Kleindorf is a tiny rural village, one of the best gauge points for the Carinthia regions and the Austrian Alps. It’s a lateral part of Flattach.
Flattach….that may sound a little more familiar to you, nah? Flattach is know for its perfect location when it comes to winter ski trips, because it’s really close to majority of the best Austrian ski resorts, but at the same time it offers reasonable accommodation prices, because it’s not situated right below the slope. Well what’s better? Is there a town, that can beat such perfectly situated place? Maybe yes, maybe nah, but right now I’m not gonna talk about winter.
Winter is boring for most of the travellers and wanderlusts, there’s so little to do in the Northern hemisphere at that time of the year!
But on the other hand, in spring, summer or fall….there’s always something to see and do, I love walking around hills around my hometown, and when it comes to real hiking, I’m all about it! Therefore I was so excited for Austrian Alps and generally whole Austria because it was something new for me, I’ve honestly never been to Alps before (what a shame, not seeing the biggest perk of the neighbouring country for so many years) and I tried to make the most out of those four days I spent in Kleindorf. I even tried bathing in the Alpine climate!
There’s not much to do directly in Kleindorf nor Flattach. Sure, nice nature is all around, but I wouldn’t dare to step anywhere out the marked paths, so I prefered spending free time trying Wiener Schnitzels all around the town (not to mention I gained 3 kilos during those four days – but it was DEFINITELY worth it). My favourite schnitzel is served in Gletschermühle restaurant. And order it with butter potatoes, not with the French fries. Foodgasm!
I didn’t take a photo of the schnitzel, damn!!! But here’s a soup with the original Austrian schredded pancake noodles, also from this restaurant.
But if you’re not into spending most of the money on food, there’s a nice hike-ish kind of thing to a canyon/gorge, situated on the other side of the town. Just follow the Raggaschlucht sign, it’ll get you to a car park, and from there it’s just a couple of minutes to the cassa. Yes, cassa. Austrians charge the visitors even for a quite ordinary hike! But it was only 7€ for adults and 4€ for children (could be worse). Therefore I would like to introduce you a Carinthia Card. If you’re staying in this region for more than just one day, I definitely recommend you to buy this thing! You’ll get so many either reduced, or totally cancelled entries. For entries of total value of over 500€ I payed alltogether 10 times less. Here’s the website, but you need to sign up first to get to the packages and prices: Carinthia Card.
All in all, the Raggaschlucht hike was nice. Too many tourists for me (slow tourists photographing themselves every two metres – what is quite annoying considering the fact that it’s just a one-way wooden staircase most of the time).
Are you curious what was the thing I was looking forward for the most? The Molltaler Gletscher! Ruining everyone who’s saying it’s a lie that there’s snow all year round right now with this statement: but believe it or not, it IS true! I was there during the first week of August, it was -3°C and snowing. What an experience! The funicular and the cable car are free here for the holders of the the Carinthia Card as well.
In the nearby lying Obervellach you’ll maybe find some good cycling and walking paths, too, but I would like to introduce you the Erlebnisbad outdoor swimming pool. Bathing and sliding down the tobbogans in between the two giant mountains…well it’s interesting. But sunbathing after you emerge from the pool is not recommended, I ended up with pneumonia afterwards. Hah. Well. Yes. The threat is real – it’s 20th of October today and I’m still not out of it, feeling very tired and sick 24/7. But that’s not important, what I’m concerned about is the fact, that you get this for free, too, if you’re an owner of the already two times mentioned Carinthia Card!
Yep that’s me.
On the way to the Spittal an der Drau (I’m gonna talk about this one later), you’ll find another free (for the Carinthia Card holders) idea – a Kreuzeckbahn. This cog railway will get you basically nowhere, but what’s amazing about this is the fact, that the angle of heel between the ascending/descending cabin and the ground is almost 90°. This is particularly great if you’re with children, they’ll love it! On the top of the hill is a playground with a fairytale-themed forest path, another plus for this attraction.
In Spittal an der Drau it’s not only about the architecture (which is very nice by the way) and the great coffee (heard it somewhere, it’s true), its most interesting attraction is hidden before the eyes of rubbernecks in the reconstructed shooping centre. But if you really want, you can find it (with a little asking). I’m talking about the largest Austrian exhibition of train models, the Adventure World Railway (also for free!). This place is just….mesmerizing. Unbelievable. See for yourself.
Right above Spittal is situated a paradise for all the lovers of paragliding and skiing (in the winter time). The one and only Goldeck! You’ll get there (also for free) by two cable cars, and the view is really worth it! It’s considered as one of the best skiing resorts in Carinthia, and you can also buy a guided paragliding! It’s a perfect gauge point for further hiking to a number of other mountains and vales as well.
One locality, which can be literally enchanting in the time of Christmas markets is Mallnitz – I’ve just passed through it to get to another locality I’m gonna mention next, but it was just magical, the architecture was very peculiar – such as vaults above the roads and little courtyards between the houses.
Ankogelbahn is known mostly for perfect slopes and ideal conditions for skiing, but the cable car is functional also in the rest of the year, and view from the Ankogel is amazing!
The last thing I can recommend you (also for free, like all the previously mentioned spots) is the Porsche Automuseum in Gmund. In this exhibition you’ll find a couple of models, very elaborate history of the Porsche company and a official Porsche shop. The architecture of Gmund is amazing itself, it’s a really history-based town, with a giant belfry and a castle on a knoll above.
I didn’t manage to see more because I had too little time (what a pity!), but I’ll try to make mroe out of it the next time…
But if you didn’t mind also travelling a little further from Flattach to see something, Villach and Klagenfurt with a mound of pretty good sights aren’t that far, and the Worthersee and Mollsee neither! With this card you’ll get many discounts or total reductions in these towns as well, and boat rides come with huge discounts, too!
But also many other places I, unfortunately, didn’t have time to visit. There’s so much to do in this beautiful region.
And now the question is,
Where to stay?
I stayed in Pension Maier. I can’t give anything but positive feedback for this appartment house! The rooms were super clean, the breakfast (it’s B&B) was amazing with a variety of local food as well), the owners were very kind and last but not least, they had the cutest Golden Retriever I’ve ever met. His name is Maylo and he’s just…ah…I didn’t realise how much I missed my dog until I saw Maylo basking in the frontyard.
To sum it up, Carinthia is one of the regions which you should definitely visit in your life at least once; and not only in the winter time. But the thing is, without a little bit of help you’ll spend too much money there. For this purpose is there a Carinthia Card, what is a teetotal must-have in there. You can see more for less with this tiny assistant. Also, don’t forget to try the local specialties! There are many more, not only Wiener Schnitzel, but dedicating a whole trip to Wiener Schnitzels is not a bad idea neither, trust me.
Have a great day!