Hike and enjoy in the Gailtal and Lesach Valley
We set out to discover Carinthian specialties while enjoying a holiday in Gailtal and to go hiking in the Lesachtal. 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 Lesachtal also gives us pleasure. Holidays in the Gailtal and Lesachtal are good for the stomach and the figure. On the Mühlenweg, on which we hike in the Lesachtal, the mountain farmers grind the flour for the Lesachtaler bread to this day.
In the Slow Food Travel Region of Carinthia, you can look behind the scenes with producers and chefs during the summer. Gourmet hotels, producers, restaurateurs and delicatessens have teamed up to offer gourmet dining experiences. These present specialties from Carinthia. Just the thing to do a foray through the culinary arts of Carinthia.
The offers vary depending on the season. May and June are the best months to familiarize yourself with the wild herbs of the two valleys. The meadows are mowed later in the year. Then the grain ripens and supplies the grain for the Lesachtaler bread. Today it is part of the intangible world cultural heritage of UNESCO. There are opportunities throughout the summer where you can discover Carinthia's specialties. The best thing about it. You can also try them. And, if you want, there are cooking courses and workshops in which you can make Austria's delicacies yourself. We tried a few of them.
We do not need to go far for our first taste experience. The owner of the gourmet hotel Biedermeier Schlössl Lerchenhof, in which we spend three nights, is also a farmer. Hans Steinwender breeds pigs. In a gentle way. During the week, the animals are out in the meadows behind the castle hotel. Only on the weekend he brings her to the stable. Then there are too many visitors on the way. His pigs should have rest.
He shows us how to prepare the bacon. Thick pieces of bacon lie in a trough in a trough. "With a lot of garlic," he laughs. It smells intense. But garlic is not the only condiment in which Hans Steinwender sorts his bacon. He also makes bacon. Or hay bacon. The Castello Vino, which is sipped with wine from the Lavant Valley, is particularly delicious. After smoking, the pieces of bacon ripen in the air for up to twelve months.
One secret of the Gailtaler bacon is that the pigs' feed is refined with grass and hay. â € œA secret from my grandmother, â € explains Hans Steinwender. The Steinwender family shows us how good it tastes at dinner. Then they serve us a bacon platter on which we can taste the four types of bacon in the house.
You can try the varieties of Gailtaler bacon in the restaurant of the
Biedermeierschlössl Lerchenhof in the Gailtal
Phone + 43 4282 / 2100
Overnight stay at Schloss Lerchenhof * you can book here
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- A campsite in the Gailtal is that Alpencamp Kötschach-Mauthen, which is centrally located for the Gailtal and Lesach Valley. There are other campsites in the area.
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and here Booking options.
- Check with our Packing list camperwhether 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
Hike and collect herbs in the Lesach Valley
The next stop on our pleasure tour through the Slow Food Travel Region of Carinthia is Klebas in Lesachtal. This valley is considered the most natural valley in Europe. No wonder Sandra Egartner deals with wild herbs that she finds in abundance in the mountain meadows of the valley. â € œThe time of the herbs is in May and June, â € she explains to us during our herb tour on the meadows The small mountain hotel surrounded by her husband.
She greets us this summer with a refreshing drink and the words: "Now guess what I made this juice out of?" The glass smells intensely of flowers. The aroma seems familiar to me, but I cannot classify it. Finally she takes pity on me and explains: â € œThis is juice from lilac flower syrupâ €. A juice that I have to make myself in the next spring, I think to myself.
Then she takes her basket and off she goes to collect herbs. Sandra Egartner stops at plants that I never notice. â € œThis is the Gundel vine. The wild thyme grows there. I also need nettle. Chive flowers decorate our soup.â € Before each of these plants, it tells what it can be used for. For some, it warns. â € œThere are similar plants that are poisonous. When collecting, you should make sure that it is the right plant.â € One thing quickly becomes clear to me on our tour. I have a lot to learn before I can go looking for wild herbs myself.
Wild herb soup
Finally, we have collected enough herbs to cook in the kitchen of the hotel, a wild herb soup. This is fast and easy. Sandra washes the herbs, cuts an onion and purees the whole thing in the blender. Then add some water, season with vegetable salt and let it boil. Finally, add a sip of cream before decorating the wildflower leaves soup. Done is the wild herb soup! And delicious.
If you want to join a wild herb tour with a wild herb soup at the end, you can do that here:
The small mountain hotel in the Lesachtal
Overnight stay in Das kleine Berghotel * you can book here
Hike on the Mühlenweg in the Lesach Valley
We meet Brigitte Lugger at the farm shop in Maria Luggau. Even today, the mountain farmers in this mountaineering village in the Lesach Valley grind their grain in their own mills. Brigitte Lugger founded the Lesachtaler Mühlenverein with her husband and four other mountain farmers. The reason for founding the association was that they could only secure the water rights for their mills together. This is how the Mühlenweg in the Lesachtal was created.
In the Lesachtal, where the Trattenbach flows down the mountainside into the valley, the five mills of the mountain farmers in the Lesachtal are lined up one behind the other. They bear the names of their owners. The Hanselermühle, The Vorbetermühle, The Großnmühle. The Richter-Freibergermühle. The matt lam mill. In the Hanselermühle Brigitte Lugger shows us a collection of farm implements, some of which were used to grind the grain. Others were used to process wool, hemp and flax.
Brigitte Lugger used to be a teacher in Maria Luggau in the Lesachtal. As such, she was interested in the history of her homeland. Once there were 24 mills on the mountain slopes around the village. Most of them have since disappeared or been converted into huts. This is where vacationers live today. The mills along the Mühlenweg are all the more impressive. These continue to do their original day's work to this day.
We did not spend the night in Lesachtal. We would definitely do that next time. The valley is worth exploring.
Hiking trails in the Gailtal and Lesach Valley
Herb garden in Gailtal
Styled and highly professional, the herbal experience in the the daberer. the biohotel, Senior boss Inge Daberer welcomes us in her designer show kitchen. She already made a herbal lemonade there. "She still has to cool down," she says, and places it in the fridge. Then she tells us what she planned.
You need that for a hike in the Gailtal and Lesachtal valleys
- 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, Brotzeit, 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.
Senior boss Inge Daberer devotes herself to her passion in her herb garden: herbalism. The cook has been interested in the herbs of her home country for many years. She builds a part of it in the hotel garden. Or she collects them in the meadows and in the surrounding woods. She even wrote a herbal cookbook.
We are traveling with hotel guests and collect under the instruction of Inge Daberer herbs for our wild herbs salad. Rocket and garden herbs of all kinds wander into our salad bowls. Wild herbs come on the way through the mountain meadows. And finally, she picks stinging nettles for the dishes she has planned for the lunch menu.
Inge Daberer prepared a herbal lemonade even before our arrival. This awaits us freshly chilled after our tour of the hotel garden. Without sugar, it tastes delicious after our walk in the herb garden. Inge Daberer shows us in her show kitchen how she prepares herbal salad, kohlrabi carpaccio with mint pesto, potato risotto with mushrooms on green cream of herbs and a fruit cold dish with thyme, basil, lavender and raspberry leaves. This tastes particularly good 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 gourmets in his Edelgreißlerei. You do not know what a greed is? We did not know that before. Underneath you have to introduce yourself to a very special shop that celebrates and introduces the delicacies from the Gailtal, the Lesachtal and the Slow Food Alpe Adria region.
For Herwig Ertl's workshop you need some courage. Because who combines mountain cheese with anchovies and a drop of thick fruit vinegar? Or grain bread with goat cheese and marinated mountain garlic? Also delicious was the alpine cheese with sun-kissed tomatoes and vinegar from Styria, which matures 25 years in the barrel and tastes like honey. In her workshop, Herwig Ertl gives you the opportunity to combine all these delicacies according to your mood. It's like an adventure through the culinary delights of the Slow Food Alpe Adria region. It is palatial flattering, as it can not be more intense.
There are drinks that you do not get everywhere. How about a juice of wild quince from the fruit farm Retter, which is served in the wine glass? Or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the winegrower in Mandorf in the Gail Valley, which opens the palate for the pleasures of the region?
A visit to Herwig Ertl's noble grocery is like a stay in the land of milk and honey. It's just a shame that it has to end once. If you want to experience it yourself, you can do it here. â € œThis is even possible for one person, â € Herwig Ertl confirms. â € œOnly you should register.â €
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.
Upon arrival, the ingredients are already prepared. The dough should rest for half an hour before it can be processed. We fill the noodles 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 the size of a palm. The dough is stretchy enough to handle it. Shape by shape she fills potato fullness with a big spoon. Then she beats the dough around it and sticks the edges tightly together.
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.
For lunch, we try Carinthian pasta with spicy stuffing. From meat to cheese and herbs everything is in it. They just taste delicious. Even so, I prefer the sweet Carinthian noodles. Filled with nuts are my favorites. I know one thing for sure. Carinthian noodles will also be available at home in the future.
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 enjoyment of holidays in the Gail Valley with our ramble through the Carinthian specialties in the Slow Food Travel Region in the Gail Valley and Lesachtal. A tour through a culinary paradise, which was a lot of fun. We have learned a lot and will certainly try one or two delicacies at home.
Slow Travel Carinthia:
- 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 already know:
We thank you very much Slow Food Travel Carinthia for the friendly invitation. And we would like to thank the producers in the Gailtal and Lesachtal for the interesting insights into the culinary art of Carinthia.
Source for hiking in Gailtal & Lesachtal: own research on site.
Text hiking in Gailtal & Lesachtal: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Videos: © Copyright Petar and Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline