Auf historischen Pfaden, © weinfranz.at

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You have questions? We have the answers.

Travelling to Mariazell by bike, © schwarz-koenig.at

Can I also travel the trails by bike?

The routes run, for the most part, on hiking trails, which are not designated cycling or mountain bike routes, meaning that they may not be cycled on. This is therefore only permitted on sections that run on roads. As an alternative, however, you can cycle from Traismauer to Mariazell on the Traisental Cycle Path (Traisental-Radweg).

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On historical paths, © weinfranz.at

What time of the year is ideal for going on pilgrimage?

The ideal pilgrimage season is from the beginning of May to the end of October. Before or after hat period, snow and slippery conditions are likely especially in the more alpine sections. Please also take note of the fact that the sun is setting considerably earlier outside the summer months. To avoid being surprised by nightfall, you must plan shorter daily stages accordingly.

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Using orientation aids correctly, © weinfranz.at

How good is the signage on the trails?

Both the Via Sacra and the Vienna Pilgrimage Trail are signposted throughout. Nevertheless, it can always happen that signposts are lost, damaged or no longer legible. It is therefore important to have an additional orientation aid with you— be it a tour guide or the dedicated pilgrimage app "Pilgern in Niederösterreich" ("On pilgrimage in Lower Austria"—available in German only).

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A tasty meal gives strength for the way ahead, © weinfranz.at

Do all accommodations still serve dinner upon arrival?

No. Not all establishments offer dinner options, and even if they do, sometimes your time of arrival may fall outside of kitchen hours. You should pay particular attention to overnight stays that fall on a day when the establishment or its kitchen is closed. Please be sure to check with your host in advance whether you will be able to get a meal upon your arrival. Click on the following link for a list of all Via Sacra hosts that offer culinary services and refreshments.

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Traveling in a group, © weinfranz.at

How much should my backpack weigh?

Generally speaking: as much as absolutely necessary, as little as possible. A good rule of thumb for the maximum backpack weight, however, is to assume a maximum of 25% of your own body weight for well-trained persons and a maximum of 20% of your own body weight for moderately trained persons.

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Individual pilgrimage on the Vienna Pilgrimage Trail, © weinfranz.at

What kind of path conditions should I expect?

The trails run mainly off the roads on hiking and forest paths. Occasionally, there are sections that run on roads. Since the Via Sacra is a historic route which was later partially developed into today's federal roads, this pilgrimage trail includes a slightly higher percentage of road sections. However, care was taken in the routing to use quiet side roads.

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Digitally enabled pilgrimage, © weinfranz.at

Will I have continuous mobile phone reception?

No. In some sections and depending on the network operator, mobile phones will not find a network to connect to. Generally speaking, mobile reception is better along the Via Sacra than the Vienna Pilgrimage Trail. However, it is still possible to use the "Pilgern in Niederösterreich" pilgrimage app as an orientation aid: If you make sure to save the relevant maps on your device beforehand, you can use them throughout your entire walk even without mobile phone reception.

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Guided pilgrimages, © weinfranz.at

Is luggage transport available?

Yes. The team of the Mostviertel Tourist Board will be happy to organise luggage transport for your hike on request. For cost reasons, however, this sometimes is not an option for individual pilgrims. The cost is correspondingly lower if you can share it with fellow pilgrims.

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Having arrived at the day's destination, © weinfranz.at

Should I book accommodation prior to the pilgrimage?

Yes. The routes are popular and the distances between hosts are sometimes quite long. Furthermore, there are particularly busy periods that tend to be booked up quickly. Another factor to be considered is that many establishments use the same day(s) of the week as their day(s) off (especially Monday and Tuesday). Since mobile phone reception cannot be guaranteed throughout, it is recommended to book accommodation in advance.

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Pilgrimage with your best friend on four paws, © weinfranz.at

Can I bring my dog?

In principle, you can also go on a pilgrimage with your dog, but this requires additional planning. Click on the link below for general information and tips.

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Starting your pilgrimage well-prepared, © weinfranz.at

How many kilometres can I walk per day?

In general, you can refer to the following values as a guide: -15 km for less trained beginners (make this your absolute upper limit, especially when the stage also includes a difference in altitude) -20 km (while taking any metres of altitude included in the trail into consideration) for moderately trained persons -25 km (while taking any metres of altitude included in the trail into consideration) for experienced and well-trained persons -30 km or more only for persons who have already completed pilgrimages or long-distance walks in the past and are familiar with their own physical and mental condition during a multi-day hike.

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