Now that the hot summer days are over, I was forced to make use of the the last few late summer days and go hiking in the Tscheppaschlucht Canyon. It is located in the Karawanks, a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps in Carinthia, near Austria’s border to Slovenia.
Some time ago I already told you about my trip to the Pyramidenkogel. What is so special about it? The Pyramidenkogel is also located in the same region as the destination I will tell you about today. While my last trip to Kärnten in Southern Austria, this one was really active. I was forced to go hiking a whole weekend. This is my hike of the first half-day.
“Let’s get active!”, they said. “It will be fun!”, they said.
Forced to go out super early in the morning, we drove to the Tscheppaschlucht canyon’s parking lot. Although I was a bit uneasy to miss it, thanks to Google Maps, I could easily find it. You might have already guessed that I have a horrible sense of direction. Without my smartphone and maps apps I would have become lost long time ago. I just searched for Tscheppaschlucht and they recommended me the parking lot at the address B91, 9163 Ferlach right away. Lucky me!
Austrians are overeager with signs. It might seem a little over the top at first, but at least it was impossible to miss the canyon’s entrance. Once again, lucky me. We just had to follow them.
Although the scenery is already breathtaking and it is tempting to take lots of photos of the beautiful river, do not get distracted. At that point we haven’t even reached the entrance yet.
Warm up hike to the starting point
Can you believe it? It took us nearly 20 minutes to reach the entrance. I thought the whole hike was not longer than that?
Anyway, we paid the entrance fee, which is 8.50 Euro for grown-ups, 6.50 Euro for students and retirees (do not forget your ID!) and 4.50 Euro for children. This might seem much for some, but the canyon is really well maintained, stairs and handles are in perfect condition. And it includes the bus ride back to the parking lot.
Hiking the Tscheppaschlucht canyon
The way through the canyon took us over gravel paths, ladders and bridges which paved the way for us. As everything was well maintained, it was possible to easily master them with normal sports shoes.
Although it seemed easily doable at first, some of the bridges were so precipitous that I was a little scared to climb them. Nonetheless, the view was breathtaking, as soon as I reached the top.
If you have been wondering about the weather conditions: as you might have guessed by the pictures, but the humidity was almost 100 percent. After half an hour my fur was all frizzy.
After approximately 1.5 hours we reached our first stage, the Devil’s Bridge (Teufelsbrücke) which passes over a waterfall. It is also the end of the hiking trail through the Tscheppaschlucht canyon.
On with the show to the Bodental valley
After the Devil’s Bridge we decided whether go back to the parking lot by bus or hike a little further to the Bodental. Because, obviously, my opinion did not count, we continued to follow the trail to the Bodental valley. Unfortunately we could not “accidentally” miss the trail and “accidentally” reach the bus stop as it was a little too obvious.
The hike from then on was not like the Tscheppaschlucht canyon anymore but more a tramp through the forest.
The Bodental rewarded us with another beautiful view
After 1.5 more hours we finally reached our destination, the Bodental. The Bodental is a remote mountain valley in the very same mountains as the Tscheppaschlucht, the Karavanks. It is a well known leisure area in Southern Austria and popular for hiking in summer and winter sports in winter.
While you can ski and snowboard here in winter, it looks like you can marry there in summer.
If you are one of the unlucky people who are forced to go further, here’s some extra information: from the roadhouse you can either hike to a small lake called Meerauge (Ocean’s Eye, additional 20 minutes), the Märchenwiese (Fairy Tale Meadow, adds another hour) or the Panoramarundwanderweg (panorama loop road, another 1.25 hours) and back.
If you are just as lucky as me, you can take a break at a nearby roadhouse. You can order something there or bring your own snacks, just like us, and munch them at one of the tables next to it. With a full stomach, I could finally convince my travel companions to take the bus back. Finally!
My, Mister Wong’s, not so important opinion
All in all, it was a really nice half day hiking trip. It was also easily manageable for an inexperienced, untrained fluffy panda like me with no special equipment. There were a few children on the trail which had no problems whatsoever with the stairs, but you should still be light on your feed to be able to master the canyon.
Mister Wong’s, extremely helpful for non-German speakers,
hiking insider tips:
- You need a car to get there. Parking is 2 Euro per car and day. Bring coins, they do not accept bills, less credit cards.
- But you can take the bus in the canyon to get back to your car after a long hike. Keep the schedule in mind though.
- The entrance fee is 8.50 Euro for grown-ups, 6.50 Euro for students and retirees (do not forget your ID!) and 4.50 Euro for children. It includes the bus fare as well.
- There is a treetop canopy park right next to the parking lot. It has routes and flying fox lanes for children as well as for experienced grownups.
- Plan well in advance. You can either hike 1.5 hours through the canyon only or extend it to a full day hike to the Bodental (another 1.5 hours), from there either to the Märchenwiese (adds another hour) or the panorama loop road (another 1.5 hours) and back.
- Think carefully of what you wear. As the air is very humid, wear fast drying clothes or bring something to change into.
- Check out their official website, which is, unfortunately, entirely in German. Whoops! (Why no English information there? 哎呀!)
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