Austria’s largest orchard lies in the midst of Eastern Styria, in the ApfelLand-Stubenbergsee region to be exact. Here the apple above all else symbolises a long-standing orcharding tradition.
The land around the “Holy Rigi”, as the Kulm with a height of nearly a thousand metres is also know, was already popular among the Celts. Archaeological excavations around the Kulm, presented in the “Kulmkeltendorf” Celtic village built especially for the purpose, attest to that. Later the Romans cultivated wine, among other things, on this fertile land. Today, Eastern Styria’s Roman Wine Road invites you to follow their tracks on a culinary journey of discovery. The ApfelLand was popular in medieval times as well. Numerous castles and palaces bear witness to that. There are five in the village of Stubenberg alone.
Central Europe’s largest artificial swimming lake with an expanse of water measuring around 40 ha was created here half a century ago. The Stubenbergsee is fed by the Feistritz. Its already clear water is filtered by an especially constructed filtration system before entering the lake. Enjoy your stay between apple blossoms, castles and the swimming lake. Sunrise and sunset on the Kulm is always worth the hike, and so is a bicycle tour along the Feistritztal cycling trail.
Take a break at a Styrian wine bar, perhaps after visiting the wildlife and the historic gardens of Herberstein Castle. Enjoy a ride on the Feistritztalbahn pulled by a historic steam locomotive and much more. Come for a visit to Austria’s largest orchard.
The “Apple House” is the highlight of the Apple Road. Here visitors can experience the long history of fruit-growing and learn about the work of apple growers along with the dangers to which fruit trees are exposed. Hail in particular has often wiped out the entire crop in the past. The special exhibition “The Secret of the Apple Men” is new this year. It presents the rituals of the legendary apple growers who lock themselves in for three days and nights every year to distil the world’s best apple brandy.
The Apfelland scores as a vacation destination with a variety of excursions: The Rauchstubenhaus in Anger testifies to rural building culture and the Kulm Celtic Village to the rich prehistory. The highlight of any adventure program is not only Lake Stubenberg, Austria's warmest bathing lake, but above all Herberstein with its wildlife, the Gironcoli Museum, the show gardens and the imposing castle complex.
Bike and hike through gently rolling hills, apple orchards and vineyards or along rivers in the ApfelLand-Stubenbergsee region. The well-marked cycling and hiking trails and the varied landscape of Austria’s garden leave nothing to be desired. Cycling and hiking are among the nicest ways to explore the region and its special features at your own pace.
Since the ApfelLand has a lot to offer, a day will definitely not be enough: Not only the unique Waggonhotel in Anger or the annual Apple Blossom Festival, but culinary variety as well.
The name of the ApfelLand-Stubenbergsee says it all: It is home to the 25-kilometre Styrian Apple Road. The area around the Stubenbergsee is home to two members of the Castle Road as well – Schielleiten Castle and Herberstein Castle. Numerous wine taverns in the ApfelLand are also part of Eastern Styria’s Roman Wine Road.