From pleasantly cool gorges to beautiful mountain lakes, from idyllic bathing locations to hot thermal springs: The wealth of water between the Dachstein mountain range and the Styrian Wine Country is extremely valuable and precious for all those who live near and from it. In the green heart of Austria, many enchanting water hiking trails lead to these natural sources of life, energy and power.
Water in all its forms exerts a magical attraction on us humans. This applies to the roaring mountain stream as well as to the mirror-smooth lake. And it applies equally to the splendour of flowers after rainfall or to a refreshing swim on a midsummer's day. Water stands for life – sometimes still, sometimes wild, sometimes shallow and sometimes deep but always fascinating.
In short: All life depends on this special element. But without a doubt, water is at its most spectacular when it plunges impressively into the depths over terrain edges or terraces. Nature lovers can experience this first hand on the water hiking trails in Styria.
The wider, the more imposing and the higher, the more stunning: These equations have global validity – from the Canadian Niagara Falls to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the Günster Waterfall. The latter is located between Krakau and Schöder in the Lower Tauern mountains and is the highest of its kind in Styria with a drop of 65 metres.
If you want to marvel at the thunderous wildness of the Riesach Falls, you can do so on the Wild Water National Geographic Trail near Schladming: The stream plunges over several cataracts before it flows into the Enns in Schladming.
Another impressive natural spectacle is the largest water-bearing cave in Styria, which can be found on the southern slope of the Hochkar on a steep rock face. It is located at an altitude of around 800 metres above sea level and pours its water directly into the rugged Palfauer Wasserlochklamm gorge. The ascent through the gorge leads you past a total of five waterfalls, which collectively are 152 metres high.
The Bärenschützklamm gorge north of Graz, a protected natural monument, is also one of the most attractive water routes in Austria featuring a spectacular hiking trail. If you would like to enjoy some natural spectacles without all the roar and rage, you might want to visit the numerous mountain lakes in the Schladming Tauern mountain range. Other popular excursion destinations are the Grüner See and the Leopoldsteinersee lakes at the foot of Hochschwab.
All hiking trails by and to the water are summarised in the tour portal. If you want to dive in and learn more about the fascination of water, the Hochschwab Museum or the Museum HochQuellenWasser Wildalpen are the right places to go.
Streams, rivers and lakes enrich Styria as important living and recreational spaces. Overall, the quality of the regional natural landscapes has received many awards. With countless picturesque places to sit and relax, the green heart of Austria is perfect for a holiday by the water.
Whether on a campsite, in a holiday apartment or at a wellness hotel, with your dog or together with your whole family: Styria invites you to take a refreshing break from everyday life. Hiking or cycling along a river or stream one day and indulging in local culinary delights at a lakeside restaurant the next – in Styria, every guest will find their favourite spot by the water.
A great alternative to the various water hiking trails are the river bike paths. The most well-known of them is the Murradweg, which runs along the Mur, the longest river in Styria. The rivers Enns, Raab or Mürz are also popular for cycling. If you decide to go on a tour along the Feistritz in East Styria, you will pass through the Stubenbergklamm gorge – probably one of the most beautiful bike path sections in Austria.
In the mood for something a little more adventurous and action-packed? Then Enns, Salza, Sulm, Mur or Raab invite you to go canoeing or canyoning. River hiking and more is also offered at the Feistritz or Lafnitz ...