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Introducing Riegersburg

Located 50km southeast of Graz at Riegers­burg and perched on a 200m-high rocky outcrop, Schloss Riegersburg (821 31; riegersburg.com; adult/child & student/family €9.50/7/25; 10am-5pm Apr & Oct, 9am-5pm May-Sep) is a hugely impressive 13th-century castle built against invading Hungarians and Turks; today it houses a Hexenmuseum on witchcraft and the Burgmuseum featuring the history of the Liechtenstein family, who acquired it in 1822. A war memorial is a reminder of fierce fighting in 1945, when Germans occupying the castle were attacked by Russian troops.

A cable car on the north side whisks you up in 90 seconds (one-way €2).

For more information on the Schloss or activities, contact the tourist office (86 70; tourismus@riegersburg.com; Riegersburg 4).

If you have your own transport, consider stopping in at Schloss Kapfenstein (03157-300 30-0; www.schloss-kapfenstein.at; Kapfenstein 1; s €91-113, d €122-196; mains €13-18; ), a hotel-restaurant 17km south of Riegersburg. Weekdays rooms cost significantly less and can be booked for one night or more, but on weekends only Friday to Sunday packages are possible. The restaurant serves delightful Styrian cuisine in its outer courtyard overlooking the valley; a four-course meal as half-board costs €30.