Alpe Adria Cycle Path: Salzburg to Villach

This bike route is wonderfully varied from start to finish. Begin in Mozart’s town of Salzburg where you will then follow the Salzach valley, the wild Gasteiner valley and peaceful Drau valley all the way to Villach, where you find yourself in the sunny side of Austria. For the whole route you are accompanied by epic towering mountains yet diverse terrain. Not only are the landscapes fantastic, but there are also some amazing types of food and drink to be tried! Waterfalls, traditional villages, old fortresses, and castles are all on the menu.

Calender 7 days

Difficulty: Leisurely

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Highlights large icon

Itinerary

After making your own way to Salzburg get acquainted with this romantic Austrian city AKA the city of Mozart. Not only can you discover the composer’s birthplace, but there are also many delicacies to be enjoyed here, as well as numerous shops to browse in.

It’s time to start your cycling from Salzburg to head through the wooded Salzach lowlands next to the river. Your first notable stop for the day will be Hallein, this was once a wealthy Celtic city due to its salt mines. This isn’t the only thing special about this town, to see are also narrow alleyways, old-fashioned gates, stunning buildings, and an interesting Celtic Museum. Continuing along the river you will get to Golling, home to a waterfall, market square and 13th-century fortress. There is also an option to extend your trip through the beautiful Bluntautal valley.

As you leave Golling and head for Pass Leug, you will be accompanied by views of a gorgeous mountain range, making the slight climb seem effortless. As you push on you will edge closer to the mountains and the sound of water. A fascinating piece of landscape you will pass is the ‘Salzach-Öfen’, a dramatic canyon built through the river. Your first stop of the day is Werfen, found at the bottom of Hochkönig Mountain and the location of the biggest ice cave in the world! It’s possible to loop the entire ice cave, which takes around 4 hours. Your journey to your destination of St. Johann entails a view of the Hohenwerfen fortress and then to Bischofshofen, which are just a short few KM away. In St. Johann pay an exciting visit to the dome with its towers and the Liechtensteinklamm gorge.

After a lovely night’s stay in St Johann take one last look at the Schloss Schernberg towering above the village, before heading on. After passing Schwarzach you leave the Salzach and will head through the Gastein Valley, with the Gasteiner Ache escorting you. Next a bigger climb comes your way with the “Ausgleichsbecken”, this has a distance of 2.5km and an elevation of 130 metres. Afterwards head through the Klamm Tunnel and its 1.5km cycle path, if this doesn’t appeal to you there is an option to take a 10-km train or shuttle service from Schwarzach. Head through Bad Gastein and Bad Hofgastein, famous spa and winter-sports resorts. Not far from here head through Böckstein, from where you will take a train from one side of the alps to the other in 10 minutes. As you get back on your bike pedal downhill to your hotel in the Mölltal.

The first part of today’s journey will entail amazing mountain landscapes as you head along the river Möll. Once you get to Möllbrücke you enter the Drautal and the sunny side of Austria. Your journey to Spittal an der Drau is pleasant; this city was important in the Middle Ages as a junction for pilgrims. Highlights include the 16th-century Renaissance Porcia Palace.

The route to your final destination includes a pleasant slight-downhill section on the river Drau; on the way we recommend a stop in Paternion, which has many beautiful churches and palaces. It now isn’t far to Villach, where you can enjoy an evening in night in this beautiful city with cosy pubs and restaurants.

Enjoy a last breakfast and then either head home or stay for longer.

Route large icon

Route overview

Start point: Salzburg

End point: Villach

Total distance: approx. 295km

The route is mostly flat, although it is slightly hillier in parts. There are two moderately longer climbs which can be avoided by taking the train. Most roads are paved and there are also some nature paths. There is one 8km descent on a road with a little more traffic.

What’s included

  • 6 overnight stays in accommodations of the mentioned category
  • Daily breakfast from the buffet
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel (No limit in pieces of luggage; each luggage with a maximum of 20 kg)
  • 7-day service hotline
  • Well elaborated route
  • Personal welcome briefing upon arrival
  • Travel documents with maps, route description, and GPS-Tracks (1 package per room)
  • Train ticket from Böckstein to Mallnitz, including bike
  • If bike rental: Rental bike insurance included
Whats included

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We have put together a fantastic selection of self-guided cycling holidays throughout Europe. All prices shown are per person sharing a double/twin room and exclude flights.

To book, please select a day of the week the cycling holiday operates on. If the tour starts daily, you can pick any date. If there is a specific start date e.g. Saturday or Sunday only, please choose the day of departure from the list of dates.

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