Exploring best practices in Salzburg Land

Members of the Association of Tourist Farms of Slovenia explored examples of best practices in Salzburg Land, Austria, from October 23rd to October 25th this year.

First day, Monday, October 23, 2023

We departed from Celje in the early hours of the morning. After additional pick-up points in Ljubljana and Radovljica, we exited Slovenia at the Karavanke border crossing.Our journey took us through Villach, Spittal, and Lienz, and over the high mountain road of Felbertauern in the High Tauern massif, leading us to Salzburg Land, where we were hosted for three days.

The first day was dedicated to the Pinzgau Valley and the suburbs of the provincial capital, Salzburg. In the upper part of the valley, not far from the source of the Salzach River, we first visited one of Europe's largest (cascading) waterfalls named Krimml. After admiring the natural beauty, we arrived in the outskirts of Salzburg in the afternoon, following the Salzach River valley. The professional part of our day was dedicated to visiting the ecological and tourist farm Schlagerbauer, located in the suburbs of Salzburg. We were warmly welcomed by the owner, Stefanie, who introduced us to life on their farm, gave us a tour, and presented the challenges they face in an urban environment. In addition to livestock farming, milk processing, and selling homegrown eggs, they also provide accommodation. For tourism purposes, they have a guest apartment that can accommodate up to five people.

After the farm tour, we had a guided tour of the Stiegel brewery museum, where we concluded the day with a typical beer dinner. As an interesting fact, the brewery has been operating since the discovery of America, i.e., since 1492, and it is the only one in Austria still in family ownership. We ended the day with an overnight stay in a hotel in Salzburg.

Second day, Tuesday, October 24, 2023

After breakfast, we headed towards the eastern part of Salzburg Land - to Lake Wolfgangsee, a glacial lake located on the border between the provinces of Salzburg and Upper Austria. With its 13 km², it's not the largest, but certainly the most famous lake in the Salzkammergut region. We took a tourist boat ride on it, from St. Gilgen to Strobl.

Next, we visited the organic livestock farm of the Strobl family in St. Lorenz am Mondsee, which is engaged in milk production and processing. They also offer space for business meetings, seminars, etc. For this purpose, they have set up a large seminar room with a convenient kitchen. On the farmyard, they have vending machines with various groceries, from meat and dairy products to eggs, etc. After the farm tour and tasting of their dairy products, we visited a small distillery, Sankt Wolfganger Klosterkellerei.

Finally, we had another best practice visit. We visited the Eisl family estate, with a very interesting offer that has existed in written sources since 1490. Today, it is managed by the 22nd generation. A pivotal moment in the farm's development occurred in the early 1980s when they bought their first sheep. This marked the beginning of a highly successful story, which includes the production of a wide range of organic dairy products and boasts numerous (over 100) domestic and international awards. The latest success is certainly the production of homemade sheep's milk ice cream, which has also found its place on the famous Getreidegasse street in the center of Salzburg, probably the most famous tourist street in Austria.

After the tour and presentation of the estate, we concluded with a tasting of their delicious sheep's milk ice creams. Full of pleasant impressions, we went for dinner at the traditional inn Gamsjaga, which offers typical local dishes.

Third day, Wednesday, October 25, 2023

After breakfast, we bid farewell to the hotel and explored some sights in the old town center of Salzburg. We visited the old town center, dominated by the largest medieval fortress in the Alps - Hohen Salzburg; we paid special attention to the house where one of the greatest composers W. A. Mozart was born, on the streets and squares around the cathedral.

After the tour of the old town, we continued to the Pongau region, which also includes the famous skiing area of Flachau. Our first stop was in Kleinarl at the Schwabhof organic farm, which, besides livestock farming and milk processing, also engages in farm tourism; as a tourist farm, they specialize in being family-friendly, and lately, they have developed an offer of superior accommodations called chalets. The farm and its offerings were presented and shown to us by the host, Rupert; we concluded the tour with a tasting of their cheeses.

Finally, we visited another tourist farm, Schauphof, in Flachauwinkl. It is a smaller livestock farm, which also engages in supplementary activities - offering food and accommodation. We concluded the farm visit with a late lunch and safely returned home in the late evening hours.

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