This circular tour follows the trail of history starting from Warmbad-Villach and heading to the Gail Valley. The “local mountain” of Villach, the Dobratsch, with Carinthia’s first nature park, and the Schütt region will accompany you for part of the trail towards Feistritz an der Gail.
From the Kärnten Therme in Warmbad
, which was newly opened in 2012, the trail follows the Römerweg (Roman Way) to Federaun
and from there goes along the River Gail towards Feistritz an der Gail
. In Warmbad
you will come across remnants of times long gone by. Many cultures have left their traces here, from the Romans to the French. The remains of the Roman roads in this area are particularly impressive. Hikers interested in history are recommended to make a detour in Federaun
to the ruined Federaun Castle, a former Bamberg fortification.
The first half of this stretch is characterised by the distinctive local mountain of Villach, the Dobratsch, whose Rote Wand rock face bears witness to the large rockfall in 1348. In this region you very often come across rocky remnants of this rockfall, which are scattered throughout almost the entire valley area. The Dobratsch is now a nature park and is home to many plant and animal species.
The trail heads through the “Schütt”, a nature conservation area, and follows the River Gail ever further into the beautiful Gail Valley, which is particularly charming due to the contrast between the flat, wide valley floor and the sometimes rugged mountain slopes.
Feistritz is known for its church festival day on Whit Monday. Following Mass in the church and the traditional midday meal with the special festival day soup, first in Oberfeistritz and then in the Unterfeistritz the well known ceremony of “ Kufenstechen ” takes place, when young men dressed in the costume of the Gail Valley and riding on unsaddled horses strike a wooden barrel with iron clubs as they ride past, which is also accompanied by dancing in national costume.