Around the Ötscher

These attractions and views are located on the Ötscher, the “father mountain” in the Mostviertel.

We went to the Mostviertel, and defeated the Ötscher and Gemeindealpe for you. Along the way, we gathered some tips which will prove to be helpful, fun, adventurous, and (above all) very useful, irrespective of whether you are starting from Annaberg, Wienerbruck, or Mitterbach.

Vorderöstscher: Best of Austria’s Grand Canyon

The Ötscher, which is a landmark of the Mostviertel, impresses with its fantastic views and the wonderful flora and fauna in the Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park. It always amazes us that the nature park, which covers 170 km2, is even bigger than Liechtenstein! Accordingly, there is a lot to see and do in and around the park centre, the Naturparkzentrum Ötscher-Basis Wienerbruck. But let’s start with a stop-off point: In the Naturparkzentrum Ötscher-Basis restaurant, you should certainly taste the Annaberg sheep’s cheese, and order a round of Erzbräu beer to take away. On request guided tours of Ötscher-Basis, with park rangers, can also be arranged. Anyone who is travelling alone should head to the Schutzhaus Vorderötscher hut. The route passes the Power station Stierwaschboden and through the imposing gorges of Ötschergräben, to the Mira and SchleierWaterfalls. Here, nature demonstrates its crazy power, but at the same time has a strangely relaxing effect. Once there, an overnight stay in the mountains is worthwhile. Enjoy the lovely ambience of the Schutzhaus Vorderötscher hut, and eat tasty snacks at the table, whilst watching the deer strutting around.

Gemeindealpe: A pleasant ascent, a thrilling descent

If you stay at the Vorderötscher, you can climb the neighbouring mountain, the Gemeindealpe the next day. Or start your journey from a cosy part of the valley, such as the Urlaub am Bahnhof Wienerbruck. In this case, spend the night in the former station, where a ride on the nostalgic Mariazellerbahn is recommended. It departs directly in front of the house, and goes to Mitterbach. Our hiking tip: Be sure to choose the popular ascent from Zellerain to the Gemeindealpe. Over meadows interspersed with limestone, the route leads through marvellous panoramic scenery, with small forests and blue gentian. For a more comfortable journey, take the chair lift from Mitterbach. It is clear that the destination for all visitors is not just the summit, but also the new hut, Terzerhaus.

A lovely snack is already waiting for you on the panoramic terrace, which offers the most beautiful view of Mariazell. A tasty tip: Homemade apple strudel, fresh from the wood-fired oven! As a postprandial stroll, the beautiful panoramic trail is perfect before walking or taking the chair lift to the intermediate station, where a visit to the s’Balzplatzerl hut is worth your while. Make sure you order a special regional Burger, known as the “Franzis Gmoa Oim burger”, before heading directly to the Monsterroller and Mountaincarts. By the way... For the less adventurous, we recommend a walk through the forest, or a descent into the valley.

Another tip for ardent hut stamp collectors and walkers: For those who climb the Tirolerkogel from Annaberg, or hike on the Hennesteck, we recommend stopping at the huts Annaberger Haus and Anna-Alm. With these two additional stamps, you can fill 2 hut passports in just one holiday, and therefore increase your chance of winning!