If you are looking for one of the best winter activities in Carinthia in Austria, sledding from the top of Dobratsch Mountain should never be missed.
Carinthia is full of ski resorts and sledding roads too, but nothing can bit hiking to the top of 2167 meters high mountain and sledding down from it.
Driving up the Villach Alpenstrasse – one of the best panoramic roads in Austria
Dobratsch Mountain is part of the oldest nature park in Carinthia, where also the toll road Villach Alpenstrasse can be found (free of charge during winter months). Villach Alpenstrasse is 16,5 kilometers long and takes you up to 1732 meters above sea level. It is also known as one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in Austria.
Hiking tips for Dobratsch
You can park your car at the P11 parking lot (46.593097,13.711210), right at the foot, where the hiking path begins. If it is completely occupied try the other parking lots like P10 or P9. To reach the top of Dobratsch you will first need to overcome 410 meters of altitude on a 4,20 kilometers long hiking path. This will take you from 1,5 to 2 hours, what mostly depends on your fitness level and hikers you are with. We were there with our 3 years old boy and even though he mostly was sitting on the sledges, we needed 2 hours, including with a snack break.
The hike up to Dobratsch is extremely picturesque, offering amazing views down the valley with lakes and surrounding mountain peaks. But the path is not demanding and is pretty wide, what makes it perfect for sledding down. It still might make sense to brought crampons with – the ones, you can easily put over the shoes will already do the trick. And you need to bring your own sleddges with too.
Lunch at 2145 meters of altitude, before sledding down
Just underneath the peak of Dobratsch, at 2145 meters above sea level, a transmission rises up. Few steps away the Gipfelhaus cottage can be found, where you can get lunch and even stay for the night – the cottage offers 40 beds.
A unique thing on the top are also two churches (Slovenian and Austrian), which are actually two highest altitude churches in Europe.
After lunch the best thing starts – adventerous sledding down back to the car. It was so much fun that our son would do it over and over again, so we will for sure be back for more. Luckily, right at the P11 parking lot, beside the cottage, an outdoor kids playground can be found, so Ren could spend his extra energy, before departuring back home.
The hike to Dobratsch serves with so many scenic views that the sledding down from it, on its 4,20 kilometers long path, is just an icing on the cake during the winter. In my opinion, sledding from Dobratsch is for sure one of the best winter activities in Carinthia for the whole family.