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Long-Distance Hiking recommended route

Die Karnische Milchstraße - ET03 Nassfeldpass - Rattendorfer Alm

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 12.4 km
4:39 h
736 m
733 m
1,997 m
1,528 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
1,997 m
Lowest point
1,528 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Rest stops

Bar Kabrio
Rattendorfer Alm

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


Nassfeldpass (1,529 m)
46.560334, 13.275750
46°33'37.2"N 13°16'32.7"E
33T 367842 5157751


Rattendorfer Alm

Turn-by-turn directions

On lovely alpine meadows under the rugged mountain giants Trog- and Rosskofel to the idyllically situated On lovely alpine meadows under the rugged mountain giants Trog- and Rosskofel to the idyllically situated Rattendorfer Alm

Note: If you have stayed overnight at the Alpenhotel Plattner, you will first hike on the final section of the previous stage via the marked Karnischen Höhenweg down to the Nassfeldpass in a few minutes].


Starting point of the stage is the Nassfeldpass directly at the border. You walk a few meters north on the road and immediately turn left onto a hiking trail that takes you along the Austrian-Italian border, first up to a small reservoir and then to just below the summit of the Madritsches.

You bypass the summit on the south side and descend on the other side of the summit on a slightly larger path to another reservoir. Shortly after a large path through a ditch and then left down the hiking trail (you are at the KHW 403) until you can soon climb uphill to the Rudnigsattel (1.945 m), the wide saddle between Trog- and Rosskofel.

Now you hike along the ridge to below the falls of the mighty Trogkofel. Directly under the rocky south wall you cross to the left (west) for quite a while, until you reach the eastern end of the Rattendorfer Schneid, a very wide grassy saddle, below the Zottachkopf, a satellite of the Trogkofel.

Just on the other side of the Rattendorfer Schneid, you descend on a path along the western flank of the Zottachkopf. In the landscape around the Rattendorfer Alm, the stage's destination, old soldier's paths lie like a spider's web above the alpine meadow and tell of the warlike past of this area.

When you reach today's stage goal, the Rattendorfer Alm, you should taste the Gailtaler Alm cheese. Due to the special sedimentation in the soil, the "Rattendorfer Schichten", the aroma of a special variety of herbs gets into the milk.


Admitted: The main route on the panoramic tour is more scenic and the paths are more attractive. However, if you would like to get to know the alpine life a little more, then the variant "Almtour" to the Rattendorfer Alm might be the right thing for you. Up to the Tröpolacher Alm you walk on the "constellation" hike "Lighthouse".

The starting point of this stage is the Nassfeldpass directly at the border. As with the main variant, you walk a few meters north on the road and immediately turn left onto a hiking trail, which takes you along the Austrian-Italian border up to a small reservoir. Now you don't go south but north around the reservoir and on to the Roßalm - here you will meet the "constellation" hike "Lighthouse", which accompanies you to the Tröpolacher Alm.

Via the larger path descending from here you reach the Treßdorfer Alm. Continue in the same direction around the northern ridge of the Treßdorfer Höhe and first on a forest road and then on a path into a ditch below the Rudnig Alm. Cross a bridge over the ditch and continue along the path until, just before you pass under a cable car, you turn sharp left onto a path that takes you up to the Rudnig Alm where you can enjoy excellent home-made products.

From here you walk north along the road and then along the hiking trail straight on until you reach a crossroads. Turn left here and follow a forest road and then a hiking trail up to the unmanaged Lahnhütte. Now you cross the slope on a hiking trail underneath a cable car to the Tröpolacher Alm - an ideal place for an extensive rest with an alpine snack.

You hike briefly back to the crossroads and turn onto the path to the west, which will take you around the Zweikofel - in the meantime do not take the path to the Großer Sattel - to the Rattendorfer 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.


46.560334, 13.275750
46°33'37.2"N 13°16'32.7"E
33T 367842 5157751
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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12.4 km
4:39 h
736 m
733 m
Highest point
1,997 m
Lowest point
1,528 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Flora Fauna


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