Idyllic mountain pastures. Gentle rolling hills. Majestic towering mountains. Fresh Alpine air. The aroma of wildflowers and hay lingers in the light breeze. Carinthia offers a wide variety of grand natural showplaces and hiking experiences, from a relaxed, quiet family stroll to a challenging climb to a mountain peak.
Hiking in the Faaker See region means one thing: experiencing truly breathtaking natural surroundings on foot. Well-marked hiking paths and trails lead to all the summits in the region. Once you’ve reached the peak, a grand panorama over the surrounding mountains, lakes and valleys opens up from your vantage point on the Dobratsch, the Gerlitzen, the Dreiländereck and the Mittagskogel. For anyone who isn’t quite ready to tackle the spectacular Carinthian mountains on their own, the Karnerhof offers weekly guided hikes. Along the route, old Alpine huts and rustic wine taverns tempt visitors to stop, rest and savour local Carinthian specialities. The reward after a long day of hiking: a plunge in the Faaker See, or a soothing massage to loosen tired muscles.
I love to just let go of everyday cares with a hike through the woods at the foot of the Karawank Mountains. Magical places like the chapel on the Kanzianiberg or the peak of the Wauberg – and in between the repeated views of the Faaker See – they’re the rich reward for all the effort.
The king of the Karawank range. With its imposing peak, this mountain marks the border between Carinthia and Slovenia, towering 2,145 metres above sea level. The challenging climb runs through some difficult terrain, but at the top you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic 360° panorama view – over the Faaker See, into the Rosental valley, across the Wörthersee lake to the Hohen Tauern and the Julian Alps with the Triglav summit.
At 1,742 metres, the Ferlacher Spitze is an easier alternative to the Mittagskogel. The climb is no less rewarding: a spectacular vista of the turquoise Faaker See and an imposing view of the Mittagskogel at close proximity will be cherished memories.
This mountaintop meeting point of Austria, Italy and Slovenia is actually a family-friendly excursion, as the 1,511–metre peak is accessible by chairlift. The view is already breathtaking before you reach the summit station: in front of you lies the Carinthian Seenthal valley. To the south, the impressive Slovenian and Italian mountain peaks: Jalovec, Moistrocca, Mangart and Ponze. In a three-hour hiking tour, you can cover three different countries on foot – all in a single day.
Well-marked hiking trails lead to the 2,167-metre Dobratsch peak, also known as the Villacher Alp. Those who aren’t in the mood to attempt the summit can pay a visit to the Alpine Garden instead, just a few minute walk from the parking lot. This botanical gem is home to more than 800 native plants, showcasing the beauties of southern Alpine plant life over 10,000 square metres (2.47 acres). Another highlight: the scenic 16-kilometre long Villach Alpine Road; a tollroad offering fantastic mountain views.
A great place to go hiking with children in Carinthia: from its 1,909-metre summit, the sunny Gerlitzen offers an impressive view over the surrounding lake landscape. It’s possible to hike up to the peak from the valley, but those who want to take it easier can catch panoramic vistas from the Kanzelbahn gondola lift. Well-maintained hiking, cycling and Nordic walking trails as well as countless viewing points and places of pure rejuvenation await your discovery. Good to know: ideal thermal conditions also make the Gerlitzen a hotspot for paragliders.
Over meadows and through dense forests on the Tabor, to the nearby Aichwaldsee or up to the Kanzianiberg: the unspoiled natural surroundings of the Faaker See offer plenty of beautiful alternatives to the mountain peaks. The varied terrain is especially well-suited for families and casual hikers. Well-marked, topic-specific hiking trails offer information stops where children can learn about the local plant and animal life.
Hiking enjoyment across the entire Alps Adriatic region: this 750-kilometre trail takes you on a journey of discovery through three countries and three cultures. The long-distance path begins at the foot of the Großglockner, Austria’s highest mountain, leads on through the scenic Carinthian mountain and lake regions, and more or less directly to the peak of Dreiländereck, where Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet. From there, it runs down through the rustic Sočatal valley in Slovenia and onward to the Adriatic coast at Trieste.
You don’t have to take it all in one go. From the Karnerhof, several beautiful day hikes are possible; ones like the stretch from the rustic village of Velden on the Wörthersee along the Drau River and past the Faaker See to the Finkenstein Castle arena, a showplace for open-air performances. Or there’s the route from Kranjska Gora, the Slovenian adventure sports mecca, onward over the Karawank range and the Jepza pass into Carinthia, and on to the Baumgartnerhöhe via the Faaker See.
In the open air. In the woods. On cliffs and boulders. Focus all your energy and find the intense enjoyment of challenging the entire body – right to the very fingertips: the Karnerhof offers a range of interesting climbing destinations nearby.
Just a few minute drive from the Karnerhof, near the village of Finkenstein you’ll find the Kanzianiberg, one of the oldest and best climbing parks in Austria. Ranging from lightly wooded in the east to rugged cliffs in the west, the park offers nearly 400 climbing routes with difficulty levels from 3 to 10, as well as many practice runs, making the park a great place for beginners and experienced climbers alike. Climbing schools offer basic introduction lessons as well as full courses for beginners, experts and children.
On the slopes of the Tabor mountain, directly bordering the Faaker See in natural mixed woodland you’ll find the Hochhinauf Forest Climbing Park. Steel cables, hanging bridges and nets are stretched between trees at heights ranging from 2 to 20 metres. Six parcours with 60 different exercises await discovery by kids and teenagers. Full safety equipment and training by an instructor are provided on site. Other highlights: night climbing and archery.