Winter walking vacation in Austria

“Follow winter trails in and around the Gschnitz and Obernbergtal valleys using the Tyrolean mountain village of Trins as a warm and welcoming base.”


Innsbruck | five guided walks | Gschnitz Valley | Obernbergtal Valley | Stubai Mountains | Trins | free day to explore at leisure |


Check dates, prices & availability

17 Dec 2016
US $ 925
excluding flights
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24 Dec 2016
US $ 1085
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14 Jan 2017
US $ 925
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11 Feb 2017
US $ 1055
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25 Feb 2017
US $ 1055
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Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Winter walking vacation in Austria

One of the strengths of this centre is the wealth of local contacts and that the clients feel that they are experiencing the true Tyrol. We have excellent working relationships with the tourist office, the local shop, winter equipment hire, the mountain huts and cafes, the bus drivers, the mountain rescue team and taxi firms.
By supporting the local community we are demonstrating how responsible tourism can still make a difference in a ‘developed’ area of Western Europe. The bonus for our clients is that they can see how they are supporting directly the local economy and the warm welcome they receive from the local inhabitants.

Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation for the week is in the family run Hotel Wienerhof in the Tyrolean village of Trins. The Wienerhof is a traditional Tyrolean inn and as such is a member of the "Tiroler Wirtshaus". This association exists to ensure that members maintain authentic Tyrolean cuisine with local influences. The focus is on local ingredients with proof of origin (AMA seal of approval), the diverse native culinary delights as well as down to earth Tyrolean ambience, coupled with good hospitality. For over 20 years, the initiative focuses on values such as seasonality and regionality.
The most basic elements of the initiative are the:
• love of Tyrolean cooking
• freshness of the produce sourced from local farms, rivers and forests
• particular emphasis on authentic atmosphere and architecture.
The atmosphere of a traditional Tyrolean inn can probably be best summed up by the expression "Tyrolean hospitality". The dishes prepared in every inn are based on traditional Tyrolean recipes.

Local Craft and Culture
Clients are encouraged to stop at mountain huts and restaurants and other local businesses, where our visit makes a valuable contribution to their trade. Some examples are:

We visit a typical Tyrolean farm during the week, where it is possible to sample their home-made produce, such as smoked ham, sausage, cheese, schnapps and liqueurs! There is also the opportunity to purchase the items sampled, providing additional income for a rural farming family. We also visit the animals in the barn to see how they live and are fed during the winter months. When there is a village event, such as a band concert, we make every effort to attend and are given a warm welcome!

We visit a former Servite monastery during the week, which is still owned and run by the order. Here is always time to visit the monastery church and some of the other special features of the site as well as enjoying the food and drink in the “refectory” style restaurant.
On the free day, many people visit the nearby city of Innsbruck, where it is possible to visit many interesting cultural sites, but the Tyrolean Folk Museum is one of the most popular!

Mountain Rescue
We hold evening talks and slide show by members of the local mountain rescue team. These talks are very well received by our clients. We have a collecting box in the hotel and last winter season collected € 400. This, along with the €800 collected in the summer, will go towards the purchase a replacement stretcher. This is one of the latest state of the art mountain rescue stretchers – the team leader is delighted!
Exodus clients are the biggest contributors to the Steinach / Gschnitztal Mountain Rescue Team. Since starting, on a small scale, in the winter of 2011/12, we have collected a total of €5,525 for the mountain rescue team!

Our resident leader was, recently highly honoured to be presented with an “Ehrenurkunde” (a certificate of commendation) signed by the head of the mountain rescue service for the Tyrol. This is apparently a highly unusual event, especially for a foreigner, and required considerable justification.

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