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which option-Zell am See area or Val Gardena area is better for easy walking in beautiful mountains?

We are traveling to Austria, spend 4 days to visit a dear friend in Innsbruck and then have about 5-6 days to travel in some beautiful mountainous area. We are in our 70s, can walk 2-3 miles, maximum 4 miles at a stretch on preferably level walks, (a little slope is ok.) Since both Zell am See area and Val Gardena area in the Dolomites is about 2-3 hours by train or car, and both seem to have beautiful mountains, we would like some input about which area and place to choose from these two options. Are there cable cars to go up the mountains and then walk on a relatively flat trails that we can walk in both places?
I am considering Zell am See because I can see Krimml Falls which is a short train ride from Zel am See. I have heard of a beautiful trail up to the falls and would love to go there.

And I have also heard a lot about walking in and around St. Kristina, surrounded by mountains in Val Gardena in the Dolomites .
Or any other completely different area near Saltzburg will also be ok too..

Can you please suggest a quiet village setting to relax and walk surrounded by beautiful scenery? Please write at your earliest convenience since we need to make reservations before leaving on September 5th, just 2 weeks away. We appreciate your help in choosing a beautiful place.

Posted by
631 posts

you may have missed something obvious. Zell am See is at the side of a large lake (hence the name) and lakes are always flat! Val Gardena (and almost all that region) is beautiful but the word flat has never been used!

I think Zell would be a good choice, it's easy to reach from Innsbruck by train, surrounded by mountain scenery but with walkable terrain around the lake. It also has good links to Salzburg if you needed a rainy day trip.

check out Zell hotels' own websites, many offer package rates for halb-pension (dinner, room, breakfast) which may not be available through the usual booking agents.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for your prompt reply. Can we take a cable car to go into the mountains and walk there? We have done some beautiful flat or not too steep trails like this near Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. We don't want to just walk around the lake surrounded by crowds.

Posted by
97 posts

Hi there,

I am going to Val Gardena in September and I cannot wait. I've done all sorts of research and it looks amazing. Also, there's a poster on this forum that just wrote a book about the Val Gardena area. She is in her 60s and the book is for hikes (walks) in the Val Gardena area including recommendations for restaurants, lodging and other activities. All the hikes (walks) are on the less active side for families or those wanting a lower key activity.