‘To-do list’ for an Exciting Winter in Carinthia

1. Skiing

Skiing in Bad Kleinkirchheim

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, an experienced skier or returning to the sport. Anyone wanting to go skiing in Carinthia will get their money’s worth. The 30 skiing areas in Carinthia and East Tyrol with more than 800 kilometres of well-prepared pistes, which guarantee snow, provide a variety of options. All of this can be accessed with just one ski pass, the ‘Top Ski-Pass’. 

Depending on the inclinations, moods and requirements of visitors, there are alpine pistes amidst the mighty three-thousanders, broad, comfortable slopes for families, and mogul slopes and half pipes to ensure unforgettable experiences in the snow. Also, not to forget are the pristine slopes for freeriders and fans of deep powder snow.

https://www.visitcarinthia.at/ski/

2. Ski-tour trekking

Ski-tour trekking

A new addition to winter in Carinthia is the Nockberge Trail, which connects the five skiing areas of Katschberg, Innerkrems, Turrach, Falkert and Bad Kleinkirchheim/St. Oswald with one another. It’s a good choice for casual ski tourers who have a good knowledge of ski touring and are in good physical condition, but who aren’t interested in exploring alpine passages. Plan for up to six hours of walking time for each stage. 

The available lifts and aerial cableways give skiers the opportunity to save some energy and gain a few metres of altitude at each stage. Another special feature: instead of staying on mattresses in dormitories, as you do on other multiple-day ski touring trips, on the Nockberge Trail you can stay in premium (wellness) hotels that serve first-class Alps-Adriatic cuisine.

https://nockberge-trail.com/en

3. Ice-skating on frozen lakes

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Weissensee

Weissensee

Weissensee Information

The Dutch Eleven Cities Tour

The Dutch Eleven Cities Tour

Some of Carinthia’s lake surfaces freeze over in the winter and become glassy, open-air ice-skating rinks bustling with ice-skaters and hockey players and ice curlers. 

Europe’s largest frozen natural ice rink is also located in Austria’s southernmost state and is host to the Dutch Eleven Cities Tour. Up to 5,000 Dutch contenders will compete at speed skating, the ultimate challenge of over 200 kilometres.

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4. Become acquainted with lively traditions

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Katschberger Adventweg

Katschberg

Katschberg

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Pyramidenkogel

Pyramidenkogel

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Veldener Advent

Veldener Advent

Throughout the state there are opportunities to experience Christmas at Christmas markets and Advent events at the various lakes, towns and in the mountains. The Katschberg Advent Path is something really special; it puts the traditional Christmas celebration at the forefront. Each of the lovingly created stations on this wintry footpath, far away from kitsch and commerce, is dedicated to a different Christmas theme. 

Romantics will enjoy ‘Advent above the Clouds’ on the Pyramidenkogel and Cape 4613 on Lake Millstätter See. Other special features on the traditional calendar are the Klöckler in the Gegendtal Valley, the sinking of the Christmas trees at some of Carinthia’s lakes and the carol-singing in Heiligenblut, a custom that became a part of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2010.

https://www.visitcarinthia.at/activities/winter/advent/

5. Enjoy ‘Magic Moments’ in nature

Dobratsch

Have you heard of the ‘Magic Moments’ out in Carinthia’s natural world? It refers to high-quality nature adventure programmes throughout Carinthia that are led by trained guides. Not only do they ensure safety out in the countryside and reveal loads of special information about the land and people, but they also take care of all the other things: 

transports, cuisine and additional equipment. The spectrum ranges from sunrise hikes to animal watching and winter wine discovery trips. Naturally, along with the group programmes, Carinthia’s active nature guides can also be booked for individual tours.

6. Winter wellness at thermal springs and lakes

Badehaus in Millstatt

Winter wellness in Carinthia has many facets. Visitors can experience one of the most beautiful with a visit to the Carinthian bathhouse at Lake Millstätter See, where the unique, sun-kissed lake panoramas are close enough to touch through large windowpanes, even in winter. The St. Katherein thermal spring in Bad Kleinkirchheim has been reopened after a comprehensive renovation. It offers the largest water area and the longest fun slide of any of Carinthia’s thermal springs, a lavish sauna, diverse massage therapies and a beauty area.

Speaking of which: mermaid swimming in the Carinthian thermal springs and the heated, private hotel lakeside swimming pools at Lake Wörthersee, Lake Millstätter See and on the Turracher Höhe, are also exciting attractions. An insider tip for nature lovers: visit the Maibachl hot spring at Warmbad Villach; it bubbles only after sustained precipitation and after the snow melts.

7. Nightfall in Carinthia

Full-moon snowshoe hike on Dobratsch

Winter days in Carinthia are full of fun, adventures and exciting, often new experiences. When the sun retreats behind the mountains for the night, it doesn’t mean that the adventures come to an end. Quite the contrary - there is plenty in the south of Austria for adventurous ‘night owls’ to enjoy. For example, night skiing (e.g. in Bad Kleinkirchheim and Nassfeld) or ski touring with a head-torch at the Dreiländereck area. 

There are also several places that offer full-moon snowshoe hikes (e.g. Dobratsch) or night-time sled runs (e.g. at Katschberg, on the Turrach and in the Innerkrems). There are completely new experiences waiting at the ‘Nacht der Sterne’ [‘Night of the Stars’], with ice climbing by floodlight in Heiligenblut or a full-moon sauna at the Carinthian thermal spring in Villach. Cross-country skiers can also indulge in their hobby by night at the Sonnblick cross-country trail in Heiligenblut.

8. In the mood for something new? Maybe cross-country skiing?

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Bodental

Bodental

Kärnten Werbung

Dobratsch

Dobratsch

Cross-country skiing trains endurance, strength and coordination. It also stimulates the metabolism, strengthens the immune system and burns fat. Not to mention that exercise in the fresh air is a balm for the soul. Looking to try something new? 

There are cross-country ski runs distributed throughout Carinthia in all of the valleys and mountain areas that offer ideal general conditions for beginners and advanced skiers alike. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at Hohe Tauern National Park, Lake Weissensee, Bad Kleinkirchheim, the Rosental Valley or Katschberg; there are dedicated cross-country ski centres in the Villach Alpine Arena, in St. Jakob in the Rosental Valley, at Nassfeld/Lake Pressegger See and at Lake Pirkdorfer See.

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9. Romantic chalets and tasting Carinthian Alpe-Adria cuisine

Hütten-Romantik und Kulinarik

There are numerous chalets posted along the pistes that invite visitors to stop in. Many of them indulge their guests with typical Carinthian delicacies. Carinthian Alps-Adriatic cuisine blends fresh ingredients from the region, ancient cooking traditions and new interpretations into a delicious whole. Even the wine, cider and schnapps are often home-made in Carinthia. 

As it is proper for truly authentic cuisine, the interesting spectrum of Alps-Adriatic cuisine illustrates both the various regions and the course of the seasons. Visitors absolutely must try Carinthian Käsnudel [cheese dumplings], fish from local producers, e.g. Carinthia laxn [brown trout] or char, Ritschert [pork stew], local game specialities, Gailtaler Speck, Reindling cake and Zirbenschnaps [schnapps made from the cones of Swiss pine].

10. New: Winter Carinthia Card

Starting from the winter season 2018/2019 you can get for the first time the Carinthia Card also in winter. With this card you can enjoy the beautiful winter landscape from Pyramidenkogel, have some relaxing hours at a thermal spa or do a snowshoe hike on one of the many mountains throughout Carinthia.

There is definitely something for everybody!

Starting from € 39,-. 

More information on www.kaerntencard.at/winter

Weather today, 19. December 2018

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