st michael & lungau destination guide
An hour’s drive south of Salzburg Airport, St Martin is a small hamlet belonging to the town of St Michael in the Lungau region of Austria.
It’s a real Austrian town. A working town where timber and farming are just as important as skiing to the locals. There’s nothing false or contrived…people wear lederhosen because they’re comfortable, hard-wearing and don’t need too much washing!
Of course, tourism is very important to the town and region, but there is no ‘quick buck’ mentality here, resulting in a rich, cultural experience for you whether visiting in Summer or Winter!
The Chalets themselves are beneath Speiereck – our local mountain and the highest ski-able peak in the region. We are just 2 minutes walk from the local inn and just 5-minutes from the main ski lift.
A further 5 minute stroll in the same direction and you’ll be in the picturesque town of St. Michael um Lungau, where you’ll find the local shops, banks, ski schools, bars and restaurants. If you’re feeling lazy or want to zip across to the next ski area, there’s a free ski bus stop at the end of our road. So…what are you waiting for…visit us and…
get away from it all…
the REAL austria
Lungau and St Michael im Lungau are ideal destinations for anyone looking to escape the crowds or seeking a more genuine Austrian adventure.Thanks to its outstanding natural beauty and commitment to sustainable development, the Lungau region was made a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2012. Springtime brings plenty of tradition including the cattle being driven down from their winter mountain pastures, all beautifully painted and decorated making it a real sight to behold.
Summer marks the start of festivals and events unlike any others in the Alps, from the huge Prangstangen flower festival (24th June each year) to the Samson Man Parades during Harvest Festival (June-September each year) across Lungau’s towns and villages.
austria’s southern alps
The Lungau Alpine area consists of several different mountain ranges, including those of Speiereck, Katschberg, Aineck, Fanningberg and Obertauern.For skiers these are all joined up by a common lift pass which means you can access 250km of pistes across these five interconnected ski areas on a single ski pass!
Or head to the hills and pristine valleys for dramatic Summertime Alpine walking holidays, taking-in terrain spanning a range of different heights and severity, meaning there are plenty of options available to skiers and hikers of all abilities.
The trails are well signed if you prefer to strike out alone though…just tell us what you’re after and we’ll direct you to the best walking or hiking options across Lungau!
The Lungau region maintains many of its ancient traditions and is packed full of history and culture. There’s often something to go and see, such as the Samson Man Processions and Prangstangen Flower Pole Festivals (more here). The Mountain Alms are incredible for authentic and hill-farm produced local food and drink.
You’ll also find two famous castles within walking distance of us: Mauterndorf Castle was the childhood home of German Air Force boss, Hermann Goering, while Castle Moosham was home to Austria’s bloodiest witch trials. Indeed it is now often referred to as Witches’ Castle. You can get a tour of both castles or even go for dinner (both have surprisingly good restaurants in fact!).
lungau’s incredible nature
Lungau is a place you can really get close to nature. Visit in September/October, for instance, and you can get up close and personal with Lungau’s huge red stags, as they gather in the Zederhaus valley to prepare for the red deer rut.
Or if you’re into birdwatching, there are some very rare species to be found here, including a breeding dotterel which caused huge excitement!
As mentioned, in 2012 Lungau was designated a biosphere reserve which is very significant, according to British journalist Mark Rowe who stayed with us for this Geographical Magazine article. He definitely found that conservation rules in this part of the world, as you can read about in his The Independent newspaper article!
‘The Lungauer’ are known for their friendliness and open-mindedness towards guests. Rather than resenting tourists – as locals do in Austria’s busy, overcrowded ski resorts – there’s nothing they’ll love more than to share a few drinks with you and talk about where you come from and live.
The local teenagers will smile and say hello as you pass them in the street – something you don’t see every day!
As for language barriers…there are none as most people speak good or excellent English…although they’ll love you if you try to speak German! Don’t forget that Jodi is originally from the UK and her team are all fluent English and German speakers so can help you any time you need it!
St Michael is located in such an incredible part of the Southern Austrian Alps, where summer and winter are equally lively thanks to our amazing outdoor pursuits available year-round, as well as stunning nature!
Spring and Autumn remain great value where prices are at their lowest (including ours!) and the weather is generally hot by day and cool in the evening, perfect for walking & hiking, cycling, golf, mountain biking, climbing or generally relaxing. Plus there’s some great fishing & fly fishing to be had!
There’s also a healthy interest in flying here: the flying club in Mauterndorf has all manner of light aircraft and you can hang glide (both mountain launch and tow), paraglide or fly in a glider!
après-ski in lungau & st michael
St Michael has its own character, not attracting the the kind of people who enjoy getting blind drunk! St Michael has an Apres-ski charm of its own, with numerous lively bars and nightclubs for those who want to party late, especially during peak season. Up on Katschberg, which is included in almost all ski passes, you’ll find plenty going on thanks to the numerous cosy ski huts and modern restaurants offering lovely food any time of the day, from Germknödel to Jagatee and mulled wine plus many other regional delicacies.
value for money
We’ve all been on those skiing holidays that you’ve budgeted for five or six hundred Euros per person, plus spending money, but ended up spending a thousand? That doesn’t happen here. Once you’re in Lungau, you’ll find prices are very reasonable. They aren’t inflated as the locals eat in the same bars and restaurants as the visitors – even on the mountain. For this reason, you can get a good lunch in one of the mountain bars, such as the beautiful Panorama Alm pictured here, for around 15 Euros. Beers are around 3 Euros, if not less…not bad hey?!
sightseeing in lungau
Lungau is rich with historic sights and local traditions, so you’ll find St Martin Chalets the perfect base to explore this amazing region.
Perhaps Lungau’s greatest assets are its festivals, markets and processions.
Or if you fancy going further afield then it’s well worth picking up the local ‘tourist cards’. For example, if you want to spend time in Salzburg then then the ‘Salzburg Card’ is for you, while the Carinthia Card is perfect when heading over into the neighbouring area of…Carinthia of course!
For more about all the sightseeing you can enjoy, just click for more Lungau sightseeing opportunities…. to get a taste of Lungau’s attractions that might interest you.
banks, atm machines, shopping & hospitals
Just 5 minutes from St Martin Chalets is St Michael im Lungau, with a good number of bars and restaurants, all manner of shops, banks, ATM machines, supermarkets and places of historical & cultural interest. Most of the hotels have bars and restaurants and one has a large pool, which is available to visitors as well as the hotel’s own guests.
Slightly further afield is the The region’s capital city of Tamsweg offers more businesses, a hospital, a railway station and various car hire outlets (although many of our guests hire cars at the airport).
Whatever you need, we can point you in the right direction!.