Gem of Carinthia: the Millstatt Lake

Carinthia is the empire of lakes. In the Southernmost province of Austria there are 1270 dead waters and 200 bathing lakes in a calm, clear and wonderfully natural environment. We’ve been at Millstätter See, 600 kilometers from Budapest at the end of June to discover the experiences given by the lake and the surrounding mountains in 4 days. It turned out again that Austria cannot disappoint us.  

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Millstätter See is the deepest lake of Carinthia with its depth of 147 meters. Due to the legend, it received its name from the pagan prince of Carinthia, Domitian who resolved to convert to Christian religion in case he finds the corps of his son, who drowned in the lake. He did find it, so the new Christian Domitian threw 1000 statues of pagan gods (mille statue) into the lake.

millstatti_to_alexanderhutte

We find three bigger settlements on the bank of the Millstatt Lake: Seeboden, Millstatt and Döbriach. Our accommodation was in Seeboden, in the North-Western corner of the lake. The ambient town offers several options for accommodation from pensions to hotels satisfying the highest needs. Hotel Kollers is a 4-star superior hotel located directly on the bank of the Millstatt Lake. The hotel operates since the 1950’s and after several expansions and refurbishments it awaits guests with 60 rooms. Those with high needs won’t be disappointed, as service here is really first class level.

A családi tulajdonú Kollers **** Superior szálloda

The wonderfully maintained garden, the extended Wellness and SPA section, and attractive meals are not the only specialities of the hotel; there’s a heated pool detached from the lake, an own tourist boat, and a private pier in the middle of the lake where we can spend a romantic dinner with our partner. In an environment like this, it wasn’t hard to wake up relaxed on the next morning before the hiking.

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The best views on the Millstatt Lake is available from Alexanderhütte, lying on the Northern side of the lake, on a height of 1800 meters. The hospice built between 1912-14 is approachable by car with authorization only, but we can get up there with a 20-minute walk from the lower parking lot. The views are absolutely amazing. There’s a bio dairy-farm here too, popular among locals, where they make home-made cheese, spiced butter and other dairy product from the milk of cows browsing around here.

Kilátás a Millstatti tóra. Előtérben az Alexanderhütte és a tejgazdaság

Sentiero dell’ Amore – The trail of love

From Alexanderhütte, a really special hiking trail starts, which is called the Trail of love, “Sentiero dell’ Amore”. The 8 kilometers long walking trail is part of the Alps-Adriatic tour trail, which leads through 750 kilometers from Groβglockner through Slovenia, until the seaside near Trieste. The terrain is quite easy, so it can also be done with children. What’s interesting in the tour is that they created 7 miradors next to the route, with a twin resting stage, and questions are waiting for the lovers at every stage. There are questions like “how have you got to know each other?”, or “what do you love the most in each other?”. Answers can be written in a book placed in each stage.

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7 pad - 7 megválaszolandó kérdés a szerelem útja mentén

The trail goes through wonderful places, from where there’s a beautiful panorama on the Millstatt Lake and the surrounding mountains. Though it can be done in 3 hours, we should count with 5-6 hours, so we have time for a nostalgic rest at the miradors, or just admire the beauty of the landscape. The final destination and the highest point of the trail is Garnet Gate, a monument built of garnet, which promises endless love for those walking under it. And the views from the gate is the highlight of the trail, with majestic panorama on the Millstatt Lake.

A Gránátkapu ami a szerelem útja túraútvonal végét jelöli

Ilyen kilátás nyílik a Millstatti tóra a gránátkapuból

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On the way down, according to our condition we can choose the quicker but steeper way, or spend some more time with the beautiful scenario on the gravel serpentine. Whichever we choose, let’s have some rest at the end in Lammersdorfer hütte. The amazing Carinthian Kaiserschmarrn with plum or apple jam is worth a try.

The road down from the hill leads to Millstatt, and there we couldn’t miss the oldest bath-house of Carinthia, which was fully refurbished a few years ago. There we could unbend our bodies and minds.

Esti látkép a Millstatti fürdőház kültéri medencéje mellől

There’s no need to go far, as we can close the day in the restaurant named L’ONDA of the bath-house, tasting a Carinthian speciality or two. We were lucky, as we could witness a unique sight in the light of the descending sun. Even locals stopped on their way home from work to take a photo of the sunset. As it turned out, this sight is not rare here, they just can’t have enough of it. I have to agree with them.

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A fürdőház L'ONDA étterme a Millstatti tó felett lemenő nap fényében

A csodálatos panorámájú fürdőház a lemenő nap fényében

From the next part of our article you’ll get to know about the sporting and recreation facilities and eye marks offered by the Millstatt Lake.

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