Rax, © Niederösterreich-Werbung/Robert Herbst

12 secret tips for enjoying an Alpine summer

Exciting, diverse and surprising: We have compiled 12 amazing facts about the Alpine summer for you.

The pastures on the Wechsel are known as Schwaigen, © Wiener Alpen in Niederösterreich/Michael Reidinger

No pastures on the Wechsel

The Wechsel mountain, which is on the border between Styria and Lower Austria, does not have pastures. Instead, they are called Schwaigen, and those who explore them will find many sacred milestones such as the Schwarzen Herrgott (“Black Jesus Christ”) or the Steinerne Kreuz (“Stone Cross”).

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Skytour Hochkar, © Rene Jagersberger

100 peaks in one picture

On Lower Austria’s highest viewing platform, the Skytour 360° on the Hochkar, the Mostviertel and the whole world are at your feet. In the optimum conditions, you can enjoy a panorama of 100 peaks which have altitudes exceeding 2,000 metres.

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An underground wonderland in the Ötscher stalactite cave, © Melanie Karas

Madonna in the Mostviertel

How did a Madonna, a flamingo and an elephant’s ear end up in a cave? Nature has allowed them to grow there, and the Ötscher stalactite cave with its unique rock formations can be explored in an exciting 45-minute tour.

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Skywalk viewing terrace, © Wiener Alpen, Foto: Franz Zwickl

Mountain goats on the Hohe Wand?

Although they should not actually be here, they have found a great home: The mountain goats of the Hohe Wand are just as much a part of the scenery as the rugged rocks; and just like the view, they have become a popular photo opportunity for climbers and hikers. Our tip: Get the best view from Skywalk Hohe Wand.

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Eibl Teichhütte, © Familie Tröstl

A blessing in disguise

First, the associated drag lift did not work. Then the Eibl Teichhütte was adapted into a shelter. Then it was set alight by an arsonist. The idyllic hut did not have a very good start. But now it is more popular than ever before!

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Wildness Dürrenstein, © Mostviertel Tourismus/weinfranz.at

The largest jungle in central Europe

It’s true: The largest remains of a primeval forest in central Europe are in the Mostviertel – at the heart of the Wilderness Area Dürrenstein, to be precise. The strictest natural reserve of Austria, the Rothwald wilderness, has seen neither axe nor chainsaw since the last ice age.

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Elisabethkircherl, © Wiener Alpen in Niederösterreich/Franz Zwickl

Sissi’s radiance

The Elisabethkircherl, which was built in the honour of Empress Sissi after her assassination, is enthroned on the Hochschneeberg. The church was built very close to the edge, which is why today – in true Sissi style – its radiance can be seen from miles around.

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Naturfreundehaus Knofeleben, © (c)Naturfreundehaus Knofeleben, Foto: Günter Zottl

On the royal road

The Emperor always spent the summer hunting, and was based in his suite in the Thalhof in Reichenau, just a stone’s throw away from the Eng. Make your way through the wild and romantic gorge to Knofeleben, which was once where the royal hunting hut was located... but now where the Naturfreundehaus Knofeleben hut invites you to take a rest.

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Ötscher, the mountain of many stories, © Mostviertel Tourismus/weinfranz.at

A mountain steeped in legend

The Ötscher was, and is, fascinating. It is hardly surprising that there are so many stories about it. So, for example, the weather loch, which is said have been formed during a storm, or the pigeon hole in which more lost souls than pigeons nest. The old mountain knows 1,000 stories. It’s time to hear one or two of them.

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Hochschneeberg mountain railway, © Wiener Alpen in Niederösterreich/Franz Zwickl

The highest railway station

Austria’s highest railway station is located on the Hochschneeberg. And as if that were not enough, there is an exhibition at the Hochschneeberg mountain station, featuring works by the Puchberg-based artist VOKA.

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Power station Stierwaschboden, © Mostviertel Tourismus/weinfranz.at

Energised pioneering spirit

The Wienerbruck power station on the Stierwaschboden was built between 1907-1911, and is one of the EVN’s oldest power stations, and generates the traction current for the Mariazell Railway – one of the first electrified railways in Austria-Hungary.

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