UNESCO Biosphere Guide and St Martin Chalet host Herby Venner guides guests among the finest Lungau region landscapes (2) - Copy1

Sunrise over the Biosphere

It’s easy for us to shout about just how beautiful the Lungau region is.

So, just to prove it, we thought we’d ask British Journalist Mark Rowe about his highlights following a stay with us that resulted in a fab Independent on Sunday article (if you missed it, read it here or re-create it here).

Right. Over to you Mark….

It’s 3.30am on my first morning – or night – in Austria, and we clamber into a minibus to be driven to Katschberg, an out-of-season ski resort.  From here, we hike up the flanks of a mountain whose contours we can feel but not see. I think we may all be sleepwalking, but Herby and Jodi are wide awake, and ears pinned back and eyes peeled, they pick out the drill of a black woodpecker and the bark of a female deer.

Into the Austrian Alps we go (c) Mark Rowe - http://bit.ly/1d5jE3j

We reach our viewing point, the half light reveals a large herd of cream and yellow milking cows.Their jangling bells sound like a steel band come to welcome in the sunrise.The air is scented with the aromas of vanilla orchids and hyacinths bursting with perfumes at first light.

Into the Austrian Alps we go (c) Mark Rowe - http://bit.ly/1d5jE3j

Then the sun begins to bleed over the fabulously large and jagged peaks of the Lower Tauern Alps, cutting diamond sharp shadows across the valley. A waning moon just squeezes into the same photoframe. I could sit here all morning, but our walk is only half done.

Into the Austrian Alps we go (c) Mark Rowe - http://bit.ly/1d5jE3j

We continue to circumnavigate Tschaneck mountain, hiking through woods before suddenly popping out onto open ground in front of a classic Alpine view of mountains and glacial valleys. It’s fully light now, and we work our way gently to the Gontalscharte, a pass at 1950m that separates the Salzburger region from Carinthia.

There’s a top-of-the-world feeling to the place. We’ve been walking perhaps 50 minutes and as we descend, the smell of pancakes and omelettes floats towards us. It’s a nice touch: our final destination is a cafe. In between slurping hot chocolate, some of us stretch out and doze.

I try to guess the time as we gather ourselves to leave: it’s barely 9am…


Here’s the article if you missed it and you too can enjoy the same Lungau Biosphere Adventure package right up until the end of October. Just click here for full details.

Jodi & Herby