Cycling is one of the most popular and most natural modes of transportation and what better way to take in the stunning natural surroundings of the Austrian Alps than on two wheels away from busy roads…
AdventureAustria is based in the beautiful Dolomite town of Lienz in East Tyrol. At the foot of the Lienz Dolomites, visitors and cycle enthusiasts will find ideal conditions for relaxing and gentle cycle rides. Two special bike trails are an ideal tip for family trips because of their scenic routes – the Drauradweg and Iseltal-Radweg.
The Drauradweg (the Drau cycle path)
The Drauradweg or Drau cycle path begins at the origin of the ‘River Drau’ in Toblach (Dobbiaco) in northern Italy. It extends over 366km along the same river from the Alta Pusteria region in Italy past pristine floodplains, the Lienz Dolomites in Austria and through picturesque towns and villages in Carinthia before finally making its way to Marburg in Slovenia.
The Drau cycle path is well signposted and mostly runs along the south shore on designated cycle paths and small, quiet country roads with very little traffic. The cycle path is very well suited for children since there are hardly any steep slopes. In fact most of the path is a downhill gradient as it follows the river. Along the route there are some inns, guesthouses and refreshment stops to refuel and top up energy levels or to simply enjoy the beautiful surrounding scenery with a refreshing drink. There are also many attractions and lakes in the immediate vicinity of the cycle path along the way.
The Drau cycle path is divided into 6 stages. The first two stages Innichen (San Candido) to Lienz and Lienz to Spittal an der Drau – are two ideal day trips for your activity holiday in Lienz.
The first route Innichen (San Candido) to Lienz has a length of 47km. It runs almost entirely alongside the river on and is downhill almost all of the way. The cycle path is away from the roads so is well suited to families with young children. Extremely popular amongst tourists is to take your bicycle on the train from Lienz to Innichen (San Candido) using special trains with bicycle compartments. The train journey takes approximately one hour. Once you arrive in Italy, the return route back to Lienz is well signposted and paved the whole way. Along the route, there are many opportunities to linger and relax for example the Acquafun swimming complex in San Candido, the adventure park ‘Wichtelpark’ in Sillian, the Loacker chocolate factory with coffee shop and gift shop in Heinfels, Vitalpinum in Thal and the Galitzenklamm canyon in Amlach.
The second route from Lienz to Spittal an der Drau has a length of 75km. On this stretch of track you cycle past picturesque churches, magnificent Renaissance buildings, the Roman archaeological sites of Aguntum or Teurnia and of course plenty of breath-taking natural scenery. The bike path is well constructed and differs in that the route from Oberdrauburg no longer runs directly along the riverside of the Drau. Visitors can also return back to Lienz by train on practically any part of the cycle path.
Iseltal Radweg (the Isel Valley cycle path)
The Isel Valley cycle route, with a length of 29km and an average gradient of one percent, provides an excellent opportunity to leave the vibrant city of Lienz behind for a short time and cycle to Matrei – East Tyrol’s second biggest town.
The Isel Valley bike path begins at the foot of Schloß Bruck (Bruck Castle) at the northern entrance to the town of Lienz. On the banks of the River Isel the cycle path leads all the way to Matrei. The cycle path is mostly paved and ideal for families with children. Just a short country road section between St. Jakob im Walde and Huben must be cycled. Whoever wants to cycle in just one direction can take advantage of bus services which run throughout the day and can transport you and your bicycle to your preferred destination.