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Cycling from Salzburg to Lake Bled 94

Cycling from Salzburg to Lake Bled

Overview

This cycling adventure will take you from Mozart’s birth city to the stunning Lake Bled situated amid the majesty of the Slovenian Alps. Beginning at the historic city of Salzburg, you will cycle through a splendid landscape laden with rivers meandering through picturesque valleys, stopping at waterfalls and cycling in the shadows of towering mountain peaks. You’ll ride past historic locations and through quaint villages where you can sample great local food, before arriving at the fairy-tale setting of Lake Bled in Slovenia.

The route will take you along cycle paths and quiet country roads, through the magnificent Salzach, Gastein, and Molltal valleys. South of Villach, you’ll enter Italy briefly before turning into Slovenia and continuing through the heart of the Julian Alps and onwards to Lake Bled, with its unique island church and hilltop castle.

Highlights:

  • Salzburg, the birth city of Mozart
  • Cycling through scenic roads in the Austrian and Slovenian Alps
  • Lake Bled
  • Lake Bohinj
  • The historic town of Škofja Loka
  • Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Salzburg

We recommend arriving in Salzburg a day or two in advance to enjoy the city and especially the picturesque Altstadt (old town), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 2: Salzburg – Bischoffshofen/St. Johann In Pongau | 55 km

Head off today through the lovely Salzach Valley to the 900-year old Hohenwerfen Castle, perched on a rock 113 metres high above the market village of Werfen. It’s among Europe’s oldest and most well-preserved castles. Surrounded by the Tennengebirge, Hagengebirge and Hochkönig mountain ranges, this is a sight not to be missed. If time permits, you can take a side trip high above the valley to the glacial caves of Eisriesenwelt. You’ll spend the night at the alpine resort of Bischoffshofen.

Day 3: Bischoffshofen/St Johann In Pongau – Mallnitz | 57 km

Following a cycle path through the beauty of the Gastien Valley and the stunning Liechtensteinklamm
(Liechtenstein Gorge), you’ll stop at the beautiful spa town of Bad Gastien, with a waterfall forming a unique centrepiece to the town. From here you continue through Tauerntunel, emerging at the sunny southern side of the Alps. You’ll spend the night in the alpine village of Mallnitz, amid the vivid colours of the Hohe Tauern National Park.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Alber or similar
  • Cycling distance for the day: 57 km, ↑ 900 m, ↓ 260 m

Day 4: Mallnitz – Mühldorf/Sachsenburg | 41 km

Today you will get into the heart of the ancient province of Carinthia, where you’ll glide downhill into the Molltal Valley amid the majesty of 3000-metre mountain peaks. The highlight of the day will be the Kreuzeck cable-car running high above the Drau Valley, providing outstanding panoramic views.

  • Accommodation: Local family hotel
  • Cycling distance for the day: 30 km, ↑ 140 m, ↓ 770 m

Day 5: Mühldorf/Sachsenburg – Villach | 54 km

You start with a relatively easy descent today which takes you along the Drau River as it meanders its way through the lakeside town of Spitall an der Drau, and its impressive ancient Roman city of Teurnia. Then on to Villach, the meeting point of the valleys where you’ll leave the alpine climate behind for a more Mediterranean feel. Here you can visit the retro car museum or take a riverboat cruise.

  • Accommodation: Palais 24 or similar
  • Cycling distance for the day: 54 km, ↑ 150 m, ↓ 310 m

Day 6: Villach – Kranjska Gora | 53 km

Pop into the Italian border town of Tarviso for a pizza and cappuccino before following the scenic cycling path which takes you along the old railway line crossing the Italian-Slovenian border and onwards through the emerald beauty of the Sava Valley. The magnificent Dobratsch Mountain will dominate your view as you head on to the resort of Kranjska Gora for the night.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Miklic or similar
  • Cycling distance for the day: 53 km, ↑ 610 m, ↓ 290 m

Day 7: Kranjska Gora – Bled | 34 km

The route then takes you through the beautiful forests of the Krma Valley, past a historic farming museum and onwards to the pearl of Slovenia: Lake Bled. This fairytale setting with its beautiful church sitting on an island in the middle of the lake and guarded by a medieval hilltop castle is the perfect place to shake off those aching muscles. Relax here with a boat ride to the island, or a coffee and Bled’s famous cream cake (kremsnita).

  • Accommodation: Triglav Hotel or similar
  • Cycling distance for the day: 34 km, ↑ 210 m, ↓ 630 m

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own after breakfast, or extend your adventure holiday in Slovenia (upon request).

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is as listed in the itinerary, in 3-star hotels and guesthouses with en-suite facilities. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Hotel Post, Villa Cecconi, Hotel Tirolerwirt Bischofshoffen, Hotel Alber, Palais 24, Hotel Miklic, Triglav Hotel

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide to you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. In towns, each hotel has its own restaurant where you can taste international or local meals, or try the other local restaurants. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Difficulty & terrain

We grade this trip as easy to moderate, with routes ranging from 45 to 65 km per day, mainly on undulating low traffic roads and cycle paths. The routes are not technically difficult, however you should  be in a good physical shape in order to fully enjoy the cycling. You can also rent an E-bike with us, which makes the trip accessible to everyone (read more about difficulty grades).

When to go

The tour can depart on Sundays and Wednesdays, from May until the end of September. No departures between 31.07.2023 – 07.08.2023 and 03.09. 2023 – 06.09.2023 due to local events. Weather is best in July and August, and note that accommodation availability is limited in these months, so better book well in advance.

The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the May-September period, the daily averages are 15 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain. Rapid weather changes are possible during the day.

Getting there

You can check FCO up-to-date travel advice here for Austria, and here for Slovenia

Click to view travel options

By plane

Recommended arrival and departure airports: Salzburg and Ljubljana.

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 overnights in 3-star hotels, in double/twin rooms with en-suite facilities
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Luggage transfer – one piece, max 20 kg / 45 lb (every additional item 10 EUR, payable on the spot)
  • Information package including text road notes and corresponding maps (sent digitally; printed documents available at extra cost)
  • GPS tracks that can be loaded on your device or smartphone application
  • Local tourist and other taxes
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Bike rental
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Optional extra nights before or after the tour
  • Bike rental (standard trekking bike or E-Bike)

Bike Rental

We offer classic trekking bikes as well as E-bikes. All our bikes are well maintained and perfectly suitable for the roads you will cycle on. The rental rates include one back, side pannier per bike. One cycling odometer, one lock, one spare inner tube, one set of Allen keys and a basic puncture repair set per couple/pair of bikes.

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