Away from the city centre, Klagenfurt offers many options for active nature lovers, above all the Bodental Valley, a good half-hour’s drive from Klagenfurt towards Slovenia. Starting from the Gasthof Sereinig inn or the car park of the Gasthaus Bodenbauer inn (where by the way you can feast on exceptional Carinthian specialities after your hike!), an easy hike through the Bodental Valley hidden in the Karawanken is a very special adventure for all ages.
Natural wonder: the Meerauge
On the way to the well-known “fairy tale meadow” (Märchenwiese) you will pass the “Meerauge”, which offers a special wonder of nature both in summer and during the winter months. The Meerauge is a dead-ice hole with a pond in the middle, which was produced by a glacier during the Ice Age. It lies at 1,052 metres above sea level and can be reached by a well secured track. The water’s striking turquoise colour is caused by algae.
The origin of the Meerauge can be traced back to the last Ice Age – a perfect spot for an unusual photo! It is not for nothing that the Meerauge is a place shrouded in legend and the subject of many mysteries: the story goes that once, two oxen pulling a wagon of hay sank into the deep. There was nothing to bear witness to their fate, to the dark horror. Not a ripple, not the least thing, was to be seen. It wasn’t until weeks later that the yoke of the oxen was found drifting in Lake Veldeser See on the other side of the mountain!
Legend has it that the Meerauge is connected underground to other bodies of water such as Lake Bled, and even the sea.
The most beautiful valley end in Carinthia: the fairy tale meadow
If you follow the path further towards the Ogrisalm, your feet will lead you to the fairy tale meadow – probably Carinthia’s most beautiful mountain meadow. You are sure to lose your heart to this exceptional valley, at the latest when the tall trees all around meet the imposing mountain summits.
In summer this place offers refuge from the heat, while in spring and autumn the sun can be shining here when the Rosental Valley is shrouded in mist. In the second half of the year, a little snow-covered winter wonderland is created here. While the hiking options are limited at this time of year, there is an attractive cross-country skiing trail and the mountain slopes are enticing for ski tourers.
Also a beautiful spot for a great souvenir photo! And if you are not tired yet, from the fairy tale meadow you can hike further over the Stinzesteig (surefootedness and good footwear required!) to the Klagenfurter Hütte at 1,664 metres.
Carinthian culinary delights
Both the Gasthof Sereinig and the Gasthaus Bodenbauer are excellent places for a bite to eat after a hike through the Bodental Valley. The Sereinig family inn offers hot, seasonal Carinthian cuisine and overnight accommodation for the whole family for 10 months of the year (closed in April and November). In winter the parlour with its open fire is a cosy place to warm up, while in summer the house specialities are best enjoyed in the guest garden with its mountain panorama.
The Gasthaus Bodenbauer also looks after hikers of all ages with its wonderful “Grandmother’s style” roast pork and hearty snacks.