Last updated on May 1st, 2022 at 11:29 am
The Mostviertel region makes up most of Lower Austria’s southwestern quarter. It may not be as well-known as the Waldviertel to the north on the other side of the Danube or the Weinviertel region nearer to Vienna, but the Mostviertel offers plenty for the visitor.
There is a deep contrast between the rolling hills south of the Danube and the wild and romantic mountains of the Austrian Alps around the Ötscher, Hochkar, Dürrenstein, Gippel and Göller.
Traditionally speaking, the Mostviertel region refers to the area between the rivers Ybbs and Enns, which like all the rivers in the region flow into the Danube.
Politically, it was one of the four administrative regions making up the province of Lower Austria although nowadays the term is mainly used in a regional tourism sense to distinguish the different areas. The provincial capital of St. Pölten is also located in the Mostviertel.
Where does the name Mostviertel come from?
The term ‘Most’ refers to an alcoholic drink made from the pears which grow in the Mostviertel orchards. In English we would call it ‘pear cider’ or ‘perry’. The Moststrasse or ‘Most Road’ is a themed trail which explores the pear orchards and perry-producing area.
The Mostviertel cuisine does not only consist of pear trees and their products, The region is well-known for its vineyards and elegant wines, as well as specialities made from the other fruit trees which grow in the area, such as dirndl berries, chequers (fruit of the wild service tree) and rosehip, as well as the Mostviertler Schofkas (regional sheep’s cheese).
To the south, the Mostviertler Alps are wild and wonderful, with deep gorges, waterfalls and primeval forests to be explored on the many hiking trails. There are three nature parks and themed trails where guests can discover the varied experiences of the blacksmiths, charcoal burners and woodcutters who lived in this area. Pilgrimage paths like the famous Via Sacra lead to Mariazell.
The mountains also offer winter sports experiences with three small ski areas and some cross-country skiing trails popular with day trippers from Vienna.
Where to stay in the Mostviertel?
The capital of Lower Austria, St. Pölten, is on the eastern edge of the Mostviertel and has road and rail connections into various parts of the region. Those who are planning to combine a trip to the Wachau valley with a journey around the Mostviertel may find Melk and its famous monastery a good choice.
Waidhofen an der Ybbs is a small town on the western edge of the region with an attractive medieval old town. Those looking for a mountain adventure may want to try the ski villages (in summer or winter) of Göstling (the Hochkar ski area), Annaberg or Lackenhof (the Ötscher ski area).
Accommodation in the Mostviertel region
To check accommodation availability, enter the dates of any proposed stay and use the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ signs on the map below to scroll in to see more accommodation or out to see further accommodation in the Mostviertel. Click on the prices for more information about the accommodation.
What to do in the Mostviertel
For an idea of the variety of what is available in the region take a look at three completely different parts of the Mostviertel:
Discover the Lower Austrian ‘Iron Road’ in the wild alpine mountain world, where blacksmiths, charcoal burners and woodcutters once worked.
The Kulturpark Eisenstrasse offers more than 150 excursion destinations, ranging from smithies with live demonstrations and industrial museums through to themed hikes and walking routes.
Rail enthusiasts have Austria’s steepest narrow-gauge train route, the Ybbs Valley Railway, an historic museum railway which runs from Kienberg-Gaming to Lunz am See.
The region is not just about smelting iron ore or railways, however, and many visitors come to enjoy the rugged outdoor scenery.
There are three Naturparks in the area: Eisenwurzen, Buchenburg and Ötscher-Tormäuer. An interesting walk through the world of lumberjacks and the way they use the power of water to transport the timber out of the mountains can be found at the Erlebniswelt Mendlingtal near Göstling an der Ybbs.
The Naturpark Ötscher-Tormäuer is Lower Austria’s largest nature park, surrounding the almost 2,000 metre peak of the Ötscher.
It is renowned for the gorge landscapes on the southern side of the mountain – earning the slightly-overblown description of ‘Austria’s Grand Canyon’.
Hikes through the canyons are usually on the former trails created by the loggers looking to find timber in the remote reaches of the Ötscher gorges.
Visitors can arrive by public transport on the scenic Mariazellerbahn rail service from St Pölten through to the pilgrimage destination of Mariazell, with nature park stops in Puchenstuben, Annaberg, Wienerbruck und Mitterbach.
The Traisen valley is set in the heart of the Mostviertel’s wine region. Grapes have been cultivated here since the Bronze Ages and it is renowned for production of the Grüner Veltliner varieties.
Visitors can sample the ‘Heuriger’ tradition – these are traditional ‘wine taverns’ offering simple food, local wine and music and cycle through the fertile landscape on marked routes.
The easy Weinberg cycle route, for example, offers 30km of cycling from the Danube river to vineyards, taverns and local museums.