After the starting point of the tour is the Schilcherland car park in St. Stefan ob Stainz, you have the opportunity to stock up on provisions for your hike and to fortify yourself with regional delicacies. Full of energy, you start on the pavement along the main road in the direction of Stainz. A varied loop awaits you on a route of 8.7 kilometres, which will take you about two and a half hours.
At the fire station, turn off to the south and hike up a hilltop. Here in the district of Lichtenhof, a wonderful view over the hilly landscape of western Styria awaits you. Especially on a sunny autumn day, the Schilcher vineyards shine in bright colours from yellow to dark red. Sit down in the grass and enjoy this magical moment.
After you can tear yourself away from the sight, continue along a quiet road through a settlement. After a few metres, you will catch sight of a farm specialising in cattle farming on your left. Take your time and watch the cows graze, the typical sound they make is extremely soothing.
Now continue along a gravelled forest path. The light of the sun penetrating through the dense leaves draws beautiful patterns on the forest floor. The children can have a battle with the leaves lying on the ground or play a round of hide and seek. An unforgettable holiday experience for the little ones.
After a while you come to a fork in the path where you turn right. Now it is not far to the Franzosenkreuz. On the plaque of the cross you will find the following inscription: "Far from their dear loved ones, 3 Frenchmen died here, beaten by the peasants, and buried here by theirs. The peasants fought with heroism, for the country and for their property." There is a beautiful cross at the side of the path, modernly designed since 2009, to commemorate the French War around 1809.
From there you continue through forest and flowering meadows, past the Lady Chapel in Pichling and slightly downhill to the country road. In the centre of the chapel's altar table is a 75-centimetre statuette of a Lourdes Madonna, with representations of Saints Anthony and Joseph, both with the infant Jesus, on either side.
After you have crossed the country road, you walk energetically in the direction of the Lemsitzbach stream. You have the opportunity to refresh yourself in the cool water. From here you can already see the beautiful, yellow-coloured Stainz Castle. You can reach it after a ten-minute walk. The castle houses a hunting and agricultural museum. You should definitely visit it.
The last two kilometres of this wonderful hike are a real insider tip. The unpaved path follows the meandering Lemsitzbach stream and is truly idyllic with its natural trees and shrubs. You will reach St. Stefan again via a bridge, a little-used asphalt road and a quiet meadow section.
Let this hiking day come to an end in one of the numerous wine taverns in the village. You have truly earned a hearty snack with regional delicacies.