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Not only does Admont Abbey house the largest monastic library in the world but the room is also regarded as the eighth wonder of the world. So, if you visit Admont, under no circumstances should you miss this highlight of Baroque architecture. It’s hard to believe your eyes when you are faced with a staggering 70,000 books, frescoes by Bartolomeo Altomonte and the well-known limewood carvings 'Four Last Things' by sculptor Josef Stammel. Painted in gold and white, the library exudes a unique and majestic air.
Steep canyons, impressive rock formations and colourful vegetation – this is what the backdrop of the Salza River looks like, as the water noisily meanders through the natural landscape and the famous conglomerate ravine. The best way to get to know this emerald-green beauty is to get into a raft or kayak and learn how to use those paddles. Enjoy an exciting adventure on one of the last wild rivers in Europe.
High above the valley at 1,699 metres, the largest and best-known lodge in the Gesäuse is surrounded by the Hochtor Mountain, Planspitze Peak and Hochzinödl Peak. These mountains also happen to be the most popular ones to climb after spending a night at the lodge. The ascents via Wasserfallweg Trail – for experienced hikers only – or via Johnsbach are two of the Gesäuse's classic hiking routes, while the lodge’s host Reini has ensured the lodge has become a real institution over the years.
The Ardning Alm Lodge is a place to unwind, plan your next hike or simply to rest, with Karin and Karl always on hand to indulge their guests with delicious meals and drinks. Numerous hiking tours in the area are sure to make any mountaineer’s heart beat faster. During the winter season it’s the ski tourers who are the ones rubbing their (gloved) hands together with glee when they hear the lodge’s name as the location is accessible by car and even offers a parking lot.
Klinkehütte Lodge has a lot to offer: a large hiking trail network in the surrounding area, a parking lot directly at the lodge, comfy beds and hearty meals. All of this makes it a perfect starting point for your family excursion or climbing trip. With the Kaiserau and Mödlingerhütte Lodge nearby there’s almost no excuse for not visiting this lodge, which is heaped in tradition and charm.
One of the most modern lodges in the Gesäuse is to be found at Buchstein Peak. The combination of outstanding cuisine and cool architecture makes for a special experience. Take trail 641 from Gstatterboden or St. Gallen and it will lead you to Buchsteinhaus Lodge, where you will probably arrive with tired legs but almost certainly beaming with joy. And next? It’s up to you. Either conquer one of the summits nearby, go on a climbing adventure or simply enjoy the cosy atmosphere at the lodge.
Become a cave explorer for a day – at Kraushöhle Cave! On a hot summer’s day, the cool climate inside the cave is particularly pleasant. Equipped with a jacket and a flashlight you will be following the footsteps of the great speleologist Franz Kraus. Passing the heavy, green gate you will soon discover a dark world. The tour not only opens up your eyes and ears, but is also sure to stimulate your imagination with all it's mystical figures and formations.
A highlight of the region is the hike through Wasserlochklamm gorge to the unpredictable water hole. The ingredients are: a suspension bridge, four wooden staircases and bridges, five waterfalls and a breath-taking view of the Salza. Right on top you might even hit the jackpot when the gates at the water hole open up as you are arriving. Sounds dangerous, but is indeed something for the whole family. Don’t miss the baked potatoes and waffles at Wasserlochschenke restaurant.
The Mountain Hut Loop Hike – pack a few Gesäuse Perle Lemonades and get started at Ebnerkreuzung junction in Johnsbach. Gear yourself up with a backpack, enough water and hiking boots and soon you’ll be hiking from hut to hut. The four cosy mountain huts waiting to receive hikers are Kölblalm, Ebneralm, Zeiringeralm and Huberalm.
Man glaubt es kaum, aber mit der Geologie kann man ganz schön viel Spaß haben. Das merken Alt und Jung vor allem in der GeoWerkstatt, wo man dem Namen gemäß selbst Hand anlegen und aus Steinen, die man vorher gefunden hat, wunderschönen Schmuck oder andere Souvenirs anfertigen kann. Bei einem Workshop lernt man spielerisch, was sich vor Millionen von Jahren hier wohl zugetragen haben muss.
At a place where all-time highs are registered year after year on the thermometer there also has to be a place to take a refreshing dip. And, of course, there is - the Leisure Park in Landl...
Some like to park their car atop Buchauer Col and hike along the Almlehrpfad Trail to the pasture, others prefer to ride their mountain bike there. For Eva and Gerhard it doesn’t make a difference. The only thing they care about is that guests enjoy their meals and the sun terrace. No matter if you choose to take a break at the lodge, visit the cheese dairy or continue on your hiking route – Grabneralm pasture is a true Gesäuse classic, where you can relax and enjoy the amazing views.
From where do you have the best view of Admont? From Admonterhaus Lodge of course! There is one fact that really makes this mountain shelter stand out – it is the highest one if its kind in the Gesäuse and therefore the 'extended living-room' of the people living in the nearby villages of Hall, Admont and Weng. And, last but not least, it also guarantees spectacular views.
Not too far away from the valley and yet still in the high-Alpine area lies the Haindlkarhütte Lodge. No matter if the lodge is your final destination or just a stop-over on the way to a climbing route, it’s going to be legendary visit. On your way up you will come across chamois and dolomite sculptures and when you finally get to the lodge your hosts will serve you delicious food and put a big smile on your face. Meanwhile, all of this takes place in an arena of stone and rock, directly in front of the towering Hochtor Mountains that look down at you from more than 1,000 metres high.
Try to imagine the following scene: A lodge so cosy it looks like something out of a fairy tale with the Admonter Reichenstein Peak as its backdrop. On the inside, the scent of culinary delights is sure to get your stomach grumbling, while outside the crystal clear mountain air awaits you. Traditional meals and drinks are always available here and the nights at the lodge couldn’t be any more relaxing. By the way – Mödlingerhütte Lodge is the only lodge in the Gesäuse that can also be reached from Paltental Valley.