7 Tourism Pioneers in SalzburgerLand

Big ideas for sustainable holiday highlights

Pioneers and creative minds in the hotel industry, gastronomy and the regions are always sustainably rethinking and changing tourism and the offers with their ideas and forward-looking projects.

#1 Schmetterlingshof St. Georgen

Can one be a courteous host and an innovative farmer at the same time? Yes, you can! With his Schmetterlingshof in St. Georgen, Franz Höfer proves that this can even work brilliantly. The fact that owner Franz Höfer has mastered multitasking was already proven in his sporting career – after all, he was one of the best triathletes in Austria for many years. Today, in St. Georgen near Oberndorf, he runs an organic farm with guest rooms and seminar rooms. His experiences from his time as a professional athlete, his training as a Tuina masseur and his interest in healthy nutrition are the basis for his work with guests on the Butterfly Farm. He impressively shows how easy a sustainable and healthy lifestyle can be, with his focus on regional produce. Franz Höfer also produces high-quality food such as spelt on his organic farm, which he processes into a wide variety of mueslis and very popular spelt rice and he also markets it himself. On his Schmetterlingshof, Franz Höfer has created a place of enjoyment for mind & soul, both for himself and his guests where sustainability, relaxation, regionality and quality are the focus.

From professional athlete to organic farmer. Franz Höfer is fully revived in his new vocation. © Franz Höfer

#2 Tauernherz Obertauern

2017 was a special year for Katharina Huber. She opened her first own hotel with the “Tauernherz“. This modern 4-star hotel was built entirely of wood in the spirit of sustainability. However, not just any wood was used, but wood from her own forestry. In 31 apartments and 8 double rooms, the family business offers its guests a dreamlike stay with hearty service in an alpine lifestyle. Katharina Huber grew up in the forestry and the hospitality industry, and implements her ideas with her husband Florian at the Hotel Tauernherz in Obertauern down to the smallest detail. Here, sustainability plays a central role in every area of the hotel. The hotel is heated with wood chips from its own production, in the kitchen regional produce is refined into wonderful dishes and the game meat comes from the family’s own hunting area. And when it’s time for a schnapps after the meal, then this also comes from Katharina’s brother’s distillery – making this a real family business!

The Hotel Tauernherz in Obertauern © Tauernherz

#3 Bachgut Resort Hinterglemm

A true natural spectacle awaits you around the Bachgut – evergreen in summer, lined with flowers, alpine meadows and mountain giants that rise almost invitingly into the air. Holidays at the Bachgut Resort Hinterglemm are as varied as the Glemm Valley itself. From a rustic alpine holiday in one of the two self-catering huts high up on the mountain, between the cowbells ringing and goats bleating, to the feel-good experience in the luxury chalet with private hot tub and sauna at the foot of the Reiterkogel or with a stay in the historic “Heustadl”. All these offers from the Bachgut have one thing in common – sustainability. Thanks to a photovoltaic system and its own drinking water power plant, the Bachgut has been energy self-sufficient throughout the whole year since 2009 and also has its own E-charging stations available for all those who arrive by E-car. Crystal-clear spring water is fed directly into the accommodations through the drinking water power plant with a pressure-resistant water pipe from the alpine pasture. You can tell from every detail that sustainability is a matter of principle for the host family Langegger-Kröll, and not just a short-term trend in tourism.

Temporary hermit – on the rustic Bachalm. © Bachgut Resort Hinterglemm

#4 Gut Wildshut

In recent years, an idea has resulted in the Stiegl-Gut Wildshut, a lighthouse project for beer culture, regionalism and hospitality. For those looking to slow-down and enjoy, there is a place where you can do both – the Stiegl-Gut Wildshut – Austria’s first beer estate with its own local produce grocer. It stands for sustainable agriculture, diversity and above all for experimentation and moments of enjoyment. Because for the master brewers, brewing beer already begins in the ground where they really look after it and live the vision of an ecological circular economy. The principle of “From the field to the glass” is lived 100% and all beer brewing steps are done by their own hands. It is a true think tank around beer. And all this can be experienced as a beer lover, interested visitor and guest of course in an environmentally friendly way. You can arrive by train at the local train station “Gut Wildshut” or by bike along the Tauern Cycle Path and the Salzach River.

The Stiegl-Gut Wildshut © Marco Riebler

#5 Mandlberggut

The breathtaking view of the Dachstein massif and the unspoilt nature around the Mandlberggut are true sources of inspiration for Bernhard Warter and his family when it comes to distilling the best from the local raw materials. The history of the Mandlberggut dates back to 1690 and has been family-owned since 1931. Doris and Bernhard Warter built the mountain pine oil distillery in 1996 and from this point on at the latest, their passion for high-proof products could no longer be stopped. Since then, Bernhard Warter has put so much energy and passion into his distillates and is always on the lookout for the best quality schnapps. In 2008, his dream of the “Dachstein Distillery” became reality and he also became the first Schnapps Sommelier in the whole of SalzburgerLand. Gradually, the main building was expanded to became today’s Mandlberggut incl. gastronomy and sales room. The free-range stable, fisherman’s hut and whisky cellar have also become indispensable. From the family’s farming origins, it is also important for today’s generation to use resources sparingly, protectively and sustainably. And it is precisely this appreciation of natural treasures that flows into their products – for the highest quality and satisfaction of customers and guests.

Finest selection of schnapps, gin and whiskey. © Mandlberggut

#6 Löckerwirt

The Löckerwirt in Lungau is an insider’s secret in SalzburgerLand. Here, in the over 300-year-old organic farm in St. Margarethen, the focus is on the regionalism and quality of local food, as well as the cohesion and respect for both people and animals. What is special here, is that at the Löckerwirt agriculture and hospitality do not run in parallel, but are lived together. Aberdeen Angus cattle, sheep, chickens, geese and goats are all at home on this organic farm and are part of a traditional cycle of animal welfare. This covers leading them onto the alpine pasture, providing the animals with high-quality feed, and when the time is right, slaughtering the cattle in the farm’s own slaughter house and processing them into high-quality meat dishes. You simply can’t get any more regional than this and you can also taste it in the dishes at the Löckerwirt. The guests appreciate the respectful treatment of the animals and know that while they enjoy the regional delicacies, nothing is wasted here, but all the meat parts are processed into dishes, sauces and soups. For the Löcker family, sustainable management on an organic farm is a question of philosophy.

Landgasthof Löckerwirt © Löckerwirt

#7 Bio Vital Hotel Sommerau

For the team at the BioVital Hotel Sommerau, sustainability also means giving something back to nature, which gives us so much. In the Neureuter family from St. Koloman in Tennengau, already in its fourth generation, being close to nature and the conscious handling of food are deeply rooted. Environmental awareness and biological lifestyle are paramount here. At the beginning of the 1980s, this host family changed their hotel to focus on sustainability, quality and wholeness of body, mind and soul. Healthy fasting, Ayurveda and wellness are now the focus of the programme in the BioVital Hotel Sommerau in St. Koloman. These principles are supported by a strong sustainability philosophy. Heating is done by pellet heating with renewable raw materials, the thermal solar system provides hot water, only 100% green electricity flows and pure spring water comes from the water pipes. This organic consciousness developed from the love of living, one’s homeland, nature and the family – and this is also reflected in the cuisine. That’s why this hotel is also a partner of the Organic Paradise SalzburgerLand. In the kitchen, only organic food is cooked and which is mainly sourced regionally. Here, too, the individually tailored (fasting) dishes are a regional treat for the guests.

© BioVitalHotel Sommerau


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