25 Things to do in Carinthia, Austria: Best places to visit (+ map)

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Planning a holiday and looking for tips on best things to do in Carinthia, Austria? Here are the most beautiful places and attractions to visit and see in Carinthia.

The article also includes a map that you can download and modify as needed.

Things to do in Carinthia, Austria: Best places to visit

1. Malta Hochalmstrasse

The Malta high mountain road is one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in Carinthia, Austria. From here you can enjoy spectacular views of the Maltatal Valley, where high mountain dams are wedged in and surrounded by imposing mountains.

The Malta Hochalmstrasse is approximately 14.4 kilometres long. The road is narrowed in some places – here there are traffic lights indicating the time when you will be able to pass. There are beautiful waterfalls around the traffic lights that you can visit while waiting.

The Malta High Road is toll road – €6 per person or free with the Kärnten Card. It is usually open from May to the end of October – daily from 7:00-18:00. Here you will find the latest information.

2. The Kölbrein high-mountain dam

Malta Hochalpenstrasse ends at the Kölbrein Dam, the highest dam in Austria. Walk along the dam to the glass viewing platform, from which you will have a perfect view of the lower, smaller dam. Or plan a visit to the dam.

kölbrein carinthia austria

The entire dam can be bypassed from the right side – a pleasant, wide path leads through it, which takes about 2.5 hours to reach the Osnabrücker Hütte mountain hut. Behind it is a beautiful valley with a waterfall. You can even sleep here. If you want to shorten your journey, there are other mountain huts along the way.

maltatal malta hochalmstrasse

3. Wörthersee – things to do in Carinthia

Wörthersee is one of the most famous and popular lakes in Austria. It is also the largest lake in Carinthia, with a length of 16.5 kilometres and a width of up to 1.5 kilometres.

worthersee austria
wörthersee lakes in carinthia austria

Due to its location in the south of Carinthia, the water temperature reaches up to 25°C in summer. Ideal for swimming, windsurfing, water skiing and other water sports. At the same time, Wörthersee is perfectly situated for exploring the surrounding area.

Visit the resorts of Velden or Klagenfurt, climb the Pyramidenkogel lookout tower and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the elegant lake.

☞ Read the detailed travel guide to Lake Wörthersee.

Accommodation Wörthersee 😴

These accommodations include the Wörthersee Plus Card, which gives you free admission or discounts to area attractions. All guests will receive their card on the day of arrival, along with a leaflet explaining what the card includes. The card is valid from the beginning of April to the beginning of November.

worthersee ubytování
Hotel Rösch

3* hotel with parking, wellness and restaurant

worthersee ubytování
Seepark Wörthersee Resort

4* resort with extensive spa and restaurant

4. Landskron and Affenberg Fortress

Welcome to the most beautiful place in Austria. At least according to the poll, where Fort Landskron and Affenberg came in first.

Landskron is an impressive fortress with a magnificent view of Ossiacher See and the surrounding area. One of the main attractions of the fortress is the falconry show, where you can see demonstrations of hunting with birds of prey.

landskon lake fortress in corutany
landskon lake fortress in corutany
View from Landskron Fortress

Just a short distance away is Affenberg, one of the biggest attractions in Carinthia. Affenberg means “Monkey Mountain”, where you can observe more than 150 Japanese macaques in the wild. The tour is guided by a guide, from whom you will learn more interesting facts.

affenberg carinthia austria

5. The Grossglockner Alpine Road

The High Tauern National Park is famous for its unspoilt nature and impressive peaks, including the highest in Austria, the Grossglockner at 3,798 metres.

Thanks to the Grossglockner Alpine Road, you can enjoy the view of the High Tauern from the comfort of your car. It is one of the best experiences in Austria.

There is a fee to enter the high mountain road, but you will be richly rewarded with views in all directions. You will see places that are normally inaccessible.

Grossglockner alpine road Austria

The Grossglockner Alpine Road is considered one of the most famous and beautiful panoramic roads. It will take you through a 48 km long section with more than thirty turns, where you will overcome an elevation of 1,748 metres.

Thanks to its length, it spans two Austrian federal states – you start in Salzburg and end in the picturesque town of Heiligenblut in Carinthia.

Don’t miss the detour to the Pasterze glacier, which is best viewed from the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe lookout. There are free-roaming marmots, beautiful waterfalls and turquoise lakes in the surroundings.

Pasterze glacier and Grossglockner peak on the left
Pasterze glacier and Grossglockner peak on the left

More information: We have written a separate article with tips for things to do and hiking trails in the High Tauern in Austria. Here you will find the latest information on opening times and prices for the Grossglockner Alpine Road.

Hotels High Tauren 😴

vysoké taury ubytování
Das Alpenhaus Kaprun

4* hotel with half board + Sommercard included

vysoké taury ubytování
Hotel LukasMayr

3* hotel with half board at a good price

6. Kreuzeckbahn – things to do in Carinthia

The Kreuzeckbahn is one of the last cogwheel railways in Austria (another one is at Wolfgangsee). In a few minutes you will reach the highest peaks of the Kreuzeck mountains.

Here you can follow one of the hiking trails (suitable for children) and sample the delicious cuisine in the rustic wooden huts of Poldi’s Jausenstation. Or cycle back down past a small dam overlooking the mountains.

The Kreuzeckbahn is part of the Kärnten Card.

kreuzeck mountains carinthia in austria

7. Jungfernsprung

With a height of over 130 metres, Jungfernsprung is one of the highest waterfalls in Austria. It is located near the town of Heiligenblut, where the Grossglockner Alpine Road ends.

Legend tells of a maiden who jumped off a high cliff to escape pursuit by a suitor. During the jump, she was miraculously rescued by angels who lowered her down safely. Since then, the waterfall has been called Jungfernsprung, which means “maiden jump” in German.

Jungfernsprung carinthia austria trips

The waterfall is just minutes from the free parking lot, where there are also refreshments. You can see information signs around the area to learn more about the waterfall and the legend.

8. Mölltal Glacier

The Mölltal Glacier is one of the most popular glacier ski resorts in Austria, located on the border of Carinthia and Salzburg. And with an altitude of 3,122 metres, you can enjoy breathtaking views of some of the highest Alpine peaks.

Mölltal Glacier

In addition to winter sports, the area around the Mölltal Glacier is also a popular hiking destination for those who want to enjoy the spectacular views of the Alpine landscape. Around the glacier are turquoise blue lakes that contrast with the rugged mountains.

You can get to the top by the Glacier Express underground cable car, which is followed by a cable car (or you can walk). More information can be found on the official website. The cable car is part of the Kärtner Card.

Mölltal Glacier

9. Raggaschlucht

The Raggaschlucht is one of the most beautiful gorges in Carinthia. It is located near the village of Flattach in the High Tauern National Park.

The confluence, excavated by water over thousands of years, is famous for its wild waterfalls and narrow canyons, which you can see from the wooden walkways. Gradually ascend until you reach the largest waterfall.

Raggaschlucht trips in Carinthia

The total length is 800 metres in one direction. The route is circular – you can get back by a forest path. Allow about 1.5 hours to visit the gorge.

With water splashing everywhere, sturdy shoes are a must. The competition is open from May to the end of October. Opening hours vary according to the season. Admission is €9 for adults, €6 for children aged 6-18. With the Carinthian Card you can enter for free.

For detailed information, check out the official Raggaschlucht website.

Raggaschlucht trips in Carinthia

10. Nockberge Biosphere Park

The Nockberge Biosphere Park is one of the largest UNESCO-listed parks in Austria.

The Nockberge is a perfect example of the Eastern Alps – with its rounded hills, alpine meadows, clear mountain streams and forests full of pine, spruce and larch.

nockberge carinthia austria

The 34-km-long Nockalmstrasse, a high-mountain road between Innerkrems in the north and Ebene Reichenau in the south, will take you through the area. The panoramic road has a slight incline and gradually winds up and down in 52 hairpin bends.

nockberge carinthia austria

Along the way, you’ll find numerous free exhibitions, playgrounds with the mascot Nocky, and new views, such as the largest pine forest in the Eastern Alps. The surrounding area is literally interwoven with hiking trails, from easy ones suitable for families with children to demanding day hikes.

The Nockalmstrasse is part of the Kärnten Card, or the Kärnten Card. the road without a card is charged 6 € per person. The road is open from the beginning of May to the end of October from 8:00-18:00. Here you will find the latest information.

Accommodation Carinthia 😴

ubytování korutany
Slow Travel Resort – Kirchleitn – Nockberge

Apartments with swimming pool and children’s playground

korutany ubytování
Explorer Hotel Bad Kleinkirchheim – Nockberge

Modern hotel with excellent restaurant

11. Faaker See

And here we have another beautiful lake in Carinthia. Faaker See is one of the most beautiful, with crystal clear water and surrounded by impressive mountains.

faaker see corinthian lakes

Faaker See is one of the smallest lakes in Carinthia – thanks to this, the water is like coffee in summer and reaches up to 27 degrees Celsius. The surrounding area has well maintained private and public beaches, water sports equipment rental and pleasant trails for easy walks.

faaker see corinthian lakes

If you really want to enjoy the best view of the lake, head to Hochhinauf – Taborhöhe. The trip is short, there is a rope park of various difficulties, refreshments and above all a view of Faaker See.

☞ More information: Get inspired by the most beautiful lakes in Carinthia.

12. Groppensteinschlucht

The Groppensteinschlucht is a 2.5 km long gorge in the High Tatras. It leads along wooden paths around the river, which forms wild rapids and rich waterfalls in the gorge. The competition is easy and suitable for smaller children and dogs. You can walk through it in 1.5-2 hours.

Groppensteinschlucht where in Carinthia

The Groppensteinschlucht is open from May to the end of October. Admission is €9 for adults and €6 for children aged 6-18. If you want to experience something special, visit the gorge after dark, when it is beautifully lit. Here you can find more information about Groppensteinschlucht.

Groppensteinschlucht where in Carinthia

13. Mountain massif Dobratsch

The Dobratsch mountain range is located southwest of Villach. If you are looking for a place with spectacular views of the Corinthian lakes, Dobratsch is ideal. In addition, it is easily accessible via the Villacher Alpenstraße.

dobratsch nature park korutany

The Villacher Alpenstraße is approximately 16.5 kilometres long and takes you up to a height of 1,732 metres, where the car park is located. From the car park you can then continue to the top of Dobratsch with its panoramic restaurant and terrace (the journey takes about 1.5 hours). And the views, they’re definitely worth it from here. You will have the whole of Carinthia in the palm of your hand.

There are other car parks around the alpine road – for example at the Alpine Botanical Garden or the new Rote Wand lookout. Here you can find more information about Villacher Alpenstraße.

nature park dobratsch - hiking in Carinthia

The area is also famous for its thermal springs – at the foot of the mountain is the KärntenTherme thermal spa, with plenty of water attractions and extensive wellness facilities.

14. Tscheppaschlucht

The Tscheppa Gorge is one of the most beautiful gorges in Carinthia. The water gurgles between the steep and jagged rocks and creates amazing cascades and waterfalls.

You can walk the entire gorge on a well-maintained, moderately difficult trail, which is partly made up of metal and wooden bridges, ladders and stairs. The most interesting part awaits you in the vicinity of the Devil’s Bridge, from where you have the best view of the local waterfalls.

You can walk through the whole gorge in about 2 hours. You will reach the Deutscher Peter restaurant, from where a bus goes back to the car park in high season, or you can take a bus to the hotel. you can take the same route back.

The trail is a bit steep in places and slippery after rain, so it may be harder for small children and dogs (although they are allowed). Entrance fee is 10 € (including bus back to the car park), with the Carinthian Card you can enter for free. The Tscheppa competition is open from the beginning of May to the end of October daily from 8:30-17:00.

Tscheppaschlucht carinthia austria

There is a paid parking lot at the trailhead (4 € in 2023) – you will see the sign just after the village of Unterloibl on your right. I recommend checking the official website before your trip for more information on the timetables of the buses that will take you back to the car park.

15. Bodental

You can combine a visit to the Tscheppa Gorge with a visit to the Bodental Valley. It’s easy to get here – from the parking lot for the gorge, continue on the road you came in on. After a few minutes you will reach the village, where there is a small free parking lot on the right side.

From here it is only a few steps to the Sea Eye (Meerauge), a small lake with a beautiful blue-green colour and extremely clear water. The pond is really small and you can easily see it from the wooden footbridge.

sea around bodental

From the car park, continue past the Bodenbauer Podnar Inn for delicious Austrian cuisine. Or head further afield to Märchenwiese, which translates as “Fairy Meadow” and is just a 20-minute walk away.

If you are travelling with children, the Bodental Valley is the perfect trip. The path is passable even with a stroller and at the end you will find a truly fabulous meadow surrounded by massive mountains.

But those who are looking for high mountain hikes with a beautiful view will also find it, because the surrounding area is literally interwoven with hiking trails of various difficulties.

bodental carinthia austria

16. Millstätter See

Millstätter See is a long, narrow lake surrounded by picturesque towns and the green peaks of the eastern Alps.

There are pleasant beaches around the lake and a well-maintained cycle path along the northern shore. For more peace and quiet, head to the south shore, which can also be reached by boat (or on foot).

Millstätter See lakes in Carinthia

After you’ve enjoyed a swim, head along Lammersdorfer Almstraße to Lammersdorfer Hütte, where hiking trails lead to the surrounding area with spectacular views of the lake. One of the most popular is Granattor, a place referring to the grenades found in Carinthia. The journey is easy and will take you just over an hour.

Millstätter See lakes in Carinthia

Or take the cable car to the Goldeck summit south of the lake, where there are also great hiking opportunities. The Goldeck Panoramastrasse, a toll road, can also be reached from the top. The road is open from mid-May to about the end of October. Entry is included in the Kärnten Card, without the card 6 € per person.

17. Nassfeld-Pressegger See

Nassfeld-Pressegger See is a beautiful area on the Austrian-Italian border. In winter, it is one of the largest and most popular ski resorts in Austria, offering more than 100 kilometres of slopes of varying difficulty.

nassfeld carinthia austria

You won’t get bored here in summer either, as Nassfeld turns into a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, including mountain biking, hiking, climbing, golf and much more. It is a paradise for singles, couples and families with children.

Gartnerkofel nassfeld

If you want to enjoy beautiful panoramas, visit the Gartnerkofel.

Here you will find detailed information about Nassfeld-Pressegger See.

Accommodation Carinthia 😴

ubytování korutany rakousko
Almhotel Kärnten – Nassfeld

4* hotel with All-Inclusive + discount card

ubytování korutany rakousko
Appartements Spitzegel

Cozy apartments in private

18. Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is one of the most famous castles in Austria. It stands on a limestone hill 160 metres above the surrounding countryside, about 20 km east of Klagenfurt. Due to its location, it is visible from a distance.

The castle has well-preserved medieval architecture that dates back to the 9th century. Legend has it that the castle was never conquered due to its strategic location and defensive mechanisms. You will pass through many gates to the castle, with each gate having its own unique defensive elements.

Hochosterwitz Castle Carinthia

You can also take the lift from the car park, but you will lose the walk through the defensive gates.

Hochosterwitz Castle is open from April to the end of October. Opening hours vary according to the season. Check the official website for up-to-date information on admission and opening times. Free parking is available at the foot of the castle.

19. Minimundus – things to do in Carinthia

Minimundus is a miniature park where you can see over 160 miniature versions of famous landmarks from around the world – from the Eiffel Tower to the Taj Mahal. These are set in a beautiful, landscaped park in Klagenfurt on the shores of Lake Wörthersee.

minimundus park klagenfurt carinthia / carinthian lakes

Here you will find the latest information about admission fees and opening hours. Free parking is available right next to the park. Park Minimundus is not part of the Kärnten Card.

20. Pyramidenkogel

Did you know that Carinthia is home to the world’s tallest wooden lookout tower? This lookout tower, called Pyramidenkogel, is located directly above Lake Wörthersee.

pyramidenkogel wörthersee

The Pyramidenkogel stands at 920 metres and offers spectacular views of Lake Wörthersee and the Alpine peaks. You can go upstairs by lift or stairs. You can go down the slide (extra charge).

The lookout tower is also very easy to reach – you can drive up to the top. There is also a restaurant and a small exhibition focused on the construction of the tower. Here you can find up-to-date information about entrance fees and opening hours. Pyramidenkogel is part of the Kärnten Card.

21. Weissensee

The Weissenssee cannot be missing from the list of the most beautiful places to visit in Carinthia. This is the cleanest lake in Carinthia, where you will feel like you are in the Caribbean at times.

Weissensee lakes in Carinthia

The lake is calm, with pleasantly warm water in summer and a clean environment that is classified as a sustainable area. The entire eastern side of the lake is very quiet and interspersed with forest hiking trails. The western part of the lake is more lively – with hotels, restaurants and beaches.

If you’re planning a cycling holiday, the Weissenssee is ideal – the surrounding area is criss-crossed with cycle paths and mountain bike trails.

Weissensee lakes in Carinthia

22. Tri-border Austria – Slovenia – Italy

Head to the place where the borders of Austria, Slovenia and Italy meet. Dreiländereck is located near Arnoldstein.

Dreiländereck Carinthia

The chairlift, which is part of the Kärnten Card, takes a quarter of an hour to reach the top. The cable car is open from the end of May to the end of September. Here you will find detailed information.

From the top station, you can take one of the hiking trails, from easy to day hikes along the ridge. Or relax on the terrace of the mountain chalet with views of the surrounding mountains.

Dreiländereck Carinthia

23. Wildensteiner Waterfall

You can never have too many beautiful waterfalls. And Carinthia has several of them. The Wildsteiner Waterfall is located in the south of the state and is easily accessible in about 20 minutes uphill from the car park.

The entrance to the waterfall is free – there is a viewing platform, so unfortunately you can’t get to the waterfall. But that doesn’t change the fact that the waterfall is definitely worth seeing if you’re in the area. There are refreshments and a children’s playground next to the car park.

24. Klopeiner See

Klopeiner See is a Cornish lake with a beautiful turquoise colour, surrounded by the wooded hills of the Alps.

It has an oval shape and is relatively small compared to other lakes in the area – about 1.8 kilometres long and 800 metres wide. Nevertheless, it provides perfect facilities, water sports and swimming in clean water.

klopeiner see lakes in Carinthia

In summer, the water temperature in Klopeiner See can reach up to 29 degrees Celsius, so if you’re looking for a warm lake, Klopeiner See is a safe bet.

klopeiner see lakes in Carinthia

The lake surroundings provide ideal conditions for hiking and cycling. The best view of the lake is from the viewpoint at the top of the Kitzelberg. It is located on the west side of the lake and is easily accessible by a rocky road in about 45 minutes from the free parking lot.

Accommodation Carinthia 😴

ubytování korutany rakousko
COOEE alpin Hotel Bad Kleinkirchheim

Modern accommodation with full facilities

penzion korutany
Gasthaus Luggwirt – Nockberge

Cheap accommodation with excellent cuisine

25. Wolayersee – things to do in Carinthia

We’ll end our “Best things to do in Carinthia” list with one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the region. Wolayersee is high up in the mountains on the Austrian-Italian border and is accessible after a 3 hour hike from the Hubertuskapelle chapel (worth seeing on its own). There is a small parking lot, so it is good to arrive as early as possible.

Wolayersee carrots hiking

The route to the lake is moderately demanding and ideal for those who want to enjoy a nice day hike with beautiful views. Right by the lake there is a mountain hut where you can eat and sleep.

Wolayersee carrots hiking

Things to do in Carinthia – map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with tips for the best places to go in Carinthia, Austria. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Carinthia guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

How to save in Carinthia: the Kärnten Card

The Kärnten Card is the main tourist card for the Carinthia region. For one price you get free admission or discounts to over 100 attractions in the area.

Here are some of the attractions that are part of the Kärnten Card:

  • fees for high mountain roads (Goldeck Panoramastrasse, Villacher Alpenstrasse, Malta Hochalmstrasse, Nockalmstrasse)
  • cable cars (Bad Kleinkirchheimer Bergbahnen, Panoramabahn Turracher Höhe, Hochgebirgsbahnen Ankogel, Panoramabahn Kreuzeck, Bergbahnen Gerlitzen Alpe, Bergbahn Dreiländereck, Goldeck Bergbahnen, Bergbahnen Heiligenblut – Schareck, Kabinenbahn Petzen, Katschberg, Mölltaler Gletscher)
  • Pyramidenkogel lookout tower
  • Groppensteinschlucht, Raggaschlucht, Tscheppaschlucht
  • selected swimming pools in Carinthia (not valid for public beaches on Carinthian lakes)
  • selected zoos and animal parks in Carinthia

Once you have purchased the card, you download the app in which the Kärnten Card is stored. Prices start at €57 – this varies depending on how long you buy the card for and whether you are going to Carinthia in the main or low season. Find more information about the Kärnten Card here.

These were our tips for the best things to do in Carinthia. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Austria

AUSTRIA: Here are the most beautiful places in Austria. Are you planning a visit to the Austrian lakes? We have created a list of the most beautiful lakes in Austria, including practical information and a map.

CARINTHIA: If you are looking for tips for a holiday in Carinthia, here are the most beautiful lakes in Carinthia. Here is a detailed guide to Lake Wörthersee.

VIENNA: See tips on things to do in Vienna (including entrance fees and opening times) and an itinerary of how to spend 3 days in Vienna. In the article Vienna with kids we share tips on how to enjoy Vienna with the whole family.

AUSTRIAN ALPS: Get inspired by our tips on things to do in the Austrian Alps (hiking routes, excursions).

Or head straight to Tyrol or Lake Wolfgangsee. Another popular destination in the Austrian Alps is the Dachstein mountain range or the popular resort of Zell am See.

If you want to enjoy the beautiful untouched nature, take a look at things to do in the High Tatras.

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