Thousands of years ago, a big rockslide from the Auernig dammed up the Mallnitzbach stream and formed a lake in the area of the present-day village of Mallnitz, which silted up gradually. In the course of the millennia the Mallnitzbach stream cut a deep bed in the rocky mass of the rockslide and so formed the Rabischschlucht gorge, through which the first part of this stage leads. Several viewing platforms directly above the torrent guarantee spectacular views!
The adjacent Groppensteinschlucht gorge is one of the most stunning gorges in all Carinthia. The Zechnerfall waterfall at the upper end of the gorge, the mighty Groppensteinfall waterfall and the unique potholes (circular-shaped rock pools sculpted over time by the water) at the entrance to the gorge are the highlights of this gorge, named after Groppenstein Castle.
The municipality of Obervellach was the centre of gold mining operations in the Hohe Tauern mountains, and from 1509 until 1778 the seat of the “Oberstbergmeister”, the monarchy’s highest mining official for “inner Austria” (Styria, Carinthia, Kranj, Gorizia, Trieste and the Austrian estates in Istria and Friuli). Today the former office of the “Oberstbergmeister”, a magnificent Renaissance building, houses a café and guest apartments. The whole main square with splendid buildings dating from mining times and the mighty parish church of St. Martin are cultural highlights along the route and are well worth visiting.
Visit the BIOS National Park Centre in Mallnitz or the National Park exhibition, as well as the parish church of St. Martin in Obervellach, or relax at the Obervellach outdoor pools!
Rest stopsGasthof Alpenrose
Safety informationThe Groppenstein Gorge and Rabisch Gorge can only be walked in daylight! In case of bad weather (rain, thunderstorm) or outside the opening times, the gorges are closed for safety reasons, diversions are given!
Tips and hints
From the south: The Mallnitz-Bundesstrasse (B105) branches off the Mölltal-Bundesstrasse (B106) at Obervellach and leads directly into the village centre (9 km from Obervellach).
From the north: With the OeBB-Tauernschleuse (motorail train) from the Gastein Valley.
From Spittal/Drau or Winklern on the Mölltal-Bundesstrasse (B106).
Mallnitz: parking areas in the village centre and park-and-ride car park directly by the train station
Obervellach: several car parks in the village
- 23 Waypoints
- 23 Waypoints