The Nockberge Reserve, an area of ​​184 square kilometres, was formed around the Nock Mountains, intended to preserve the area's wildlife for posterity. The Austrian mountain range is located in the Alps, and although it extends into Salzburg and Styria, its central part is located in Carinthia.

The Nock Mountains and the neighbouring Lungau region were declared a protected area in 1987 and then a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2012.

Overview

Nockberge Reserve Details
Country Austria
Location Carinthia, Nock mountains
Area 184 km2
Top programs Skiing, hiking, cycling
Top things to see Nockalmstrasse panoramic road, Nockberge trail
Website website

Map - Where is the Nockberge Reserve?

The reserve is located in Austria in the province of Carinthia. Although the mountains forming the park's core extends into Salzburg and Styria, the park no longer does. The nearest big cities are Villach and Klagenfurt - the province's seat- which is 1.5 hours away.

  • Distance from Villach: 1 hour / 45 km
  • Distance from Klagenfurt: 1.5 hours / 75 km
  • Distance from Vienna: 5 hours / 370 km
Nockberge Biosphere map - Vienna distance

More about the park

Gentle peaks and alpine pastures characterize the biosphere park. The most popular leisure activity is hiking, but you can also find several bike trails. The area is surrounded by several kilometres of footpaths. Stepping on them, you can reach places such as Turracher Höhe, Falkert, Hochrindl or Innerkrems.

Its purpose is to preserve biological and cultural diversity - they nurture and protect nature, the traditions of the area and the cultural landscape. The park strives for sustainable tourism, so you don't have to expect huge crowds.

Nockberge mountains and reserve

Highest point

The highest peak in the area is Eisenhut in Styria, which reaches 2441 m above sea level. The highest peak of the Gurktal Alps and the Carinthian-Styrian Alps. The peak is located northeast of the Turracher Höhe pass.

Administratively, the mountain belongs to Styria, so it is not in Carinthia. Its name refers to the centuries-old mining of iron ore (German: Eisen).

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The Nock Mountains stretch between the Haut-Tauern and the Low-Tauern mountains.

Nockalmstrasse (Nockalm panoramic road)

One of the most beautiful panoramic roads in Carinthia is the Nockalm panoramic road, which climbs to 2,042 meters. The 34 km long Nockalm road stretches between Innerkrems in the north and Ebene Reichenau in the south. It is very popular not only among motorcyclists but also among cyclists.

The 52-turn road winds up and down the “Nock’n” as you progress ahead. Meanwhile, you can see the Eastern Alps, the round, green peaks of the Nockberge mountain range, and huge mountain pastures awaiting your arrival.

Do not just pass through, as there are many places where you can stop and go for a walk. And if you want, drink an Almdudler in one of the many alpine huts and mountain inns on your way.

Nockalmstrasse video
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The Nockalmstrasse is much gentler than the Grossglockner panoramic road so it can be a more comfortable choice even with children. Here you don't have to expect sharp hairpin turns.

Nockberge trail

The 128 km hiking trail consists of 8 stations and lies between Aineck - Katschberg, and Seeboden. The moderately difficult multi-day hiking route can be completed even with children over 12 years old.

  • You can take our dog on a leash
  • Not MTB-friendly, so you cannot do it by bicycle
  • Wild camping is also not allowed, but luckily you can find accommodation at every station.
Nockberge trail video

Cities

In this idyllic, sunny world, you find settlements such as Ebene Reichenau, Gnesau, Feldkirchen, Himmelberg, Deutsch Griffen and Krems in Karnten.

#1 Ebene Reichenau

At the foot of the Turracher Höhe Pass lies Ebene Reichenau, which is also one of the endpoints of the previously mentioned Nockalmstrasse. Turracher Höhe, an idyllic mountain plateau, is 10 minutes away. The spa and winter sports resort of Bad Kleinkirchheim is just a few kilometres from here, which is the venue for the Alpine Ski World Cup competitions.

#2 Feldkirchen

Feldkirchen is a cultural and event centre - with concerts, courses, exhibitions and theatre performances. In summer, tourists and locals flock to the Flatschacher and Maltschacher lakes. Both lakes are among the warmest swimming lakes in Carinthia, offering idyllic peace in the heart of nature. (In winter, you can skate on the lakes.)

#3 Himmelberg

The charming settlement is located in the Gurk Valley. Himmelberg is home to a small natural wonder – the Tiebel springs, which flow from up to 100 springs to the Ossiacher See. These springs powered over 100 mills, forges and workshops for a long time. A 3-hour hiking trail leads along the stream from the town to its source.

#4 Gnesau

Gnesau is one of the 19 Holzstraße or "wood road" settlements in Carinthia. Wood is a particularly important raw material here - as 59% of the approximately 7,900-hectare area is covered with forest. Let's walk the 5 km long educational trail, along which 20 display boards describe the indigenous tree species.

You can see centuries-old farmhouses, Carinthia's first arboretum, intricate wooden figures, a miniature biotope, a bark hut, and even a mill. There are hiking trails and a well-developed network of MTB paths for those looking for more fun.

Turracher Höhe

Between November and April, the 2,205-meter Turracher Höhe is transformed into a ski paradise. Guaranteed snow cover, idyllic cross-country ski runs, winter hiking trails, and a mountain skating rink await visitors. You can go hiking on the alpine plateau between the glacial lakes and Swiss pine forests from spring to autumn.

Turracher Höhe
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Here we also find the Turracher Höhe pass (1795 m), through which you can cross into Styria.

Heidi Alm Falkert

Heidi Alm is an ideal family ski resort on Falkert mountain, specially designed for those arriving with children. The ski region is between 1,700 and 2,300 meters above sea level in the heart of the Nockberge Mountains. It consists of 4 traction lifts, the Heidi Express magic carpet and two other conveyor belts.

Of course, those who come here in the summer can go hiking on the plateau.

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