Table of Contents:

Is there cell reception on the trail?

It really depends on the cellular provider you have. I had an Israeli provider that has a “sharing pact” with Europeans companies for aboard use. I had reception in most places, but there were a few places where I didn’t have any, in those places some German hikers did have reception.

Where did you find information on the trail?

We used this list of sites:

  • A diary in German, written by people who have done the trail with a tent.
  • English site with starting and ending points
  • English site with starting and ending points (trip is divided to more than 28 days here).
  • German site with some good information, and provide GPS files (some outdated).
  • A good German site with nice amount of information.
  • German site with a lot of information, including path numbers, telephones number and alternative transportation. This is by far the best source we had.
  • Extremely useful forum in German.
  • A nice German diary of the trail.
  • A site that was created after we finished the trail, from first glace it seems to have some nice infomartion in English.

What level of fitness and experience are needed to do the trail?

Experience – It is recommended to have done at least one multy-day trip in the past. I personally had experience with the Golan Heights Trail (120KM), Sea to Sea Trail (75KM) and many day-hikes. Yishai had a fair amount of experience trekking in New Zealand.
Fitness – It is recommended to be in good shape before setting on the trail. You don’t need an athlete fitness, but you should be in good shape. Prepare yourself beforehand – day hikes, running, biking, whatever is fun for you. Remember that the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the walk and the views!

How much money does the trip cost?

The final cost of the trip depends on some factors, let’s look at them:
Food – if you are planning to buy all your food then it will obviously cost more than making some by yourself.
Rest days – how many do you have? Each of those cost money, and it also depends where those rest days are – is it a hut or a village/city?
Are you walking the entire trail – If like us, you do Munich – Belluno, that means you save 5 relatively expensive walking days (it’s all hotels after Belluno).
How many days are you planning to stay in Munich before you set off, how many days you plan to stay in Venice when you finish? We had 2 days in Munich and 6 days in Venice (pricy thing).
Spoiling – Are you going to have full Manu meals every evening? Get beer every chance you get? Add that to your price.

All in all, 40-50 euros per day is a fair estimate that includes the sleeping fees, food and half a liter of beer. Add 10-15 euros in Italy, it is more expensive over there.
The entire trip, not including days in Munich and Venice, and not including flights (for people that come to Germany from afar) should cost around 2000 euros.

When is it possible to walk the trail?

The earliest you can start the trail is around mid-June, but it is not recommended because you risk high levels of snows on the mountains. A reasonable time to start the trail is between mid-July to the end of August.
There is a point when the huts are starting to close, I don’t remember the time. But I think that setting off in the beginning of September is the very last opportunity. If you are planning to set off that late please check the forum I listed above to see if it is not to late!

Which maps are recommended to have?

We took 6 maps, that covered days 3 to 23 (all the mountain parts). Here is the list:

  • Kompass Hiking Map 182 Isarwinkel, 1:50000 days 3-5
  • AV Karte33, Tux Alps, 1:50000 days 6-10
  • Hochfeiler, Pfunderer mountains: hiking map Tabacco 037 1:25000 days 10-13
  • Kompass Hiking Map 56 Brixen / Bressanone, 1:50000 days 13-14
  • Kompass Hiking Map 59 Sella group, 1:50000 days 15-18
  • Kompass Hiking Map 77 Alpi Belluno, 1:50000 days 19-23
Between 2 of the maps (don’t remember which 2) there is a little gap, but it is in a place where you can’t really go wrong.
In addition to the maps we also took a book (Munchen – Venedig published by Rother). The book is in German (which we don’t speak) but it was still useful for the following reasons:
  • It got little maps for the days we didn’t have maps for.
  • There are walking times estimates for each day
  • There is information for alternative stopping points, including prices and phone numbers.
  • This specific book comes with GPS files of the trip, very useful!
It is important to mention that this specific book has a different variation of the trail (one of the days we did is different in the book. Truthfully, I think it is better to take the route shown in the book, the “Days Guide” has more information about this).