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The Styrian Mariazell Way – a pilgrim’s hike through southeastern Austria

Bikerwolferl (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Styrian Mariazell Way – a pilgrim’s hike through southeastern Austria

Hiking Collection by Mareike

11-23

days

3-6 h

/ day

146 mi

24,900 ft

25,100 ft

Mariazell, a city in the southeast Austrian state of Sytria, is probably the most well-known pilgrimage site in Austria. Surrounded by the Sytrian mountains, the city and its basilica are idyllic. To make your visit truly special, you can embark on your own pilgrimage and hike to the city.

You can reach Mariazell via a network of long-distance hiking trails that stretch into all corners of Austria. The routes, waymarked by 06, follow the traditional pilgrimage routes to the city. In this Collection, I introduce the Styrian pilgrimage trail. Over a distance of 140 miles (230 km), you will walk from south to north through the wonderful region.

I’ve split the pilgrimage into ten stages, each finishing in a town or village with a cosy bed and hot meal. The routes are up to 18 miles (30 km) long, with some shorter days too. You can always split the stages to suit your own needs and fitness. Surrounded by fresh air and stunning nature, you can embark on your own spiritual journey away from your busy daily life. Embarking on a daily routine of walking helps you to reflect and enjoy the present.

The Mariazell Way also has many cultural highlights. You walk through Sytria’s ancient fields and forests, old farms and small villages. Many chapels and crosses along the route mark the historic pilgrimage. You can also visit magnificent castles and palaces. The route also leads through Graz, the Styria’s capital. You can take a day off here to discover the city’s UNESCO designated centre and Eggenburg Palace.

Your hike begins at the southern end of the Koralpe mountain range. From here, you descend to the flatter terrain around Graz, which lies at 1,148 feet (350 m) above sea level. As you hike north, the mountains get bigger and you climb up to 4,920 feet (1,500 m). The best time of year to hike the Styrian Mariazell Way is from May to October when the paths are free from snow.

The start of the long distance trail in Soboth can be reached by bus from Eibiswald. However, the bus runs infrequently. Eibiswald, the start of the second stage, is easier to reach with the S-Bahn from Graz. From Mariazell, you can take buses and trains through the mountains to Lower Austria and Graz. The area is generally well-connected to public transport so you can easily shorten your pilgrimage or walk the individual stages as day hikes.

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Steirischer Mariazeller Weg

143 mi

24,475 ft

25,050 ft

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.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    06:14
    12.2 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,725 ft
    3,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Once from south to north through Styria: The first stage of this Mariazell path begins in Soboth, which is close to the border with Carinthia. Up to here you can hike on the Carinthian variant of the pilgrimage route.

    

    

    Today always leads you roughly to the east. First of all, you slowly run downhill. The

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  • Difficult
    08:37
    17.6 mi
    2.0 mph
    3,225 ft
    2,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the second stage of the Mariazeller Weg, you leave Eibiswald in a northerly direction and continue your hike on the dirt road as you exit the village. The first kilometers alternate forest sections, meadows and small settlements. This way you will soon reach Vorderdorf, which you will cross straight

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  • Difficult
    08:20
    18.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,950 ft
    2,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The third stage continues north. Today there are a lot of ups and downs on the program over just 30 kilometers. On the outskirts of Deutschlandsberg it goes a short distance through a forest and then on across meadows and fields. You cross the idyllic Wildbach valley and climb on the other side over

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  • Difficult
    06:57
    15.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Today's destination is the Styrian capital Graz, a cultural highlight of the Mariazeller Weg. It's best to get up early in the morning and then have even more time in the evening to enjoy the city.

    

    

    You still leave Mooskirchen in a northerly direction, but then turn east in the next town of Kleinsöding

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  • Difficult
    05:29
    12.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,825 ft
    700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Through Graz you walk towards the northeast. At the Hilmtich you enter a forest. Houses are slowly becoming fewer and you leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. Relatively cozy and with only a moderate incline, you get to the first highlight of the stage: the Basilica Mariatrost, which is located

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  • Difficult
    06:56
    12.6 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,925 ft
    3,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In the northwest of St. Radegund there is finally the mountain that you have often seen on your way here: the Schöckl. Climbing its 1,445 meter high summit is your first task today. You pass the valley station of the mountain railway, which could also relieve you of the ascent of the day. On a path with

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  • Difficult
    05:31
    10.7 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,975 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The seventh stage of the Styrian Mariazell Path leads you through beautiful alpine landscapes. From Passail it goes first a short distance to the north. But soon you will turn to the right to climb comfortably to Krichenlee. Behind the village you leave the populated area and enter a picturesque landscape

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  • Difficult
    08:21
    17.0 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,425 ft
    4,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After breakfast you start your hike northeast. Four peaks line up to your left. First you pass the Reschenkogel, then the Beißenkogel and then the Feichtkogel. Half bypass the fourth summit, the Aibelhöhe, and continue hiking north.

    

    

    On the slopes you keep roughly at a height, then climb up towards Fürstkogel

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  • Difficult
    06:55
    13.5 mi
    2.0 mph
    3,950 ft
    1,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a night in the cozy civilization, you leave Mitterdorf to the northwest. The ascent begins in the village, which then continues in the forest. Every now and then meadows interrupt the shade of the trees.

    

    

    After the first ascent, the path gives you a short break on a plateau. If you want to extend

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  • Difficult
    08:10
    17.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,025 ft
    3,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The last stage of the Mariazeller Weg through Styria has it all again: It is a good 27 kilometers to the finish. On the way you are amazed by the wonderful views of the ever increasing mountains.

    

    

    From the Rotsohlalm you keep to the left under your back and walk north under the Hohe Vietsch. Through forest

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    146 mi
  • Duration
    71:29 h
  • Elevation
    24,900 ft25,100 ft

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The Styrian Mariazell Way – a pilgrim’s hike through southeastern Austria

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