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Not only does Admont Abbey house the largest monastic library in the world but the room is also regarded as the eighth wonder of the world. So, if you visit Admont, under no circumstances should you miss this highlight of Baroque architecture. It’s hard to believe your eyes when you are faced with a staggering 70,000 books, frescoes by Bartolomeo Altomonte and the well-known limewood carvings 'Four Last Things' by sculptor Josef Stammel. Painted in gold and white, the library exudes a unique and majestic air.
Become a cave explorer for a day – at Kraushöhle Cave! On a hot summer’s day, the cool climate inside the cave is particularly pleasant. Equipped with a jacket and a flashlight you will be following the footsteps of the great speleologist Franz Kraus. Passing the heavy, green gate you will soon discover a dark world. The tour not only opens up your eyes and ears, but is also sure to stimulate your imagination with all it's mystical figures and formations.
High above the valley at 1,699 metres, the largest and best-known lodge in the Gesäuse is surrounded by the Hochtor Mountain, Planspitze Peak and Hochzinödl Peak. These mountains also happen to be the most popular ones to climb after spending a night at the lodge. The ascents via Wasserfallweg Trail – for experienced hikers only – or via Johnsbach are two of the Gesäuse's classic hiking routes, while the lodge’s host Reini has ensured the lodge has become a real institution over the years.
The Ardning Alm Lodge is a place to unwind, plan your next hike or simply to rest, with Karin and Karl always on hand to indulge their guests with delicious meals and drinks. Numerous hiking tours in the area are sure to make any mountaineer’s heart beat faster. During the winter season it’s the ski tourers who are the ones rubbing their (gloved) hands together with glee when they hear the lodge’s name as the location is accessible by car and even offers a parking lot.
Steep canyons, impressive rock formations and colourful vegetation – this is what the backdrop of the Salza River looks like, as the water noisily meanders through the natural landscape and the famous conglomerate ravine. The best way to get to know this emerald-green beauty is to get into a raft or kayak and learn how to use those paddles. Enjoy an exciting adventure on one of the last wild rivers in Europe.
Klinkehütte Lodge has a lot to offer: a large hiking trail network in the surrounding area, a parking lot directly at the lodge, comfy beds and hearty meals. All of this makes it a perfect starting point for your family excursion or climbing trip. With the Kaiserau and Mödlingerhütte Lodge nearby there’s almost no excuse for not visiting this lodge, which is heaped in tradition and charm.
One of the most modern lodges in the Gesäuse is to be found at Buchstein Peak. The combination of outstanding cuisine and cool architecture makes for a special experience. Take trail 641 from Gstatterboden or St. Gallen and it will lead you to Buchsteinhaus Lodge, where you will probably arrive with tired legs but almost certainly beaming with joy. And next? It’s up to you. Either conquer one of the summits nearby, go on a climbing adventure or simply enjoy the cosy atmosphere at the lodge.
A highlight of the region is the hike through Wasserlochklamm gorge to the unpredictable water hole. The ingredients are: a suspension bridge, four wooden staircases and bridges, five waterfalls and a breath-taking view of the Salza. Right on top you might even hit the jackpot when the gates at the water hole open up as you are arriving. Sounds dangerous, but is indeed something for the whole family. Don’t miss the baked potatoes and waffles at Wasserlochschenke restaurant.
At a place where all-time highs are registered year after year on the thermometer there also has to be a place to take a refreshing dip. And, of course, there is - the Leisure Park in Landl...
Games and fun are closely linked to the liquid element at the Water Park St. Gallen. Here you can spend whole summer days in and around the water – no matter if they are sunny or rainy. The whole family can join in, share a red rubber dinghy and navigate through the various channels.
Some like to park their car atop Buchauer Col and hike along the Almlehrpfad Trail to the pasture, others prefer to ride their mountain bike there. For Eva and Gerhard it doesn’t make a difference. The only thing they care about is that guests enjoy their meals and the sun terrace. No matter if you choose to take a break at the lodge, visit the cheese dairy or continue on your hiking route – Grabneralm pasture is a true Gesäuse classic, where you can relax and enjoy the amazing views.
The Mountain Hut Loop Hike – pack a few Gesäuse Perle Lemonades and get started at Ebnerkreuzung junction in Johnsbach. Gear yourself up with a backpack, enough water and hiking boots and soon you’ll be hiking from hut to hut. The four cosy mountain huts waiting to receive hikers are Kölblalm, Ebneralm, Zeiringeralm and Huberalm.
Fancy a bit on the side? This lodge is actually located in Upper Austria not Styria, but it definitely forms part of the Gesäuse experience. Start your hike at Ardning Alm or in Hall. In winter you can also continue your ski tour on to Scheiblingsstein Peak. Another favourite is the via ferrata Wildfrauenklettersteig that ascends to Bosruck. The lodge also offers accommodations and of course hearty meals. Say hi to Upper Austria!
They say that the eighth wonder of the world can be found in Admont. We are talking about the monastic library, which will indeed make you fell tiny. Surrounding it is a lively Benedictine monastery where both faith and culture are lived every day. The latter in particular in the form of several museums – the Museum of Fine Arts, Natural History Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art leave nothing to be desired.
500 metres of elevation – that’s the hurdle you’ll have to take if you want to get to know the oldest forest road in Styria and if you want to marvel at the cascading waterfalls. By reading the charts along the way you’ll discover the history of logging and of course there are far worse things than hiking in the Hartelsgraben Notch and ending the hike at the beautiful Sulzkaralm pasture.