Austria: Vienna to Salzburg Bike Tour
Seven nights; seven days of easy to moderate cycling throughout Styria and the Austrian Lake District, with a day of spectacular hiking at Katrin Alm. Journey on paved bike paths and quiet roads through fairy tale forests and alongside rivers, lakes, and subalpine pastures.
“We found wonderful small and quaint cafés everyday for our morning coffee breaks…our trip was an outstanding experience!” – Jim L. & Dana D
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Partly traffic-free riding on easy bike paths
- Starts in Vienna, and finishes in Salzburg – both deeply interesting cities worthy of extended stays.
- Many small towns and villages along the way, separated by fairytale forests in Austria’s Lake District.
- Alpine scenery.
- Abbeys, monasteries, and baroque churches.
- Gesäuse National Park.
- Cable car to Katrin Alm and an impressive hike.
- UNESCO heritage site of Hallstatt.
- DAY 1: Introductions, Up to ~33 km
- DAY 2: ~44 km
- DAY 3: ~61 km
- DAY 4: ~49 km
- DAY 5: ~72 km
- DAY 6: ~4 h hike, optional ~64 km
- DAY 7: ~71 km
- DAY 8: Salzburg & Farewells
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Vienna, Hotel Austria, 09:00, day one.
Finish: Salzburg, 09:00, day eight.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Meet in Vienna, transfer to Mariazell, cycle up to 33km
Transfer two hours south from Vienna to the foothills of Styria (Steiermark), known as the “Green Heart” of Austria thanks to its inviting vineyards and gently rolling hills. Your destination, Mariazell, is a famous pilgrimage site dating back to the 12th century. The peculiar three-spire design of its baroque basilica, the number of stalls selling votive articles for pilgrims and tourists, combined with the pristine alpine surroundings leave a lasting impression. You’ll be fitted for your bikes and may opt for a short loop ride around the Hubertusse before dinner. LD
Mariazell to Wildalpen, 44 km
Today’s route journeys past rivers, valleys, and settlements whose names, such as Salza, Salzach, Halltal, and Hallstatt, reveal the influence of salt mining over several millenia: Salz being the German word, and Hall the Celtic word, for ‘salt’. Follow the Salza River, an eastern tributary of the Enns, to the village of Wildalpen, where the emerald green waters entice fans of river rafting and canyoning. BLD
Hotel Bergkristall, Wildalpen
Wildalpen to Admont, 61 km
Continue cycling along the Salza River through the Gesäuse National Park. Over millions of years, the waters of the Enns River have eroded the Gesäuse mountain range, creating a remarkably steep gorge and breathtaking scenery. Finish in Admont, whose abbey, founded in 1074, is part of the oldest existing monastery in this region and contains the largest monastic library in the world. BLD
Hotel Spirodom, Admont
Admont to Tauplitz, 49 km
Bike from Admont along the Enns River, past the economic centre of Liezen. Rest tonight in Bad Mitterndorf, a thermal bath resort town nestled beneath the impressive Mt. Grimming. Treat yourself to an afternoon of independent spa options, or explore gorgeous hiking opportunities in this area of alpine lakes and pastures. BD
Hotel Der Hechl, Tauplitz
Tauplitz to Bad Ischl, 72 km
Enter the pristine landscape of the famed Austrian Lake District of Salzkammergut, arguably the prettiest part of Alpine Austria. You will travel through dark forests and along mysterious mountain lakes. Along the way, stop in Bad Aussee, an important spa resort of Imperial Austria that represents the country’s exact geographical centre. A ferry ride leads to the UNESCO site of Hallstatt, a major archeological excavation of a Celtic salt mining community. Overnight in Bad Ischl, a spa town which garnered fame after the Habsburg Princess Sophie took a treatment here to cure her infertility in 1828. Her subsequent sons were nicknamed the Salzprinzen (Salt Princes). BLD
Bad Ischl Loop Ride 64km or optional hike up to 4 hours
Enjoy a pleasant loop ride from Bad Ischl which will lead you past four Alpine lakes providing delightful vistas. In lieu of cycling, you may opt to hike, starting with 15-minute cable car ride to the summit of Katrin Alm, the “Darling” of Bad Ischl. At 1500m above the town, savour panoramic views of the countless mountains of the Salzkammergut. B
Bad Ischl to St. Wolfgang to Salzburg, 71 km
Today you’ll pass the picturesque village of St. Wolfgang upon Wolfgangsee, where the Mondsee Abbey was erected in 976. According to legend, Saint Wolfgang threw an ax down the mountain to determine where the abbey should be built, and persuaded the devil to contribute to building by offering him the first entry inside the church. To the devil’s disappointment, the first to cross the threshold was a wolf. Continue to Salzburg, city of highly acclaimed classical music performances and dramatic baroque architecture, near the border of Germany. Upon arrival at your hotel, your guide will say farewell & auf wiedersehen! BL
Your tour concludes this morning after breakfast at your hotel. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- May 26-Jun 2
- Sep 22-29
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 5395 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 5 dinners, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps, route instructions, hybrid bicycle rental, VAT
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Self-Guided: C 4895 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, maps, route instructions, emergency on-call support, hybrid bicycle rental, VAT
Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 1195
Upgrade to E-bike: 250
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-May to early-October.
Outside these times, days are shorter and cooler (rarely warmer than 55°F). July and August can be hot.
GET TO THE START
We pick you up at Hotel Vienna in Vienna, Austria, at 09:00 day 1. Best access is from Vienna International Airport (airport code: VIE). It is outside the city limits, about 20km (12.5 miles) from the city center. It is easy to reach by taxi or the City-Airport Train “CAT” – the dedicated train link between Vienna and the airport. It leaves from Wien Mitte station and delivers you to the airport (and vice versa) in 16 minutes, with no stops en route, for under $20. Wien Mitte is a fairly central and large station, less than 1km from Hotel Austria. The CAT is fast, modern and comfortable, with plenty of space. If you’re on the right flight, you can even check-in your luggage at the station.
Cycling finishes on day seven, when we escort you to your hotel in Salzburg. We include your inn, but will say our goodbyes when you arrive there. Bus service to the airport (SZG) is very good.
BEFORE AND AFTER
If you have one day:
Both Vienna and Salzburg are cities worthy of exploration on foot. There are many cultural sites, an abundance of fabulous architecture, and regular musical events. Here are a few ideas to get you started with Vienna: St. Stephen’s cathedral has a staircase you can climb for an amazing view. There are 462 steps, and if you’re very lucky, the choir will be practicing while you’re there. If music attracts you, there are many clubs for evening entertainment, and in daytime, try to allow time for at least one of the Musicians Walks.. For the best schnitzel, make a reservation at Figl Müller, and if you like butterflies, the Butterfly House is pretty cool. So is Vienna’s zoo. In salzburg, if you plan to see many of the cultural sites, we recommend getting a “Salzburg Card”. In any case, make sure you see the old town and Getreidegasse, the fortress, and the Mirabell Gardens. If you want to fill a day with activity, find a way to do the two-hour hike up to the Third Reich’s summit wonder – the Eagle’s Nest. You can also hike many superb trails on Gaisberg mountain, reached easily by bus from Mirabell Gardens.
If you’re passing time near the airport, try to visit the fun and relaxing Hangar 7, where the displays of aeronautical and car/bike racing artifacts are complemented with a Michelin-starred restaurant.
If you have several days:
Extend your trip by preceding it with the ride from Regensburg to Vienna, for a two-week ride, first along debatably the most important waterway in Europe, then in the Austrian Lake district, where there are a few more hills but great scenic rewards.
Austria waltzes seamlessly from vibrant cities to pristine wildernesses, offering the best of both worlds. Begin with a meeting in the capital city of Vienna, home of some of history’s most prominent contributors to art and intellect: Beethoven, Gustav Klimpt, and Sigmund Freud. Follow the Salza and Enns Rivers to the gorgeous Austrian Lake District, visit the UNESCO heritage site of Hallstatt by ferryboat, and enjoy a 360-degree vista on Katrin Alm after a cable car ride and hike. Finish in Salzburg, the City of Mozart. If your schedule allows, both Vienna and Salzburg warrant extra time to discover classical music performances, fascinating museums, and baroque architecture.