(Zugspitze Tour) View from the Zugspitze
ZUGSPITZE TOUR (SELF-GUIDED)   4 stages, 1 rest day . 6 nights . Bavaria and the Tyrol   Booking

Zugspitze Tour
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Stretch out on a 4-stage circuit
+ Garmisch-Partenkirchen and smart Bavaria and Tyrol villages
+ Easy transport options around the famous Zugspitze

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

The summit of the Zugspitze (2,962m) is the highest point in Germany; the massif itself is the Wetterstein and is shared between Germany and Austria. Four main towns sit around the base of the mountain and we link them in a pleasing circuit of 4 stages: Garmisch-Partenkichen, Mittenwald, Leutasch and Ehrwald.

The terrain is predominantly forested and on lower open hillsides. Two highlights come in the form or narrow gorges, the Partnachklamm soon after leaving Garmisch and the Leutaschklamm after Mittenwald. Solid, sometimes precipitous, walkways take us high above the water.

We describe the four stages that make up the circuit and we also give an optional fifth routecard that describes a day's outing to the top of the Zugspitze. There is a cable car all the way from both the Ehrwald and Garmisch directions, plus a funicular railway that leaves you 430m below the summit for a difficult and loose final ascent that nevertheless avoids via ferrata or climbing.

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
ZSTsg Zugspitze Tour (Self-guided)
21 July to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Popular schedules
4 stages
(5 nights)

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Singles 125
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4 stages
1 rest day
(6 nights)
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Singles 150
Our main ZST
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5 stages
1 rest day
(7 nights)
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Singles 175
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6 stages
1 rest day
(8 nights)
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Singles 200
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Baggage transfer Please ask us


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. Choose from the many restaurants for a first dinner.
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.


We can adjust your Zugspitze Tour in various ways, as follows:

Slower treks
The Zugspitze Tour works in 5 or 6 stages, taking extra nights to spread out the walking. The bus and train links around the trail are excellent and we can book trips which stay 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.

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? Self-guided
Trip code: ZSTsg
Route: ZST Zugspitze Tour
(See our background page on the Zugspitze)
(Prefer Guided or the Adlerweg West?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
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)

Prices Summer 2019

4 stages and 1 rest day, per person:

ZSTsg Classic
GBP 720 (singles 150)
Zugspitze Tour (Self-guided)

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

Radler at Augustiner in Garmisch
Radler beer in Garmisch (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
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards ZST1-4 and ZSA1 of the Exploratory system
Maps and local information

Season for self-guided treks
21 July to 15 September 2019
19 July to 18 September 2020
Trek on your ideal dates

Optional ascent, Zugspitze
Optional ascent, Zugspitze (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

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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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