Austria to Spain – Part 1: Austria

We are on holiday and will travel from Austria to Spain in 2 weeks. A relaxed road trip with many stops and lot’s to see.

Neue Donau Wien

We stayed the last days in Vienna near the Donauinsel, an island in the river Danube, which is a vast recreational area. We found a nice spot at the Neue Donau near a Restaurant called Toni’s Inselgrill.
(48.201598, 16.454635)

Toni’s Inselgrill – a stop for hikers, cyclers, scaters and everybody else

When we finally left Vienna we took the road to Triest, the former port of the Habsburg Empire.
This road is still called Triester Straße. When
we reached Wiener Neustadt, once residence of the Habsburg monarchs, we
stopped at the Lagerhaus, an agricultural institution in Austria, where
we used the weighbridge to check our weight: we are at the limit with
5.370 kg.

Weighbridge tells us the truth

We drove on to Seebenstein, which has a castle on a hill
surounded by forests. We thought about taking a walk around the castle
but decided against it, so we would get in time to our next destination.
road took us now over the mountain range of the Wechsel – and into the
next federal state of Styria. Our destination was Riegersburg, a little
town which has lot’s to offer.

Veste Riegersburg

First there is the castle on a steep hill: Veste Riegersburg.
You can reach it with a lift, but then you will miss a lot. Better to
walk up on the old path leading through 3 historical gates. At the
bottom of the lift and the path are parkings suitable for caravans (46.999575, 15.937727).
At the castle you can visit the incredible represantative rooms and a
museum on witch persecution and weapons.

Walk up to the castle through 3 gates

Veste Riegersburg – one of the representative rooms

The wine which grows on this mountain in the castle grounds are from Weingut Bernhart
and that was our next stop: they run a type of restaurant called
Buschenschank you  should not miss. The wine and food is excellent,
beside of special ham and other meat products they also offer nice
dishes for vegetarians and vegans. It is a family run business and they
offered us to stay over night as they also love to travel with their
caravan. The parking is not very eaven, but we found a spot with perfect
view (46.998647, 15.945975).

Overnight stop with view over Riegersburg next to Weingut Bernhart

An other option would be to stay at one of the parkings of
the castle or next to the small lake between the castle and Weingut

The next morning we drove to another place in
Riegersburg you shouldn’t miss – the choclate manufacturer Zotter (46.991677, 15.907705). You
can go on a tour, where you first see an introductional video and then
walk along the production line with a lot to learn, to see and to taste!
You can even manufacture your own chocolate which will be ready and
packed when you reach the exit.  Off course the tour ends at the shop
with the impressive variety of choclates they produce. All their
chocolates are organic and fair trade and the production starts with the
beans they buy in various countries.

Chocolate !
Chocolate in many different flavours and styles
Graveyard for the choclate ideas which died

Afterwards a
visit to the vinegar and spirit producer Gölles, also in Riegersburg
might make a nice contrast, but we drive on to another wine area in the
south of Styria.

The center is Gamlitz, a nice litttle town which has a
lake next to the center, where caravans can stay for 20 Euros per day (46.720573, 15.566487).
The tourist information has good information on hiking routes in the
area. On your walk you will pass many little inns where you can try
their wines. We drive on until Oberhaag where the Altenbachklamm would
be a nice hike in summer. We aim for a more sunny one, so we drive up
until Panoramaschenke Tertinek (46.655664, 15.328517). We are happy to have a strong engine as
the road is very steep at the end. Unfortunately the inn is closed but
we can park there and go for a walk along the mountain crest which forms
the border between Austria and Slovenia.

Left: Slovenia – Right: Austria

Afterwards we manage to
drive down again without destroying our brakes and head further west
over the Soboth pass – 1.347m high, which is well known with bikers and has a lake on
top which makes a nice point for a rest or night. The lake is quite
empty – it is a dam, so we drive on down into the next federal state of

Snow at the Soboth Pass in April !

We finally reach Bleiburg, where we find a quiet parking to
stay over night. It is close to the centre and we immedeately reach the
main square with the Pestsäule and find a traditional brewery and
restaurant called Alter Brauhof.  (46.591047, 14.798432)

Wildensteiner waterfall – 54m free fall

 After a quiet night we drive on,
aiming for the  Wildensteiner Waterfall near Gallizien (46.538962, 14.508977). We see vast
areas of forest destroyed by a big storm last december. Everywhere the
fallen trees are being cut.
The waterfall is impressiv. The water falls free from 54m hight.

Wildensteiner waterfall

If you are very ambitous you can walk up the mountain behind the waterfall called Obris, in 5 hours you should reach the peak.
have breakfast instead and then drive on to Ferlach, where we use the
facilities of an official caravan parking to empty our tanks and fill
up water. (46.524341, 14.297040)

Our next stop is a mountain called Pyramidenkogel south
of the famous Wörthersee (46.609796, 14.145487). You drive up and park near the top, where a
newly built tower with 100m hight gives you a great view over the lake
and the surrounding mountains.

View over lake Wörthersee from Pyramidenkogel

The lookout point on top is higher than the
statue of liberty in NY. There is a lift to go up, but when we are
there it is out of order and we pay slightly less to walk up over 411
steps. The view is truly great. The mountains are still covered in


To go down you can take the slide through a tube. Nothing for us claustrophobs 😉
At the bottom we enjoy a Leberkässemmel, a classic austrian snack.

We are on the way to Italy now but passing Villach we stop at the big camping store Falle (46.603997, 13.874196). Beside a missing part for our gas connection a new rain jacket lands in our basket.

Italy comes next ->

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