Couple on a hiking trail

Hiking in Carinthia

The Nock Mountains and the Alpen-Adria-Trail

A hiking holiday in Carinthia, in St. Oswald - this is the beginning of an incredible nature experience. Right on the doorstep of the Hotel St. Oswald in Austria, the hiking paradise Nock Mountains will await you with its 1,000 kilometres of hiking trails for your hiking holidays. Hiking tours for all levels of difficulty through the natural landscape around Bad Kleinkirchheim will make your heart beat faster.

The Carinthian Nock Mountains - a paradise for hiking

The Carinthian Nock Mountains belong to the most interesting and oldest low mountain ranges in Europe and form a unique part of the entire alpine region in their geomorphological characteristics. The gentle hills - these are the so-called “Nocken”, gave the Nock Mountains their name. Original forests, lush meadows, clear mountain streams, and diverse flora and fauna have fascinated nature lovers for many decades. Innumerable hikes will lead you through nature. Not to mention the wonderful panoramic view and the rustic, cosy huts to stop by and have a bite on the mountain in your summer holidays.

Hiking into the mountains from the Hotel St. Oswald

The Hotel St. Oswald is located on 1,400 m amidst the picturesque Nock Mountains in Bad Kleinkirchheim and hence in a hiking paradise beyond compare. The mild and sunny climate south of the Alps is made for your hiking holiday in Carinthia. The green season lasts from May to November - perfect for hiking and tours. Around 1,000 kilometres of marked and groomed hiking trails in all levels of difficulty between 1,000 and 2,500 metres lie on the doorstep of your hotel. The unspoiled natural landscape fascinates walkers, hikers, and also enduring long-distance hikers. Those who want to can also be guided through the biosphere reserve by experienced rangers who know the region like the back of their hand. Numerous theme hikes will spoil you for choice.

A woman is just about to dip her feet in the lake water Family taking a break from hiking at a small lake Mother with children having a snack

8 good reasons for a hiking holiday in St. Oswald

  • 1,000 km of marked and groomed hiking trails starting from the hotel
  • Safe trails between 1,000 and 2,500 m above sea level with an unforgettable panoramic view
  • Safely guided summit tours with great panoramic views
  • Gentle mobility with the Nockmobil as a call taxi in the entire region
  • Rustic, cosy huts for a break during hiking
  • “Thrilling places”: Lying in wooden hammocks you can enjoy the murmuring of the water in the stream, experience it in its most beautiful appearances - bubbling springs, picturesque mountain lakes, and roaring alpine streams.
  • Long-distance hiking for everyone: Go up with the cable car and then proceed over the gentle hilltops of the Nock Mountains without many gradients.
  • The Alpe-Adria-Trail - a long-distance hiking trail from the glacier to the sea. You can discover 3 wonderful stages in the Garden of Eden of the Nock Mountains in spring, summer, and autumn. Learn more on the long-distance hiking trail Alpe-Adria-Trail.

Nordic walking in the Nock Mountains

Nordic walking is a popular and healthy fitness trend that can be carried out excellently, especially at the healthy altitude of the Nock Mountains biosphere park between 1,750 and 2,500 metres above sea level. You will set out for the Nock Mountains around the Hotel St. Oswald with a chest strap, pulse watch, and poles. There are three Nordic walking routes in total from the starting point, the top station of the Brunnachbahn - easy, medium, and difficult. The trails are marked with info signs. Moreover, you will enjoy marvellous views of the diverse natural landscape of the Nock Mountains.

Alpine valerian - an (almost) forgotten medicinal plant

Do you know alpine valerian? This medicinal plant has been somewhat forgotten in recent years - and the Nock Mountains biosphere reserve is the only area where it still grows. You can hardly “oversmell” it - alpine valerian smells aromatically and intensively of valerian, and the herb with its narrow leaves and yellowish flowers is also easy to spot. Its pleasant effect, balancing and soothing without tiredness, makes it very popular with hikers. When you are on tour in the Nock Mountains, why not treat yourself to a refreshing foot bath with alpine valerian at one of the huts!

More information on tours in the Nock Mountains can be obtained from your hosts in Bad Kleinkirchheim. Have we made you curious? Book your hiking holidays in Carinthia at the Hotel St. Oswald.


Anna’s favourite hiking routes
From the hotel directly to the Wiesernock

You can start right in front of the hotel following signs No. 5 or 1622. Although you will face an ascent right behind the hotel, the varied trail over meadows and forest paths will assuage you. We recommend taking it slowly to moderately in the beginning. If you keep this pace until the end, you will reach the summit in about 2 hours.
This trail is lovely in early summer when you will be rewarded with a sea of gentians, primroses, and saxifrages. The local youth association erected the summit cross some years ago.
Then there are several options for the descent. Option A will lead you over the Schartenalm and further over the Spitzegg to the mountain station of the Biosphärenparkbahn Brunnach. Then you go down by the cable car.

Or option B: you follow the top of the mountain to the Nockalm and then go up to the Priedröf. After enjoying a marvellous panoramic view of Lake Millstättersee, Lake Afritzer See, and the surrounding mountain world, you will follow forest trail No. 1621 and then along the forest road back to the Hotel St. Oswald. 
easy to medium round tour of about 3.5 hours
Metres of altitude: around 700


From the Brunnach to the Predigerstuhl

This hike will start with the comfortable part, the ride with the cable car. It is only 500 m from the hotel, you will only have to walk about 15 minutes. Having arrived at the top, you will pass the activity park and go through shady larch forests towards the Bockhütte in St. Oswald, then an easy ascent to the Arkerkopf follows until your reach the Erlacher Bock. From here, you will only have to conquer 200 metres of altitude to the summit of the Predigerstuhl at 2,170 m. Here you will follow routes 14 and 15 on the Alpe Adria Trail. From the summit, head northwest to Thörl and on to Lake Naßboden. A refreshment for the tired hiker’s feet and legs will be a genuine relief.
The ascent will lead you over an alpine meadow, a true paradise for botanists.
My goal is the Erlacher Bockhütte. The snacks with their own farmer’s products which are served there will give you the energy for your way back to the top station.

Medium high altitude circular hike of about 4.5 h
Metres of altitude: around 800 in total


Along the Wegerbach stream to the Mallnock

From the hotel, you will follow the St. Oswald road to the parking lot of the cable car. Follow the ascent to the Würcher Huabn, and from there, follow the markings of the Nockart route to the Mallnock.

Even though this trail goes steadily uphill, it will offer you cooling through the forest and along the Weger Bach stream. That is why this trail is also suitable for hikes with your dog.  When the forest becomes thinner, and the mountain pasture emerges more and more, watch out for the grazing cattle. Dogs should be leashed from this point.

Having arrived at the Brunnachgatter gate, you can either already take a well-deserved break in the middle of the alpine meadow or walk about 200 more metres of altitude for a picnic at the summit.
You will pass the Brunnachgatter gate again and follow the Brunnachhöhe to the top station. 
To get down to the valley, either take the cable car or choose the forest path from Brunnach to St. Oswald. Along the circular trail St. Oswald, you will get back to the Hotel St. Oswald.

Medium circular hike of about 4.5 h
Metres of altitude: around 800

More hiking proposals

Hiking recommendations starting at the Hotel St. Oswald or from Bad Kleinkirchheim by taking the hiking bus:

  1. NAT 11: Circular family hike Pfannnock - medium - 4:00 h
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald - then ride up with the Biosphärenparkbahn Brunnach (top station Brunnach = a slightly shorter variant or Erlacherhaus hut)
  2. NAT 12: Circular hike to the Falkert - difficult - 6:00 h
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald
  3. NAT 13: St. Oswald - circular trail - Mallnock - Klomnock | medium - 4:30 h
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald - then ride up with the Biosphärenpark Brunnach
  4. NAT 14: Circular hike Rosennock - difficult - 6:30 h
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald – then ride up with the Biosphärenpark Brunnach 
  5. NAT 15: Rundwanderung Predigerstuhl – mittel – 4h
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald - then ride up with the Biosphärenpark Brunnach
  6. NAT 16: Circular trail St. Oswald - nature experience trail - easy - 2:20 -big loop
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald
  7. NAT 17: Circular trail St. Oswald - short loop - easy - 2:01 h -small loop
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald
  8. Nock Mountains biosphere reserve trail | nock/art route 5 - medium - 3:20 h
  9. Mallnock-alpine trail | nock/art route 6 - difficult - 5:00 h
    Start: St. Oswald - Wegerstadel
  10. Family hike St. Oswald - easy - 2:45 h
    Start: Hotel St. Oswald then ride up with the Biosphärenpark Brunnach
  11. Water adventure trail - easy - 1:50 h
    Start: wasserix.sinnespark (at the tourism info Bad Kleinkirchheim, opposite of the thermal bath Kathrein)


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