Do you know what really helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol? A Grünkraft holiday (green force holiday) in Eastern Styria! Staying outdoors - surrounded by trees, the buzzing of bees and birdsong - reduces stress levels, blood pressure and a high pulse. Should you wish to actively participate in your relaxation, summer in Eastern Styria has plenty to offer: on horseback, land, the water or at lofty heights – there’s plenty of vitamin green to fill up on in the Garden of Austria.
Don’t just leave everyday life behind, but below you
The Eastern Styrian hill country is pretty enough when viewed from the ground. At 1,000 to 2,000 m above sea level, it doesn’t lose any of its beauty. That is why the Garden of Austria is a Mecca for hot air balloons. And there is hardly anywhere else that offers such stable weather all year round. Book a standing place in the sky and allow yourself to be swept away with the wind! Those who prefer having their two feet on the ground will enjoy the region’s Kneipp facilities, which range from creative trails to barefoot paths for the whole family.
It's time to tee off!
From pros to tiny tots, everyone gets to tee off here. In addition to the four golf courses and clubs, there are various miniature golf facilities across the hill country. A round of adventure golf sees you putting on near-natural artificial grass. You could almost believe you were playing a real round of golf, if not for the life-size characters from film and television. Ever teed off with Shrek or taken a break with Mickey Mouse? Let the adventure begin!
Talking about rounds, why don’t you do one on a horse? A wonderful network of riding trails leads through the Garden of Austria, and those who can’t ride yet can learn at one of the stables.
Climbing and Bubble Soccer are sure of lift spirits
Trees are not just pretty to look at, but a real climbing paradise. The best place to begin your woodland walk at airy heights is one of the climbing parks. Clever rope constructions lead from treetop to treetop, delighting visitors young and old. Those who prefer climbing without trees should check in at one of the climbing halls or tackle the Hochlantsch, the Almenland’s most prominent peak.
High spirits are also guaranteed at the Bubble Soccer Arena in Stubenberg am See. Encased in 140 cm large synthetic balls filled with air, players have to try and get a ball into the opposite goal. Thanks to its fun factor, everyone’s a winner in this game.
In addition to the classics such as skiing and cross-country skiing, Eastern Styria has plenty of alternative winter activity options. Speed demons will love tobogganing, and you only have to follow the squeals of delight to find girls and boys aged from 1 to 99 racing down the hillside on their toboggans. If someone has already built jumps in the snow then you’re in for an even faster ride. The great thing is that you don’t have to learn how to toboggan; everyone can do it. And it’s such an authentic, intense winter experience, whizzing downhill. Once again the Garden of Austria proves that it doesn’t take much to be happy. A slope, some wooden slats, a couple of friends and off you go. Those who can’t fit a toboggan in their suitcase can simply hire one. Where there are lifts there are toboggan runs.
You won’t need any assistance going down, but the tow lift will help you up. The Family Ski Resort St. Jakob offers what you might call a tobogganing chauffeur service every Saturday after the last ski run. Thrill seekers should try the natural toboggan run on the wild meadow in Miesenbach. Toboggan hire, ski slopes and cross-country trails are nearby too, guaranteeing that all types of winter connoisseur are catered for.
Ice skating and curling
You can rack up a lot of speed when it comes to ice skating and curling. When the weather conditions are right, the glistening frozen lakes are ideal for doing your laps. Snowman builders and igloo designers let off steam near a hut, where they can warm their numb fingers on a mug of hot chocolate at any time. From here you could also begin a winter walk, ideally ending in a sauna or steam room. Eastern Styria’s wide range of wellness and spa options make it possible. Depending on season, various events will provide unforgettable experiences. In winter there are the "Krampusläufe" (Krampus runs), atmospheric Christmas Markets and further highlights such as the Dance of the Balloons on New Year’s Eve in Bad Waltersdorf.
A ride on a motor sled or pony through the snowy landscape and a spa visit complete the perfect winter’s day.
Can you smell the baked apples?
Unlike the air, Eastern Styria’s kitchens don’t turn cold in winter. Countless establishments serve their specialities all year round, and the warming treats are a particular delight when temperatures drop below zero. How about baked apples from the Almenland or liqueur from a local distillery? Spoiling palate and soul is as much a part of a successful holiday as is snow to winter, don’t you think?