In Austria, September is the typical month of returning. For many students and teachers a new term is beginning. But not only students return after the summer holidays to their classes, or start going to school, but also on the Upper Austrian alpine pastures the summer ends and so does the warmest time of the year. Therefore on the alpine pastures, the animals have to be brought back to their winter quarters in the valleys.

This blog post should provide you with information about these two annual events in Upper Austria.


Back to School

In principle, the summer holidays end in Austria in early September. The so called “Bundesländer” (federal states) are divided into two groups (Upper Austria is in the second group of two) which means that not all of them start their holidays at the same time. Three federal states start their summer holidays in the first week of July and the six other states one week later.  This is a measure to reduce traffic jams on Austria's roads at the beginning of the holiday. For families with children in Upper Austrian (Group 2) and Lower Austrian (Group 1) schools for example, this adds additional challenges to vacation planning.

In 2015 school started in Upper Austria on the 14th of September. In 2016, the school in Upper Austria will be continued on September the 12th.

For vacation planning it is good to know all holiday dates for all the Austrian provinces. Here you can find them:


Also for the cattle on the Upper Austrian alpine pastures the summer usually ends in September, or at the latest in early October. After a summer on the alpine pastures the farmers have to bring their animals back into the valley, before the Upper Austrian mountains are covered with snow. The exact time varies depending on the height and the location of the pastures.

The cattle drive in September is a beautiful Upper Austrian tradition - celebrating a summer of good pasture with a so called “Almfest”. It is very similar to the also traditional Thanksgiving feast (thanking for good crop yields), but in this case the farmers give thanks for an accident-free and fruitful summer on the pastures. The animals on the alpine pastures are adorned with colourful garlands (garlands are called “Kranz” in German” – so the adorning is called “Aufkranzen”) and are accompanied to the valley where the party goes on with food, drinks and typical Upper Austrian folk music.

Here are some tips of alpine pastures where the “Almabtriebe” are celebrated in Upper Austria. They are totally worth visiting. Especially, of course, when the weather is good. For exact dates please take note from the respective websites.

Almabtrieb am Wolfgangsee


Almabtrieb Hütteneckalm/Bad Goisern

Almabtriebsfest Moosalm, Gosau
Almabtrieb Plankensteinalm

Wolfgangseer Almabtrieb

Almabtrieb Rettenbachalm/Bad Ischl