(Zugspitze Tour) Schloss Hotel in Elmau, on the way from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Mittenwald
ZUGSPITZE TOUR (GUIDED)   4 stages, 1 rest day . 6 nights . Bavaria and the Tyrol   Booking

Zugspitze Tour
Guided trekking holiday

+ A modest 4-stage circuit of the Zugspitze
+ Comfortable hotels in these Bavarian and Tyrolian villages
+ Walk with our groups and leaders

Latest news September 2019
Please ask us about a trip. We are now taking bookings for our 2020 season. Thank you!

Trek a circuit of the Zugspitze (2,962m), the highest point in Germany. We link the four main towns that surround the Zugspitze: Garmisch-Partenkichen, Mittenwald, Leutasch and Ehrwald.

The terrain is predominantly forested and on lower open hillsides, through meadows and along country lanes. Two highlights come in the form or narrow gorges, the Partnachklamm and the Leutaschklamm. Solid, sometimes precipitous, walkways take us high above the water in both of these gorges.

Your leader takes the group on four stages that make up the circuit. We include a fifth day�s outing, optional for those who wish, to the top of the Zugspitze. There is a funicular railway that takes us to 430m below the summit, from where it is difficult and loose final ascent that nevertheless avoids via ferrata or climbing, or a cable car to the summit.

Your accommodation is based on the friendly family-run hotels that typify the Bavarian Alps and the Tyrol; wood panelling and carefully presented breakfasts are common.


Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's Zugspitze Tour walking holiday


Alpine Exploratory
ZSTg Zugspitze Tour (Guided)
21 July to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Scheduled guided trips
4 stages
1 Zugspitze day
(6 nights)
Private trips only
Singles 150
Main ZST
Private trips only
Private guided trips
4 stages
(5 nights)

Please ask
Singles 125
Please ask
5 stages
1 Zugspitze day
(7 nights)
Please ask
Singles 175
Please ask
Baggage transfer 150


Here is our normal schedule of 4 stages with 1 extra day.

Arrival day: Arrival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Evening arrival in Garmisch. This is a bustling town that blends its functions as a ski/outdoors resort with a local town. The group dines out in a restaurant.
Hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Stage 1: Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Mittenwald
Blue3 grade, 23km with 660m ascent, 455m descent
We start from Garmisch through the local gorge called Partnachklamm, tall and deep. The path climbs to the open hillside for views and then dives into woodland, stretching out to the Ferchensee and Lautersee. These two lakes give a charming descent into Mittenwald. Painted houses line the bustling main street and there are plenty of dining options.
Hotel in Mittenwald

Stage 2: Mittenwald to Weidach in Leutasch
Blue2 grade, 14.5km with 250m ascent, 60m descent
Our shorter second stage - into Austria - has the highlight of the Leutaschklamm. New metal walkways, entirely solid, allow an improbable course high above the gorge (head for heights needed). Flatter wood and meadow trails lead to the spread-out, relaxed, villages that make up Leutasch. This valley is popular for health ('wellness') retreats.
Hotel in Weidach in Leutasch

Stage 3: Weidach in Leutasch to Ehrwald
Red3 grade, 21km with 540m ascent, 540m descent
We walk West to Gaistalalm and the top of the Ehrwald cable car (optional to save the descent), straight along the Southern flank of the Zugspitze. The mountain looms above especially in the second half of the walk. Ehrwald is a ski and mountain town at a junction of valleys.
Hotel in Ehrwald

Stage 4: Ehrwald to Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Red3 grade, 22km with 640m ascent, 930m descent
Our last stage re-enters the woods, climbing steadily to a viewpoint over the Eibsee, a lake in the valley above Garmisch. A cable car option via the Zugspitze summit is a way to cut the distance and see the high views. Back into Germany the gentle walk down into Garmisch-Partenkirchen completes our circuit.
Hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Optional day: Ascent of the Zugspitze
Black2 grade, 1.5km with 430m ascent, 30m descent
The last 430m of the Zugspitze's height has a path on scree and a ridge, popular as the sharp end of the ascent from Garmisch. Taking the funicular railway to the glacier ski area (a popular day trip in its own right, with a cable car continuing to the summit) lets us start this ascent without the 2-day ascent from Garmisch. The difficulty is substantially higher than the Zugspitze Tour itself, calling for confidence on loose and steep ground. It is not a via ferrata but at some points metal handrails and cables help on the steep zigzagging path. Snow patches can linger into Summer. Descend the Zugspitze by cable car and train to complete a super day.
Hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Departure day: Departure from Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Departure from Garmisch after a great breakfast. Trains run to Munich one way or Innsbruck and further into Austria in the other; we love to advise on Alpine travel.

Our usual schedule of accommodation might not be available, especially if there is not much time between booking and your trip. We book accommodation as closely as possible to this itinerary and present a schedule for you to check before we proceed.

Baggage transfer

Let us carry your bag among the stops. Leave your bag at reception each morning and it will be delivered to your next hotel. Please ask for more details.


Please feel free to skip the second night in Garmisch at the end, if you prefer not to take the Zugspitze ascent and would rather move on. This would be our 4-stage, 5-night trip.

If you join us as a private group instead of joining our scheduled treks, then we can adjust your Zugspitze Tour in various ways.

Slower treks
The Zugspitze Tour works in 5 or 6 stages, taking extra nights to spread out the walking. As well as breaking up the stages, we can book multiple nights in one village.

Combining with the Adlerweg
The Zugspitze Tour's stage between Leutasch and Ehrwald coincides with the Adlerweg, the long-distance trek through the Austrian Tyrol. At Ehrwald, stay on the trail to St. Anton which is 5 days away. Or, join at Innsbruck and walk to Leutasch in 2 days.

The Zugspitze
Incorporate the Zugspitze, whether by cable car or by the final ascent on foot, into one of your trek days instead of as an extra day.
Of course, on a private trip you can come on the dates that suit you. Except for the composition of the group and the dates, everything else is the same as on our scheduled trips.

Zugspitze Tour (Self-guided) - more options here

The route

Our approach to the Zugspitze Tour
Our trip gives a complete circuit on foot from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, along our Zugspitze Tour. On completion you will also have walked a section of the long-distance trail the Adlerweg through the Austrian Tyrol. On the trek itself, no transport is taken except for any that you would like to add in, to skip certain sections of valley walking or to descend by cable car. The routecards explain these places; none are necessary to complete the route. We offer an optional day to climb the Zugspitze from the highest point reachable on public transport � other than the summit itself � which is a difficult 430m ascent. This Zugspitze ascent involves the funicular railway or cable car, payable locally.

The Zugspitze Tour�s terrain is at the gentler end of the spectrum of Alpine walking, staying below the 1,600m contour on our main route. Much of the distance is completed on forest paths and tracks. There are stretches on good, solid, mountain paths with hardpack � or mud � and occasional roots and rocky steps. Completing the picture, we also walk on tarmac country lanes.

The optional day to climb the final 430m to the Zugspitze summit (2,962m) is at a different grade altogether � we give it our Black2 grade for the highest difficulty of terrain on our routes � and suits those who are comfortable on loose and steep paths including scree and narrow ridges.

The Zugspitze Tour has no via ferrata or climbing sections and is a trek throughout..

How to get there

Your holiday starts and finishes in the mountain town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Munich is the most convenient airport, with quick trains to Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Innsbruck airport also works, with a good train link, but has fewer flights.

Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.

Key information Summer 2019

Trip name: Zugspitze Tour
Guided or self-guided? Guided
Trip code: ZSTg
Route: ZST Zugspitze Tour
(See our background page on the Zugspitze)
(Prefer Self-guided or the Adlerweg West?)
Group size: 4 to 8 people
Length: 4 days' trekking, 1 rest day
Start: Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany
End: Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany
Typical walk: 20km, 525m ascent
Total distance: 79.5km or 49.5 miles
Highest altitude: 1,590m
Grade: Red3 plus Black2 on the Zugspitze ascent day (Walking grades)

Dates Summer 2019

Scheduled trips 2019
Please join our guided trip:

ZSTg1 20 to 26 July 2019
Guided by leader to be announced
Book (Spaces)
Leaders at Alpine Exploratory

Private trips 2019
Please join us any time in our season from
21 July to 15 September 2019

Scheduled trips: Starting 11 July
Season: 19 July to 18 September 2020

Research Summer 2019

Keith Miller at Alpine ExploratoryAlpine Exploratory's 2019 research on the Zugspitze Tour will be led by:
Keith Miller in July

Recces 2019

An Austrian Airlines plane at Salzburg
Austrian Airlines, Salzburg (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

6 nights, staying in:
4-star hotels (3)
3-star hotels (3)

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 1 evening meal
Guided trekking with your IML

The UIMLA logo An IML leads your trek

The IML is the award to lead treks in Bavaria and the Tyrol

The IML award

The Zugspitze massif from the valley near Garmisch
Zugspitze massif from the valley (Photo gallery)

The Zugspitze in the wider Alps

Map of the Zugspitze within the Alps

Our city information included in your info pack:
Munich, Innsbruck, Zurich, Salzburg

City breaks after trekking

Find out more

About our walking holidays Our FAQs page covering equipment, weather, insurance and more about how our trips work

Walking guides Our background page on the
    Zugspitze area

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Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.
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