Since Austria, Slovenia and Italy are all fully fledged members of the EU, UK and other EU nationals do not require a visa to travel within any of these countries or to hike the AAT – just a valid passport or (EU citizens) identity card. United States, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens can visit any of the three countries visa-free for a period of up to three months. Other nationals should check visa requirements with the Austrian, Slovenian and Italian embassies.
There are no physical border posts or restrictions at any of the points where the AAT crosses between any one of the three countries and another – though you will see signs announcing that you are now within a certain distance of the border, and plenty of evidence of the historical legacy of the shifting nature of borders over the centuries. No entry fees or permits are required to visit the national parks along the route of the AAT.
Getting there and away
Access to the AAT is provided by three main airports: Salzburg in Austria, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Trieste in Italy. Treviso (Italy) is also useful, though slightly further away, while Klagenfurt (Austria) has no direct flights to the UK and is only really useful if you’re flying from Germany.
Getting to the start of the AAT by rail from the UK is actually very straightforward. The journey takes between 14 and 20 hours to get from London to Mallnitz-Obervellach (on Stage 8 of the AAT, the closest you can get to Stage 1 by rail in any case), or one stop further to Spittal an der Drau (which has better bus connections to Stage 1, via Winklern), depending on which route you take and connection times, and involves between two and five changes (for timetables see www.bahn.de).