Counting the days to a winter break in Styria?
The snowman has been THE symbol for winter, ever since the early 19th century when his jolly, round face and rotund figure began helping children and adults alike beat the winter blues: there's nothing quite like using freshly fallen snow to build a snowman, after all.
For the 2019/20 winter season, Steiermark Tourismus is inviting visitors to be full of the joys of winter ‒ and get snowman-building. Preferably on a winter vacation to Styria. All you have to do then is upload your photos to Facebook from mid January to the end of February for a chance to win a family holiday, ski passes and admission to selected spas for the whole family. It's also the perfect reason to head for the Riesneralm before early February, where the plan is to build a 40-metre-high snowman in an attempt to make it into the Guinness Book of Records. www.steiermark.com/winter
From alpine cuisine to the ThermalWasserWochen
All winter long, 14 mountain restaurants in the Schladming-Dachstein region will be playing host to "Alpine cuisine by Richard Rauch". This delectable offer began in summer and is set to continue in winter too. The award-winning chef has created a special dish for each restaurant to scale the heights of good food and good cooking ‒ in a way that measures up to even the tallest mountain. By the way: you can get to Schladming cheaply and enjoyably from just EUR 19 from Vienna, Stuttgart, the Netherlands…
Styria's Family SkiFest, on 14-15 December, is an unmissable date on the calendar. For the fourth time, a 50 % discount is being offered on ski passes, ski hire and ski lessons at just short of 30 ski and cross-country ski areas; this special offer is valid in Joglland-Waldheimat and Naturpark Almenland on Sundays, and for the Ramsau cross-country trail on Saturdays and Sundays. Official start: Brunnalm in Veitsch on 14 December.
Snowshoe hikers will love the third Snowshoe Hiking Festival, which takes place in the Murau-Murtal region and is the largest in Austria. There are 28 activities on the agenda from 24 January to 2 February 2020, giving enthusiasts a chance to really get stuck in. Enjoy spectacular views of the Dachstein, Ausseerland and the Totes Gebirge as you traverse the new winter hiking trail on the Loser. At the end of the ski season, Tauplitz serves up a unique experience, the "Slope-Food-Bahn": on 28 March a four-course meal comprising regional Ausseerland ingredients can be enjoyed in the gondolas. The ski package "Sieben auf einen Schwung" (Seven in One Go) explores seven highlights of the Hochsteiermark region.
Water, water, everywhere: The ThermalWasserWochen (Spa Water Weeks) run from 10 January to 22 March 2020 and events can be found in all spa towns in Styria's Spa and Volcano Country. Enjoy a spot of yoga in the vineyards or indulge in the new beauty treatments based on pine, with the Zirbelle range. Get healthy this winter in eastern Styria, known as Austria's Garden, with workshops on traditional home remedies as well as visits to a marine fish farm in Weiz.
19-20 October sees the opening of CoSA – the Center of Science Activities in Graz. The Grazer Kindermuseum FRida & freD and the Universalmuseum Joanneum have joined forces to bring technology and science to visitors (particularly younger people aged over 12) in some very extraordinary ways. The library at Vorau Abbey, nicknamed the "Schmuckkästchen" (Jewellery Box), has now reopened to visitors having undergone some renovation work.
Events from Advent jubilees to figure skating to the Trüffelfestival
The Green Heart of Austria lights up the bleak winter months with a very colourful programme of events that reflects Styria's diversity: large-scale international events such as the European Figure Skating Championship in Graz, the Skiflug World Cup on the Kulm and the Men's Night Slalom in Schladming; sports events such as the third Snowshoe Festival and the 20th Tour de Ramsau for amateurs on the cross-country ski marathon scene; plus jubilees like the 20-year anniversary of the Mariazell Christmas Market, which this year debuts a "walk-in Advent calendar" (doorways become the calendar windows), or the 90th Barbarafeiern in Eisenerz. All topped off by an exciting range of activities including a New Year's show of water, fire, lasers and light, the Truffle Festival and the "Opernredoute" opera ball in Graz.
Facts & figures winter 2018/19
1,789,428 visitors spent 5,870,085 nights in Styria.
Styria is beloved: in the last five years, Styrian tourism in winter saw well over 700,000 nights spent in the region and attracted around 285,000 visitors.