Located right in the middle of the suspected neighborhood of the Eastern Alps, Mürzsteg Alps are something that you’d expect from this region. Most the mountain range is located in Styria with some of the Eastern parts crossing the border with the Lower Austria.
Though Mürzsteg Alps are located closer to the tallest mountains of Austria, this part of the Alps is not as tall as the tallest mountains of the Lower Austria – Rax Schneeberg group. The roof of Mürzsteg Alps is Höhe Veitsch at 1,981m above the sea level.
Nevertheless, everything looks and feels much more Austrian authentic because Mürzsteg Alps are located, far away from Vienna or other big cities. The true culture of Österreich pours like water on every corner of this region. The mountains are separated by valleys, and the valleys are separated by mountains. Right in the middle of Austria, many people ant cattle find this idyllic landscape as their home. A lifestyle worth living.
Except for the Hochschwab mountains, Mürzsteg Alps are separated from its neighbors by Mürz valley, carved out by river Mürz. Throughout the ages this river carved out a 2km tall plateau, separating it to Scneealpe massif and Rax.
The best hub for hiking in this Styria mountain range is Mürzsteg, it is just southeast of the popular tourist and pilgrim destination – Mariazell. Mürzsteg is however not so easy to access. Mürzzuschlag – is the town to reach out to the journey into the realm of Mürzsteg Alps.
The hike starts with Kindberg Kalvarienberg and continues on a ridge of mountain for about a half kilometer. Most of the hike goes through a forest with some beautiful openings toward Mürzsteg Alps. Once you reach Bürgerwald be sure to visit the viewpoint with a cross, and possibly take a rest, or dinner at Gasthof Ochnerbauer. Possible shortcuts on motor roads are available.
The hike starts at Brunnalm ski resort located on the slopes of Höhe Veitsch. The simplest and fastest way to climb the mountain is almost a straight line hike to northwest direction, towards the peak, through Sonnkogellift and Graf Meran Haus, taking about 2.5h. Optionally, take a walk on the mountain ridge to descend back to Brunnalm from the northeast direction. The hike is longer but more rewarding. It is also possible to climb Höhe Veitsch from the north, starting at Niederalpl, but the hike is harder and longer – 4h climb.
Though Schneealpe lacks just a couple of dozens of meters to top Mürzsteg Alps, it is the biggest, and probably the most iconic, massif in this mountain range. At 1,903m / 6243.5ft Windberg rises above all peaks of Schneealpe and it is the most popular hiking destination in the whole mountain massif. If you come by car, Parkplatz Kohlebnerstand makes the hike relatively easy.
Fastest way: RJ train from Vienna will bring you straight to Mürzzuschlag just in one hour and a half.
Cheapest way: starting at 2, groups of people can travel cheaper with Einfach-Raus ticket for €35. From Vienna take a train going to Payerbach-Rax, and from there to Mürzzuschlag. From this town, you can reach most of the less habited parts of Mürzsteg Alps.
From Mürzzuschlag the journey deeper through Mürzsteg Alps could be continued with bus 195. This is the only way to reach town Mürzsteg by public transport.
Out of Vienna seek A2 – south autobahn – after Wiener Neustadt keep going west on road S6. At Mürzzuschlag go towards the north on road 23 to access deeper layers of Mürzsteg Alps.
Gasthof Ochnerbauer ★★★ – Kranzbauernviertel 17, 8650 Kindberg – Located on the edge of Mürzsteg Alps and Fishbach Alps, this family ran guesthouse is a pleasant surprise to any wander-seeking soul. Situated on a mountain rising 900m above the sea level, Gasthof Ochnerbauer has truly awe-inspiring views.
If you ever wanted to visit the idyllic landscape of green hills and Milka cows grazing the grass, covered in complete silence, except their necklace bells echoing throughout the valley surrounded by mountains – this is a good place to do so. Gasthof Ochnerbauer even has some highlander cows grazing the hill down below the guesthouse.