Gaisberg has a special meaning to me, as the mountain of my many “firsts”: first time exploring the region outside of the city, first proper hike in Austria, first opportunity to make new friends, and the first decent view from an apartment I can call my own.
Situated just outside of the city center, Gaisberg is probably the most universal hiking choice among tourists and locals. It is accessible on foot and easily via public transit. The hiking trails leading to the top range in difficulty and length, which makes Gaisberg as good of an option for families with children, as for beginner hikers or even trail runners who are looking for a quick workout.
Not sure if my first experience with Gaisberg in February can count as hiking – I took a bus 151 until hotel/restaurant Zistelalm. Together with a group of other avid city explorers we opted for a Rundwanderweg at first – an easy yet scenic walk around the mountain. After some consideration, a bunch of us decided to reach the top – this was quite a pleasant, 30-minute-long hike (up in snow but trust me – we did not feel the cold at all).
I returned to Gaisberg only in May. A friend of mine and I decided to do a quick after-work hike on a Friday afternoon. We chose route #13 (middle level of difficulty) which altogether took around 3 hours to complete from the bottom to the top. This route begins at the end stop of the bus #6 in Koppl.
The initial route was an asphalt road – a rather relaxing stroll through Salzburg’s countryside with pretty much nothing in sight besides cows and meadows. After around an hour we reached Die Gersberg Alm and – let’s put it this way – our heart rates went significantly up from that point onwards. The small paths in the woods were quite a challenge, especially when it started drizzling and the mud squished underneath our feet. We reached the peak just in time for the thunderstorm to begin. Sadly enough, we were not rewarded with a view other than that of the TV antenna on top and fog everywhere around. We chose a safe way down the road.
Another option is to reach Gaisberg via Nockstein – this route takes around 1h peak-to-peak. You reach the Gasiberg Rundwanderweg and then can continue straight to the top.
For now – Gaisberg is there every time I look outside of the window.
For more available routes, please consult Salzburg’s website.