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Long-Distance Hiking recommended route

Die Karnische Milchstraße - ET06 Untere Valentinalm - Hubertuskapelle bei Birnbaum

Long-Distance Hiking · Carnic Alps
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  • Photo: Nassfeld - Pressegger See, Profer & Partner
"The Carnic Milky Way" as the best of the Carnic Highway and the Constellation Hikes is "Hiking in New Dimensions". 
Distance 16 km
6:03 h
1,109 m
1,217 m
2,141 m
1,110 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.
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Nassfeld - Pressegger See
Update: October 15, 2021
Highest point
2,141 m
Lowest point
1,110 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Rest stops

Gasthof Untere Valentinalm
Rifugio Lambertenghi-Romanin

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


Untere Valentin Alm (1,217 m)
46.616258, 12.952065
46°36'58.5"N 12°57'07.4"E
33T 343195 5164558


Hubertus Kapelle

Turn-by-turn directions

Rugged instead of gentle: into the heart of the Carnic Alps at the famous Wolayer Lake with the hut of the same name past to Birnbaum in the Lesach Valley

From the Lower Valentine's Alp you hike up through the valley to the Upper Valentine's Alp and further along the imposing north faces of Kollinkofel, Kellerspitzen and Hoher Warte to Valentintintörl (2,138 m). Here you descend through a small valley to the nearby Wolayer Lake and the Wolayersee Hut. The original route leads along the northern shore of the lake - but you also have the possibility to circle the lake (additional time 10 min). Enjoy the sublime landscape here: Lake Wolay in the middle of the Carnic Alps is one of the most beautiful and famous motives far and wide.

From the Wolayersee Hut you descend on the path (KHW 403) through the Kar to the Upper Wolayer Alm. Further down, past the Hildenfall, until the valley becomes flatter and you soon reach the Lower Wolayer Alm. From here it is about 25 minutes until you reach the Hubertus Chapel via the forest road through the valley and thus the destination of the Carnic Milky Way. Your shuttle will pick you up at the parking lot and take you to your accommodation in Birnbaum.

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.


46.616258, 12.952065
46°36'58.5"N 12°57'07.4"E
33T 343195 5164558
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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16 km
6:03 h
1,109 m
1,217 m
Highest point
2,141 m
Lowest point
1,110 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Flora Fauna


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