It’s not the loud, shrill sounds that can be heard in Eastern Styria’s Hartbergerland, but the gentle chords that warm the heart. With sights that take your breath away and smells and tastes from a land of milk and honey, time ticks to a soothing beat here. Your passionate hosts bid you a warm welcome.
Look forward to enjoyment with a view. Hartbergerland lies within the Eastern Styrian hill country, where the southern alpine foreland meets the gently rolling hills. Rich in landscapes that spoil the eye, this is a region that can be conquered on foot or by bike, with panoramic views included.
Enjoy the magic of the moment. Hartbergerland boasts a wealth of cultural treasures, with historical traces leading as far back as the Neolithic Age, followed by Celtic and Roman settlements. Sacred places, nestled in the beautiful countryside, invite you to stop and rest.
Treat yourself to a piece of paradise. Rich in fertile land and culinary delights, family-run farms and winegrowers guarantee that everything is sourced locally. And artisans and innkeepers always add a heartfelt, creative touch.
Cycle tours with the pleasure factor await you here. Choose the route that takes your fancy on Hartbergerland’s bike map. Roll through delightful garden landscapes and change gear to a slower pace.
Walking and hiking. Getting to know forests, streams and gardens step by step gives new strength and cleanses the soul. Enjoy nature on foot and don’t forget to stop forget to stop for breaks. This has to be the nicest way to experience Hartbergerland in the Garden of Austria.
In the Garden of Austria
This is where the love of nature is at home. In the garden studio, lingering at an intimate outdoor table, sampling the products in a farm shop or stopping at a tavern along the Austrian Roman Wine Road.
Culture in town and country
Past meets present. The region’s history spans from the Celts on the Ringkogel to following in the footsteps of the Romans on the Roman Wine Road and along the Castle Road. A series of events includes literary garden experiences and summer evening concerts in the castle courtyard, as well as festivals throughout the year that promise to get you celebrating with all of the senses. Hartbergerland’s Advent Market is also well worth a visit.
Since 2009, Hartberg has been one of three Austrian towns with the international Cittaslow label - an award for towns that place an emphasis on cultural heritage, regional produce and sustainable technology. And since 2020 it has belonged to Austria’s 16 Small Historic Towns. Explore a cultural-historical jewel, surrounded by natural beauty.
Boasting one of Styria’s best-kept old towns, the district capital is seen as one of Eastern Styria’s most appealing urban destinations. The charming historical centre lies right where the southern alpine foreland meets the gently rolling East Styrian hills, framed by partially protected landscapes that call to be explored. The Brühl nature reserve leads up to the town’s iconic Ringwarte. To the south, paths wind their way past ponds into the Hartberger Gmoos Natura 2000 reserve, home to around 130 types of bird. A string of parks - some of which sit against the old town wall - provide respite along the way.
History at every turn
And that’s no surprise, as the area surrounding the town has been populated for almost 3,000 years. Those who walk through the narrow alleyways and past the fortified town wall feel like they are being taken back into the past. The town’s historical sights and monuments paint a picture from the Romans right up to the 19th century, when long-term mayor Josef Reßavar (1873 - 1904) gave the medieval town a new direction.
In the Middle Ages, Hartberg was a place where nobility met and the first Styrian capital. Nowadays, the town is a hub for culture lovers. By continually re-inventing itself, an appreciation of modern architecture has arisen. In line with this, "breathing sunshades" invite you to take a seat by the town’s fountain from May 2020 and enjoy the unique ambience of the main square. Have a wonderful time in this vivacious town.
The Loretto Chapel is a well-visited place of pilgrimage for the Black Madonna in Mitterberg, St.Johann in der Haide. Her colour can be traced back to the ancient goddesses as possible predecessors to the Black Madonna. It has been proven that the Black Goddess was introduced by ancient cults. Fertility, mother and earth goddesses have been worshipped for centuries, some of which were black.
It’s great fun, making "Heidensterz" (buckwheat mush) in the Posch Mill. Already in its third generation, the mill still produces high-quality grain products using traditional methods. The almost 500 year old mill is not a museum, but a working site, which grinds, sieves, processes and sells every day. Here you will learn the art of making "Heidensterz" the Styrian way: by heating the buckwheat flour until a nutty note evolves, adding water and stirring until the mixture simmers. Melt butter, add the flour mixture and fry until it becomes crumbly. Stir in parmesan and serve warm with a rocket salad.
Travel around the world in Hannes Pusswald’s vinothek. Around the world in 40 days? Wrong! Explore the entire world right from the vinothek with a selection of wines from all corners and an expert wine tasting led by sommelier Hannes Pusswald. There has been a language to describe the quality of wine since ancient times, although assessment used to draw on the individual’s imagination or discretion. Nowadays, we adhere to tasting guidelines and use words such as floral, earthy, full-bodied, grassy, complex, round, velvety and spicy. Safe travels!