The 8-9 km hike in Seebachtal, Carinthia is one of the easiest and most beautiful nature experiences, we have had in the Alps. Perfect for families with small children and those who are not as steady on their feet as they used to.
Hiking in the Alps is not only about narrow and steep trails high up in the mountains. There are also plenty of great trails for those who simply want a leisurely hike or bring small children. Moreover, even though the walk takes you along a small gravel road in relatively flat terrain, the surrounding nature is spectacular. We found a lovely, easy-going hiking trail through a scenic valley in northern Carinthia.
Majestic Alpine Landscape
The Seebachtal valley is located at 1270 meters above sea level is rather narrow and becomes narrower the farther in you venture. It’s surrounded by mountains rising to 3300 meters and offers stunning views to hikers. During the nearly eight-kilometre-long walk, we were greeted by big and small waterfalls. Some of them are easy to reach if you want a closer look. Moreover, along the route, you find benches where you can sit down and take some time to enjoy the landscape. Part of the route takes you along a river with crystal clear and cold water, perfect for a refreshing dip on hot summer days.
< Click on the images to enlarge >
Wildlife, and not so wildlife
The hike passes through pastures used by the local farmers. At the beginning of the route, we passed through the portal and cattle guard at Lake Stappitz and were walking in the company of grazing cows, horses, and sheep. If you are lucky, you can also observe some of the wildlife in the valley. Seebachtal is not only the oldest wildlife reserve in the Hohe Tauern National Park but also a paradise for those who want to see wildlife. Stappitzer See (lake) at the beginning of the valley, is a unique highlands steppe lake and a resting place for migratory birds. Furthermore, keep your eyes on the sky. There are several eagles in the area, and if you are lucky you can see these magnificent birds as they circulate over the valley looking for prey.
Picnic in nature
From the parking lot by the Ankogelbahn cable car station and to Schwussnerhütte (farmers cottage) it’s approx. 3.9 kilometres. Moreover, it is not possible to get lost if you just follow the gravel road all the way. You can either get something to eat and drink at the mountain restaurant at the end of the road or bring your own. We opted for a picnic along the way. There are some lovely places next to the road, where you find benches. Perfect for a picnic and to enjoy nature. Nonetheless, the Schwussnerhütte serves food and drink, if you didn’t bring anything. There are signposts by the car park and at the portal with the opening hours.
You can also take a slightly longer route and get away from the gravel road, by following the Naturlehrweg Seebachtal (Nature learning trail). It is a marked trail on the other side of the river (south side), which is a bit rougher and follows the terrain, but not difficult to walk. Along the trail, info plaquettes are explaining the nature around you. We suggest you take the nature trail inwards to Schwussnerhütte and follow the gravel road back to the parking lot.
Up and into the mountains
Although the gravel road ends shortly after the Schwussnerhütte, there are also several opportunities for hikes up in the mountains. For those looking for a longer hike up into the mountains, a trail leads to Hannoverhaus (2566 m / 8418 ft above sea level). This is a hike for advanced hikers and has an incline of almost 1000 m / 3280 ft for the first 2.7 kilometres. However, there is an easier way up to Hannoverhaus. You can pick up the Angelkogelbahn cable car, which takes you there in two stages. The cable car station is located at the start of Seebachtal.
A few kilometres before Seebachtal you reach Mallnitz. It is a lovely small village with about 450 inhabitants and is well worth a stop. Moreover, the village offers plenty of accommodation, eateries, shops and banks. Mallnitz is a popular starting point for longer and more difficult hikes. From here, you can hike mountain peaks such as Ankogel 3252 m and Säuleck 3086 m. Furthermore, during the winter (December – April) you can enjoy great skiing at Angelkogel. The cable car is just a few kilometres from Mallnitz.
Many old buildings have been preserved, creating a great atmosphere. The historic centre of Hartberg lies within the partially preserved city wall from the Middle Ages (12th and 13th centuries), which once surrounded the entire town. Today, visitors and residents enjoy a place where you can relax and enjoy life – in historic surroundings. The […]
Carnuntum was a Roman military camp on the Danube in the province of Noricum, located in present-day Austria (in Lower Austria, about 43 km east of Vienna). From the 1st to the 4th century AD Carnuntum was a significant Roman metropolis on the outer border of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, Carnuntum became the capital of […]
The contrasts in the Salzkammergut region are large. Not only because the landscape alternates between massive mountain ranges, glaciers, lush valleys, and a plethora of lakes. But also, because the region offers a rich cultural landscape that has been characterized by more than 5,000 years of human activity. The Salzkammergut holiday region covers 58 municipalities […]
We are not in the tropics but in southern Austria where the river Mur forms part of the border with Slovenia. This landscape, a combination of floodplains and forest is very unlike what we expect from mostly alpine Austria. Nonetheless, we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Austria’s second largest river landscape The river Mur […]
From the first half of the 19th century until 1866, Venice and Veneto were part of the Habsburg Monarchy. Austrians had long been captivated by the city on the lagoon to their south. The coastal landscape there promised a light-hearted, simple life and a break from the bourgeois confines of their native land. In three thematic […]
The Mostviertel region in the southeastern part of Lower Austria offers a wide range of activities and is an all-year travel destination. Notwithstanding, I especially love traveling in the region in early springtime. Mostviertel is a great place to hike, but if you are visiting only for a few days I recommend driving. Pear tree […]