For many hikers, an alpine crossing is a long-cherished dream. Not only the classic long-distance trail from Munich to Venice but also the route E5 leads from valley to valley and from peak to peak. Within 6 days, the crossing leads alongside the most famous and most popular section of the trail from Oberstdorf to Meran.
In the first 4 days, we follow the "classic" E5, then we continue on an alternate route to Meran. We cross three countries within six days whereby the alpine world around us changes within hours. Altogether, we master 4950 m in altitude upwards and 6470 m descent and walk 106 km.
There are lots of possibilites for sleeping over and getting food supplies along the way. The accommodations can be chosen between huts and hotels. According to your own convenience you decide for a more rustic or a more comfort place. There are many possibilities to get tasty meals at the huts. If you want to bring your own meals you will find a shop in the valleys every three or four days.
Safety informationFor this tour you need an average to good physical condition and experience in the mountains. Technically, the tour is not very difficult. At some spots, you need surefootedness and head for heights, difficult parts are secured though and can be mastered without problems. Technical aids are not required at any spot. The path is mostly marked well and paved carefully, which is why you should not experience any difficulties concerning orientation. Since we are walking through alpine terrain, we should watch out for weather changes, snowfalls (even during summer!), exposed parts of the path and we should be prepared well for small injuries. Changing weather can make it necessary to take another version of the tour.
Tips, hints and links
From Wenns in Pitztal you can take the bus to Mittelberg, which is the starting point for the ascent to Braunschweiger Hütte. The hike through Pitztal may be very worthwhile, but you have to plan an extra day to make that stage by foot.
The stage from Vernagt Lake to Meran will also be taken with the bus in this tour description. If you want to hike that part, you have to include one day in addition.
Getting thereA7 until Dreieck Allgäu, A980 until AS Waltenhofen, further on B19 until Oberstdorf, with the taxi, bus, carriage oder by foot to Spielmannsau.
There are several Parking lots in Oberstdorf.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
- Solid alpine boots
- Comfortable, sporty and weather-compatible clothing
- Backpack (~35 l) with rain jacket
- Protection against sun and rain
- Cap, gloves
- Sleeping bag, slipper socks for the time in the huts
- Hiking sticks
- Map, compass, GPS device
- Headlamp, bivy bag
- Depending on the season: crampons, gaiters
- First aid kit
- Water bottle
- Cereal bar, nuts, dried fruits
- 6 Stages