In Austria a number of regions have got together to create themed routes that invite you to explore rural history with gastronomic delights all along the way.
The Cheese Trail
The most tasty way to experience the Bregenzerwald is via the Cheese Trail
. Travelling to alpine dairies, farms, artisans and to the cheese merchants, with an especially noteworthy cheese cellar in Lingenau. Popular attractions are the cheese house in Andelsbach as well as the alpine dairy school and producer of whey cosmetics, Metzler in Egg. The Cheese Trail in Bregenzerwald
is not so much a single route, but more a network dedicated to the preservation of regional distinctiveness and expertise. There are also events, presentations and guided tours along the way.The Museum Trail
The roads that wind through the Mühlviertel
lead you through the romantic countryside, taking you back in time. No less than 31 tourist destinations are brought together on the Museum Trail, giving the visitor a glimpse of life and work in the region in a bygone era. A fine network of roads crisscross the area, stretching from Pelmberg to Kerschbaum. The open-air museum in Pelmberg brings centuries of rural living and farming heritage to life, and Kerschbaum operates a horse-drawn railway between May and October, as well as on Sundays in the run-up to Christmas.
At the heart of the Mühlviertel region is Freistadt
with its castle museum. To the west, the road takes you to Bad Leonfelden and its school museum where you can soak up four centuries of school history. And to the south of Freistadt , in Kefermarkt, you can marvel at the famous 15th century winged altar, a work that is considered to be one of the most important Gothic examples in the German-speaking world.The Cider Trail
The Cider Trail takes its name from 'Birnenmost' which is a refreshing amber-coloured cider drink with a mild and fruity taste. The route zigzags through the renowned Mostviertel
, the largest continuous area of pear orchards in the whole of Europe. It stretches from the town of Haag in the far west of Lower Austria
to Amstetten, taking in 29 cider inns, 21 'Heurigen', inns specialising in 'Most' and 24 farms where you can buy produce directly along the way.
The Mostviertel museum is based in the town of Haag, and in Amstetten there is a farm museum with 17000 artefacts and exhibits on display. Best of all is the panoramic stretch between Behamberg and Kürnberg, Ertl and Seitenstetten. Make sure you pay a visit to Seitenstetten Abbey
while you are there, and also leave time to enjoy the fantastic views in Neuhofen and Euratsfeld, looking out over the rolling countryside with its gentle, undulating hills and scattered hamlets.
The South Styrian Wine Route
The South Styrian wine route, which in part runs along the border to Slovenia, is lined with vineyards that are especially pleasant to visit in autumn, when the countryside is at its most colourful. The route, in total more than 25 kilometres long, leads through the heart of Styria’s biggest wine growing region where some of Austria’s best white wines are grown. The local winegrowers continuously win national and international awards with their Sauvignon Blanc, Muskateller or Chardonnay, which is called Morillon in this region.
In the picturesque villages along the route, namely Kitzeck im Sausal, Gamlitz, Ehrenhausen and Leutschach, you will also find some of Austria’s best chefs. The best example for this is the Sattlerhof. Here, Willi Sattler produces wines that rank among the best in the country and in the attached restaurant his brother Hannes serves homemade cuisine at a high level as the perfect complement to the wines of the Sattlerhof vineyards.
The Vintners’ School in Silberberg created a nature trail featuring all the Styrian grape varieties. For those interested in the history of wine making, there are wine museums in Kitzeck and Gamlitz that show the development of the wine production in the last decades.