Leisurely walks & view-packed altitude paths in Dobratsch Nature Park

High above the confluence of the Gail and the Drau, the Dobratsch juts out like a wedge. This provides very special thermals around the alpenstock, which migratory birds cleverly use for their journey south; raptors use it too. The special composition of the Dobratsch also bestows upon it an unbelievable variety of animals and plant species. This gem is accessible from numerous hiking paths, which lead to special places. We reveal the loveliest paths in Carinthia’s impressive alpenstock area – you can choose between short walks, easy family hikes, view-packed altitude hiking trails, as well as educational and circular paths. We hope you have lots of fun hiking, being amazed and exploring!

Ambling & strolling through Dobratsch Nature Park

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Meadow landscape Villach Alpine Road | © villacher-alpenstrasse.at/Kolarik

In Dobratsch Nature Park there are so many opportunities to stretch your legs on short strolls and in so doing, enjoy nature and the views to the full!

let's go!

From the Rosstratte – that is, from the highest driveable point of Villach Alpine Road – a short, leisurely stroll takes you to the viewing platform, with the ‘Gams- and Gipfelblick’ viewing points (walk time approx. 20 mins).

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Barrier-free geology trail with wheelchair | © Michael Stabentheiner/Arge Naturerlebnis

While strolling along the barrier-free educational geology trail ‘Vom Meer zum Berg’ (From the Ocean to the Mountain) to the Rosstratte, you learn lots of exciting details about these characteristic mountains high above the Gail and the Drau which have developed over millions of years. 


let's go!
Family on Skywalk Villach Alpine Road | © villacher-alpenstrasse.at/Stabentheiner

Barrier-free Skywalk ‘Rote Wand’ starts at car park P6, taking visitors to a viewing platform hovering 400 metres above the ground below! The view to the Rote Wand, across the Julian Alps and to the Karawanken is simply breath-taking.


Attentively out and about in an Alpine pasture area

Villach Alpine Road proceeds through extensive Alpine areas – partly also right through pastureland. For that reason when driving by car, motorbike or bike, you should ride and drive with foresight and at an appropriately slow speed. And, even if you are out and about on foot on the hiking trails and paths around Dobratsch Nature Park, be aware that you may encounter freely roaming grazing animals, including cows and sheep, along with other wild animals! You will find a few tips here as to what you should be mindful of, and there are instructions in the flyer as to how you can behave appropriately in an Alpine area.

Flyer Alpine pasture

For summiteers: two hikes to the Dobratsch summit cross

From Rosstratte car park, the final station on the Villach Alpine Road, two very different hiking paths proceed through Alpine terrain up to the summit of the Dobratsch. While the panorama summit path, an easy path on pastureland, is also suitable for mountain walkers who don’t have much experience, the ‘Jägersteig’ is only suitable for hikers who are proficient and sure-footed.

VARIANT 1: Panorama summit path

Easy pastureland path above the Elfernock to two of the highest lying pilgrimage churches in the East Alps Length: 8.2 km | Walking time: approx. 3 hours (out and back) | Metres ascent: 424 m

Family walk in a meadow | ©  villacher-alpenstrasse.at/Gellner

Hiking path number 291, the panorama summit path, is perfect for families with small children. It proceeds from the Rosstratte car park to the easy to negotiate route up to the summit of the Dobratsch at 2167 m. Refreshment stop option: Dobratsch summit house. Tip: Pay a visit to the two highest pilgrimage churches in the East Alps, the German church and the ‘Windische Kirche’.

VARIANT 2: 'Jägersteig' path

Steep, exposed path to the Dobratsch summit for the sure-footed Length: 4.3 km | Walking time: approx. 3 hours (out and back) | Metres ascent: 434 m

Dobratsch summit house and mountains in the background | © villacher-alpenstrasse.at

The Jägersteig, hiking path 294, also starts at Rosstratte car park. Follow an asphalt path initially, past Rosstrattenstüberl, which then becomes a gravel path. At the first sharp right hand bend,  the narrow Jägersteig branches off, continually going up and down, in part with exposed and steep sections, providing superb views to the Gailtal and the Julian Alps. Head to the summit cross via Dobratsch summit house. You can then tackle the descent comfortably via the panorama summit path.

Easy family hike from Aichingerhütte to the Gamsblick Length: 2.7 km | Walking time: approx. 1,75 hours (out and back) | Metres ascent: 134 m

 Aerial photograph  of a family walking around  | ©  villacher-alpenstrasse.at/Gellner

This variety-packed, particularly view-packed hike proceeds from Aichingerhütte, where you can park your car for free (car park P8), up to the spectacular panorama viewing platform, the ‘Gamsblick’. This hiking path is easy to negotiate, requiring neither specific fitness, nor technique – and yet is still rewarded with the loveliest views into the distance to numerous mountain summits. This hike is also particularly suited to families with children. Apropos children – interim stops at the two adventure playgrounds on the Villach Alpine Road definitely ought to be factored into your day of hiking!      

Special tip:

A hike with a Nature Park Ranger, who will provide you with more information about the protected habitat on the Dobratsch, is particularly exciting. During the summer, Dobratsch Nature Park offers a variety-packed programme.    

Dobratsch Nature Park summer programme

We hope you enjoy view-packed hiking moments on Carinthia’s Dobratsch. Prices and opening hours for the Villach Alpine Road can be found here

Prices & opening hours