Munich to Venice - how tough is the Traumpfad?

One of the first question's most people ask before deciding to go on a trek like Munich to Venice is 'can I do it?'.

To be honest I had a bit of a 'discussion' on this issue with Cicerone who felt that only the experienced should attempt a walk across the Alps.  The trouble was this didn't fit with the sort of people I met on my transalpine journey many of whom had never done a long distance hike before.   All sorts of walkers were doing the trip: lots of young people with very little money; lots of older people, particularly the recently retired on their first post-work adventure; and, as well as couples, lots of single people, including solo women.  It wasn't hiking experience that these people had in common, it was a sense of adventure.
A sense of adventure the key requirement

Ludwig Grassler designed Munich to Venice route for any 'able-bodied walker'.  You do however need to be reasonably fit and have a head for heights. It's a 30 days walk and you'll be carrying around seven kilogrammes for around seven hours and climbing an average of 1000 metres a day. There are also some exposed stretches of walking although these are invariably supported by cables.
Cables everywhere it's tough
In addition to a sense of adventure, reasonable level of fitness and a head for heights, you also need to be sensible.  Walking at 2000 metres in the sunshine is one thing, walking in a summer thunderstorm or even snow is another.  As well as having waterproofs, warm clothes and the ability to navigate when visibility is low (a smartphone loaded with GPS in a waterproof container) you to know your limitations, take weather advice and act accordingly.
Summer in the Alps!
What makes the Munich to Venice accessible to a wide range of walkers is the hiking infrastructure. On the alpine stretch, more than two-thirds of the total route, accommodation is available is mountain huts (like youth hostels) which mean's camping experience isn't necessary, loads are light and, if the weather is bad, there is somewhere safe to stay.  The routes of well marked, getting lost is relatively difficult, and the exposed stretches, as mentioned already, have ladders and cables by way of assistance.  When it comes to helping ordinary walkers go to extraordinary places nowhere in the world compares to the Alps.
Mountain huts everywhere - the Karwendal Haus
So don't be put off, if you have a sense of adventure and want to do something special, then next summer get on a plane to Munich, find the Marienplatz and start walking south.

If you want to buy my guide to the Traumpfad follow this link to the Cicerone website


  1. Dear John, it's a pleasure to read your blog. my Name is Thair Abud, I live i Austria. I already walked from my home City Graz / Austria to Finisterre / Spain 3.250 km and from Graz to Salalah / Oman 8670 km. more about me, you kindly find my blog and on FB Thair Abud. It will be a pleasue for me to Keep in contact with you.

    Best regards and a happy new year

    Thair Abud

  2. Hello John. I recently came upon your post regarding the Carnic way along the Via Alpina. It was the most informative piece of info on the hike and showcases the stunning scenery we are hoping to enjoy.I am hoping that you will contact me regarding the stretch between the Neue Porze hut and the Hochweissteinhaus. We are planning to hike the Carnic way in july 2017. We are both in our 50's, fit and have hiked the Alta Via one. We are concerned about the 'exposure' on the above stretch of the Carnic Way and hope you could expand on that for us. Many thanks I hope to hear from you!

    1. Hi Andrew

      I'm currently writing a guide for the KH so know it really well. There are a couple of cable assisted stretches one of which pulls you up a short chimney but it's really not difficult. For the last hour you can either go straight across the valley or take a contouring route round it, go straight across the valley! The day is the best day on the whole KH, and definitely not to be missed.

  3. Hello, I have been looking for a guide for the Carnic way and not found one - when will yours be ready? We have a two week window in September (weekend to weekend to include flights and travel out and back) and were hoping to come up with appropriate starting and finishing points to make full use of the time available (12-13 days walking) I just wondered if from your knowledge of the terrain and research for the guide whether any itinerary springs to mind? (We have recently done the GR10 and GR52/GR5 so used to full days). Also if you knew of any web sites that might help - (getting to grips with the red Via Alpina one but not obvious where to start and finish) We should be grateful for any input at all - cheers! Jane

    1. Hi Jane

      My guide will be out next year. You can definitely walk the whole walk in 2 weeks starting at Sillian and finishing at Arnoldstein. There are however lots of options,lots of local variants and plenty of different ways off the walk.


  4. Hello,

    I will do Munich To Venice trek with friends (without a guide), on august. In the book with the reference: CICERONE, they said about charges "A reasonable rule of thumb is to budget 50 euros a day". I precise that it's not an organized trek. So for me 50euros a day is very expensive. Please, do you know how much is the price of the hostel (without eat in)?
    Thank you in advance.


    1. Hi Fariza

      Glad you've chosen to hike Munich to Venice, it's a great trek and you will enjoy it. Rates do vary a bit but if you join the Alpine club you get half rate on a place in the dormitory which is usually around 12 euros. Expect to pay extra for a shower and some alpine huts even charge for charging the phone. It's the same everywhere in the Alps I'm afraid, it's not a cheap place to hike. Half-board is usually around 30 euros and you will probably get away with making a sandwich for lunch if your careful.

      Have a great trip and send me some photos.