, who can experience the everyday life of the South American animals up close every day.

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