Where to in South Styria? Accommodation and local travel tips.

Let’s head south – south in Austria for some southern holiday flair! South Styria on the border to Slovenia promises exactly that, plus some great activities focused on nature and culture exploration. You can already find some information about South Styria on my travel blog:

… yet let me add some more recent tips from my last trip. Starting with the family-run accommodation Weinlandhof Gamlitz near the South Styrian Wine Route.


Weinlandhof Gamlitz: Sleep well on the South Styrian Wine Route.

Gute Nacht aus dem Weinlandhof Gamlitz: Blick vom kleinen aber feinen Wellnessbereich (mit Pool!) in den Garten des Hotels.

Good night from our hotel Weinlandhof Gamlitz: This is the view from the small spa and pool area into the garden at dusk.


Cosy, comfortable, a place to feel good – that’s my memory of the Weinlandhof in Gamlitz. The breakfast buffet leaves nothing to be desired; my room facing the garden gives me three quiet nights in a row. I like the fact that the hotel owner, after a short phone call, keeps the pool open an extra hour because we are late to return from the nearby Buschenschank restaurant … what a treat! Thank you very much, dear team of the Hotel Weinlandhof!


A trip with the “Weinbergbummler” slow train: Exploring the South Styrian Wine Route in style!

Growing up in the Kamptal wine region of Lower Austria, wine has always been present as a topic of conversation. Over the years, I have therefore always had an interest to explore beautiful South Styria, and in particular the South Styrian Wine Route. It wasn’t until I took the Weinbergbummler slow train, however, that I truly understood everything about the South Styrian Wine Route: So many discoveries left to be made, even after my many previous visits! The journey with the slow train is framed by music, there are chilled drinks and lots of breaks for stories and photos. Definitely plan a trip for your next visit to the region!

Hallo Herzlichkeit!

Music entertainment on board the slow train Weinbergbummler!


Mit Inhaber Armin Kapl (stolzer "Lokführer" des Weinbergbummlers, Bild links) die Südsteirische Weinstraße erkunden ...

Armin Kapl (proud owner and driver of the Weinbergbummler slow train, picture on the left) and his friend …


... unter anderem entdecke ich dadurch den "Grenztisch", der wie der Name schon sagt Slowenien mit der Südsteiermark verbindet und sich direkt an der Landesgrenze befindet. 

… have us explore many sights along the South Styrian Wine Route, including this “border table” right at the border with neighbouring Slovenia.


“Stainzer Flascherlzug”: Yet another fun, slow train experience!

While the Weinbergbummler train actually runs on wheels (and thus is able to climb even smaller gravel roads on the South Styrian Wine Road), the Stainzer Flascherlzug slow train actually runs on rails. During the season (April to October), it travels from the towns of Stainz to Preding and back again; all in all, it takes about two hours. It’s not just the landscape that’s “colourful to look at” – the train with its brightly coloured carriages is too!

And because I asked you in my Instagram Stories what “Flascherlzug” (literally, bottle train in German) actually refers to, here’s the promised solution: It takes its name from the transport of urine bottles! Once, apparently, the local population took many of them on the train “to visit a miracle healer”, the young conductor on board tells me with a laugh. This is how today’s nostalgia train became known as the “Flascherlzug” bottle train – and still bears this name today.

Eine Fahrt mit dem Stainzer Flascherlzug ...

Taking the “Stainzer Flascherlzug” train is a colourful experience …


... wie innen ein Erlebnis!

… inside out!


Während einer kurzen Pause können wir unterwegs aussteigen und den gesamten Zug, inklusive der mächtigen Lok, bewundern.

During the short stops along the way, we get off to check out the entire length of the train, including its historic locomotive.


Oil mill Hartlieb near Leibnitz in South Styria: Pumpkin seed oil at its best.

After a visit to the Hartlieb oil mill you will know everything there is to know about pumpkin seed oil. Martin, who welcomes us on the day of our visit, talks passionately about his business and the craft of pumpkin seed oil processing. Pumpkin seed oil is also known as the “green-black gold” of Styria, and has helped the region to achieve a certain reputation and prosperity. In fact, Martin enthusiastically tells us that about 200 years ago the pumpkin spontaneously mutated and no longer formed a skin around the seed: this made it easier and faster to harvest the seeds; instead of typical cattle feed, the value of the oil inside was discovered. We listen with fascination, taste some oil of course, and once again I sink into the pleasure of sampling the nutty-tasting, dark green-black pumpkin seed oil – an oil that my three-year-old son for instance already loves to put on his salad.

Martin erklärt uns in der Ölmühle Hartlieb ...

At the Hartlieb Oil Mill, Martin shares his passion for the craft of pumpkin seed oil production …


... viele Arbeitsschritte sind notwendig, um "das grünschwarze Gold der Südsteiermark" zur Vollendung zu bringen ...

… many steps are involved to bring out the “green-black gold” of Styria …


... Kürbiskernöl schmeckt übrigens auch sehr gut in Eierspeisen vermischt!

… pumpkin seed oil is great served on a slice of bread, mixed with eggs, too!


Meinem Mann bringe ich dieses Kürbis-Pop-Kern mit, er liebt sie!

I buy my husband a bag of pumpkin pop “corn”!


A touch of culture: Seggau + Deutschlandsberg Castles.

You can learn even more about the history of the region, as well as Styria as a whole, during a visit to Seggau Castle. Our charming guide Gertrude Pölzl explains the historical context, points out the importance of tourism through seminar and holiday guests, opens our eyes to the modern St. Michael’s Chapel and the historic wine cellar (both worth seeing). Did you know that the so-called Seggauer Liesl, a five-ton bell, can be struck by hand? No? Then you should definitely check out Seggau Castle.

Entdeckung von Schloss Seggau ...

Discovering Seggau Castle …


... sowie der "Seggauer Liesl" ...

… as well as the bell called “Seggauer Liesl” …


on the way to the wine cellar, this detail fascinates me: In the old stone wall you can see the many million year old backbone of a manatee ... I mean, WOW

… on our way to the wine cellar, this detail fascinates me: In the old stone wall you can see the backbone of a manatee many million years old … I mean, WOW


Auch der Weinkeller selbst lohnt Euren Besuch ...

The wine cellar, too, is worth your while …


... das schöne Schloss mit seinen Gartenanlagen sowieso.

… as is the castle itself with its beautiful rose gardens.


Nicht weit entfernt liegt die Burg Deutschlandsberg: Leider hatten wir nur Zeit für dieses rasche Foto, doch bestimmt lohnt auch sie einen längeren Besuch. Beim nächsten Mal dann ..!

Check out nearby Deutschlandsberg Castle, too – we haven’t had the time to visit properly, but I can guarantee you it’ll be worth your while. Next time for me, then ..!


Last but not least: Wunsum Lavender fields in South Styria!

Lavender fields? In South Styria? You bet! The largest lavender fields in Austria can be found near Kitzeck im Sausal, with a cultivation area of around two hectares! We talk to the charming owner about the balancing act between caring for the fields and the negative aspects of the “photo hype” that they sometimes trigger: Please pay attention to the plants and the surroundings at every step of your visit. They will thank you with much fragrant love.

Herrliche duftende Lavendelfelder in der Südsteiermark: Ein bisschen Provence-Feeling hier im Süden Österreichs!

Lavender fields in Styria: A touch of Provence in the south of Austria!


Im Anschluss könnt Ihr sämtliche Lavendelprodukte im liebevoll gestalteten Shop bewundern und natürlich mitnehmen.

After visiting the fields, you may check out the local lavender shop.


Incidentally, the name "Wunsum" is derived from a bishop who is said to have worked in the area in the past.

The name “Wunsum” by the way is derived from a bishop who is said to have worked in the area in the past.


Last but not least, I have made the following travel video about South Styria for you:


Check out my second blog post leading you to many tips about local food and wine explorations in South Styria. You may also want to go through my picture gallery about our trip here:


Disclaimer: We have been invited by the South Styria and Styria tourism board to explore the South Styrian wine and food travel district. All opinions are my own.

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