Hike and enjoy in the Gailtal
The Gailtal stretches from Kartitsch in East Tyrol to Villach in Carinthia along the Gailtal Alps. In its infancy, the Gail flows through that Lesachtal, creating the escarpments on both sides of the valley. At Kötschach-Mauthen you leave the whitewater regions of the Gail and from there you reach calmer waters as far as Villach. The Gailtal is wider here and offers the people who live here more space. In addition, the places are larger and the views are wider. Nevertheless, the valley always runs parallel to the border with the neighboring countries of Italy and Slovenia. Especially in the region east of Hermagor you can still feel the proximity to Slovenia, which is also reflected in the language. You often hear terms that come from Slovenian.
Enjoy Gailtal specialities
We set out to discover Carinthian specialties during a pleasure holiday in the Gailtal. Carinthia did it to us. According to our Enjoy your holiday in the monastery of St. Paul and Monastery holiday in the monastery Wernberg this time we are on our way to taste the specialties of the mountain valleys on the borders of Slovenia and Italy. Hiking in the Gailtal also gives us pleasure. Holidays in the Gailtal Alps are good for your stomach and your figure.
In the Slow Food Travel Region Carinthia you can look behind the scenes in summer by visiting producers and chefs. Connoisseur hotels, producers, restaurateurs and delicatessen shops have joined forces and offer joint pleasure experiences. They present specialties from Carinthia. This is exactly the right thing to do for a foray through the culinary art of Carinthia.
The offers vary depending on the season. May and June in particular are the best months to become familiar with the wild herbs in the two valleys. The meadows are mowed later in the year. However, there are various ways to discover Carinthian specialties throughout the summer. The best part is that you can try them too. And if you want, there are even cooking courses and workshops where you can prepare Austria's delicious dishes yourself. We have already tried some of these offers.
We don't have to go far for our first pleasure experience. The owner of the Genießerhotel Biedermeier Schlössl Lerchenhof, where we stay three nights, is also a farmer. Hans Steinwender breeds pigs in a gentle way. During the week the animals are allowed outside on the meadows behind the castle hotel. They are only brought into the barn at the weekend, as there are too many visitors around then. The pigs should have their peace.
He clearly shows us how he prepares the bacon. Thick pieces of bacon that have been marinated in a broth lie in a trough. "With a lot of garlic," he laughs, while the intense scent of garlic fills the air. But garlic is not the only spice ingredient that Hans Steinwender uses for his bacon. He also makes root bacon and hay bacon. A particularly delicious variation is the Castello Vino, in which the speck is seasoned with wine from the Lavant Valley. After smoking, the pieces of bacon mature in the fresh air for up to twelve months.
A secret of the Gailtaler Speck lies in the fact that the pigs' feed is enriched with grass and hay. "It's a secret my grandmother has handed down," explains Hans Steinwender. Over dinner, the Steinwender family will show us just how delicious this bacon actually is. They serve us a rich bacon platter on which we can taste the four different types of bacon of the house.
You can try the varieties of Gailtaler bacon in the restaurant of the
Biedermeierschlössl Lerchenhof in the Gailtal
Phone + 43 4282 / 2100
A Overnight stay at Schloss Lerchenhof * you can book here
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- A campsite in the Gailtal is that Alpine camp Kötschach-Mauthen, which is centrally located for the Gailtal. There are other campsites in the area.
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information here as well as booking options. Or would you prefer to stay overnight roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tents is possible.
- Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- Austria has a comprehensive network of campsites, there are parking spaces in all parts of the country, you can stay overnight for a maximum of one night outside of campsites and parking spaces. But be careful: there are regional bans (Tyrol, Vienna). Camping Guide for Austria * you can buy it here.
- Here you can find tips for Cooking in the camper
- Why is a folding e-bike useful when camping?
Hiking trails in the Gailtal Alps
Herb garden in Gailtal
The herb experience in the daberer is stylish and highly professional. the bio hotel. Senior boss Inge Daberer welcomes us in her designer show kitchen, where she has already prepared a refreshing herbal lemonade. "It still has to cool down," she explains and carefully puts it in the fridge. She then explains to us in detail her planned course of action.
You need that for a hike in the Gailtal Alps
- We recommend comfortable walking shoes for the hike. Many hiking trails are alpine and require equipment for mountain tours.
- Practically for traveling is one backpackin which you drink, snack, a Jacket and store odds and ends. One lunch box and other practical utensils for hikers can be found here.
- Do you have everything? With our hiking checklist you can easily check that.
Inge Daberer is passionate about growing herbs in her herb garden. As an experienced cook, she has had a special interest in the herbs of her homeland for many years. She carefully grows some of them in the hotel garden, while she collects other herbs in the meadows and in the surrounding forests. She even recorded her extensive expertise and knowledge of herbs in the form of a herbal cookbook.
Together with other hotel guests, we go in search of herbs for our wild herb salad under the expert guidance of Inge Daberer. We fill our salad bowls with a variety of rocket and various garden herbs. On our way through the picturesque mountain meadows, we supplement the salad with aromatic wild herbs. Finally, Inge Daberer harvests stinging nettles, which she uses for the planned lunch menu.
Even before our arrival, Inge Daberer prepared a refreshing herbal lemonade, which awaited us freshly chilled after our tour of the hotel garden. Without the addition of sugar, it unfolds its delicious taste that goes perfectly with our sunny walk. In her impressive show kitchen, Inge Daberer shows us how she prepares various dishes, including herb salad, kohlrabi carpaccio with mint pesto, potato risotto with mushrooms on a green herb cream and a cold fruit bowl with thyme, basil, lavender and raspberry leaves. We particularly like to enjoy these culinary delicacies on the hotel terrace.
Here you can join in this herbal experience:
the daberer in the Gail Valley
9635 Dellach in the Gail Valley
St. Daniel 17
Not far away in Kötschach, Herwig Ertl offers workshops for connoisseurs in his gourmet shop. Maybe you're not familiar with the term "grocery store"? It was the same for us before. But it is a special shop that celebrates and presents the delicacies from the Gailtal, the Lesachtal and the Slow Food Alpe Adria region.
You need some courage for Herwig Ertl's workshop. After all, who would combine mountain cheese with anchovies and a drop of thick fruit vinegar? Or grain bread with goat cheese and marinated mountain garlic? Equally delicious is the alpine cheese with sun-kissed tomatoes and vinegar from Styria, which has matured in barrels for 25 years and has a honey-like taste. In Herwig Ertl's workshop you get the opportunity to combine all these delicacies as you wish. There you will definitely experience an adventurous journey through the culinary diversity of the Slow Food Alpe Adria region. It is a treat for the palate that could hardly be more intense.
In addition, drinks are served that you don't get everywhere. How about a juice made from wild quinces from Obsthof Retter, presented elegantly in a wine glass? Or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from a winemaker from Mandorf in the Gailtal, which opens the palate to the delights of the region?
A visit to Herwig Ertl's Edelgreisslerei is like staying in Cockaigne. It's just a shame that it has to come to an end at some point. If you want to experience this experience yourself, you can register here. "It's even possible for one person," confirms Herwig Ertl, "you should just register in advance."
Edelgreißlerei Herwig Ertl in the Gail Valley
Last but not least, we visit Ingeborg Daberer in Sankt Daniel. She has been with her sister Gudrun in her Gasthof Grunwald specializing in Carinthian noodles. They play the lead role on the menu in their family tavern.
When we arrive, the ingredients are already prepared. The dough has to rest for half an hour before you can work it. We then fill the pasta with a potato and herb filling. Ingeborg Daberer rolls out the dough on a wooden board. Then she cuts out round shapes. These are about palm-sized. The dough is stretchy enough for her to work with. She fills each mold with a large spoonful of potato filling. Then she folds the dough around it and glues the edges firmly together.
Not so easy: the production of Carinthian pasta
Now begins the complicated part of the production of Carinthian noodles. The curling. This is the name given to the shapes of the pretty edges that are typical of this Carinthian specialty. It is said that only girls who are good at crinkling can find a man. If it's true, we can not prove it. But one thing is for sure: you have to be able to do it. Ingeborg Daberer shows us. After some practice, my Carinthian noodles do not look as pretty as those of the expert. But at least you can see the curled edge.
At lunch we then try our way through Carinthian pasta with a spicy filling. Everything from meat to cheese and herbs is included. They just taste delicious. However, I like the sweet Carinthian pasta even better. Stuffed with nuts are my favorites. I know one thing for sure. In the future we will also have Carinthian pasta at home.
If you want to learn curling in the enjoyment of holidays in Gailtal, you can do that here:
Gasthof Grünwald in the Gail Valley
St. Daniel 17
Phone + 43 (0) 4718 677 +
This ends our enjoyable holiday in the Gailtal with our foray through the Carinthian specialties in the Slow Food Travel Region in the Gailtal. In any case, it was a tour through a culinary paradise, which we had a lot of fun with. We have learned a lot and will certainly try one or the other delicacy at home.
Questions and answers about the Slow Food Travel Region in the Gailtal
What makes the Gailtal a special travel destination for connoisseurs?
The Gailtal offers a wealth of culinary treasures and traditions, from regional specialties to handcrafted delicacies. The valley is also part of the Slow Food Travel Region, which specializes in sustainable, authentic and enjoyable experiences.
Which regional specialties can you try in the Gailtal?
In the Gailtal you can enjoy delicious Gailtaler bacon, Carinthian Kasnudeln, Gailtaler Almkäse, fresh wild herbs and much more. The regional cuisine also reflects the diversity of alpine cuisine.
Are there opportunities to get to know producers and chefs in the Slow Food Travel Region Gailtal?
Yes, definitely! There are events, workshops and tours in the region where you can meet producers, chefs and other experts and learn more about their products and how they work.
Apart from enjoying food and drinks, what activities can you do in the Gailtal?
In addition to the culinary experience, there are numerous opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, skiing and much more in the Gailtal. The breathtaking landscape and the Gailtal Alps offer a wide range of leisure activities.
Are there special events or festivals in the Gailtal that one should visit?
Yes, various events and festivals that focus on enjoyment and culinary delights take place regularly in the Gailtal. These include, for example, wine festivals, farmers' markets as well as regional specialty fairs.
What is the best way to explore the Slow Food Travel Region Gailtal?
A good way to explore the Slow Food Travel Region Gailtal is on a culinary journey visiting different producers, restaurants and markets. It is also worth booking a guided tour or a workshop to delve even deeper into the regional cuisine.
Are there accommodations in the Gailtal that are specially designed for connoisseurs?
Yes, in the Gailtal you will find a selection of hotels and accommodations that specialize in connoisseurs. Many offer regional specialties in their restaurants and also organize events and workshops on the topic of culinary art.
Slow Travel Carinthia:
- You should not miss a trip to the Lesachtal.
- at Weissensee im beautiful Carinthia - a real insider tip in Austria
- Your Top Restaurant Weissensee Carinthia - Which kitchen do you prefer?
- The legendary gold of the Tauern on vacation in the mountain village Discover Heiligenblut
- Hohe Tauern by car - the Grossglockner High Alpine Road get to know on vacation
Do you also know:
- Holidays in Austria with hiking for slow travelers
- Chiemgau Alps Panorama Tour
- What does a typical American breakfast look like?
- Gifts for hikers
- Cooking in a motorhome or houseboat
- Baking supplies store
- Dutch oven sizes
- You can also find Dutch oven accessories
In any case, we would like to thank you very much Slow Food Travel Carinthia for the invitation. We would also like to thank the producers in the Gailtal for the insights into the culinary art of Carinthia.
Source for holidays in the Gailtal: own research on site. However, our opinion remains our own.
Text Holidays in the Gailtal: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos of the Gailtal Alps: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Videos: © Copyright Petar and Monika Fuchs as well as TravelWorldOnline