Upper Drava Valley region

Dramatic peaks. Waterfalls. Lovely valleys. Outdoor enthusiasts and sports fans will love the Upper Drava. Wonderful nature experiences await paddlers between Lienz and the municipality of Spittal an der Drau. Depending on your mood, you can choose from wild and challenging or calmer and more relaxed. Four exciting stages on 73.8 km offer different waterway types for advanced paddlers and beginners. Between Lienz and Nikolsdorf, exciting white water areas provide for particular paddling fun for kayakers. From Nikolsdorf onwards, the Drava becomes calmer. The flow speed settles down between 10 and 15 km/h. Thus, a canoe ride is possible with little effort and is also suitable for beginners.

If you like, you can receive tips on trip destinations and accommodation options from our guides. In this section, exploring the waterways by boat, canoe, sea kayak or SUP can be combined well with climbing tours, cycling, mountain biking, paragliding, archery, hiking and much more. The Upper Drava Valley is known for its regional specialities such as Carinthian pasta, cheese, fish and dishes of wild game. Experience culture, nature and cuisine on the Drava together with friends, family or work colleagues.

Lienz East Tyrol          Hohe Tauern National Park

1

Lienz - Oberdrauburg

Difficulty level: hard (for very good paddlers only) | Water body: flowing | Distance: 20.1 km | Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours (at low tide in summer: 2.5 - 4 hours)

Etappe 1
Lienz - Oberdrauburg

Difficulty level: hard (for very good paddlers only)
Water body: flowing
Distance: 20.1 km
Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours (at low tide in summer: 2.5 - 4 hours)

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There are 20.1 kilometres of river between Lienz and Oberdrauburg. Due to the white water (white water I) between Lienz and Nikolsdorf, this stretch on the Drava is suitable for advanced paddlers only. For stage 1 you require approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. Due to low tide, 1 to 2 hours more should be planned in the summer months. Only on the last 8 kilometres, from Nikolsdorf onwards, does the Drava become calmer and also suitable for families. You can start your canoe tour with the whole family from the embarking point in Nikolsdorf. If, at the end of the stage in Oberdrauburg, you would like to continue your trip on the Drava cycle path, you are best to use the bike hire service at Gasthof Pontiller or at the Oberdrauburg campsite. Water body: From Lienz approx. 12 km white water I, suitable for families as of Nikolsdorf.

Rest area

Would you like to stay overnight in Nikolsdorf? Approximately two kilometres from the embarking/disembarking point in Nikolsdorf is the Spiele- und Buchhotel Tschitscher. In the months of July and August, the hotel’s cyclist rest stop and day café is also open daily from 11 am to 7 pm for cyclists and canoeists. In addition to pastries, the Bakery/Confectionery/Café Egger in Oberdrauburg also offers breakfast.

Accommodation & cuisine

Gasthof Pontiller, Gasthof Post, Gasthof Stockmühl as well as the campsite in Oberdrauburg are located near to the disembarking point.

Gasthof Pontiller | Gasthof Post | Gasthof Stockmühl | Natur- & Familiencamping Oberdrauburg

Trip destinations & tips

The historically copied and unmotorised Drauplätte can be found in Oberdrauburg and can transport up to 30 people. Not far from Oberdrauburg, in the herb village of Irschen, visitors can learn a lot about the healing power of herbs and look over the shoulders of the producers as they make their Irschen herb delicacies. Tip: Interesting workshops take place here throughout the whole summer.

East Tyrolean summer toboggan run | Silver waterfall near Oberdrauburg | Herb village of Irschen | Drauplätte

 

2

Oberdrauburg - Greifenburg

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for good paddlers only) | Water body: flowing | Distance: 18.2 km | Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours (at low tide in summer: 2.5 - 4 hours)

Etappe 2
Oberdrauburg - Greifenburg

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for good paddlers only)
Water body: flowing
Distance: 18.2 km
Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours (at low tide in summer: 2.5 - 4 hours)

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Idyllically located between the Kreuzeck Group in the north and the Gailtal Alps in the south is the start point of the first stage of the Drava paddling route, right beside Oberdrauburg train station. For stage 2 you require 1.5 to 2 hours. Due to low tide, 1 to 2 hours more should be planned in the summer months. The water is cool and not deep at this point. The flow speed allows comfortable embarking. You begin your Drava safari between the Gailtal Alps and the Weissensee Nature Park at 10 to 15 km/h. Water body: 100% flowing.

Rest area

Halfway between Oberdrauburg and the first stage destination, Greifenburg, the Drava oasis of Dellach east of the Drava bridge offers you a nice rest area. The canoes are stationed secured on the bank while you use the viewpoint platform on the tower or the barbecue facility. The Camping am Waldbad campsite is also located just a few metres from the Drava oasis. Here you will find a restaurant and a snack bar. Occasionally, you meet at the Drava oasis cyclists riding on the Drava cycle path.

Accommodation & cuisine

The innkeepers of the Upper Drava Valley offer Carinthian plain fare, dishes of wild game, home-bred trout and regional specialities such as Gailtal mountain cheese or farmhouse bread baked in the wood stove. If you want to take a break and continue your paddling trip the next day, you will find rest opportunities, restaurants and hotels in Dellach, Berg and Greifenburg. Beer lovers can find what they are looking for at Shop013 beside Gasthaus Wulz in Bruggen. The shop stores over 1,000 varieties of beer from around the world. You can also stay overnight at the Waldpension Putz in Berg im Drautal.

Gasthof zur Schmiede | Gasthof Taurer-Thoman | Gasthof Weigand-Trunk | Restaurant am Waldbad | Camping am Waldbad | Gasthaus Wulz | Waldpension Putz | Fliegercamp Bruggen | Ferienhotel Sunshine | Hotel Glocknerhof | Frühstückspension Zippo

Trip destinations & tips

Go canyoning in the Drava valley for an exciting canyon adventure between rock formations and crystal-clear water. Another way of travelling on the Drava from Oberdrauburg is to travel on the historically copied Drauplätte. Hikers look forward to the trip to the Emberg mountain pasture, which also serves as a meeting point for astronomy enthusiasts as well as paragliders and hang-gliders. A few river kilometres further on, the community of Berg im Drautal scores points with the variety-packed fairways of the 9-hole Drautal/Berg golf course. You can swim and bathe in the nearby Weissensee or in the swimming lake in Greifenburg. Hang-gliders and paragliders appreciate the Fliegercamp Bruggen. The thermal lift in the region is one of the best in Europe.

Herb village of Irschen | Drava Valley canyoning | Drauplätte

 

3

Greifenburg - Sachsenburg

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for good paddlers only) | Water body: flowing | Distance: 20.7 km | Duration: 2 - 2.5 hours (at low tide in summer: 3 - 4.5 hours)

Etappe 3
Greifenburg - Sachsenburg

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for good paddlers only)
Water body: flowing
Distance: 20.7 km
Duration: 2 - 2.5 hours (at low tide in summer: 3 - 4.5 hours)

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From the start point of stage 3, a few metres from Greifenburg-Weißensee train station in the locality of Bruggen (market town of Greifenburg), you can paddle to Sachsenburg over a distance of 22 km in approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. Due to low tide, 1 to 2 hours longer should be planned in the summer months. From here, you continue through Gajach, Fellbach, Kleblach-Lind and Oberallach as far as Lind im Drautal. Schloss Raggnitz, first mentioned in 1254, is found in the community of Steinfeld. At Lind im Drautal, you pass the Drava bridge under Fellbacher Landstraße. At the level of the Bärnbader Kreuz, the Drava paddling route and the Drava cycle path come together again. From here, both lead in parallel to the train station in Sachsenburg. Water body: 100% flowing.

Rest area

In the community of Steinfeld, where the rafters invite visitors to the Upper Drava Valley Rafter Days once a year, you will find an opportunity to embark/disembark in the locality of Radlach shortly before the Drava bridge. You will find the next opportunity approximately 200 m left of the bank before the Drava bridge in Kleblach-Lind. Disembarking in Sachsenburg: to the right at the bank near the raft landing area, approximately 100 metres east of the campsite.

Accommodation & cuisine

Between Greifenburg and Sachsenburg, you have the opportunity to take culinary breaks or to see out the evening with a stopover at night and a good breakfast in Sachsenburg before you tackle the next stage.

Draucamping Sachsenburg | Gasthof Goldenes Rössl | Landhotel Kreinerhof | Möllcamping

Trip destinations & tips

On the Greifenburg water adventure path, you make your way on the Gnoppnitzbach river through the breathtaking Gnoppnitzklamm gorge as far as the mountain farming museum in the mountain village of Gnoppnitz. On the way, you can discover numerous stations, such as the meditation site, the Kneipp site, the strength hut, the wagoners’ hut and the children’s playground Wigwam. From mid-May to the end of September, you can find out interesting facts about the hard work of the mountain farmers in the mountain farming museum, which has six rooms with approximately 500 exhibits. Approximately 15 minutes by car from the embarking/disembarking point in Greifenburg, you can swim, fish, dive or sail on the untouched Weissensee.

Upper Drava Valley Bee Hiking Route | Steinfeld Archery Course | FuGo Freizeitpark am See | Erlebnisbad Möllbrücke | Museum im Laufe der Zeit | Historic market Sachsenburg

 

4

Sachsenburg - Spittal/Drau

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for good paddlers only) | Water body: flowing | Distance: 14.8 km | Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours (at low tide in summer: 2.5 - 4 hours)

Etappe 4
Sachsenburg - Spittal/Drau

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for good paddlers only)
Water body: flowing
Distance: 14.8 km
Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours (at low tide in summer: 2.5 - 4 hours)

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Stage 4 of the Drava paddling route begins at Sachsenburg train station. On the 14.8-km-long stage, you pass Möllbrücke, Lendorf and St. Peter in Holz, where the Roman excavation site Teurnia is located. For stage 4 you require 1.5 to 2 hours. Due to low tide, 1 to 2 hours more should be planned in the summer months. Water body: 100% flowing.

Rest area

You will find the ideal rest area at about the half-way point of the stage on the left-hand bank in the municipality of Spittal an der Drau. You can also have a nice culinary break at the restaurant of the Drautalperle adventure pool.

Accommodation & cuisine

The selection of inns and accommodation options in the enchanting town of Spittal an der Drau is large.

Camping Draufluss | Hotel Ertl | Cafe Konditorei Moser | Edlingerwirt | Buschenschank Egger

Trip destinations & tips

The Römermuseum Teurnia provides insights into the social life of the Celts and Romans around the time of the birth of Christ. The hill of St. Peter in Holz was resided on from the 11th century BC onwards. Between Baldramsdorf and Spittal an der Drau you will discover the DrAUENland Spittal, a nature trail along with a picnic area and a shopping opportunity at the rural direct marketer “Hofladen”. In the town itself, at Porcia castle, you can go on a cultural journey of discovery in the Museum of Folk Culture and in the railway adventure world. You can also explore the castle grounds on foot. The castle café offers homemade pastries and coffee specialities.

Fancy even more water? Just a few metres from the disembarking point in Spittal an der Drau is the Drautalperle adventure pool with a wellness area and restaurant. From here, you can reach Lake Millstatt – which can become up to 27 degrees warm – in just a few minutes by car. Prefer to travel by bike? You can hire trekking bikes, e-bikes and mountain bikes at Zweirad More, for example.

Römermuseum Teurnia | Porcia castle | Museum of Folk Culture | Railway adventure world | Sportberg Goldeck | Drautalperle | Lake Millstatt

 

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