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Family-friendly hiking at Weinebene

© by Arnold Weisz

Weinebene on the border between Carinthia and Styria offers great hiking terrain for those who are not looking for hefty inclines but want to enjoy a mountain hike with the whole family.

Weinebene is the highest point (1668 m / 5472 ft) in the pass over the Koralpen, where the east-west road between Deutschlandsberg in Styria and Wolfsberg in Carinthia crosses over. Instead of pointed peaks, the ridges along the mountain range are wide and rounded. We have tested a few of the easier hiking opportunities that start from Weinebene. Especially on hot summer days, it is nice to get away from 30-35 degrees in the lowlands and up in the highlands. Weinebene is perfect for mountain hikes where you can also bring your children.

Easy terrain

Two large car parks at Weinebene are an excellent starting point for hikers. The surrounding terrain offers nice hikes or walks for everyone from small children to the elderly. Notwithstanding, you can also find some more challenging hikes, but by large this terrain is perfect for easy to medium hikes. Moreover, the views are stunning. In only 2-3 hours, you can for example hike to Brandhöhe (1886 m / 6187 ft) and then Moschkogel (1916 m / 6286 ft). The view you get from these peaks, both towards the east and west is amazing. Besides, it’s are well marked and it is easy to find your way.

< Click on the images to enlarge >

Grosshöllerhütte (Easy hike – 11.4 km / 7 mi)

This hike is perfect for those who want an easy walk, families with small children, or those who do not like too many altitude meters. Even if it does not take you to the highest peaks, you still get a wonderful view and a great nature experience. From the parking lot at Weinebene, follow the gravel road about 4 km south, which runs along the hillside. Along the way, you have the possibility of 2 stops. First, you arrive at the Grilitschhütte which is located in Carinthia just below the pass. From here Grosshöllerhütte is only 1.7 km / 1.1 mi further down the path. To avoid hiking the same way back, you can also follow the gravel road to Grilitschhütte and return via the ridge over Brandhöhe and then Moschkogel to Weinebene.

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Grosse Speikkogel (Medium hike – 18.4 km / 11,4 mi)

Those who want a longer hike should head for the highest point of the Koralpe, the Große Speikkogel at 2140 m / 7020 ft. This is very a popular destination for hikers. Starting from the car park at Weinebene, hikers with good stamina usually complete the hike in about 6-7 hours (18.4 km / 11.4 mi). You can see the peak from distance, as both the Austrian military and Austrian television have located large radar and antenna systems at the top. Simply follow the southbound gravel road that winds its way along the mountain for about 3.5 km / 2.2 mi. When you reach the crossroads on the border between Styria and Carinthia, follow the trail southwards and up the ridge that takes you up to 1950 meters altitude, before the terrain flattens out. For the next 2.5 km / 1.5 mi simply follow the ridgeline. Here you get fantastic views into both Styria and Carinthia. Finally, you arrive at the last steep but short incline before arriving at Große Speikkogel. The return trail takes you directly down into the valley and where you follow the trail. Always with the ridge at your right-hand side. After about 1,5 hours you are back on the gravel road towards the car park.

Weberkogel (Easy hike – 4.6 km / 2.9 mi)

Starting from the parking lot on the north side of the road, there are several nice options. Pass through the wooden gate and follow the trail past the small chapel. It is a bit steep, to begin with until you are above the tree line. If you turn right (eastwards), you can hike the ridge to Moserkogel (1747 m) and 15 minutes further away to Glasshüttenkogel (1762 m). If you take the trail to the left just after the chapel and head northwest, the ridge leads you to Handalm (1853 m). After a further 20-30 minutes, you arrive at the Weberkogel (1805 m). From the ridge, you have great views both to the south and north. The barbed wire fence on the ridge runs along the border between Carinthia and Styria. No worries! This is not an official border fence, but simply to separate different cow pastures. These hikes can be done in 2-3 hours without too much effort.

All-year destination

We have hiked here in spring, summer, and autumn. The weather in this part of Austria is warmer than up north or to the west. Hence, the hiking season starts earlier and lasts longer. During the winter we have also done some lovely snowshoe tours on the mountain. Moreover, at Weinebene you find ski lifts and some easy to medium pistes as well. For cross-country enthusiasts there are 15 km of tracks. In the vincinity of the ski resort there is also accommodation available in guesthouses and self-catered lodges.

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.