Fans of active recreation won’t be disappointed by seeing the fun and possibilities of the Millstatt Lake. May it be cycling, Nordic walking, water ski or paragliding; we can try all these at the Millstatt Lake and for relaxing, there’s the garnet mine, the brewery or any of the 12 plages.
In our previous article, we wrote about Carinthian hospitality, the “Trail of love”, and the wonderful bath-house and resorts. Now let’s continue with a bit of mountain bike, garnet mining and fishing.
On the morning after the amazing sunset, ideal biking weather welcomed us, so we chose mountain bikes from the Seeboden bike rental, and started our way for the 28-kilometer bike trail around the lake. On the southern bank of the lake we used the wide footpath suitable for biking and Nordic walking, while on the northern part there’s a concrete bike trail totally separated from the public road. For more trained bikers it takes barely an hour to go around, while easy cyclists can make it in about 2-2,5 hours.
In the bike rental, we find not only classical mountain bikes, but it’s possible to rent trekking bikes or e-bikes too, for 15-20 Euros per day. During cycling, let’s stop a few times for a rest at one of the resting points, from where there are excellent views on the lake and the surrounding mountains.
In case we don’t have time or just don’t feel like cycling around the lake, we can choose the cycler ship “Peter Pan” operating between Döbriach, Millstatt and Seeboden to shorten the distance. Unlike the tourist boat also operating on the lake, it was designed markedly for bikers, and this way we can get back to the starting point really quickly. Tickets for the small ship are 2-5 Euros.
On the bank of the Millstatt Lake, watersport lovers will find their expectations too, as rentals and a watersport center is waiting for them. Either if it’s water ski, wakeboard or water parachuting; or some easier recreation enjoyed by the youngest members of the family, like water banana, water donuts, water cycling, etc. But we can also go into one of the 12 plages operating around the lake.
Only 5 kilometers from Döbrinach, in Radenthein we find Granatium, which commemorates garnet mining in Radenthein. The gemstone also known as the “stone of love and passion” was mined here in the biggest quantity in the region. The complex also functioning as a museum and adventure park leads visitors through the formation and mining of red garnet, the Almandin, right to the process of jewelry making of them. In the exhibition area we can admire garnets from all around the world, and jewelries as well.
Adventurous ones can mine their own gemstones at Granatium. This is not an easy thing as though these minerals are really harsh. We can easily smack a piece or two with the pickers we get there, but if we want a whole rock, we need to be very persistent and acute. But don’t feel sorry about the time and patience, because we can go home with a nice memory, which can also be furbished to jewelry at Granatium.
Let’s stop for a beer
Before starting the way back to Seeboden, we visited the brewery in Shilling. This program is advised for anyone who likes beer, at least a bit. In Austria’s first brewery operating with biomass there’s 3-4 different types of beer to taste; light, brown and ALE. If you would like to buy some of the unstrained beer aged for weeks and weeks, it’s better to know that Shilling takes quality so seriously that they only sell beer on tap, 5-liter party barrel, or 50-liter normal barrel.
Fishing on the Millstatt Lake
They’ve been fishing on the lake for centuries, and sustainable fishing still has highlighted importance. “We only fish the amount that’s really needed” – says Peter, the fisherman and hotel owner in Millstatt, whom we had the chance to assist to his fishing boat located in the middle of the lake.
We got to know that there are strict rules in fishing, and any fishing activity needs authority; moreover, some species can only be caught in a limited number and interval. The lake boasts with diverse fauna. We can catch barbels, pikes, carps, catfish, “white slow fish”, and any kind of trout.
In any of the restaurants of the Millstatt Lake’s area we have a good chance to meet freshly caught fish during our dinner. Fish caught here taste especially good thanks to the lake’s extraordinarily high mineral content. We managed to test this during 1,5 hours of fishing. In Peter’s hotel, Familienhotel post, fish specialities were served prepared in different ways. Amazing fish creams, spiced filets, but we also tried fishburgers which separately would worth a re-visit if we get to come back to the Millstatt Lake again.
We spent 4 days there, and time went by as quickly as it usually does on vacations. We’ll surely come back again and not only to see the sights we missed now, but mainly to experience once again the wonderful views, hospitality and relaxing offered by the Millstatt Lake.
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