The Golden Valley of the Alps

Considering a rural, mountain adventure, packed full of natural beauty and rich history?

The Rauris Valley could be for you.

Rauris ValleySalzburg’s Hohe Tauern National Park boasts many special spots, but the Rauris Valley is a secret golden jewel.  Shaped by a rich history, it offers today’s visitor a holiday that is relaxing and exhilarating.  At 1,800 km², the valley is the largest national park in the Alps, and boasts a rich variety of unique and natural treasures.

It is also home to tales of time gone by, of gold mining and mule packing. Its natural history attractions include the Tauern Window and the Valley of Vultures – a fantastic wildlife viewing habitat… Make your way up from the far end of the Rauris Valley to the glacial regions and you’ll stroll through every climate zone and habitat you would encounter if you were travelling from Central Europe to the Arctic.

Whether walking across these high-alpine pastures or following the footsteps of the mule packers, watching the bearded vultures, exploring one of the many self-guided trails, such as those in the Rauris Virgin Forest or at the foot of the Sonnblick Glacier, you’re sure to experience fascinating encounters leaving lasting memories.

In 1986, the Rauris Valley was selected as the primary site in the Alps for the reintroduction of bearded vultures (this year will see the final release of bearded vultures into the wild).  Since then, it has been possible to observe these impressive animals and their cousins, the griffon and golden eagle, in the wild, along with marmots and chamois.

The valley is not only one of the most beautiful but also the largest natural hiking playground in the Hohe Tauern National Park.  From tranquil trekking through glorious countryside to mountain tours leading up to glaciers. In just a few minutes, the Rauris Hochalm Lifts whisk nature lovers to the heart of the Hochalm hiking area.  With over 295 km of superbly marked hiking paths and alpine trails, the Rauris Valley is one of the most adventure-filled hiking areas in Europe.

During the summer months, around forty farms and mountain huts are staffed and fling open their doors to visitors. “Gold Fever” breaks out in Rauris every summer, as treasure hunters chance their luck as they pan the river for fine platelets of pure metallic gold. Though commercial gold-mining ceased in the last century, to this day there are still three beautiful gold-panning sites for locals and visitors to enjoy. Under the watchful eye of a local expert, become a real treasure hunter and, with a little bit of luck, find your very own pot of gold.

Traditions and folk culture is alive and kicking in the Rauris Valley, still practised in their original, authentic form.  As the saying goes, “we don’t just give guests a place to stay, but let them share in our traditional lifestyle”.

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Slovenia: New Countryside Guide

Vintgar Gorge
Vintgar Gorge

The Slovenian Tourist Board has produced a new ‘Friendly Countryside’ guide to showcase how tourists can make the most of the country’s beautiful nature and rural hospitality.  Each year, Slovenia’s countryside regions produce 90 million litres of wine, 400 tonnes of olive oil and support 140,000 bee colonies, giving rise to three of the most popular souvenirs for visitors. Sampling local products within characteristic regional dishes is just one way to taste the countryside, but with over 400 farms open to visitors, there is also the chance to stay overnight and take part in daily farm chores.  Tourist farms are renowned for their warm welcome that will allow visitors to get to the heart of Slovene customs and traditions.  The Friendly Countryside guide includes information on almost 200 of these tourist farms, listing their size, facilities, and attractions and activities in the local area.  Each farm is rated on a system of one to four, indicating its level of amenities.

As well as the extensive listings for farms offering accommodation and meals, the guide offers an introduction to Slovenia’s varied landscapes and outdoors activities, including its vast underground caves, gorges and thermal springs.

The Friendly Countryside Guide is available to view online at the Slovenian Tourist Board website

A printed version of the guide is also be available at tourist information offices throughout Slovenia.

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