100 summits and 40 valleys – doesn’t this sound like plenty of fun and variety? We surely think so, and that’s why we love the impressive Hochschwab mountains. Whether you prefer hiking, mountaineering or relaxed strolls: All of it and more is possible in the Hochschwab area. Plus, there are great options for cycling, e-biking and mountain biking, with the action-packed trails of Bikearena Aflenz being particularly popular.
In winter, snow lovers are spoilt for choice, with great opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, ski touring and sledging.
Deep within the Hochschwab lies a hidden treasure: pure, clear drinking water. While it runs across the mountain range’s rocks and stones, it absorbs many valuable minerals and trace elements. After a long journey through the region’s drinking water pipeline, the water from the Hochschwab ends up refreshing the inhabitants of Vienna and Graz.
IIn summer, walking trails like the Heilkräutermeile (herbal mile) in Aflenz or the lovingly designed Wasser.Wander.Wunder.Weg near Bodenbauer restaurant offer great opportunities to relax and unwind. The different stops along the way invite you to marvel, enjoy the smells and take a break.
For all those who love mountain hiking, the Hochschwab mountain range is the place to be. Whether you prefer single-day tours or long-distance hiking – both is possible there. And that’s not all: Mountain bikers love the area and its action-packed trails too.
Our tip: Stop by Schiestlhaus below Hochschwab summit! It’s the first ever high-alpine passive house and the highest located mountain hut of the Hochschwab mountain range.
The Hochschwab area is a paradise for mountain bike enthusiasts. Bikearena Aflenz boasts varied trails covering numerous vertical metres. The adventure starts with a scenic ride on the chairlift and continues with some downhill action on the trails or, alternatively, with a prior stop at Almrauschhütte to fuel up for the ride.
Natural snow as far as the eye can see, pristine snow-covered mountain faces, crisp air, sledging runs with several kilometres’ length – and all of it in one small and charming ski resort. Snowshoeing, sledging, skiing and ski touring in the winter wonderland of Aflenzer Bürgeralm are perfect activities to leave your cares behind. In summer, Bürgeralm is a popular starting point for hiking tours in the Hochschwab area.
Good to know: In 1920, Aflenz was named a climatic health resort, thus becoming Hochsteiermark’s only certified health resort.
Aflenzer Bürgeralm not only offers breathtaking views, it’s also a perfect spot for take-off. More precisely, a marked take-off spot for paragliders and hanggliders is located there. However, before soaring up into the air, you should take a minute to savour the exceptional views. Weather permitting, you can see as far as the Schöckl in the south and Seeberg, Schießling, Veitsch, the Rax and Schneeberg in the east. To the north, there’s the mighty Hochschwab mountain range, and to the west Tragöß, Messnerin mountain and Präbichl mountain pass.
Excursion tip: Paragliding or helicopter flights with qualified pilots can be booked via GollnhubAIR. Paracenter Austria offers tandem flights as well. What’s more, they are the organisers of the “AiRRock Paragliding Testival” and the “MountainRock” relay competition, both of which take place at Aflenzer Bürgeralm.
If you have a bit of patience, chances are you will spot some of the region’s native animals. After all, the Hochschwab is home to Europe’s largest population of chamois. With a bit of luck, you can also see ibexes, red deer and even aeries! And there’s more: snow grouse, black grouse, mountain cocks and lovely fire salamanders.
Apart from many mountain animals, the green heart of Austria also boasts a rich alpine flora, ranging from rare alpine herbs to orchids. If you would like to find out more about the history and nature of the Hochschwab region, we recommend having a look at the showrooms located at the old “Bodenbauerkeusche” hut’s Hochschwab museum in Thörl, St. Ilgen.
Culture lovers are sure to enjoy the magnificent historic buildings of Thörl. For some fascinating insights into the life of former generations, we recommend a guided tour of Hammerherrenhaus. Towering above Thörl, you can see the impressive 15th century Schachenstein Castle Ruins. Today, Thörl Castle and the adjoining chapel – which is dedicated to Saint Barbara, patron saint of miners – are used for special occasions. The castle was first mentioned in a document in the 14th century. Between the 17th and 19th century, it was thoroughly renovated.
The chamois might be cute to watch – but they also taste delicious. Being home to Europe’s largest population of chamois, the area is known for its many tasty venison dishes prepared with chamois, deer or other local meat. That’s why we recommend dropping by one (or several) of the region’s 14 Wilde Wirte and enjoying roast saddle of venison or venison stew.