10,000 m² nature garden with more than 800 Alpine plants

Even at the ground-breaking ceremony for Villach Alpine Road on 3rd July 1961, then Mayor of Villach, Gottfried Timmerer, suggested that an Alpine garden be established on the Dobratsch. The idea was enthusiastically taken up by nature lovers and in 1966 the ‘Alpengarten Villacher Alpe’ association was set up. Its aim – to provide visitors to the impressive panorama road with an opportunity to find out about the many different Alpine plants, while also preserving and  propagating rare plants. This was, and still is to this day, the aim of the association. On an area of land around 1.2 hectares in size between Villach Alpine Road and the end of Schütt, at around 1500 metres altitude, ‘Villacher Alpe’ Alpine garden – just  short walk from the P6 car park – was set up and opened on 1st July 1973. The Alpine garden is still nurtured and maintained by numerous volunteers. You can visit Alpengarten for a small entry fee.

Alpengarten opening hours

Start of June until end August: daily from 09:00-18:00

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Columbine, cyclamen & so many others – variety in 27 plant quarters

Flowers in the front, couple in the background | © villacher-alpenstrasse.at/Kolarik

Due to Carinthia’s location at the intersection of several floral zones, the variety of Alpine plants is particularly abundant here. Along with Arctic-Alpine and Central European species, you can also marvel at Illyrian, sub-Mediterranean and sub-Pannonian plants. Alpine limestone flora is represented too, with numerous species. Plants are diligently arranged in 27 wonderfully designed plant quarters. Meticulously arranged name tags enable everyone to easily identify the variety of plants, from columbine to nigritella and Siberian iris. You might even recognise Edelweiß and Enzian without the tags … what do you reckon?  

  • Alpengarten for home! For a donation, volunteer staff at Alpengarten provide seeds and seedlings for plant lovers to take home with them. 

Paradise garden with biotope, medicinal, spice & aromatic plants

Villach Alpine Road, Alpine garden | © villacher-alpenstrasse.at/Eduardo Gellner

A wonderfully designed biotope is also part of the nature garden. There are also numerous wild growing medicinal-, spice- & aromatic plants growing here – as well as interesting information. Our tip – visit Alpengarten on the Dobratsch several times in the season! After all, in the short Alpine summer the blossoming plants change quickly. In June you can marvel at the delicate buds of the early blooms. At the end of June until the middle of July there is splendour of the main blossoms. And in August there are the tall perennials, with numerous late flowering plants. And another tip: definitely take a look at the special flowers, including the Wulfenia – this is native to Carinthia – the Austrian woundwort and to the different types of lilies. Truly glorious!

Those of you who would like to know more about Alpengarten and its plants will find lots of information on the information boards here. Or you could get the Alpengarten guide which provides information about the lovely flowers and the variety of species that live in Alpengarten!

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