Christmas Markets in Carinthia

The pre-Christmas period sprinkles a distinct magic across Carinthia. In addition to the traditional Christmas markets in the cities and by the lakes of Austria’s sunny south, visitors can look forward to plenty of new initiatives that have grown over the past years. Experience festive joy at its most surprising and diverse, far away from the Christmas rush.

Katschberger Adventweg
MS Michael Stabentheiner Kaernten Werbung
Katschberg Advent Path

On the mountain at 1,750 metres above sea level

The Katschberg Advent Path invites you on an atmospheric winter walk through the snow-covered landscape at 1,750 metres above sea level. Themed barns line the lantern-lit path, with a different surprise to be found in each one: from teddy bear making workshops to choral music, readings and warming tea. You can reach the starting point of the Advent Path via the so-called Wichtelweg (2.5 km) on foot or by horse-drawn carriage. It takes around 45 minutes to complete the path at a leisurely pace. From 27th November.

Alpiner Thermen Advent Markt in Bad Kleinkirchheim
c BRM Mathias Praegant
Bad Kleinkirchheim

Amidst the Nockberge

Between the peaks of the Nockberge mountains lies the World Cup and spa town of Bad Kleinkirchheim, where the Alpine-Spa-Advent is held from 29th November. Particularly enticing impressions await at the craft market on Saturdays, when local craftsmen and exhibitors from the Alpine-Adriatic region present their handicrafts, baked goods and culinary delights. The Musical Advent walks are not to be missed either (Fridays). And families are in the centre of it all at the Children’s Mass (Saturdays) and the Culinary Family Advent (Sundays). From 29th November.

Woerthersee_Pyramidenkogel_Winter_Gert_Steinthaler_WTG
Gert_Steinthaler_WTG
Pyramidenkogel

Above the clouds

The Pyramidenkogel viewing tower invites you to experience Advent above the clouds. At 100 metres, the widely visible landmark of the Wörthersee region illuminates the sky in a special way. By the foot of the tower, visitors will find a quaint Christmas market with crafts, local farmers’ products and music. Kids love the specially designed Christmas house, to which lamas, goats and donkeys pay a visit now and then. From 22nd November.

Christkindlmarkt Klagenfurt
FranzGERDL_KaerntenWerbung
Klagenfurt

The cities come alive with festivities

The pre-Christmas period brings a touch of magic to the cities too. The Christkindlmarkt am Neuen Platz in Klagenfurt opens on 16th November, offering lively entertainment and contemplative moments. More than 50 traders, craftsmen, caterers and an entertainment programme with live music provide variety for all ages. Further Advent activities can be found at the Domplatz and in the Landhaushof. Austria’s largest Krampus parade takes place on 23rd November in Klagenfurt.

Region Villach Tourismus
Region Villach Tourismus
Villach

Villach

No less atmospheric and diverse: Villach, the "City in the Light", with its craft and food stalls across the romantically lit old town. The parish church’s tower shines like a giant candle from afar. Villach Advent launches on the Rathausplatz on 15th November, with a further highlight being the Perchten parade through the city centre on 29th November. And then there’s the Villach Art Advent in the Parkhotel’s park, which has a more tranquil ambience and plenty of great gift ideas. Tip: A wintery river cruise on the river Drau. 

Veldener Advent
Woerthersee Tourismus
Velden

Right by the shores – Lake Wörthersee

One place sure to put a smile on little faces is the "Town of Angels" Velden by Lake Wörthersee. The entire town is decorated with lights, and little ones cannot be quick enough to help the hardworking angels at the post office, in the bakery or craft lounge. Fairytale boat trips across Lake Wörthersee are particularly popular too, as are the pony rides in the Kurpark and journeys on the angels’ train. Wish lists are sent straight to Father Christmas, attached to balloons that are released into the sky. From 22nd November.

Stiller Advent in Pörtschach
Woerthersee Tourismus
Pörtschach

Pörtschach

Those in search of a more reflective experience should visit the "Silent Advent" in Pörtschach. A small market on the promenade by the lake, filled with life by local heritage groups, associations and initiatives. The path of lights along the promenade draws on all of the senses, with torch-lit walks around the protected area of the Pörtschach peninsula to the "living crib". Tip: Advent boat with message in a bottle and trip through the sea of stars. From 22nd November.

Things are equally placid on the southern shores of Lake Wörthersee. The romantic Church Advent awaits guests and locals on the Maria Wörth peninsula, with its wide range of concerts in the pilgrimage church and wooden huts selling culinary delights and crafts. From 23rd November.

Petzen Christkindlmarkt
Petzen Bergbahnen
Petzen

Winter magic in South Carinthia

For the 12th time now, a magical winter world can be found at 1,700 metres above sea level on the Petzen, including a Christmas market, musical entertainment and traditional handicrafts. It can be reached by cable car, from where there are delightful views of South Carinthia. This year there is a new prayer path with four stations (Saturday 7th, 14th and 21st December). Eberndorf Abbey shines in pre-Christmas splendour too, with exhibitions, an angels’ bakery, children’s craft stations and regional delicacies at the "Jauntaler Advent".

Winter Kärnten Card

Region Villach Schneeschuhwandern am Dobratsch
MichaelSTABENTHEINER_KaerntenWerbung
Dobratsch

 

From exploring snow-covered mountains to relaxing snowshoe hikes through the Carinthian countryside, the Winter Kärnten Card is your ideal companion. Impressive views from the Pyramidenkogel, absorbing culture at Carinthia’s museums, numerous cable cars and much more bring variety to the cold season. Throughout Advent there’s a 3-day Advent Card, valid from 29th November to 23rd December.
Further information: www.kaerntencard.at/winter/en/

Customs

Winter time in Carinthia means a time for tradition, peace and meditation. Christmas in Carinthia also means to smell the aroma of freshly-baked cookies and green pines, to walk through the Christmas market in one's warmest clothing and to warm yourself up with mulled wine.

The specialities in the traditional calendar include the custom of knocking on doors and asking for refreshments in the Gegend Valley, and Christmas trees are plunged into several lakes. A particularly nice spot for contemplation and forgetting about everyday life is Kap 4613 on Lake Millstätter See, where a floating Christmas terrace serves as a backdrop.

"Perchtenlauf"

During the so-called "Perchtenlauf," the atmosphere is not so romantic and quiet. The "Perchtenlauf" always takes place in the beginning of December in different villages in all Carinthian regions (e.g. 23.11.2019 Klagenfurt, 29.11.2019 Villach) during which men disguise themselves with fearful devil's masks and run screaming among the crowd under the sound of cow bells.

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