travel guide

Styria Austria

Styria is near to Burgenland, and forming the bottom right-hand corner of Austria.  Styria (Steiermark) is Austria’s second largest province and like Burgenland, much of it is relatively unknown to foreign tourists – which is all the more curious in view of its charm and wealth of tourist attractions.
It is a region of mountains (the highest in the north where Dachstein reaches 9,826 ft), of valleys, rushing streams, forests, lush green meadows, and of course castles. Its character varies, from the typically Alpine, with rugged peaks and glorious mountain flowers in the north to the soft climate and gentle outlines of the rather lower mountain ranges south of Graz. Standing in a fine park on the city’s fringe, Eggenberg Castle has wonderful murals and resplendent baroque rooms. Not far away, from the top of the Plabutsch chair-lift, there is a magnificent view of Graz and its surroundings, Styria is frontier to the five other areas of Austria Carinthia, High-Austria, Low-Austria, Burgenland, that is to say more than any other area

Styria is the southernmost province, of which Graz is the capital, is also known as ‘the green state’ due to its beautiful wooded countryside. Here it is not unusual to still see local people wearing the Styrian gray and green hunting clothes and the Styrian version of the dirndl, most popular in Austria. Alt Aussee is the perfect place to stay. Bad Aussee, the larger centre, is lovely with its white-faced, dark timbered house with balconies covered with beautiful flowers. Life here is lived, and also ended, with a great deal of ceremony. Alt Aussee is a sight to see, with the glass and ebony, the plumes, and horses with their gleaming silver harnesses. If you can, take a room at a hotel with balconies overlooking the lake and whilst having breakfast watch the Dachstein glacier with the strange glints of morning light. Go canoeing on the lake and watch it you can almost taste the ice from the glacier. You should take a brine bath into which will have been dropped a few thimblefuls of strong pine oil for an exhilarating feeling. Near Aussee is Bad Ischl and the famous Salzkammergut lakes, easily reached from Salzburg.

Because of its sheltered position, southern Styria has richer vegetation growing at higher altitudes than is usual, giving the countryside its intimate, welcoming character. There are many glorious walks and places, in almost vertical hay-fields, beside mysterious pine-woods and near gurgling streams. In June and July delicious wild strawberries and raspberries grow among the flowers on the hill-sides. Roads into these southern mountains are numerous and usually
excellent, although sometimes they can be rough and steep, such as the steep gradient on the bus route to Glashiitten.
Despite isolated pockets of industrial development (iron, steel, and coal), Styria is ideal for touring. It has excellent roads and hotels, and prices often appreciably lower than in some other parts of Austria. Styrian food is excellent, and appreciably cheaper than in many other parts of Austria. Specialities include trout (prepared in many ways), game, and Steirische Brathuhn (spit-roasted chicken). Beer and Schnaps are both good; so are the wines, especially reds from Eibiswald and whites from Leutschach, both near the Yugoslav frontier. Styrian wines are fuller and fruitier than most Austrian wines and the’ white wines are best served well chilled.