THE ROAD OF THE HIGH-FLYERS The Villach Alpine Road waits with superlatives for: For example the largest landslide area of the Eastern Alps, one of the largest bird migrations and two of the highest churches in Europe. 68 P Each August, the so-called “Raptor weeks” take place in the Dobratsch nature park. referably one would like to do the same as the impressive raptors: As if being guided by an internal program, they fly coming from the north to the Dobratsch, use the thermal lift to rise up to 3,500 metres and glide effortlessly through the Tarvisio gate until they reach the Italian Po valley. What unfathomable feat that the griffon vultures, honey buzzards and imperial eagles accomplish. Not only the ornithologist and nature-park rangers are fascinated by the spectacle - each year the flight of the raptor across Dobratsch: There are around five to seven thousand raptors, which fly over the marked peak from mid-August. MASTERPIECE OF THE AUSTRIAN ARCHITECTURE The Villach Alpine Road does not drive up that high not nearly as the other Pass roads and it also does not look nearly as spectacular as the others. Yet it has an unbelievable appeal: Its southern flair, its interesting history, the hiking possibilities, the views of lakes and mountains as well as the rich fauna and flora of the Dobratsch nature park make it one of the most popular tourist destinations. The initial plans for the touristic infrastructure of Dobratsch started in 1896, yet the panoramic roads opened only in 1965. Already back then it was praised as “a masterpiece of Austrian architecture”.
VILLACH ALPINE ROAD 69 FLOWERS, ROCKS, BIRDS The Dobratsch nature park is the Carinthia’s oldest nature conservation area with a unique variety of plants and animals. Especially the birds appear to be at ease around the 2,167-metres-high Dobratsch. With a little luck one can see the black grouse, the capercaillie, Alpine swifts, Citril finches and rare species of tits. The “Rote Wand” (red wall) was at least twice the size of the site of a large rockfall: In 2015 there was a demolition of rocks again. The sedimentation area – the “Schütt“ – is today under nature conservation. Around 800 alpine plants of three climate zones are thriving in the area of 10,000 m² in the Alpine garden “Villach Alps“ (1,483 m). The exhibition „Rulers of the skies – the bird life of the Dobratsch nature park” in Aichingerhütte has extraordinary variety of the birds found in the region. Carinthia’s best vantage point: The Dobratsch (2,167 m) is the summit of the “Villach Alpine Road”.
TOURS FOR EPICURES PIFFKAR 1.620 m
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