Known as Carinthia’s ‘mystic mountain’, the Dobratsch is exceptional in several ways. It was involved in the most severe earth-fall recorded in the Eastern Alps: the great landslide on 25 January 1348 is firmly etched into the region’s history – an event that transformed the Dobratsch into a habitat for rare flora and fauna. It also forms the gravitational centre of a region marked by a rich and long-standing cultural history.
Positioned at the intersection of three different cultures, the Dobratsch is surrounded by a dynamically structured landscape of valleys and mountains, whose distinctive character is best explored through hiking.
The Dobratsch Summit Trail initially takes you around the mountain in a half-circle (this part of the trek takes two days, and is characterised by a great scenic diversity). In the course of the two following days, you ascend to – and traverse – its majestic, 2166-metre peak.
Starting in Warmbad-Villach, the Dobratsch Summit Trail leads to the history-steeped mining village of Bad Bleiberg and the artists’ village of Nötsch im Gailtal – before taking you to the summit of the Dobratsch mountain and, via the Rosstratte pastures, back down to Warmbad-Villach.
This route allows you to approach the Dobratsch in a gradual manner – almost sneaking up on it – before the last two stages of the Trail take you deep into the heart of the Dobratsch Nature Reserve.
The highlight of this ‘short long-distance trail’ is the overnight stay at the ‘Gipfelhaus Dobratsch’ summit lodge, where you arrive after your long and taxing ascent from Nötsch. At the summit lodge – located almost at the very peak of the Dobratsch – you can rest your legs and enjoy the most stunning views over the lakes and valleys of Carinthia, the rugged mountains of the Julian Alps, Karawanken and Carnic Alps, the more gentle Gailtaler Alps and Nockberge mountain range, and even the glacier-capped mountains of the Hohe Tauern! A sunrise or sunset on the Dobratsch is an experience you’ll treasure forever.
The Dobratsch Summit Trail is a more challenging version of the Circular Dobratsch Trail (established by the Dobratsch Nature Reserve and local municipalities). In addition, the Summit Trail offers a fantastic combination of cultural landscapes (such as the ancient mining region of the Bleiberg Valley, with historical villages such as Nötsch or the adjacent village of Saak) and the exhilaration of a summit trek and overnight stay on top of a mountain. This makes for an amazingly versatile four-day trek – at the end of which you will understand why the Dobratsch is such a revered part of Central Carinthia.
The best travelling season for a hiking journey on the Dobratsch Summit Trail spans from the end of May to the beginning of October.
Spring (March, April, May): Certain high-altitude stages of the trail are not accessible before the end of May due to snow cover. The rest of the trail, however, offers a particularly appealing journey through the awakening natural world.
Summer (June, July, August): Refreshingly cool air at higher altitudes, while the heat in the valley can be alleviated by a revitalising dip into the waters of Carinthia’s swimming lakes.
Autumn (September, October, November): Crystal-clear air, vibrantly coloured forests and pleasantly cool temperatures. Hiking in autumn is a best-kept secret on the Dobratsch Rundwanderweg. However, premature winter weather (and even snowfall at higher altitudes) can interfere with your plans. By the end of October, the hiking season is officially over.
Winter (December, January, February): The Trail sections in Carinthia are not accessible during the winter months.
Experienced, sure-footed hikers will generally find the Dobratsch Summit Trail easy to moderate, though the summit ascent is slightly more demanding than, for example, the Alpe-Adria Trail. The route follows paths marked with the ‘blue dot’ and ‘red dot’ rating of the Austrian Alpine Association (signifying an ‘easy to medium’ level of difficulty). The slightly more challenging sections take the form of narrow pathways, steep ascents, rocky ground or surfaces with protruding roots. On the last stage of the Trail, he descent from the ‘Gipfelhaus Dobratsch’ Summit Lodge to the Rosstratte car park (along the ‘Jägersteig’ path) does require hikers to be free of vertigo – however, this section can simply be avoided by taking the gravel road instead.
In terms of endurance, the Dobratsch Summit Trail is somewhat more challenging: the route continuously undulates, with certain stages involving ascents of up to up to 1650 metres, while others encompass distances of up to 20 km. We therefore highly recommend some form of endurance training before setting out on your journey.
The Dobratsch Summit Trail is suitable for children aged 14 and up, provided they have very good stamina.
Our long-distance hiking and trekking routes are not generally geared towards persons with limited mobility. However, if you would like to discuss your options based on the degree and nature of a particular impairment, simply contact our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center.
Here you can find more information about the requirements.
Standard, low-alpine hiking gear suited to navigating unpaved paths will be sufficient for a journey on the Dobratsch Summit Trail.
See here Link for a detailed list of recommended equipment.
Hot tip: keep you day-backpack nice and light by taking advantage of our transport service, which delivers your heavy bag (up to 20 kg) to your next accommodation. For peace of mind, we recommend taking out luggage insurance.
For a closer look, check out the detailed information for each stage along the trail here. The times are average values and may vary depending on personal fitness, number and length of breaks, weather conditions, etc. In case of Self drive tours (overland) the drive times are based on our empirical values.show Stages
Feel free to load map material from Google maps.
Your accommodation options along the Trail are divided into three categories (regional rating):
Basic: Simple, clean, functional – inn, guesthouse or mountain lodge
Classic: Mid-range accommodation – 2-star or 3-star inn or hotel
Comfort: High-end accommodation – 4-star hotel, often with spa area
Children from 6 to 14 staying in their parents’ room are charged at a 35% discount (provided both adults pay full price)
Dogs incur a surcharge of around € 5 to € 20 (not including food), payable directly to your accommodation provider.
Our partner establishments offer three types of catering:
Breakfast: generous buffet, or hearty breakfast served at your table
Half-board: Breakfast and dinner (usually 3 courses)
Please enter any individual dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, food intolerances etc.) in the ‘comments’ box. Our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center will do their best to accommodate your request.
To make your hiking experience as pleasant as possible, we offer a convenient transport service:
Luggage transport: This allows you to hike with a light-weight day-backpack, while your main luggage (max. 20 kg) is transported to your next accommodation. (Please note that the ‘Gipfelhaus Dobratsch’ Summit Lodge on Stage 3 is exempt from this service - instead, your main luggage will be transported directly from Nötsch to the final destination of the Trail). For complete peace of mind, we recommend taking out luggage insurance.
Return shuttle: At the end of your journey, a collective transport service takes you from any Trail destination of your choice to your original departure point – regardless of whether this is the final destination of the Trail route, or whether you’ve selected to walk only a certain part of the Trail. This service is charged separately – however, on this particular route, the shuttle transfer from the Rosstratte car park to Warmbad-Villach is included your overall Trail package price.
Shuttle service: all shuttle transfers that are essential for the completion of your AAT journey are included in the mobility package. Additional shuttle services (for example in the event of bad weather, illness etc) can simply be requested at the Trail Info & Booking Center, though these will be charged separately.
In general, our long-distance hiking and trekking routes are not geared towards persons with limited mobility. However, if you would like to discuss your options based on the degree and nature of a particular impairment, simply contact our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center.
Walk like an Angel: Our experienced team at the Info & Booking Center offers a comprehensive range of services designed to support you in every aspect of your Trail journey.
All Angels’ Services are included in the package price, and encompass the following:
Trail Hotline: You are able to contact our experienced team for advice and practical support daily from 8:00 to 20:00.
Comprehensive travel information: To help you prepare for your Trail journey, we will send you a folder of expertly compiled information in plenty of time prior to your trip.
Guide (optional): Our certified mountain guides (German speakers with good English skills) are highly trained experts with excellent knowledge of the area and terrain. This is complemented by their extensive knowledge of the natural world and different cultures of the Alpe-Adria region – making a trek with one of our guides a safe as well as entertaining way to experience the Alpe-Adria Trail. All ancillary costs (i.e. the guide’s overnight stays, food and travel costs) are included in the overall GUIDE package.
For this Trail journey, you have three travel options (not included in the price) to reach your departure point:
By car: Parking is available at the beginning of each stage of the Trail – details can be found in your booking documents. The majority of car parks are free of charge and unmonitored (parking at your own risk). At the end of your Trail journey, our return transfer takes you back to your vehicle.
By train: We recommend travelling to the following IC/EC train station: Villach Hauptbahnhof (main station). In addition, the minor stations in Feistritz-an-der-Gail, Arnoldstein and Villach–Warmbad are close to the Dobratsch SummitTrail, and are connected via an S-Bahn railway network (for example, the S4 travels from Villach Hauptbahnhof to Villach-Warmbad in half-hour intervals)
By plane: We recommend the following international airports: Klagenfurt, Salzburg; Ljubljana.
A shuttle service (charged separately) is available to take you to the departure point of your Trail journey, and back to the station or airport of your choice. Our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center will be very happy to arrange this shuttle service at your request.
This is where Trail travellers find an especially warm welcome: ranging from 4-star spa hotels to simple B&Bs, our partner establishments have been hand-picked by our teams, and actively contribute to the development of the Trail.show partners
Here you will find all relevant information about your travel destination such as currency, entry requirements, food & drink, health and vaccinations and literature tips.Show Travel Information
Trail Information & Booking center, Travel Agent
Trail Angels GmbH
9821 Obervellach 15
We arrange your tour operator
Trail Angels GmbH
Obervellach 15, 9821 Obervellach, Österreich
Eintragungs-NR. Veranstalterverz. des bmwfi: 2016/0005
Tel: +43 4782 93093