Every year, on the weekend before summer solstice in June, a different region in SalzburgerLand has the honour of hosting a lavish Alpine Summer opening event. The event is a fun get-together of musicians and hikers who can enjoy regional cuisine and typical mountain hut delicacies, watch traditional craftsmen at work or partake in lively alpine dancing. The ringing of the large alpine summer bell echoes across rolling mountain pastures and meadows, officially announcing the new alpine summer season.
Opening of Alpine Summer 2019
Loosbuehelalm, Grossarltal (c) Gruber Michael
If you hike through the Grossarltal and keep your eyes peeled, along the edge of the trail you will probably discover hundreds of wild herbs: many with healing powers, and many that simply taste delicious. Yet another great treasure of the SalzburgerLand is our water: Our valleys are home to rushing streams, crystal-clear mountain tarns, and springs bubbling out of the ground with water pure enough to drink.
Alpine Summer Start with Stallions
The magnificent stallion drive in Rauris Valley is a particularly impressive spectacle which has been taking place for decades. The precious Noriker stallions initially have to establish their rank and determine who will be lead stallion to ensure a peaceful summer in the mountains. Only afterwards can they join the mares to spend 100 days of summer grazing in the lush meadows of Rauris Valley. The traditional Noriker stallion drive in Rauris Valley takes place at Alpengasthof Bodenhaus every year during the last weekend in June. This legendary performance in front of 5000 spectators is an important prerequisite to ensure a relaxing alpine summer for the horses without subsequent fights. The hierarchy of the stallions for each group is determined after about one hour of wild demonstrations of power, kicks and bites, and once the lead stallion has become ‘boss’, the others subordinate themselves peacefully and the mighty animals can unwind.
Alpine Summer Events
In addition to celebrations marking the start of Alpine Summer, many events are held in the mountains in all regions during the summer months that feature enchanting walks between mountain huts, the sound of music, cultural readings, creative workshops, culinary delights and most of all, sociable exchanges at rustic mountain hut tables. Traditional skills are demonstrated throughout many alpine summer events including building a Pinzgauer-fence, fine wool spinning or carving butter moulds.
Crafted Treasures: The Butter Mould
Ornately crafted and frequently passed down over generations, butter moulds are used as part of the butter making process. The intricately carved design at the base of the mould reveals the alpine butter’s origin to the knowing eye. A multitude of patterns end up adorning the butter, such as florals with edelweiss or gentian, religious symbols, chamois, deer or the hill farm’s name. Not many farmers still master the craft of butter mould carving any more, but one can observe this old traditional stone pine wood carving at Alpine Summer in Salzburg events.
SalzburgerLand Top Alpine Summer Events
Pinzgau:@lm: Kultur – Art meets Mountain Pastures in Saalfelden Leogang
Throughout the alpine summer, weekly arts and culture projects will be held on pastures around Saalfelden Leogang. Featuring the slogan Tradition meets modernity, musical delights, readings, craft and painting workshops lead by artists are on offer. The romantic landscape surrounding the rustic mountain huts provides the ideal setting to free creative minds.
Tennengau: Annaberg mountain cheese festival
The Rottenhof hut in Annaberg-Lungötz hosts a day of Tennengau mountain cheese & mountain lamb in July each year as part of the Salzburg Gourmet Region. It’s a culinary festival for all cheese and lamb lovers, accompanied by entertaining folk music. The gourmet market offers mountain cheese and mountain lamb delicacies to please any palate.
Lungau: Preber Musikantenroas
The highlight of the beautiful hike to the huts in the Preber area is undoubtedly the ‘Preber Musikantenroas’ when traditional singers and musicians delight with music played by brass bands and on alphorn. A get-together during which everybody joins to play in the huts afterwards is the crowning glory.
Flachgau: Holleralmen elderberry flower event
Alpine Summer is celebrated with elderberry delicacies, music and dance in the Holleralm mountain huts in the Fuschlsee lake region and in the Postalm mountain huts near Wolfgangsee lake. Ten Holleralm huts offer delicious doughnuts with elderberry compote, tempting elderberry juice or fresh cheese with elderberry leaves! The festivities are accompanied by folk music and guided alpine hikes.