Alpine Summer Openings and Events

Overview on Alpine summer highlights

As soon as the cattle, horses, sheep and goats happily inhabit their lush green summer quarters after having been driven up to Salzburg’s alpine pastures for mountain grazing, numerous celebrations throughout the country mark the official start of “Alpine Summer”.

Every year 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.

This was the Opening of Alpine Summer 2023

If you hike through the Lungau 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.

The Alpine opening festivity  took place in  June 2023  at the Branntweiner hut and at the Kößlbacher hut , which are located above St. Margarethen in the region Lungau.  The motto of this event was music, culinary and tradition from the Lungau.

Our guests enjoyed a guided hike and bike tour from St. Margarethen in Lungau and from Grizzly hut to the festival area. 

Many guests visited the festival area Branntweiner hut and Kößlbacher hut and enjoyed the varied programme. 

The programme included Alphorn blowers, the traditional Lungau Samson – a giant figure carried by a strong man who dances the Samson Waltz, the kids program and crafts markets.

St. Michael in Lungau in autumn

© SalzburgerLand Tourismus – stunning alpine landscape

As you hike from alpine pasture to alpine pasture, surrounded by the mighty peaks of the Tauern mountains, you will discover the most seductive facet of Lungau’s Alpine summer.

Alpine Summer Start with Stallions

In June 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: Alm:Kultur – Tradition meets Modernity is the motto 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.

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.

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