Lungau is recognised for it’s natural beauty by UNESCO who have designated it a Biosphere region. Add to this the wealth of historic sights and local traditions and you’ll find the St Martin Chalets are the perfect base to explore this amazing region. So if you fancy doing a spot of sightseeing, here’s a taste of the local attractions that might interest you:
- Visit Witches’ Castle (Castle Moosham at Unternberg). It’s only a few minutes away but has a really interesting story (they were still burning witches there as recently as 100 years ago!). They run guided tours there daily at 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2, 3 and 4pm and it’s open from 1st April to 30th September
- Visit 13th Century Mauterndorf Castle, historic landmark and childhood home of Luftwaffe boss, Hermann Göring. They do Medieval tours and serve a mean supper.
- Visit one of Lungau’s two steam railways, including one of the last 760mm, narrow-gauge railways in Austria
- Visit one of our ancient mills or numerous medieval sites
- Tour a medieval silver mine
- Ask us to point you in the direction of some truly stunning architecture
- Drive to Hallstatt for lunch by the lake (it’s gorgeous there and it takes just over an hour if you drive through Obertauern)
- Visit the ‘World of the Ice Giants‘ in Werfen – the largest ice cave in the world (it’s 42km deep!)
- When in Werfen, why not visit historic Castle Hohenwerfen, as used in the film ‘Where Eagles Dare’ starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood
- Visit Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and home to countless museums and art galleries.
- It may not be your cup of tea but many guests tell us they really enjoyed the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg
- Go to the Red Bull aircraft museum next to Salzburg Airport
- Drive to Udine in northern Italy for some shopping and sightseeing (journey takes around 2 hours)
Festivals and events
Perhaps Lungau’s greatest assets are its festivals, markets and processions:
- Rather mysteriously, the heroic biblical figure, Samson, is the emblem of the Lungau. On selected dates between May and September one of several giant Samson figures will visit the different Lungau towns, carried on the shoulders of a young Lungau bachelor. The Samson figure has been part of Lungau culture since 1635 and symbolizes strength within the community. The Old Testament Samson had superhuman strength, which somehow stemmed from his hair. The story goes that he killed 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass at Lehi and most of the Lungai Samson figures carry such a jawbone somewhere in their making.
- ‘Prangstangen’ is an annual custom, which culminates on the 24th June, where as many as 50,000 flowers are collected and woven into floral garlands (originally thought to protect the locals from the plagues of locusts that raged in the region some 300 years ago).
- In early December we have the beautiful Christkindl markets (well worth combining with some early-season skiing) and the terrifying ‘Krampuslauf’, where to this day giant monsters ransack the town looking for children who have been badly behaved and need a good whipping (some of Austria’s customs would never survive in the UK)!
If you fancy spending some time in Salzburg, we could help you pick up a Salzburg Card. 6 days’ access will set you back around €45 for adults and €25 for children, giving you:
- Free, single admission to all of the city’s attractions
- Free use of public transport including Fortress funicular, Salzach ship service and the Untersberg cable way
- Discounts for cultural events
- Reduced prices at a number of excursion destinations
If you fancy heading over into the neighbouring area of Carinthia, you could pick up the Carinthia Card. At around €35 for one week (¢15 for children) this gives you:
- Free admission to over 100 of Carinthia’s destinations
- 50% reduction on bus and train fares