The following stage division is only one of many variants - our tip: Just hike and let yourself be driven and guided by the impressions, whether landscapes or culinary temptations. And if you particularly like it in one place, settle down. However, since we are traveling in alpine terrain throughout, good planning and, especially in the high season at the refuges, advance reservation of your accommodation the following evening is essential.
1st day stage
Mariazell (868 m) - Mooshuben (899 m) - Niederalpl (1.224 m) - Graf Meran Haus (1.836 m)
At the beginning of our tour through Styria we move along the well-known Mariazell trail - only in the opposite direction. From Mariazell we pass the popular ski touring mountain Tonion and reach the Niederalpl in the nature park Mürzer Oberland. From here it is now almost the entire time uphill towards the Hohe Veitsch summit to the Graf Meran Haus just below the summit. Depending on the weather, however, a visit to the summit at sunset or sunrise is an absolute must.
Length: about 27 km
2nd day stage
Graf Meran Haus (1.836 m) - Turnauer Alm (1.385 m) - Seewiesen (974 m) - Voisthalerhütte (1.654 m)
From the Hohe Veitsch, the route first leads across beautiful alpine pastures to Seewiesen, the eastern gateway to the Hochschwab massif. In the face of the Aflenzer Staritzen in the north, we hike through the Untere Dullwitz into the middle of the mountain range with the most chamois in Europe, the Hochschwab, and soon reach our destination for today, the Voisthalerhütte.
Length: about 25 km
3rd day stage
Voisthaler hut (1.654 m) - Schiestlhaus (2.153 m) - Hochschwab (2.277 m) - Sonnschienalm / hut (1.523 m)
Today, the highlight of the entire North-South long-distance hiking trail certainly awaits us, the summit of the Hochschwab. After a short stretch through the Obere Dullwitz we branch off onto the Graf Meran Steig and reach the ridge with the Schiestlhaus, the highest passive house in the Alps. From here it is only a short distance to the Hochschwab summit, whose panorama is unparalleled. Via the Fleischer bivouac, a bivouac box as emergency accommodation, and the Hundsböden we reach the Häuselalm, whose huts invite us to stop for a break. The trail continues across the impressive high plateau with its hundreds of peaks via the Sackwiesensee to the Sonnschienalm with its hut of the same name.
Length: about 17 km
4th day stage
Sonnschienalm / hut (1,523 m) - Kulmalm (1,424 m) - Neuwaldeggsattel (1,575 m) - Leobner hut (1,582 m) - Präbichl (1,232 m)
Shortly after the Sonnschienalm, the 05 trail and the Northern Alpine Trail 01, which has accompanied us for some time, separate. We walk over the Hörndlalm below the Hörndlmauer to the Kulmalm. The further way leads us past the Frauenmauerhöhle, which can also be visited in the company of a guide, to the Leobner Hütte. From here it is not far to the Präbichl, a saddle that separates the Mur and Enns valleys and offers several restaurants and accommodation facilities.
Length: 15 km
5th day stage
Präbichl (1.232 m) - Reichensteinhütte (2.128 m) - Krumphasl (1.700 m) - Hirnalm (934 m) - Trofaiach (658 m)
The Präbichl not only separates the two valleys, but is also the transition from the Hochschwab massif to the Eisenerz Alps. First, the ascent to the Reichensteinhütte at the foot of the Eisenerzer Reichenstein awaits us, a beautiful panoramic mountain, which, however, also requires alpine experience for the ascent. From here, the trail descends via serpentines to the Krumpensee and the Krumpenalm. The rest of the route takes us across alpine pastures and finally to the town of Trofaiach, which invites us to take a stroll after the lush nature experiences.
Length: about 23 km
6th day stage
Trofaiach (658 m) - Lake Traboch (637 m) - lowland (880 m) - Leoben (541 m) - Schmollhube (1,150 m) - Mugel (1,630 m)
At the beginning there is an easy uphill and downhill between the cities of Trofaiach and Leoben on the program. Leoben, the second largest city in Styria impresses with a beautiful main square, an impressive museum center and the famous Gösser beer brewery, which you can also visit including a museum. Afterwards it goes for us again uphill, partly quite steeply, on the house mountain of the Leobner, the Mugel with its shelter.
Length: 30 km
7th day stage
Mugel (1,630 m) - Trasattel (1,304 m) - Hochalm (1,642 m) - Fensteralm (1,642 m) - Lärchkogel (1,894 m) - Speikkogel (1,988 m) - Gleinalm (1,586 m)
Today a steady up and down awaits us on a tour over alpine pastures and through shady forests. The unwooded hilltops of the Gleinalm are particularly beautiful and offer great views, bringing us to our stage destination, the Gleinalm Schutzhaus. Trail companion on a large part of our today's stage is also the Central Alpine Trail 02, which continues to the Schladminger Tauern.
Length: about 29 km
8th day stage
Gleinalm (1.586 m) - Roßbachalm (1.780 m) - Oskar Schauer Sattelhaus (1.394 m) - Turneralm (1.480 m) - Gaberl (1.547 m)
At the start, the beautiful Maria Schnee church welcomes us. The path leads us further out to the Roßbachalm, where the summer pastures of the Lipizzaner horses are located in the immediate vicinity. Via the Terenbachhütte and the Oskar Schauer Sattelhaus we reach the Turneralm, where the Zentralalpenweg 02 leaves us. Passing the Ofnerkogel we soon reach the Gaberl with its inns.
Length: about 22 km
9th day stage
Gaberl (1,547 m) - Altes Almhaus (1,620 m) - Salzstieglhaus (1,543 m) - Peterer Sattel (1,745 m) - Hirschegger Alm (1,871 m) - Pack (1,116 m)
Today the route leads us over comfortable alpine pastures without big differences in altitude to the tranquil village of Pack on the Styrian-Carinthian border. The panoramic views in the direction of Styria and Carinthia are beautiful, as are the opportunities to stop for refreshments at the Bernsteinhütte or the Knödelhütte.
Length: about 29 km
10th day stage
Pack (1,116 m) - Hebalm (1,294 m) - Handalm (1,840 m) - Weinebene (1,668 m) - Großer Speikkogel (2,140 m) - Koralpenhaus (1,966 m)
From the village of Pack, almost the entire very long stage goes slightly uphill with a few short somewhat steeper intermediate climbs to the Koralm. Mostly we move on comfortable alpine pastures, which are crossed by paths and we can enjoy the views to the Karawanken as well as already with good distant view to the Styrian wine country.
Length: about 31 km
11th day stage
Koralpenhaus (1.966 m) - Brendlalm (1.566 m) - St. Oswald ob Eibiswald (747 m) - Eibiswald (651 m)
On the last stage the path leads us almost exclusively downhill. At first there are still alpine pastures, but then more and more often forests and meadows are our companions on our final tour, which also brings us to the village of St. Oswald, where a very short climb awaits us beforehand. Soon we are greeted by the first wine taverns until we reach our destination, Eibiswald, a beautiful village in the middle of the Schilcherland, which is also called the long-distance hiking center of Austria.
Length: about 33 km