Lower Drava Valley region

After Spittal with its pretty Renaissance castle Porcia, the Lower Drava Valley lies embedded as far as Villach, the next larger town. While the previous stages lead through the middle of an imposing alpine world, here the Drava loses a bit of its rugged beauty and repeatedly shows itself from its gentler side. Stage 5 winds its way past the Goldeck as far as Feistritz an der Drau. Due to the water storage areas, the Lower Drava Valley is a stimulating paddling stretch for beginners and families. In between, going around the power plants provides for variety and mini adventures on land.

With the wide reed belts, the rafter tradition going back centuries and the photogenic bridges, the second stage in the Lower Drava Valley is something for nostalgists and romanticists. For long stretches, nature plays the main role, interrupted only briefly by the modern working world. In no time, paddlers arrive at Villach, where a stroll through the Mediterranean centre must without fail be included before the next stage. The region is an ideal starting point for trips and offers many highlights, including the Dobratsch Nature Park, the Drava cycle path as well as Lake Ossiach and Lake Faak.

Spittal – Lake Millstatt          Villach – Lake Faak – Lake Ossiach

5

Spittal/Drau - Feistritz/Drau

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for very good paddlers only, bypass power plant required) | Water body: lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas | Distance: 19.4 km | Duration: 2 - 2.5 hours (at low tide in summer: 3 - 4.5 hours)

Etappe 5
Spittal/Drau - Feistritz/Drau

Difficulty level: easy (at high tide, for very good paddlers only, bypass power plant required)
Water body: lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas
Distance: 19.4 km
Duration: 2 - 2.5 hours (at low tide in summer: 3 - 4.5 hours)

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In Spittal an der Drau, you have the opportunity to travel on the Drava from the Spittal/Goldeck embarking/disembarking point or a kilometre further on from the Spittal/Camping embarking point at the Camping Draufluss campsite. In stage 5, you can travel the 19.4 kilometres from the Spittal/Goldeck embarking point to the Feistritz/Drau disembarking point in 2 to 2.5hours. Water body: 50% flowing, 50% dam.

On the section between Spittal/Drau and Feistritz/Drau, you pass the localities of Oberamlach, Molzbichl and Unteramlach, reaching the bridge of the Tauern Autobahn approximately two kilometres later and a short time later the bridge of Drautal-Straße at Mauthbrücken. Afterwards you reach the localities of Ferndorf, Patendorf and Paternion, where the first Carinthian water power plant on the Drava is located.

Drava power plant

The safety zone before and after the power plants is 300 metres. The safety zone must be observed without exception; when the locks are open there is mortal danger!

The disembarking point in front of the Paternion power plant is on the left bank side. A little further along the cycle path, you come to the power plant, via which you switch to the right-hand river bank. You can embark again on the right-hand river bank and continue your trip conveniently on the water. A special boat trolley, which you receive from us at the start of the stage, makes transporting the boat, canoe, kayak or SUP no problem. The embarking and disembarking points are marked. Anyone looking for tranquillity and nature has come to the right place here. So see out the day of paddling in cosy fashion and treat yourself to a delicacy from the region in Paternion or Feistritz an der Drau.

Rest area

3.8 km after the Spittal/Camping embarking point, you have the first opportunity to take a break in St. Peter on the left bank. The St. Peter rest area has a cosy, shaded barbecue facility. Just a few minutes’ walk from the rest area is Buschenschank Egger. At Karl and Burgi Egger’s, you can enjoy filled rolls, Brettljausen and a genuine Carinthian Reindling. Having had a good feed, you can then continue the stage. Once you have arrived in Paternion, the Gasthof Tell offers international cuisine, regional specialities, vegetarian dishes and its own products.

Buschenschank Egger | Gasthof Tell

Accommodation & cuisine

However, 5.8 kilometres after the St. Peter embarking point, you can also stop for inn food – or even stay the night – at the Landgasthof Mauthner, located right on the Drava. From Mauthbrücken to Paternion it is just 6.1 km to the end of the stage, where you leave the Drava on the left-hand bank at the disembarking point in front of the Paternion power plant. If you go around the power plant from here or walk onto the other bank via the Paternion power plant, you reach the next embarking point after 1.2 km on foot on the right-hand bank after the power plant. 1.98 km after the disembarking point, you come (via the power plant) past the primary school into the Paternion community centre. The Michor family’s Gasthof Tell, which is open year-round, offers good inn food and a few cosily furnished rooms. A few metres further on, you will find a bicycle hire centre (Papin) and the Raiffeisenbank Drautal. Gasthaus Wallner is located at the end of stage 5.

Café Mosaik | Landgasthof Mauthner | Nagelerhof (campsite) | Gasthof Tell I Gasthaus Wallner

Do you love outdoor activities?

Then combine your paddling tour on the Drava with a cycling trip to Lake Millstatt or experience hiking, geocaching, paragliding or a trail run on the Goldeck sports mountain. You will find wonderful opportunities for hiking with children on the Goldeck, as there are nice, child-friendly hiking routes here as well as good places to stop for a rest or something to eat.

Trip destinations & tips

How about, for example, hiring a bike in Paternion and cycling to the Alpen Wildpark wildlife park in Feld am See in approximately 2 hours? In slightly more than an hour by bike, you can go swimming in Lake Millstatt in Döbriach or immerse yourself in the world of Sagamundo, with over 30 Carinthian legends, region-related stories, myths and tales.

Are you going on holiday to Lake Millstatt and would like to book a trip on the Drava? This, too, is very easy to do. You can plan a trip the Drava without any problem by bike or public transport. Buses regularly travel between Lake Millstatt and Spittal an der Drau. It is also possible to book a shuttle via www.bahnhofshuttle.at. If you book a guided day tour, we bring you back again to the start point of the tour.

Before starting the tour in Spittal an der Drau, you can explore the DrAUENland Spittal, Porcia Castle – built at the end of the 16th century – and Lake Millstatt. Beginning in May, you can see the comedies of the Ensemble Porcia in Spittal’s Porcia Castle. Global stars such as Elina Garanca guest-perform at the Musikwochen Millstatt and the international guitar festival in Millstatt.

The top trip destinations for families around Spittal an der Drau include the Römermuseum Teurnia in St. Peter in Holz, the 1st Carinthian Craft Museum in Baldramsdorf, Museum Carantana in Molzbichl, the Bonsaimuseum, the Fishing Museum and Sommeregg Castle in Seeboden, the Stiftsmuseum in Millstatt and the Heimatmuseum in Obermillstatt.

Römermuseum Teurnia| 1st Carinthian Craft Museum | Museum Carantana | Bonsai Museum | Fishery Museum | Sommeregg Castle | Stiftsmuseum | Heimatmuseum | Kellerberg leisure complex | Puch natural swimming pool

 

6

Feistritz/Drau - Villach/Wasenboden

Difficulty level: easy (bypass power plant required) | Water body: very lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas | Distance: 17.9 km | Duration: 3.5 - 4 hours

Etappe 6
Feistritz/Drau - Villach/Wasenboden

Difficulty level: easy (bypass power plant required)
Water body: very lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas
Distance: 17.9 km
Duration: 3.5 - 4 hours

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Nostalgia and natural beauty combine in this stage. The people here have always had a close connection with the Drava and use ferries to get to the other bank or to transport goods. Drava paddlers follow in their footsteps, beginning in Feistritz/Drau. The stage is entertaining and varied; you require 3.5 to 4 hours for this stage. At times the Drava opens up to a wide, calm body of water, at times it goes closely alongside beautiful reed belts, then it starts to wind again with exciting views of modern bridges. After the historic Drava ferry in Lansach-Feffernitz, a witness of a centuries-old tradition, you enter into an enchanting natural landscape bordered by a wide reed belt. Shortly afterwards, get out of the water at the Kellerberg power plant on the right-hand river bank to walk around the power plant. The short foray on land, under the shaded roof of the trees along the Drava cycle path, will get you in the mood for the last part of the stage. The journey on the water continues cosily as far as Villach and the disembarkation at the Rennstein power plant. Water body: very lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas.

Drava power plant

The safety zone before and after the power plants is 300 metres. The safety zone must be observed without exception; when the locks are open there is mortal danger!

On this stage, the Kellerberg power plant and the Villach power plant must be circumnavigated. To this end, disembark shortly before the power plant at the right-hand river bank; you can then continue your journey after the power plant. The short foray onto land also offers the chance to have a brief rest. A special boat trolley, which you receive from us at the start of the stage, makes transporting the boat, canoe, kayak or SUP no problem. The embarking and disembarking points are marked.

Rest area

You will find a nice rest area on the right-hand river bank at Feistritz, with the opportunity to visit a snack bar. Another rest area can be found directly opposite the Drava ferry. At Kellerberg, shortly before the power plant, there is also a rest opportunity on the right-hand river bank to gain energy for the rest of the route to Villach.

Accommodation & cuisine

Along this stage, there are traditional inns with regional delicacies and smaller cafés as well as snack bars where you can stop for a rest. If you are in need of a substantial meal, there is something for you here as well. Stopping is definitely worth it.

Schlaferhof I Gasthaus Jausenstation I Gasthof Staberhof I Cafè Mosaik I Pizzeria Roadtrip 

Trip destinations & tips

On this stage, nature plays the main role. However, if you give yourself a bit more time, you can stop at the outdoor pool in Paternion, surrounded by forest, where you can refresh yourself and go swimming. If you fancy a walk, you can make a detour to the bee nature trail.

Exciting exhibitions are repeatedly shown in the museum of the Protestant Forum in Fresach, including the permanent exhibition on 500 years of Protestant adventure.

A little bit further on, the Puch natural swimming pool is a real secret tip. The municipality also has a paintball area. Culture at a high level is on show at the quarry in the Krastal valley in summer. Theatre performances, passion plays and a sculptor symposium take place there. Some of the stone sculptures can be seen along the Drava cycle path. Since the disembarking point is located directly in Villach, going for a walk in the old town or spending a relaxed evening in the town on the Drava after the paddling trip is a fine option.

Outdoor pool in Paternion I Protestant Forum Fresach I Puch natural swimming poolPaintball Arena Weißenstein I Krastal quarryVillach

 

7

Villach/Wasenboden - Rosegg

Difficulty level: very easy | Water body: very lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas | Distance: 14.1 km | Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours

Etappe 7
Villach/Wasenboden - Rosegg

Difficulty level: very easy
Water body: very lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas
Distance: 14.1 km
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours

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Paddling on the Drava – directly in Villach/Wasenboden! It can be so nice to experience urban flair and the natural enjoyment of the Drava simultaneously. Stage 7 between Villach and Rosegg (Mühlbach) extends across 14.1 kilometres and can be reached in 2.5 to 3 hours. The embarking point is directly in the city of Villach (on the left bank at the Drava shipping docking point/beside the Congress Centre). From Villach train station, it is just 0.4 km to the first embarking point after the Drava bridge. However, you can also begin your paddling trip slightly further down the river at the Villach/Wasenboden fairground. The stage ends at the right bank before the Rosegg power plant. Water body: very lightly flowing, still in the water storage areas.

Drava power plant

The safety zone before and after the power plants is 300 metres. The safety zone must be observed without exception; when the locks are open there is mortal danger!

The disembarking point in front of the Rosegg power plant is on the left bank side. A little further along the cycle path, you come to the power plant, via which you can switch to the right-hand river bank.

The section from Rosegg to Mühlbach is not to be travelled by boat. Here, we offer free passenger and boat transfer from St. Niklas to Mühlbach for our customers, which takes place upon arrangement by telephone. We request that you contact us in good time. Meeting point for the transfer is the disembarking point in St. Niklas.

For customers who have not booked their material from us, we charge the following lump sum for the transfer from St. Niklas to Mühlbach: Person € 10.00; 2-person sea kayak/canoe € 24.00; SUP/1-person sea kayak € 12.00

Rest area

You will find a nice rest area on the stage between Villach and Rosegg not only in Villach city centre, but also after 5.8 km at the Silbersee. The beach buffet Silbersee Ranch offers small dishes and refreshing drinks. The artificially created Silbersee, located right beside the Drava cycle path, has developed into a popular swimming lake and also offers five tennis courts and a volleyball court. You will find an adventure pool with a buffet just a few minutes’ walk (0.70 km) from the Wernberg disembarking point; further inns can be found in the municipality. Föderlach train station is located just 1.5 km from the disembarking point at the adventure pool.

Accommodation & cuisine

Hungry? At the end of the stage, you will find restaurants and inns offering regional delicacies and Alpine-Adria cuisine as well as pizza and pasta.

Restaurants and inns nearby: Roseggerhof | Landhotel Rosentaler Hof | Gasthof Thomashof | Gasthof-Pension Lindenhof

Trip destinations & tips

If you are travelling on the stage between Villach and Rosegg, we can recommend to you two special places: Lake Faak and the municipality of Rosegg. From Föderlach and the Wernberg adventure pool it is just a short distance – around half an hour on foot – to the turquoise-coloured Lake Faak. Here you can not only swim but also go on trips to the Hochhinauf forest rope park and to the Kanzianiberg climbing garden or start a cycling trip.

Once you have arrived at Rosegg, you will find three nice trip destinations for the whole family in Rosegg Zoo, Schloss Rosegg and its labyrinth and the Celtic World of Frög. The zoo is home to over 35 animal species, a nice big playground and a buffet. The castle, built in 1772, has a labyrinth and a nice café.

Rosegg Zoo & Rosegg Castle | Celtic World of Frög | Lake Faak | Hochhinauf forest rope park | Kanzianiberg climbing garden

 

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