Mariazell is a world-famous pilgrimage site. The surrounding Mariazellerland region is popular with sports enthusiasts, families and relaxation-seekers, offering all kinds of sports and leisure activities. Whether you prefer soothing outdoor experiences, family fun, exhibitions or concerts: The region offers something for everyone.
The legend of Mariazell goes back to 1157, when the Virgin Mary allegedly split a huge boulder in two for a monk named Magnus, opening up the view of a nearby hill. On this very hill, Magnus built a chapel for himself and the small statue of the Virgin Mary he carried with him. The chapel from the 12th century was later enlarged to a splendid basilica. The tree stump on which the monk is said to have placed his statue, can still be seen at the basilica’s “Gnadenkapelle” chapel. In the area surrounding the church, you can find shops selling devotional souvenirs such as crosses, rosaries and figurines of saints.
The surrounding region of Mariazell boasts a multitude of leisure activities. For instance, in summer you can go hiking at Mariazeller Bürgeralpe or Gemeindealpe. If you’re looking for something a bit more laid-back, why not enjoy a ride with the Mariazell railway? The “Himmelstreppe” train takes you from Mariazell through the Ötscherland region to St. Pölten. Alternatively, the “museum tramway” runs from Mariazell to Lake Erlaufsee.
At the refreshing mountain lake, you can swim, enjoy a boat ride or try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding. Or how about a ride with the excursion boat that has been offering scenic tours since 2019? If you would like to see the lake from above, we recommend a visit to Mariazell high ropes course. What’s more, the Mariazellerland region is also a great choice for cyclists and mountain bikers of all skill levels.
And there’s more! At Mariazeller Bürgeralpe you can visit Holzknechtland adventure park and Biberwasser amusement park, the WakeAlps water ski lift, BikeAlps Singletrail Park or WALD8erBAHN “Flylinas Hexenflug” zip line. After your action-packed ride on the zip line, the adventure continues at WanderWunderWald, with the “Secret of the white tower” forest adventure trail.
Summertip: we recommend a trip to the Top 5 Power Places and the Top 10 moments.
Winter in the Mariazellerland region is all about snow and ice.
For instance, you can go skiing at the perfectly groomed slopes of Bürgeralpe and Gemeindealpe. Alternatively, you could try sledging, ice skating, ski touring, cross-country skiing or ice stick shooting.
Did we forget something? Of course: winter hiking! Explore the picturesque snow-covered landscapes or the shores of Lake Erlaufsee or Lake Hubertussee with or without snowshoes!
Are you tired from hiking? Or looking for a break from skiing? Then it’s time for some well-earned relaxation! For instance, how about a sauna visit or a soothing massage?
If you love religious art, the pilgrimage site of Mariazell will be just the place for you. Don’t miss the chance to visit the world-famous basilica with its “Gnadenkapelle” chapel and the treasure chambers! Plus, the GlaubensReich exhibition of the Protestant parish church in Mitterbach is also worth a visit, offering fascinating insights into the world of secret protestants and reformers.
With its natural history and hunting museums, Mariazeller Heimathaus is another popular attraction. Find out about the local wildlife and the history of the pilgrimage site there or learn more about the traditional hunting techniques of different social classes.
What could be more emotional than music? The concerts of the Mariazeller Advent event series get you in the mood for a peaceful, enjoyable Christmas. Plus, don’t miss Austria’s biggest traditional Christmas market featuring the world’s largest Advent wreath!
Holidays are all about indulging – especially about indulging in local delicacies! “Must-tries” during your visit to Hochsteiermark include: the legendary honey gingerbread of the Pirker family and the famous Mariazeller Magenlikör of Likörmanufaktur Caj. Arzberger, the recipes for both of which are well-kept family secrets. In addition, you can buy original Mariazeller Magentropfen herbal liqueur at “Apotheke zur Gnadenmutter” pharmacy, which was established back in 1718. If you would like to discover even more products from Mariazell and the surrounding region, we recommend a visit to Mariazellerland Genuss-Laden.