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Microadventures in Carinthia

Views from Carinthia's Panoramic Roads
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The second part of our microadventures series takes us to Carinthia. Here you will find a few inspirations for little adventures that do not require travelling far or even spending the night – our tips are ideal for after work or a day off. We hope they will help you escape your everyday life for a short time, even in times of COVID-19. Now that the days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising, we can enjoy a little more sun, and after all, Klagenfurt is Austria’s state capital with the most hours of sunshine. What are you waiting for?

Views from Carinthia’s Panoramic Roads

Here is a tip for fans of motorized traffic or for die-hard cyclists! Carinthia has five panoramic roads that take you serpentine after serpentine higher and higher up the mountains. The most famous is certainly the Grossglockner Alpine Road, which leads to the glacier of Austria’s highest mountain. No matter which road you choose, you will be rewarded with a unique view of the surrounding mountain landscape. But be careful, not all of the streets are open during the winter months, so make sure you find out beforehand! The beautiful Villach Alpine Road is open year-round but may be closed in between due to the weather. There are great vantage points in several hairpin bends: You can see the city of Villach, the Julian Alps and the Karawanken mountains as well as the three-country corner of Austria, Slovenia, and Italy.

Torchlight Hike

You might need to step out of your comfort zone to head into the dark and cold night – but it’s worth it! Organize torches or lanterns, pack your thermos with warm tea or mulled wine, dress warmly and you’re ready to go. Find a nice hiking trail in the area, preferably not too steep or sloping; after all, your vision is much worse at night. No matter if you decide on a more secluded area or simply the first path you find, take time to listen to the silence and stare at the night sky, or head to a viewpoint where you can see the lights of the next cities and regions – for example up at Schloss Landskron where you can see Villach, Dobratsch mountain, the Karawanken and the Julian Alps. If you start in the late afternoon, you can enjoy the sunset and then head back down with torches!

PS: Don’t forget to take a fully charged cell phone and a backup flashlight.

Torchlight Hike:  A walk at night is especially beautiful in winter.
A walk at night is especially beautiful in winter.

Local Museums

It may not sound terribly exciting, but small local museums can sometimes surprise you with unexpected stories and information. Visit the next museum you can find and let yourself be carried away to another time! You will certainly learn interesting facts about the area! If you are visiting your hometown museum, maybe you might even discover relatives in old photos?

Did you know, for example, that Metnitz is the European center of the Danse Macabre or Dance of Death, or what this even is? No? Then get on your way and discover this curious tradition! The dance of death, also known as “danse macabre” in France, shows the transience of life beyond class: death personified welcomes everyone, from the king to the beggar. Originally, the original frescoes were attached to the ossary, but due to the weather and the poor conditions, they have been removed and replaced with replicas. The originals have been carefully restored and are located next door in a small, modern museum where you can learn more about the background and tradition of the Dance of Death.

 Reconstructed frescos at the ossary in Methnitz (cc) Johann Jaritz / CC BY-SA 4.0 via wikipedia
Reconstructed frescos at the ossary in Metnitz
(cc) Johann Jaritz / CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikipedia

Audio Guide St. Andrä

How about a trip to the beautiful Lavant Valley? St. Andrä, the largest community in the Wolfsberg district, has a long and exciting past which you can learn about in our free audio guide: the historic figure of Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek will guide you on panoramic trail and tell you everything about the history of St. Andrä and the Lavant valley. If this walk is not enough for you, there are many pilgrimage routes in the area, such as the Benedict path, the Slomšek pilgrimage route or the Marian pilgrimage route, which offer hundreds of kilometers of walking. Even if you don’t want to hike for days, these trails are recommended as they are usually well signposted and lead through beautiful landscapes.

The Lavant valley is stunning each time of the year.
The Lavant valley is stunning each time of the year.

We hope we were able to give you a few ideas to rediscover your surroundings and maybe do things that you would not otherwise have thought of. Or perhaps you’ve been inspired and are thinking of something that you always wanted to do but never did. Now, when the big journeys unfortunately have to wait, it’s the perfect time for it!

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