Styria is far more than the place where I grew up. I feel at home no matter where I am in the state. Even though my address is in Upper Austria at the moment, I try to spend as much time as possible in the most beautiful Austrian Federal State. And this is why I want to take you on an amazingly beautiful road trip through South-East Styria in this blog post. Here I not only share with you a breathtaking route, beautiful stops, an accommodation perfect for daydreaming, but also the opportunity to win this experience for a weekend in cooperation with Mazda.
Our Route through Styria
In Styria, countless, unforgettable road trips and adventures can be experienced. This short, but rather fine route in South-East Styria can easily be done in one day. There are many nice rest stops that invite you to discover your surroundings, devour your packed snacks or just to simply time travel – in short: your eyes, but also your camera will have plenty to explore!
Begin the day relaxed
Normally, I'm one of the first people to hit the road in the morning. But this time we really spoil ourselves. In our accommodation, at the Weingarten Resort in Unterlamm, we enjoy breakfast on our private terrace (more on this simply fantastic accommodation later) and start our day completely relaxed.
Stop #1 Riegersburg
20 minutes later we reach our first stop – Fort Riegersburg. I have visited this magical place a couple of times as a kid but I am still mesmerized by the middle age masonry.
Fortunately, we only experience the 17th century in the museum, with its exhibits on witch hunts and ancient weapon collections. The weather outside is just too nice to be spoiled with the mood of this gloomy time. Before we are accused of witchcraft, we take refuge in the open air and enjoy the first sun salutations of spring with a little dance.
Information about Fort Riegersburg
The Fort is not open all year around. | April and October: daily from 10:00 am – 06:00 pm | May to September: daily from 09:00 am – 06:00 pm |various tickets available | Riegerburg
Stop #2 chocolate manufactory Zotter
We follow our sweet tooth and discover the chocolate manufactory Zotter just a stone throw away. We discover how chocolate is made from raw chocolate beans. We can sample the products after every work step and even though we don't really like the taste, in the beginning, we enjoy the end product a lot. A stop in the chocolate shop is an absolute must and we buy enough chocolate to last us a good while before jumping back the cabriolet. Off we go to the next stop!
Information about the chocolate manufactory Zotter
The chocolate manufactory is open all year round but is closed on all Sundays and most bank holidays.
Opening hours: from November to April 9:00 am –07:00 pm | From May to October 9:00 am –08:00 pm.
I would suggest visiting here first thing in the morning as midday and early afternoon tend to be fairly busy.
Stop #3 Observatory Vulkanland
Our third stop is the Observatory Vulkanland – the drive there feels a little like a journey to the end of the world until you get to the 40-meter-high tower. My fear of heights doesn't allow me to climb all the way to the top, but it's not too big a deal. At 20 meters high the panorama is stunning too.
Somehow we can not help ourselves but stop in Bad Radkersburg – there we jump across the bridge to Slovenia and pay a quick visit to Fort Kapfenstein.
Pure driving pleasure
For extra driving pleasure, we were kindly provided with a Mazda MX-5. Now as spring is around the corner the MX-5 with its open top is the perfect car to enjoy some warm sun rays. Said top can be opened (or closed) in just a few seconds with just one easy handgrip.
And no, unfortunately, the hat does not stay on the head when the roof is open 😉
Weingarten-Resort in Unterlamm
In search of idyll, tranquillity, and nature, the Weingarten-Resort in Unterlamm is just the perfect accommodation. Little houses are scattered around the vineyard, all furnished with love and a great eye for detail. If the weather is good you can even see Fort Riegersburg in the distance.
From the moment we arrived, we felt very comfortable. The staff welcomed us with open arms and because we arrived quite late at night we found a prepared “Brettljausn” in the fridge. Wellbeing and relaxation are their main focus.
Currently, there are eight wine houses to choose from, each one is unique and designed with different features such as floating loungers, infrared cabins, whirlpools and other surprises.
Breakfast basket in the Weingarten-Resort
Surely you agree with me when I say the best breakfasts are had in pyjamas, right? In the Weingarten-Resort, you select what you would like to have for breakfast before you even arrive. A basket filled with fine specialities from the region gets dropped off at your doorstep every morning. And if the weather plays along, you can look forward to a similar view:
Dinner in Austria's smallest restaurant
Besides the individual breastfast basket, you also get to dine in Austria's smallest restaurant here in the Weingarten-Resort. We indulge in a six-course meal whilst enjoying a breathtaking view of the vineyard. A personal chef prepares our private dinner just for us.
Apply and be the lucky winner
If you also want to spend a weekend in Styria, then apply now at Mazda Routes 2018. With a little luck, you can also test drive a Mazda MX-5, CX-3 or CX- 5 for two days and enjoy the wonderful view with breakfast baskets and visit the smallest restaurant in Austria in the Weingarten-Resort in Unterlamm. Of course, I keep my fingers crossed for you!
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