The community of St. Stefan is located in southern Austria, close to the border to Italy and is definitely a nature lover’s paradise. It is divided into 20 smaller villages:
- St. Paul
- St. Stefan
St. Stefan is approximately an hour drive from the closest bigger city, Klagenfurt.
Take Highway A2 to Italy. Take the exit to Hermagor, merging on to the street B111 to Hermagor. Exit this street after about 10 – 15 minutes in St. Stefan.
If you come by plane, the closest airport is in Klagenfurt, which is served by some airlines and provides a daily service to national and international destinations.
From all directions (Vienna, Munich, Salzburg, Italy, Slovenia) take the train to Villach, change there and go on the train to Kötschach/Mauthen. Get off in St. Stefan/Vorderberg.
Typically warm and dry in the summer, the weather is very pleasant and can be fully enjoyed while doing different outdoor activities. During the winter a good amount of snowfall attracts lovers of cross-country slopes and skiing trails from all over the world.
Natural swimming area in Vorderberg
The swimming pools are not ordinary ones, but an attraction amid impressive scenery. This natural bathing place was created for all those, who are tired of chlorine and now want to take a dive into pure nature. The facility consists of two separate pools, one of which being designed for kids. Furthermore, it includes a playing ground for the little ones, as well as a restaurant, where one can enjoy ice-cream, candies, beverages and small dishes like French fries.
There is also a designated area within the place for people who love camping.
Pure adventure: Canyoning
Are you an action freak? Then you definitely have to check out canyoning in the gorge of Vorderberg. Accompanied by certified guides, canyoning is not for the faint hearted. This adrenaline excursion includes jumps, natural water flumes and abseiling through water falls and breathtaking beauty created by Mother Nature. In other words, fun and action for the entire family.
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The mill was renovated in 2000 by the proprietor – family Schumi that is – and is now open to the public.
This mill, powered by water, is located in an easily accessible area in the village of St. Paul.
Gravity drives the machinery through the motion of flowing water from a local streamlet.
Guided tours can be arranged upon request (Erwin Schumi +43 (0) 4283/2228).
Natural resort Siebenbrünn
Take a dive into the unspoiled natural resort Siebenbrünn, which serves as habitat for a large variety and diversity of species. The resort is located close to the village of Köstendorf. At the entrance you can find a sign, which vividly explains the ecological significance of the resort’s phenomenon.
Subsidary Church St. Steben
St. Steben serves both: as a church and a tourist attraction. It is located above the village of Köstendorf in a remote and peaceful place at an altitude of 1003 metres. Take a walk to this church. It will take you only about 30 minutes from Sussawitsch or Köstendorf and then you can enjoy the beautiful panorama from up there.
Once arrived in St. Stefan, a hiker’s heart starts to beat faster. A net of marked hiking routes leads you from charming town houses through wild and idyllic valleys up to mountain summits where you can enjoy the sensational panorama view which is worth every minute of walk. Hiking trails with various levels of difficulty will turn the holidays into an unforgettable adventure for the entire family.
You don’t want to be without your beloved bike? No problem. St. Stefan offers a vast net of biking trails. The biking trail Carnia R3 connects the entire valley Gail from Kötschach/Mauthen to Villach. For the most part the trails pass by charming villages and taverns, where you can enjoy Carinthian specialities. This route, though, is rather easy and flat. Therefore, when you prefer more difficult trails we recommend you check out one of our mountainbike trails, which lead through woods up to the mountains, guaranteeing you a breathtaking view on the community.
Winter sport lovers will be charmed by the cross-country slopes in our area. Skiing freaks are in the best hands in the Skiarena Nassfeld. A plus for all guests: a free-of-charge shuttle bus takes you from St. Stefan directly to the skiing slopes. The most daring guests can venture a ski mountaineering tour with our certified mountain and ski guides.
What do you know about the Earth` history which started some 500 million years ago? You can brush up your knowledge while visiting the 1000 square kilometre Carnic Alps Geopark which covers the entire Gail valley. One of the over 70 sites you can explore is located on the Oisternig, a mountain in our community. There, you will encounter leftovers like fossils and on your way up to the summit amid breathtaking scenery a sign vividly explains the testimonies from bygone times.
Traditions in our area mean a lot and are held high, especially the local music group and several choirs keep up traditional values.
The highlight of traditional festivities during the year is definitely the so called Kirchtag, a church festival.
Organized by a group of young, unmarried people, these celebrations are not all about religion, but rather a big party. Girls are dressed in traditional gowns. Among others, the programme includes that unmarried men on horses try to smash a wooden barrel from a pillar with an iron club. The winner receives a wreath of flowers.
Don’t hesitate to ask for further information at
the tourism office St. Stefan
Tel.: +43 (0) 4283/2120