4 Reasons To Visit Austrian “Gesäuse”
What sounds very unpronounceable is actually a most beautiful region in the north-western part of Styria, which itself is a province of Austria. You can try by saying [gesɔ͜yse] – this is of course for those of you who are able to read the IPA. For all the others – just enjoy the pictures and visit the Gesäuse website. For us Travelzoners the Gesäuse became our second home two years ago, and a place where we love to go on weekends and vacations.
The center of Austria
The Gesäuse is located close enough to the middle of Austria. Over millions of years, the two rivers Salza and Enns have cut a massive gorge right through the delicate limestone rocks and created a unique mountain setting. Today the area is one of the treasured National Parks in Austria.
Admont, the village just outside the entrance to the Gesäuse, looks back on a thousand year history, with its cloisters and church set right in the center of the valley and mountains. It was the monks in the Stift Admont cloisters, who have imported culture to the region and over centuries attracted visitors from around the world. Later, in the early years of the 20th century, the first mountaineers came in and started pioneering up the many peaks of the region.
Here’s a quick tour of the Gesäuse to tease you…
1. Love For Rugged Mountains
Mountaineering is the thing to do in the Gesäuse. It’s a place for hardcore mountaineers, climbers and adventurers, its rugged mountains and deep gorges known to the real professionals. It is also a region for wild water action, ski touring, snowboarding, skiing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and a whole lot more.
2. Love For Wild Water
The next thing you’ll soon realize in the Gesäuse is the wild water running through it. In fact the gushing sounds of the river Enns gave the region its name (Gesäuse in German means something like the roaring of wild waters rushing through its river beds). The brave amongst our readers could try “rushing” through the rivers by themselves. We did our part and tried to conquer (which of course you’ll never do) the Enns river with a rafting boat.
We booked a rafting tour at the local rafting tour provider A.O.S. – Adventure Outdoor Strobl, and “enjoyed” a rather bumpy ride down the Enns. And we did taste the awkwardly cold water when we capsized (to flip over they call it) right in the middle of a gigantic cataract monstrosity, which was a very unpleasent experience. We did fear for our lives while hitting the rocks beneath the ice cold water numerous times, trying to get safely back to shore. But we survived and at least had some fun.
3. Love For Hiking
In the Gesäuse you can just about hike up any path you’ll find and you’ll be in for a beautiful scenery, 100 % nature and a purest wildlife experience. It doesn’t get more primal than there.
Look for summer activities at the Gesäuse website on http://www.gesaeuse.at/activities-summer and you can choose from 30 something hiking tours in the region. Here are some of the impressions we got during our latest tours.
4. Love for Magical Christmas
If you’re looking for Christmas like it used to be, or at least how you remember it being a little child, the Gesäuse sure is the place for you to be. In fact you’ll fall in love with Christmas all over again.
Apart from the regions scenic winter impressions, Admont and its neighboring villages boast plenty of Christmas markets and activities throughout December each year. With the Christmas market of Admont in walking distance, we regularly go there to visit and drink the odd “Glühwein” (mulled red wine) or punch.
In fact the region inspires us to exceed our Christmas decorations in our holiday home. But see for yourselves.
- Go to ttp://www.gesaeuse.at/en/ for all details and sporting activities. Choose the time of year you want to go (summer or winter) and off you go.
- Accommodation: http://www.gesaeuse.at/accommodations
- Scheduled events: http://www.gesaeuse.at/events
How To Get There
You can find good connections to fly in to Salzburg or Vienna with any major airline. Salzburg is a little closer than Vienna, but you should expect to have a 1 1/2 (Salzburg) or 2 1/2 hours (Vienna) drive. In case you want to travel by train or bus, have a look on the travel details at http://www.gesaeuse.at/en/arrival/.
Alternatively you can contact the Tourism Association Gesäuse:
Hauptstraße 35, 8911
Phone +43 (0) 3613 21160 10
Fax +43 (0) 3613 21 160 40
Open all-year Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm