Go Bicycle Touring in Austria

1138367879_c52c332f98_zAustria is a landlocked European country that is bordered by Germany and the Czech Republic to the North and West, Hungary and Slovakia to the East, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and Switzerland to the South and West. A little smaller than Maine, it is home to 75% of the Alps mountain range and it’s principal river is the Danube. While forests and woodland cover 40% of the land.

From a cycling standpoint, Austria offers a nation-wide network of cycling opportunities. From the Austrian mountain ranges, which offer both tricky and beautiful mountain biking trails, where the majesty of the Alps is in full view. To the road beside the Danube – an Austrian road trail, which runs from Passau to Vienna. Road cyclists will feel right at home beside the longest European river. Several of the major trails are of quite some distance (between 190 and 200 miles), and not for the faint-hearted.

Popular Bike Tour Destinations In Austria

 

  • The Vorlarberg Trail and Lake Constance Loop is a 200 mile long trail which runs mainly on paved surfaces and is quite flat. Making perfect riding for road cyclists. It also offers stunning views of the Alps, while the Austrian medieval castle of Schattenburg gives you a throwback to Medieval Europe.  
  • The Tauernradweg along the Salzach and Salaach River is located in the Hohe-Tauern National Park, it boasts both a summer and winter resort in the picturesque village of Zell am See. You can follow the Salzach River and either see the world’s largest ice caves in Werfen, or salt mines in Hallein. From there, you’ll head North, to the German border town of Passau, where you can connect to the Danube and continue on to Vienna.    
  • The Salzkammergut Lake District or the “Salt Chamber” district is rich with alpine beauty, and you’ll pass through 13 lakes, allowing you to take a break from cycling, and go swimming. You can then dive back into Austrian history, once again – with a visit to their former Emperor Franz Joseph’s favourite vacation spot, and step inside of his old hunting cabin. You can then board a boat and enjoy the country’s best photo ops, as the trail meanders South en-route to Salzburg, and the finishing line, mile 192 of the tour.
  • The Danube River Trail follows the iconic Danube river for 197 miles, winding through fruit orchards and vineyards and villages. It is also home to the baroque abbey of Melk, which overlooks the river. More history, this time at Duernstein – the ruins of the city where King Richard the Lionheart was captured as he returned from fighting during the Crusades. Then there’s the 1000-year-old town of Krems, which is a must-see before the ride ends in Passau.
  • Vienna is Austria’s capital, and therefore naturally busy, but fear not – the Capital has a useful bicycle rental service for those just visiting, along with guided city tours. It also offers services for those mountain bikers – who can go mountain biking to their hearts’ content in the Vienna Woods. This capital on the River Danube is a must-stop for every visiting cyclist, whether you’ve brought your own bike – or not!
  • Passau to Vienna – The Danube by BikeFollowing one of Europe’s oldest and most famous cycling trails, you will ride downstream on paved paths and quiet roads. Starting at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers, you will feel as if you are cycling through time as you roll past medieval castles and churches, experiencing Austria as seen through the eyes of early travellers. 

Facts About Austria

  • The Austrian flag is one of the oldest national flags in the World. Dating back to 1191.
  • Schonbrunn Palace, the Summer palace of the Habsburgs, has no less than 1, 440 rooms.
  • The sewing machine is an Austrian invention, invented by Josef Madersperger in 1818.
  • Austria has thirteen mountain peaks above 3,000 metres, and 34 above 2,000 metres.
  • Among Europeans, Austrian people work the longest – working typically 45 hours per week.
  • Austria is the birthplace of many classical musicians, such as Haydn, Mozart, Liszt, Schubert, Mahler and Bruckner.
  • Ferdinand Porsche, the inventor of the Porsche sports car, was Austrian. He also designed Volkswagen. (“the people’s car”)
  • Austria is the only country in the European Union that is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
Photos by Franciso Antunes, Kecko. and Francisco Antunes.