Dobratsch Rundwanderweg – The ideal start to the hiking season

12. Mar. 2019

The Dobratsch is not elegant. It's more of a hulk, sometimes even a bit rough with its gigantic landslide that crashed through its southern flank into the valley 650 years ago. A rough giant that is a stranger to the surrounding mountains.

In four days around him and him thereby always in the view: The circular hiking trail around Carinthia’s mystical mountain, the Dobratsch ©Naturpark Dobratsch

It plants itself solitary directly there, where Gail- and Drautal meet in the Villach basin. The fact that the 2,166 m high Dobratsch is a loner has a great advantage for you as a hiker: It is so solitary that you can easily walk around it without having to overcome high pass crossings. In fact, you hardly ever hike higher than 1,000 m above sea level. This is also the reason why we are writing about the Dobratsch Circular Trail now in March. You can start the hiking season in Carinthia on this four-day circular trail. We open the season at the beginning of April, when the vegetation slowly comes to life. As a harbinger for the summer, as an introductory tour for longer and perhaps also somewhat more difficult long-distance trails such as the Nockberge Trail, the Luchs Trail or also the Alpe-Adria Trail.
Dobratsch Rundwanderweg Etappenstart
Protected monument: The Hundsmarhof (16th century) on the way from Warmbad Villach to Bad Bleiberg. © Naturpark Dobratsch/Kohlmeier

The Dobratsch has a great importance for Villach and generally for hiking in Carinthia. It is one of the most important local recreation areas for the city and at the same time a supplier of drinking water. This, together with the ecological uniqueness of the area, led to the establishment of the Dobratsch Nature Park in 2002. Today, large parts of the Dobratsch are additionally designated as a European protected area as a sign of its ecological importance. Especially the landslide area “Schütt” on the southern flank of the mountain are by the uniqueness of the world of forms, the very special climatic conditions on the gigantic sunny flank and the difficult usability a habitat, as there are only a few in Austria.

Dobratsch Rundwanderweg Am Drauufer
A contrast to the mountain: idyllic river landscapes along the Gail on the 4th stage of the Dobratsch circular hiking trail. © Kärnten Werbung, Fotograf: Adrian Hipp
So don’t be fooled by its sometimes somewhat rugged exterior. The Dobratsch is an important and almost mystical mountain in the center of Carinthia. And the good thing is: its hike around can be safely described as easy. For the most part, the Dobratsch Circular Trail runs on unpaved paths, as befits a hiking trail. However, you are not in alpine terrain and there are always inns such as the listed Hundsmarhof or the Almgasthaus Schütt that invite you to stop for a bite to eat. Walking times of between 4.5 and 6.5 hours per stage require a good basic level of fitness, but are always shorter than, for example, the longest stages on the Alpe-Adria Trail and the Luchs Trail. The Dobratsch Circular Trail is also ideally accessible by train via Villach’s main train station – so you can escape the stress already at home and not only after a long car ride. And if you book via Bookyourtrail.com, we will optionally transport your luggage from hotel to hotel, so that you can hike with a small daypack.
Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

The circular route is counterclockwise and against the stress of everyday life

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So no matter whether you go around or over the Dobratsch: a wonderful hiking experience in Carinthia is guaranteed – not for nothing has the Dobratsch circular hiking trail been chosen by the renowned “Wandermagazin” to the very good fifth place in the election of Austria’s most beautiful long-distance hiking trails 2018 and was able to prevail against renowned competition. And at the same time you are optimally prepared for your summer long-distance hiking project.

You can find all important info about the Dobratsch circular hiking trail here.

Author

Stefan Lieb-Lind

The native Bavarian combines as an environmental systems scientist and state-certified mountain and ski guide in an ideal way competence and passion for his great love, the mountains. Recognized mountain book author and first climber of bold routes in rock and ice.

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