Holidays in the Viennese Alps
Thanks to their location in the immediate vicinity of Austria’s capital, the Viennese Alps have been the preferred recreation area of people living in Vienna since the middle of the 19th century. Kurhaus Thalhof at Reichenau an der Rax played host to Wiener Salon meetings and events attended by renowned artists and intellectuals, among them Viktor Frankl, Sigmund Freud and Arthur Schnitzler. Semmering, Bucklige Welt, Schneeberg and Rax are perfect destinations when it comes to walking and hiking. Built some 160 years ago, the Semmering Railway was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The railway line has an overall length of 41 kilometers and includes several viaducts, bridges and tunnels. In winter the Viennese Alps lend themselves to Alpine skiing at several ski resorts, and the renowned Wechsel-Semmering panorama track attracts cross-country skiing enthusiasts of all ages and ambitions.
Semmering, Rax and Bucklige Welt
Semmering has so often been described in major works of literature and popular songs. Even the Austrian Emperor loved the area for its awe-inspiring landscape. Today, walkers, hikers and mountain bikers may still revel in the same breathtaking views. The Semmering Pass located between Raxalpe and the Wechsel mountain range offers innumerable hiking and walking trails. In addition, there are 70 different routes for mountain biking, including easy ones such as the Steinkreis route which winds its way across the hills of Bucklige Welt, and the rather challenging Schneeberg route which takes ambitious cyclists past lovely mountain pastures and lodges.
The gently rolling hills of Bucklige Welt as part of the Viennese Alps are shrouded in legend and therefore make an attractive destination among locals and visitors alike. With more than 2,000 meters the highest peaks in the Rax-Schneeberg mountain range are at the same time the highest points of the province of Lower Austria. Nevertheless, they are easily accessible even for families with young children. Numerous cozy mountain restaurants and lodges welcome hikers for meals and refreshments. The Schneeberg narrow gauge railway and the Raxseilbahn, Austria’s first gondola, are the highlights of a fabulous day out and allow for hassle-free uphill transportation.
Winter break in the Viennese Alps
Located in Lower Austria, within an hour’s drive from Vienna, the Viennese Alps feature a variety of ski resorts: The Semmering area, for instance, offers fabulous winter sport options at Stuhleck/Semmering and Zauberberg/Semmering. The Skischaukel Mönichkirchen-Mariensee lift-linked ski area as well as Schneeberg at Puchberg offer outstanding skiing as well.
With an overall length of 70 kilometers the Wechsel-Semmering -Panoramaloipe at an altitude of 1,000 meters winds its way across a picture postcard winter wonderland and grants breathtaking views of Schneeberg, Rax and Wechsel. Are you thinking of spending a pre-Christmas break in the Viennese Alps? If so, do not miss out on the Christmas markets in the area, including the one in the museum village of Krumbach.