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Long-Distance Hiking recommended route

Die Karnische Milchstraße - ET02 Egger Alm - Nassfeldpass

Long-Distance Hiking · Carnic Alps
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Nassfeld - Pressegger See Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Photo: Nassfeld - Pressegger See,
"The Carnic Milky Way" as the best of the Carnic Highway and the Constellation Hikes is "Hiking in New Dimensions". 
Distance 15.7 km
5:41 h
991 m
875 m
2,189 m
1,356 m
The Carnic Alps - an adventurous and fantastic mountain landscape, which is offered to the hiker. Above, ridges of peaks like bizarre limestone reefs that seem to rise directly from an invisible sea, and below, a hidden peaceful world of lush green mountain basins with a magnificent flora and fauna. Right through the middle, the famous Karnische Höhenweg (KHW 403). And right in the middle, the Kasmacher with their cheese cauldrons, in which all the beauty and variety of the landscape is processed into a wonderful and tasty product, the Gailtaler Almkäse. In each cauldron, a world of its own, a different world awaits you.

Each cauldron has its own story, but all cauldrons together are mysteriously connected with their own and common stories: Like the stars on the Milky Way, the alpine pastures are strung together along the Karnischer Höhenweg: The cauldrons, alpine pastures and mountains thus form a special Milky Way, namely the Carnic Milky Way. The picture of the Carnic Milky Way is completed by the "constellations".

Author’s recommendation

On these day hikes you can immerse yourself deeply into the history, nature and culture of the hiked landscape.
Profile picture of Nassfeld - Pressegger See
Nassfeld - Pressegger See
Update: October 15, 2021
Highest point
2,189 m
Lowest point
1,356 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Rest stops

Egger Alm
Gasthaus zum Rudi Egger Alm
Bar Kabrio
Watschiger Alm
Alpenhotel Plattner

Safety information

Technically, the Carnic Milky Way has moderate difficulties. Sure-footedness on rooty and stony hiking trails in alpine terrain is an absolute requirement.

All stages run on mountain paths with a red dot, so they are classified as moderately difficult mountain paths according to the classification of the Alpine Club >> see here. By definition, paths categorized in red are "predominantly narrow, often steep and can have passages that are dangerous to fall. There may also be short insured walking passages (e.g. wire rope)".

Even if the terrain does not present any major technical difficulties, you will still often move above the tree line in an alpine region with altitudes of up to 2,200 m. You should therefore have alpine hiking experience for the Carnic Milky Way, have orientation skills for finding your way and be able to deal with the dangers of sudden changes of weather in the mountains.

The Carnic Milky Way is more demanding in terms of stamina: individual stages have ascents of up to 1,000 meters in altitude, descents of up to 1,400 meters in altitude and/or 20 km of trails. This means pure walking times up to 7 hours per day. As always, the walking times are calculated with the (however, quite fast) Outdooractive formula. Therefore, an appropriate physical preparation is recommended.

For children, the Carnic Milky Way is suitable from 12 years of age with good physical condition.

Long-distance hiking and trekking routes are little or not suitable for people with reduced mobility due to their requirements. In order to clarify individual cases (degree of reduced mobility), it is recommended to contact the Trail Info & Booking Center before booking.

More information about the classification of the trails and the technical and conditional preparation of the tour can be found here.

Tips and hints

Plan your journey along the Carnic Milky Way with the help of the experts.

The Carnic Milky Way - Book your Trail


Egger Alm (1,413 m)
46.585779, 13.381095
46°35'08.8"N 13°22'51.9"E
33T 375974 5160407



Turn-by-turn directions

Over alpine pastures and the proud summit of the Gartnerkofel to the "luxury oasis" at Nassfeld

From the Egger Alm you follow the road out of the valley for a short distance and after about 200 m turn left into a forest road. This road leads you slowly uphill around the Schindelkopf to the Kersnitzensattel and further downhill to a nameless saddle directly on the Austrian-Italian border between Zielkofel and Cima di Mezzo.

The path becomes a hiking trail and you hike on the Italian side first down through a small valley and then slightly uphill below the Zielkofel to the Stutenbodenalm, which is already on Austrian soil again, and then slightly uphill along a forest road and later along a hiking trail to the Garnitzenalm, which is already in the Nassfeld ski area. Continue along the hiking trail uphill to the saddle between Garnitzenberg and Gartnerkofel - until here you are on the marked Karnischen Höhenweg KHW 403.

On the saddle you leave this path for a side trip and ascend via the "constellation" hike "Lighthouse" to the north directly over the gravel cirque to the impressive summit of the Gartnerkofel. Seen from the east it is the first of the rocky peaks of the Carnic Alps - a rugged and imposing Kofel. This is where the more alpine part of the Carnic Alps slowly begins. An absolute speciality, which in its heyday rises out of this landscape like a lighthouse, is the "blue Wulfenia". A real queen of flowers, which probably exists here since the last ice age - she is the main actress of the "constellation lighthouse". The summit is quite dominant, so enjoy the fantastic view from up here!

After a well-deserved rest you descend again on the same way to the top station of the top lift (FIS chairlift) and turn right (north) here. You walk down the hiking trail below the Gartnerkofel and after a striking left turn (straight ahead you would reach the small peak Kammleiten) you reach the managed Watschiger Alm. Even if it's not too far to your stage destination at the Nassfeldpass, a stopover is always worthwhile: the Watschiger Alm is a "Käsealm" with the famous Gailtaler Alm cheese and products from our own production are just the thing after an ascent of the Gartnerkofel.

At the Watschiger Alm you leave the "constellation" hike and hike along the marked Karnischen Höhenweg down to the nearby Nassfeldpass, your stage destination. Attention: If you stay overnight at the Alpenhotel Plattner you don't have to walk to the Nassfeldpass - the hotel is located on the path just below the Watschiger Alm.

Public transport

By train: The following train stations are at your disposal: Arnoldstein and Hermagor, both accessible by S-Bahn from Villach main station. With the

Airplane: The following international airports can be recommended for travel by plane - Klagenfurt and Ljubljana.

By road

Arrival shuttle service - not included in the price: Brings you to the starting point of your trail journey and at the end of the tour back to the ideal train station or airport. The Trail Info & Booking Center will gladly organize this shuttle service.


With your own car: Parking is available at the respective starting points of the trail tour. Detailed information is included in the booking documents. Most of the parking spaces are free of charge and not monitored! The return transport will bring you back to your car.


46.585779, 13.381095
46°35'08.8"N 13°22'51.9"E
33T 375974 5160407
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


For the Carnic Milky Way, "normal" equipment is sufficient for alpine hikes on unpaved and partly stony paths in the southern limestone Alps. However, sturdy shoes with a good profile sole for unpaved paths are a "must" and the carrying of telescopic hiking sticks to relieve the knees on the sometimes longer descents is recommended. In summer, good sun protection and sufficient water are very important (there are not refreshment stops on every stage). Sufficiently warm clothing for possible weather drops is also important in midsummer. For all the refuges along the trail you should also bring a sleeping bag and a towel.

Click here for the detailed equipment list of your trail trip.

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15.7 km
5:41 h
991 m
875 m
Highest point
2,189 m
Lowest point
1,356 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Flora Fauna


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