An ocean of fruit and gentle hills
The cultivation and commercialisation of apples has a long tradition that is deeply rooted within Austria’s largest fruit growing region. The Apple Land "Lake Stubenberg" region draws over half a million day visitors to Eastern Styria each year with its many excursion options: the Apple, Castle and Roman Wine Roads promise culinary and cultural voyages of discovery. The Feistritztalbahn narrow-gauge railway chugs through the apple orchards, and health and beauty products made from mare’s milk are star of the show at the Töchterlehof. The Rauchstubenhaus in Anger showcases a centuries-old farmhouse and Kulm-Keltendorf transports visitors back to prehistoric times. The highlight of every trip is Herberstein with its Animal World, the Gironcoli Museum, show gardens and an impressive castle.
Covering a surface area of 40 ha, Lake Stubenberg is one of Austria’s largest and warmest bathing lakes. Plenty of fun, games and excitement can be had here. One of the region’s most visited excursion destinations, Lake Stubenberg lies within the Eastern Styrian hills. A 3 km long circular trail offers ideal conditions for runners, walkers and skaters. Little ones will love exploring the sunken pirate ship on the family beach, daredevils can be found diving from the rocks by the buzzing eastern shores and those looking to relax will find a quiet spot on the south bank. An electric boat takes you on an hour long trip around the lake, enjoying the views of the surrounding landscape from the water. Two amusement parks, a climbing park, Segway and pedal boat hire round off the choice of activities by the lake.
Find exhibits from the prehistoric megalithic era in Anger’s oldest building, the Steinpeißhaus, or gain insight into the way of life and culture of the mountain farmers and craftsmen in the Rauchstubenhaus. Use your smartphone as an audio guide to lead you on a heavenly hike from the Apple Land "Lake Stubenberg" into Nature Park Pöllau Valley. Ascend the region’s highest church tower in Pischelsdorf and admire the area’s sacred works of art. Listen to the bells and organ tunes and enjoy culinary specialities from the church kitchens. Hike – or rather go on a pilgrimage - from church to church, Eastern Styria’s cultural treasures in which you can enjoy the advantages of an individual tour. Simply download the free "Hearonymus" app and select the Apple Land "Lake Stubenberg" and Nature Park Pöllau Valley guide to turn your smart phone into an audio guide.
Needless to say, food plays a big role across Eastern Styria’s apple region. Various restaurants and kiosks around Lake Stubenberg offer everything from high-end dinners to tasty snacks. And in the Apple Land "Lake Stubenberg" region, it’s all about the apple! Many local taverns invite you to try a hearty "Jause" (cold meat and cheese platter) and fine dining is just as available throughout the region as are opportunities for a relaxed picnic.
The Apple Land "Lake Stubenberg" takes cyclists across gentle hills, through apple orchards and vineyards or along rushing rivers. The well-marked cycle paths and diverse landscapes leave nothing to be desired here in the Garden of Austria. Cycling is one of the nicest and most individual ways to explore the region and its highlights.
The region that surrounds Lake Stubenberg is wonderful for hiking. A medley of choice awaits, from flat routes through the Feistritztal to gentle hills along the apple orchards and vineyards and challenging tours up on the Rabenwald or Zetz. One of the highlights is Austria’s first schnapps nature trail, an approximately 1 km long circular route that leads through the orchards and forests and around the Hödlhof, teaching you all about the local schnapps.
In the Garden of Austria
The apple orchards account for a large part of the Apple Land "Lake Stubenberg" region’s landscape. Herberstein’s historic gardens are a further gem. Alongside the Animal World, Herberstein Castle and the Gironcoli Museum, they are a unique attraction that’s worth a visit all year round. The wine trail in Hoferberg takes the Apple Land orchards to show garden level, illustrating the winegrowers’ year and the work that takes places in the vineyards and wine cellars. The "Wüstengarten" (desert garden) in Siegersdorf is somewhat more unusual, where qualified gardeners Gerhard and Birgit Gußmagg invite visitors to admire more than 1,000 cactuses and succulents they have planted. And families can discover their green fingers at the Höfler experience gardens in Puch.
The area between the largest man-made bathing lake, Lake Stubenberg and the Apple Road can be explored on foot, by steam train, castle carriage or bike. Whichever way you opt for, you always meet friendly people that still know what true hospitality is all about. No one stays alone for long in the cider and wine taverns. Numerous Kneipp facilities invite you for a spot of refreshing exercise, fun and games amidst nature. The Zetz, Rabenwald and Buchkogel frame the Apple Land, which is dominated by the 976 m high Kulm Mountain that is steeped in legend. Cuisine, adventure, nature, authentic Styrian hospitality - the Apple Land "Lake Stubenberg" region is known for all of this and more.
Herberstein Animal World
The visitors’ favourites are the three lions Spartacus, Tiberius and Maximus that were born in November 2019 and raised by hand. A total of 85 different species can be found across 23 ha and along a 6 km network of paths at Herberstein Animal World, which can be visited with the family and your four-legged friend. Embark on a journey through all of the continents in the heart of the Eastern Styrian hills.
Inhalatorium in Fieberbründel
A unique outdoor inhalatorium was erected near the pilgrimage church. This installation, made completely out of larch wood, invites you to stop and rest for a while. Guests can enjoy an "ocean climate" within the peace and calm of this space. The salt water air promotes well-being and has a positive effect on the entire body.
Walk-in picture book
A wonderfully preserved chalet near the B54 in Kaibing, Family Schwarz has been collecting beautiful everyday items from the surrounding area for many years, which they display in this 200 year old restored home. The emphasis of the collection is on picture postcards, of which more than 20,000 are kept in folders to be admired in the living room. And with the renowned place of pilgrimage Maria Fieberbründl located right behind the woods, it should come as no surprise that plenty of pictures of saints can be found in this "walk-in picture book". Visitors are welcome upon advance reservation.
House of Apples
The House of Apples was created as a living museum that tells the story of the apple within mythology, religion, art and tradition. Outdoors, visitors will find old and new apple varieties, the press house, an "abacus" cellar, the bee house and more.
Posch wine reading cellar
The reading cellar is a place to read about and amidst wine, says the voice as you enter the old vaults. A library in the vineyards, so to speak. This hasn’t been done before. A place where you can take books to read, borrow or leave for someone else. An open space. Something completely new. One of its novelties is that you can browse the intoxicating variety of Andreas Posch’s wine cellar around the clock. And that’s not all. Visitors can help themselves to the wine of the month. A chapter that should not be missed.