The times when you had to be deeply religious to go on a pilgrimage are long gone. The need for inner contemplation goes far beyond any religious confession. Long-distance hiking in nature in particular is ideal for leaving stress behind with every step and seeing more clearly what you need for a fulfilled life. Hochsteiermark is home to one of the most important pilgrimage centres in Europe: the pilgrimage site of Mariazell.
If you want to set out on a spiritual journey, there are plenty of opportunities to do so in Hochsteiermark. The destination is always the pilgrimage site of Mariazell.
... leads through Hochsteiermark in two variations. However, overall, there are many more routes than just these two. The star-shaped Mariazell routes are among the most well-known and popular in all of Europe. The destination and, at the same time, the centre is always the basilica in Mariazell in northern Styria. The Carinthian and Styrian trails meet in Eibiswald (district of Deutschlandsberg). From there, it takes 80 hours to walk a distance of 227 kilometres to Mariazell, past enchanting chapels, impressive churches, museums and much more.
Tip: The "Mariazell Pilgrimage Book" contains prayers and inspiration but also tips on the route, accommodation, and further information. It’s available at the Tourist Association of Hochsteiermark – Mariazellerland office, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hochsteiermark section of the route splits into two at Fischbach/Schanz:
The first, partly alpine route leads via St. Barbara/Mürztal to Hohe Veitsch. A must-see: the Veitsch Pilgrims' Cross. It is the largest accessible pilgrim's cross in the world and is almost 41 metres tall. Inside, it consists of seven different chambers, analogous to the biblical story of creation. Via Schöneben and Mooshuben, the route continues as a beautiful alpine hike to Kreuzberg in Mariazell.
The route will take you about 80 hours / approx. 3 days on foot.
Starting at the foot of Teufelsstein, you walk over Alpl directly to Waldheimat, the home of poet Peter Rosegger, and from there via Hochgölk into the valley to Krieglach. Via Hocheckalm, you’ll reach Mürzer Oberland Nature Park. Once you have mastered the last ascent to Buchalpenkreuz, the route leads across lush alpine meadows and through shady forests to Mariazell.
Duration: 3 days
This route takes you from Aflenz to Mariazell via forest roads, forest paths, alpine routes and steep trails. Experienced hikers can complete the 38 kilometres in one day (duration: 5 hours). Churches and chapels invite you to stop for a break time and again.