Crossing an entire province once may sound like a big challenge, but it’s possible. You can hike from the south to the very north of Styria in just 11 days, discovering some of its most beautiful landscapes along the way. This region in the southeast of Austria is known for its wonderful nature. As long as you enjoy hiking and are in good shape, that’s all you need.
You hike across the lovely alpine pastures of the Limestone Alps to rocky peaks. In the evening, you spend the night in one of the rustic huts where you can marvel at the sunset in the mountains after a great day of hiking. After 230 kilometres (143 miles), you pass through picturesque hilly landscapes and idyllic river valleys until you reach the high Alps in the north of Styria.
The Via Alpina is a network of five long-distance hiking trails through all eight Alpine states. The purple trail, which begins in the Karawanks mountain range between Austria and Slovenia, ending in the German Allgäu, leads through Styria. However, this Collection is only about the Styrian section, which connects the municipality Soboth in the south with Spital am Pyhrn municipality in the north. You hike from the Lavanttal Alps to the gates of the Gesäuse mountain group and Kalkalpen National Park. You could easily extend your trip for a few days here too.
The route mainly follows easy forest and meadow paths. In between, however, you also hike along narrower paths which can be rocky from time to time. Surefootedness is useful, but the paths aren’t particularly technically demanding. Some of the stages are up to 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) long, so you should be in relatively good shape. However, the elevation gain is not too taxing on most days.
Since you stay below 2,000 metres (6,560 feet) most of the way, you can plan this long-distance hike from late spring to autumn. The trails are usually great to hike and the accommodation is usually open from May to October. You can stay at inns and mountain huts en route or choose from a larger range of accommodation in the larger towns. However, as the number of beds in the stage destinations is often limited, you should book your accommodation well in advance.
To can reach this adventure with public transport. Catch the train to Wies-Eibiswald station via Graz and hop on a bus to Soboth (gkb.at/index.php/fahrplaene-fahrgastinfo/fahrplan-bus). It can take a little while due to the connections, but you can get excited as the beautiful West Styrian landscapes pass by on the train ride. At the end of the hike in Spital am Pyhrn, there is a train station which has long-distance rail connections.
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Last updated: November 4, 2021
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
You start your journey from south to north through Styria at the foot of the Koralm. You start your long-distance hike right away, because this stage is not easy on you: it is long and requires more than 1,000 vertical meters downhill from you. The majority of the route is in the forest.
First you hike…
The second stage is all about increasing altitude - it's 1,300 meters uphill. In return you can look forward to more comfortable days afterwards. In addition, the ascent is fairly evenly distributed over the entire route and it rarely gets a bit steeper.
From Eibiswald you can get back to nature very…
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The third stage is particularly promising. On this day you will discover the Koralpe and climb its highest peak, the Großer Speikkogel. After an initial section through the forest, you hike comfortably uphill over alpine pastures along the border with Carinthia. In the west you can cast beautiful views…
On this day it is mainly downhill again and you will pass several so-called ovens. This refers to the striking, large rocks that lie on the mountain pastures. After the first steep ascent from the Weinebene, the path quickly becomes more comfortable.
Again you follow a promising ridge and then hike on…
On this day there is a long ascent up into the mountains. At first, Pack goes through the forest a lot. There, where you slowly reach the mountain ridge, you will find the rustic amber hut in a clearing. Here you can treat yourself to a little break from the ascent.
Then you lose yourself in the beauty…
The sixth stage is quite relaxed and you could even make it almost a day off if you don't climb the summit of the day. You can bypass the Rappoldkogel on the right and save around 250 meters in altitude. Since the stage is not that far on this day anyway, there are actually no excuses!
You don't have…
It's good that you were able to gather new strength yesterday, because the seventh stage is again quite long and it's a lot downhill. Forest paths initially take you north with only a little up and down on a long mountain ridge. Then you follow a curve to the west, where you hike on the Steinplan with…
In the west of Knittelfeld the Ingeringbach flows into the city. You could actually just follow its course through the valley to your destination today. But for a bit more view you hike over the mountains instead.
The Tremmelberg, the highest point of this stage, rises north of Knittelfeld, and you start…
The impressive crossing of the Seckau Alps awaits you on the ninth stage. On the way over the Kettentörl there is only a moderate amount of vertical meters. On the first part of the route, the Ingeringbach will accompany you again. On a leisurely incline, you hike north through its valley.
Then the valley…
On the penultimate day on the Via Alpina through Styria, there is another particularly long stage. First you hike the entire length of the Triebental to the village of Trieben. There you cross the Paltental and climb back up on the other side into the mountains.
For a truly sublime view, you can make…
The eleventh stage is the beautiful end to your Via Alpina through Styria. At the end of the day you hiked from south to north across the entire state. The stage is neither particularly long nor does it require an extraordinary amount of vertical meters from you. So you can enjoy your last day of hiking…
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