© Steiermark Tourismus | Leo Himsl © Steiermark Tourismus | Leo Himsl
The journey is its own reward

Pilgrimages in the green heart of Austria

The body moves the mind. There is hardly any other activity to which this sentence applies as much as to pilgrimages. The constant walking and the steady movement allow you to live in the moment – without thinking too much. All your stress gradually falls away, and your inner restlessness subsides. With every step, you feel completely at peace and a little closer to yourself.

Pilgrimage is so simple and yet, it requires an entirely different concept of time compared to everyday life. Which regions in Styria invite you to consciously decelerate, and what should you bear in mind on a pilgrimage holiday? If you read on, you will find the answers to these and other questions.

The 4 great pilgrimage routes of Styria

The Mariazell Route, the Hemma Pilgrims' Route, the Benedict Route and the Way of St. James: These four names make pilgrims' hearts beat faster. Each route in itself is something very special – and if you look at all four of them, you'll quickly realise what makes Styria such a popular holiday destination for this unique way to hike. Ready for a first, virtual "walk"?

© Steiermark Tourismus | Harry Schiffer

By the way

The tour portal gives you an overview of all pilgrimage routes in Styria.

To the pilgrimage routes in Styria

What pilgrims should know

5 tips for pilgrimages in Austria

From the best way to prepare yourself to knowing what to eat on the way, here are five useful tips for pilgrimages in Austria:

The basics:

preparation is key

Every pilgrimage requires thorough planning. Before setting out on a journey to find yourself, a few questions should be answered: How much time is needed for the pilgrimage itself, but also for rest or sightseeing days? Do I have the necessary fitness level? Will I be walking alone or in a group?

Long periods of walking can be challenging. That's why every pilgrim should adapt the route to both the time available and their individual fitness and ability.

The earlier, the better:

booking an accommodation

On many stages of well-known pilgrimage routes, accommodation is hard to come by. In addition, it is rare to be able to hop in a taxi in the middle of nature. Sometimes there is not even mobile phone reception, to the delight of many pilgrims. Especially if you are hiking in a group, you should make reservations well in advance. Group accommodation options are sometimes fully booked for a long time ahead, even up to a year.

A popular stumbling block:

bringing too much luggage 

As far as luggage on a pilgrimage holiday is concerned, the motto definitely is: Less is more. Of course, the weight also depends on the route and time of year. To be more specific, your backpack should weigh no more than ten kilogrammes. It is also important that it fits properly and has well-padded shoulder straps and convenient side pockets.

From head to toe:

the right equipment

Functional clothing adapted to the region and the weather is a must on every hike – and thus also for pilgrimages in Styria. Furthermore, ankle-high, waterproof and well-broken-in hiking boots with robust soles will be your trusty companions. Also recommended: height-adjustable telescopic poles with ergonomic handles as well as a towel, adhesive bandages, and a headlamp.

For the road:

Food and drink

Sufficient food and drink are essential for pilgrims to ensure that they have enough energy for the journey. Springs and creeks invite you to refill your water bottles along the way. An emergency reserve of small snacks in the form of fruit or granola bars goes a long way. For longer breaks, you can stop at the various restaurants and inns along the trails, although you should keep in mind closing days and times.

More tips for a hiking holiday in Styria