Hardly anywhere in the world is there a similar variety of farmed alpine pastures than in the idyllic Großarltal in Salzburg. This high valley stretches from the world-famous Liechtenstein Gorge in St. Johann/Pongau to the impressive valley behind the Hüttschlag National Park community. Surrounded by a fantastic mountain panorama and a fine ski- and ski tour area in winter, the valley of the alpine pastures offers everything that makes the heart of hikers and alpine “wild swimmers” beat faster. Thus, it is ideal as a base camp for adventure-intensive alpine swimming and hiking holidays. In addition, our accommodation, the centrally located and family-run “Gästehaus Anna”, spoils you with comfortable rooms and apartments and a popular, rich breakfast buffet.
General information below in the article or directly to the infobox with detailed program, dates, prices, and booking link.
Sunset swimming & Refreshment on the “Ellmaualm”
To get in the mood, to swim in, to meet group members and to use the SWACKS (a combination of hiking backpack and swimming buoy), we start our time together with a half hour hike to the “Trögseen” and swim there into the sunset. Afterwards , the program of the next days will be discussed during a hearty alpine snack.
This program is adapted daily to the needs and wishes of the group, as well as to the prevailing weather conditions, water levels, etc. Subsequently, some of the activities and goals in question are presented here. Their actual implementation, their order etc. is always decided together on site. For all our tours, the safety of our guests has the highest priority. Therefore, the tours are accompanied by trained mountain guides and water guards and additionally secured by our innovative swimming buoys provided. After all, we do not just want to marvel at the alpine waters that we hike, but also swim safely.
From “Valley-Inn” to “Valley-End” and to “Schödersee” or “Kreealm-Waterfall”
The “Valley-Inn” in Hüttschlag is the starting point of our easy hike into the water-rich “Valleys-End”. At a small bridge over the “Großarler Ache” there is a first beautiful swimming area. Depending on the condition and resistance to cold, swimming in the natural countercurrent system can be shorter or longer.
Only a few minutes’ walk above this bathing and picnic area we find the crystal clear “Ötzlsee”. No wonder that fly-fisherman like this place too. But with some mutual consideration, we Wildswimmer come here at our expense. At the “Ötzlsee” we decide whether we want to start the approximately one and a half hour hike to “Schödersee”.
The “Schödersee” is a so-called periodic mountain lake. Lakes of this type occur – as the name suggests – only periodically. Whether the “Schödersee gives us the honor” depends on the snow range of the last winter, the course of the snowmelt and/or the precipitation of the preceding days and weeks.
The “Schödersee” is so to speak a “lake without guarantee”. But if the “Schödersee” truly lives up to its name, it is a unique experience to swim in crystal-clear water over blooming alpine meadows.
If we do not start the hike to the “Schödersee”, or instead meet only on an alpine meadow, we can still make a detour to the “Kreealm waterfall” on the way back to the “Valley-Inn” and refresh ourselves there once again with a wave pool. Rounding off our trip to “Valleys End” with a visit to the “Valley-Inn”. Here you can visit a remarkable exhibition of the “Hohe Tauern National Park ” on the topic “On the Alm – Between Heaven and Earth” and taste excellent local specialties.
Hike to “Schuhflickersee” and “Paarseen”
Immediately after breakfast, we shoulder our SWACKS filled with swimming gear and snack and make our way to “Schuhflickersee”. Depending on your ambition and condition we take a “summit victory” at the “Schuhflicker” or avoid this legendary mountain in order to get more comfortable to the equally legendary “Schuhflickersee” and to swim it. According to legend, this has an underground connection to the distant “Tappenkarsee”. So a wooden cartwheel, which is sunk in “Schuhflickersee”, to have reappeared in Tappenkarsee. Legendarily beautiful then also our further hike to the “Paarseen”. Once we have arrived at the “Lower Paarsee”, we will swim through it, or at least swim it, before we pay a visit to the “Upper Paarsee.”
Even though the time seems to stand still, at some point it is time to return via the swinging lawn. Could be quite, that we interrupt our hike for one or the other retreat in the mountain huts …
On water as on land a pleasure – the “Tappenkarsee”
Past this rustic pasture, this impressive circular walk takes us to one of the largest mountain lakes in the Eastern Alps. Especially on this tour, our SWACK performs best. After all, we shorten a good deal of the way by crossing the “Tappenkarsee.”
In doing so, our SWACK takes over a safety function through the buoyancy that it offers if necessary and, thanks to its “transport capacity”, makes it possible to transport the hiking equipment over the water in a dry manner, without having to return to the entry point later.
“Seilbahneering”, hiking, mirroring & swimming: “Spiegelsee”
The panorama lift of the Grossarler Bergbahnen takes you comfortably and effortlessly heavenwards. Then follows a leisurely panoramic hike over to “Dorfgastein”, where perched on the “Fulseck” the so-called “mirror lake”. Actually created as a snow pond for the winter, this is so perfectly integrated into the landscape, that it could almost be considered a “real” mountain lake. Whether artificial or natural – the promising swimming pleasure does not detract from this …
Why you should definitely treat yourself to this hiking-swimming getaway:
because the Grossarl Valley, as a valley of pastures, offers an excellent backdrop for alpine hiking and swimming vacations
because the fascinating combination of hiking and alpine swimming is not offered anywhere else
because you are looked after here by mountain guides, waterers and experienced open water swimmers because the SWACKS is a unique and innovative combination of hiking backpack for comfort
because you will take home unforgettable memories from these days!
Small groups, limited availability. Therefore: book now!