Everything’s possible – at least when it comes to hiking holidays in Hochsteiermark. After all, the region offers everything from high-alpine mountain hikes to themed hiking trails, herbal hikes or the legendary BergZeitReise trail. Or how about a leisurely city stroll? In the Styrian alpine region closest to Vienna and Lower Austria, you can do all of this and more!
Expect breathtaking nature, impressive mountain ranges, alpine flowers and herbs. And did you know that Hochsteiermark is home to Europe’s largest population of chamois?
Mighty mountains, lush alpine pastures, murmuring streams: If you plan to go hiking in Hochsteiermark, you have a problem of sorts. Not because there are not enough options – but because there are too many! What kind of trails do you prefer? High-alpine, challenging ones or gentle, easy ones? Do you prefer breathtaking views, trails for all senses or the thrills provided by a via ferrata?
If you’re looking for a special kind of hiking trail, look no further than the BergZeitReise trail. It runs through all of Hochsteiermark, from the high-alpine Hochschwab region to Schneealm, Rax and the Waldheimat region, home to famous Austrian poet Peter Rosegger..
The route at a glance:
Our tip: You can also choose to do only certain sections of the trail. In fact, we even recommend doing so as the individual stages have different levels of difficulty.
To explore Hochsteiermark on foot, you don’t need to head to the mountains. You can also take a walk through one of the region’s many towns and cities! For instance, how about a hike up Bruck’s Schlossberg? Or a stroll through Mürzzuschlag’s historic centre and the Mürz floodplains?
The Wald der Sinne (forest of the senses) boasts 23 power places for all those who seek to educate their senses. For instance, you can find wooden chimes, balance plates, an ear trumpet and more there.
Of course, you can also go hiking at Mürzer Oberland Nature Park. There are several themed trails as well as “classic” trails, all of them surrounded by breathtaking nature. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot one of the rare ibexes that have been reintroduced to the region.
If you’re looking for a shorter hike, we recommend one of the many themed trails suitable for everyone from families to romantics. For instance, how about a trail dedicated to famous composer Johannes Brahms or Austrian writer Peter Rosegger?
For lovebirds, there’s the “Hob mi gern” trail in Aflenz, while families with kids will enjoy the Rosslochklamm adventure trail or the “klimawandeln” themed hiking trail at Mürzer Oberland Nature Park. If you’re looking for a particularly “refreshing” trail, we recommend Bründlweg trail at Pogusch, Hochsteiermark’s highest barefoot trail with 22 fountains and springs. Another highlight for avid hikers: Jakobusweg trail in Turnau.
If you walk along the Semmering-Mürzzuschlag railway trail, you enjoy splendid views of the UNESCO World Heritage Semmering railway. The railway line that runs from Gloggnitz to Mürzzuschlag via the Semmering pass is a milestone of railway history. Since 1998, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The best thing about the themed hiking trails: Most of them are circular routes that conveniently take you back to your starting point. This way, you don’t have to worry about transport, making the trails a perfect choice for families with kids.
Archduke John of Austria (1782–1859) already knew that you get the best views from high above the valley. That’s why the brother of emperor Franz Joseph I was the first tourist ever to climb the Hochschwab.
If you want to follow in his footsteps, you can do so in the high-alpine regions of Hochsteiermark. The area features numerous via ferratas for all skill levels, not just in the Hochschwab area, but also in other parts of the province, for instance in the Schneealm-Rax area.
The Styrian Semmering, the impressive Hochschwab area and the Fischbach Alps have a lot in common. For instance, all of them are home to numerous medicinal herbs, fragrant alpine flowers and unique spice plants.
Mürzer Oberland Nature Park is a paradise for herb lovers. If you’re a hobby herbalist, you will be able to stock up on “medical supplies” during your hikes.
If you don’t know about the healing powers of herbs yet, we recommend joining a herbal hike or a herbal workshop at the Nature Park. For instance, did you know that arnica, valerian or spicy horseradish are natural remedies to alleviate colds and boost the immune system?
Alternatively, you can find out about planarians and solve forest puzzles during the NaturErlebnisProgramm (nature experience programme) guided by qualified forest and herbal educators.
Good to know: If you walk along the entire BergZeitReise trail, you will automatically come across several herbal trails.
What’s truly important in life? Finding the answer to this question often takes time and patience. The wonderful pilgrimage routes of Hochsteiermark are perfect for some peaceful contemplation.
First of all, there’s Mariazellerweg trail 06. It leads to the basilica of Mariazell, Austria’s most important pilgrimage church and one of Europe’s most famous ones. In addition to this trail, there are many others that lead to the popular pilgrimage site. What’s more, there are numerous other romantic chapels and churches lining the hiking trails of Hochsteiermark. All of these trails offer great opportunities to find inner peace and to focus on the essential things in life.
By the way: You don’t have to be a devout catholic to make a pilgrimage. Hiking along a pilgrimage route is a nice way to find inner peace. As they say, the journey is the reward, offering perfect opportunities to focus and find yourself with every step.
What would a long hike be without a nice spot to take a break? Fortunately, the hiking trails of Hochsteiermark are dotted with numerous mountain huts and restaurants, where you can sample delicacies fresh from the local rivers, lakes and meadows. As a side, you get to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding forests, mountains and streams.