Styria is our home – so it’s the place where we live. However, it is not the place we know best. At least, it wasn’t until we decided to use the time until our departure to explore it a little better.
Southern Styria – Buschenschank Paradise
We started our tour in Southern Styria – more precisely at the Weingut Pongratz in Gamlitz. Southern Styria is well-known for its vineyards, culinary explosions and its beautiful landscapes. It is not called Austrian Tuscany for no reason – it really reminds on the romantic region in Italy. We hiked along the so-called “Vitalwanderweg” passing vineyards, Buschenschanken (little taverns serving their own wine and small, usually cold home-made dishes with various spreads, different sorts of ham and meat and cheese), Klapotetz (a wooden device that is used as a bird scarer in the vineyards), grassland and woods. Along the way, you will also find signs that invite you to do small exercises (such as stretching and breathing).
The Austrian Tuscany
The region around Gamlitz offers a bunch of different hikes and no matter what level of condition you have, you will find the right track. Make sure you don’t go there on a Sunday because lots of Buschenschanken tend to stay closed on Sundays. If you still decide to go on that day of the week, make sure you bring a snack and enough to drink, especially on hot days.
After we had walked for about half an hour, we reached the self-service drinking station “Tertinegg” where you can purchase sparkling water and wine for very small money. Just toss a coin into the cash box and help yourself in the fridge. After another 30-45 minutes, which led us up and down through grassland and wood, we reached the Buschenschank Peter Skoff. From there, we kept on walking for another 30 minutes until we arrived at the Buschenschank Heike Skoff where we ate a delicious meal, including an even more delicious cake for desert. After we had revitalized with good Austrian food, we were ready for the last part back to where we started, the Buschenschank Pongratz. We ended our day with a Cherry liquor on the terrace of the Buschenschank Tinnauer – which actually offers a stunning view on the vineyards of Southern Styria. If you love romantic spots as much as we do, make sure you don’t miss taking a picture on the “Herzerlstrasse” a street formed like a heart. It is only a short drive from Gamlitz at the border to Slovenia. More precisely, it is located in Sulztal an der Weinstrasse – only a five minute walk from the Weinidylle Dreisiebner (where you can also park the car).
We can highly recommend hiking in Southern Styria if you love easy to semi-difficult hikes, wonderful green landscapes, stunning panoramic views, delicious food and high-quality wines. For those who don’t arrive from Graz, the region offers many accommodation opportunities for all budgets. There is a lot of apartment houses, luxury hotels and even a Buschenschank offers a nice opportunity to stay.