Go beyond Graz and discover the surroundings of the capital: the south of green Styria offers a lot to see and experience: hiking in the mountain landscape of Graz, swimming in the thermal baths, enjoying exquisite wine in one of the countless vineyards or visiting cultural historical monuments – around Graz you will discover cultural, historical and culinary highlights.
Just 30 minutes from Graz, the south Styria vineyard region with its soft hills is very attractive. For real gourmets, South Styria is known by its other name: “South Styrian Tuscany”. 1,100 hectares of vineyards extending over green hills from Sausal in the west of Styria to the volcanic landscape in the east of Styria. This is home to exquisite wines with a worldwide reputation.
Along the wine route, you will be welcomed in countless wine houses and Buschenschänken (wine tavern) to taste wine and eat typical Brettljausen (bread with meat and spreads). The Styrian vineyard region is particularly known for its repeatedly award-winning white wines: the most important wines are: Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, Morillon (Chardonnay), Weissburgunder and last but not least Welschriesling.
Beyond the touristic and popular Styrian wine routes in the South, there is also a lot to discover in the west of Graz. The large area around Stainz, well known for its countless Buschenschanken - wine taverns, is famous for its rosé wine Schilcher, also called Blauer Wildbacher - it is an indigenous grape variety of Styria.
Visit the castle in the city of Stainz, on a hill. This wonderful historical monument often serves as a wedding location. Apart from being used for several events, it hosts the largest hunting museum in the country open all year. It not only presents the cultural historical overview in detail, but also the interaction between human beings and nature. In an innovative presentation, unique in Austria, our visitors get to know all about a great ‘fascinosum’ of humanity.
A bit in the north, around Köflach, you will find Piber, the stud farm of Lipizzan horses. Here, the oldest European pure-bred horses – the Lipizzan are bred. The cooperation between the stud farm and the Spanish Riding School in Vienna is based on a unique system: only the best stallions from Piber are allowed to perform at the Spanish Riding School, and then they come back to service in Piber. After their career in the riding school comes to an end, some of the old stallions live out their retirement in peace in Piber.
The natural park Almenland is part of East Styria and located in the middle of Styria, only 50 km north of the cultural capital Graz. With its connected mountain pastures, the Almenland is the largest mountain region of Austria and ideal for hiking excursions. A special highlight in the Almenland is the silver mine in Arzberg. It is due to Franz Möstl, an enthusiastic cheese lover that nowadays cheese matures in the mines and is a specialty of the region.
Now 14 different cheeses from cow, sheep and goat mature there. At international cheese competitions, they attain top places every year. In March 2018, the cheese ’Arzberger Ursteirer’ was chosen as vice world champion in the USA and the ‘Caprissimum’ won the prize “Austrian’s best cheese” in Norway in November 2018.