We start in the hiking village of Soboth in the southwest of Styria on the border with Carinthia. The Via Alpina comes up from Lavamünd to the hiking village with its pass location. From here, the trail descends to Eibiswald, which is considered the Austrian long-distance hiking centre. In addition to the Via Alpina, the Mariazellerweg, the European long-distance hiking trail E 6 (goes from Kilpisjärvi in northwestern Finland to the Dardanelles in Turkey) also meet here. In Eibiswald, we also meet the hiking route "From the Glacier to the Wine", which leads on a north and a south route from the Dachstein Glacier to the Styrian wine country.
From Eibiswald on the Schilcher Wine Road, the route leads through vineyards, meadows, forests and gentle alpine pastures along the border between the provinces of Carinthia and Styria to the Koralpenhaus. The trail leads over the Weinebene and the Hebalm to the pretty little village of Pack. Then it goes over alpine pastures of the Hirscheggeralm to the Stubalpe. Here, you cross over the Gaberl into the Murtal valley with your destination Knittelfeld, a town that is closely associated with the construction of the railway in the Murtal valley. Construction began in 1861 and the town is still a railway town today - a museum is proof of this. Before that we reach the Rachau. Here - time permitting - the Wipfelwanderweg awaits us, one of the most exciting and impressive staged hiking trails in the Eastern Alps.
On the Tremmelberg, we reach a huge observation tower with 220 wooden steps, modelled on the two towers of the Benedictine Abbey of Seckau, which opens up wonderful views of the Gleinalm, Stubalpe and the Seckau Alps. Incidentally, the mighty Seckau Abbey is considered one of the outstanding landmarks of Styria. The crossing of the Seckau Alps brings us to the Ingeringsee. As we continue our ascent, we are accompanied by alpine roses and, depending on the season, the blueberry bushes along the way colour the slopes pink, green or deep red. The next destination is Admont with its world-famous monastery library. Along the salt trail with the fantastic mountain backdrop of the Haller Mauern, we reach Spital am Pyhrn via the Rohrauerhaus and the Bosruckhütte.
Details of the Via Alpina in English can be found at www.via-alpina.org.