Nothing against sleepless nights with thick air in the mattress dormitory. But there are also huts in the Alps where you can have an unforgettable mountain experience for good reasons.
Fancy sleeping in tiny huts that hardly anyone knows, or with a view that is one of the most beautiful in the Southern Alps? Or do you prefer ultra-modern, functional yet sustainable architecture far above the tree line? We would also have the perfect hut for hikes with small children on offer, including a lake and bathing jetty - or an accommodation that is breathtakingly small, but still has enough space for a kitchen with catering.
One thing is certain: Anonymous hostels and overcrowded mountain huts were yesterday. Here are ten safe tips from the OutDoor Society - from XS to XXL, either farmed or not, for very short weekend trips or longer base camps, some more than a hundred years old, others just opened.
Stopover With a View
A kind of best of the Southern Alps: the Capanna Tamaro hut is located in the Ticino Pre-Alps at 1,867 metres above sea level, right between Lago Maggiore and Lake Lugano with views as far as the Monte Rosa massif. The hut is just under an hour's walk from the rather overcrowded Alpe Foppa - to which a gondola also leads in summer (and from where a good downhill run leads back down to the valley station). Our tip: Ride your bike from the Alpe to the hut, enjoy the excellent Italian food in the evening, and the next morning, on the endless trails, do not walk towards the east, but to the south first over barren mountain ridges and then through light chestnut forests for miles down to the Lugano Lake.
Capanna Tamaro, 1.867m - Ticino
In a Jam
The Breitenkopf hut is located in Wetterstein, trapped under a massive rock overhang. With a floor space of four by four metres, it is one of the smallest huts in the Alps: there is room for four people (plus two emergency beds!), a kitchen and a wood stove. Once there was a shelter for miners on the site. It hasn't gotten much more comfortable since then - and that's a good thing!
Breitenkopf hut, 2.020m - Tyrol
Stone on Stone
In the Bernese Alps at 2555 metres above sea level, the Cabane de Prarochet, a mountain hut with 50 beds, is located in unusual surroundings: when the ice retreated here, it left behind a smoothly polished, karstic rock field: the "Lapis de Tsanfleuron" - below the ski resort of Les Diablerets. Today, you can find the hut a few hundred metres away from the glacier - in a stone moon landscape.
Cabane de Prarochet, 2.555m - Valais
Wafting with the Wind
The old Seethalerhütte on the Dachstein was regularly buried under snow drifts in winter - back then, it was impossible to cultivate it. The new hut was designed in such a way that the wind blows the snow away from the angular building, now the operation can continue smoothly even in winter. And the architects played it safe: At the south wall there is an extra entrance for the winter months. The door's on the second floor.
Seethalerhütte, 2.740m - Upper Austria
Lamp, cooking facilities, mattress camp - that's all there is to it here. The Schmadrihütte in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, built in 1938, is the epitome of a simple mountain hut. And that's exactly its attraction (apart from the location, which is perfect for climbing the Lauterbrunnen Breithorn). Reservation is not possible, but firewood is always available.
Schmadri hut, 2.262m - Valais
The Smallest Farmed Hut
The Rojacherhütte in the Hohe Tauern lies at the end of the very quiet Rauriser Valley - and with a floor area of five metres on five metres, it is one of the smallest mountain huts in the Alps. The anteroom is as narrow as a towel, behind it there is a small kitchen and a lounge. Guests will sleep (after all, there are nine seats!) under the roof.
Rojacher hut, 2.718m - Salzburg
For Beginners and Curious People
Not at all an insider tip, but simply a very good package for hut beginners and families with children who already manage to walk two or three hours at a time. A cosy hut, very good food and a small mountain lake with picnic and bathing places, a jetty and a rowing boat. Did someone say alpine kitsch? I'll say. But that's exactly the kind of kitsch we love.
Wildseeloder House, 1,854m -Tyrol
The almost 120-year-old Fluhseehütte is situated in a small hollow above a small, cold lake high above the Simmental in the Bernese Alps - there is no innkeeper here, but on nice days there is a supervisor (we are still in Switzerland). The private hut consists of a room with mattress dormitory and well-equipped kitchen, rent is simply put into the hut cash. A Swiss mountain hut with the flair of a Scandinavian self-catering hut. Rare pleasure in the Alps.
Fluhsee Hut, 2,048m -Bern
Change Is Good
Six-storey, ultramodern and the highest building in the Zillertal Alps. The copper façade of the Schwarzensteinhütte is oxidized and - as planned - has adapted optically to the dark stone in the surrounding area only a few months after opening. From the inside, a two-meter-high band of windows overlooks the peaks and the valley. The interiors: lined with local spruce wood. The hut receives electricity from a photovoltaic system on the roof, among other things, and melted water is sterilized to supply drinking water.
Schwarzenstein Hut, 3,026m -Tyrol
Like a Painting
The Böseckhütte in the Hohe Tauern offers shelter for a maximum of six self-catering guests on about 20 square meters. Two benches, a table and a dormitory: this is all the inventory of the wooden shingle hut with its outer form charmingly looking like a child's painting has to offer. 20 minutes walk from the hut there is a fresh water source.
Böseck hut, 2,594m -Carinthia
Photos -– Robert Pupeter (Aufmacher und Wildseeloderhaus), Franz Reger (Breitenkopfhütte), dreiplus Architekten (Seethalerhütte), Michael Bromfield (Schmadrihütte), Dirk Grundmann (Rojacherhütte), Markus Zurbrügg (Fluhseehütte), Oliver Jaist (Schwarzensteinhütte), Siegfried Morhenne (Böseckhütte)