WINTER HIKING PART 3: THE SMUGGLER ROUTE FROM ISCHGL TO SAMNAUN

Yes, Paznaun has the best ski slopes in the world – but that’s not all. Winter hiking is also really popular. Whether a steep ascent or comfortable walk on the flat, there’s something for everyone in Paznaun’s winter hiking routes. In this series, we introduce you to the best routes. “Hiking” is perhaps the wrong description for this trip, because the route from Isgchl to Samnaun is pretty challenging in winter and when snow is on the ground.  At least if you’re not on skis. Even the smugglers used skis on part of this route in the past.

But if you don’t like skiing, you can still get to Samnaun these days – with the cable car, we mean. You just have to walk a few steps between the different sections.

You start in Ischgl town centre, taking either the Fimba or the Silvretta cable car up to the 2 300 meter high Idalp. Then the Flimjoch chair lift takes you up to the Viderjoch, which lies at 2 752 metres and forms the border between Austria and Switzerland. From there, you take the Flimsattel chair lift to Alp Trida on the Swiss side. After a few metres on foot, you reach the Alp Trida Sattelbahn chair lift mountain station. The double-decker aerial tramway takes you from up top down to Samnaun, where there are lots of duty-free shops. But you should aim to start your return journey on time.  To make sure you catch all the lift connections, it’s a good idea to head back in the early afternoon.

The best part of this route is that you can see all the beauty of the Ischgl ski area even if you don’t ski.