Follow the Sulm and Saggau in peace and quiet.
In order to get to know the romantic river valleys of Southern and Western Styria we decided to start in the really lively market town of Eibiswald. But as soon as we set off in the direction of Hörmsdorf it is peaceful. We cross the river Saggau which will accompany us for almost half of the trip. After “Hörmsdorfer Kolonie" we cycle through the corn fields and further on to Pitschgau with its pretty little chapel.
We leave the Saggau briefly and cycle along quiet roads. In Oberhaag the streams have pretty names; a bridge takes us over ‘Lieschenbach’ (Busy Lizzie Stream) and we are almost enticed to ride up to ‘Großlieschen’ (Big busy Lizzie).....but just almost as our route is only a few metres high and is definitely easier. We then go to Unterhaag and after that back onto a narrow cycle path through the fields back to Saggau. In the village of Saggau itself we cross the river first, then the road and enjoy the cheeky sunflowers which have planted themselves along the edges of the corn fields. On the way to Radiga we pass „Fischerparadies Nebelteich" (foggy lake fishers’ paradise) where fishers and campers both feel at home. But we carry on along the edge of the forest. Not only rivers have cute names, after ‘Kleinklein’ (smallsmall) and over the Saggau to ‘Großklein’ (bigsmall). Once last time across the Saggau and then we abandon it and follow the Schwarze Sulm from now on.
On the left a splendid field of sunflowers, then further along the Sulm Cycle Path to Mantrach. A beautiful vineyard over the corn fields on our right. Through the fields we carry on to a little place which really seems to have been designed for picnics. There is a little bench under a weirdly quaint tree which has already withstood at least one bolt of lightning.
Once you arrive in Gleinstätten a visit to the ‘LandArt’ project in the castle grounds is recommended. You can spend a while in the maze in front of the castle. Sympathetically designed decking takes you past rare plants, trees and bushes to several artistic objects. We carry on past the campers’ paradise and outdoor pool and follow the Schwarze Sulm River past villages and fields to Haslach and then to the mouth of the Weiße Sulm River. Following it and also the ‘Oil Trail’ we cycle past Pölfing-Brunn’s lovingly laid-out natural bathing lake ‘Kipferlbad’ and on to Wies.
At the market place we leave the ‘Oil Trail‘, cycle in the direction of Altenmarkt and finally uphill for a bit in the wine growing area of Keltenberg. This presents a delightful contrast to the landscape which up until now has been rivers. Shortly before Eibiswald we merge onto a cycle path where a large klapotetz (traditional wooden bird scarer) at the roundabout welcomes us back to the wine growing market town.