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Cycling in Austria

Austria offers many cycle trails that range from the challenging to the simple. Whether you want to cycle the length of Austria, staying at different small hotels and zimmers in Austria, or whether you want to cycle around a central area, returning to the same hotel each night, Austria has the bike trails you want.

When we’ve cycled Austria, we have usually chosen a route well in advance. We prefer the epic trails that allow you to see the beautiful Alps to the gorgeous hilly lowlands of Carinthia, perhaps moving into the underrated Slovenia or Hungary before heading back.

There are eight major long-distance cycle routes in Austria, and they are signposted well with (usually) green signs.

If you see a red-and-white sign, beware, as it’s usually a mountain bike route.

Of course, if that’s what you’re after, follow those signs! Out of these eight routes (Innradweg, Ennsradweg, Neusiedler See Radweg, Murradweg, Drauradweg, Tauernradweg, Donauradweg, and Salzkammergut Radweg) we’ve travelled three of them, and they each have a lovely charm.

A lot of hotels are very bike friendly,  to find the write one ask before you check in.

Neusiedler See Radweg was a great trail in the east of Austria that we took in the middle of spring.

It’s a circular trail made of around eleven paths, so it doesn’t matter where you start. It is around 133 km, which is 82 miles. Roughly 38 miles are in Hungary, so be sure to bring your passport and the appropriate currency (currently the forint, although the aim of Hungary is to join the euro).

We started in Neusiedl am See, which has a good train service from Vienna (around 40 minutes ride), and we completed the trail in four days at a reasonably leisurely pace. There are a couple of steep climbs around Mörbisch am See, climbing up by a thousand feet, but most of the route is fairly easy. Donauradweg is a very long-distance trail that is part of a trail that goes from the Atlantic to the Black Sea.

The Austrian section starts at Passau, and we followed it all the way to Vienna, although you can easily carry on to Bratislava in Slovakia. The high-quality asphalt trails are very flat, making this a wonderfully easy route to follow. We found the 200-mile journey took us seven days, averaging around 30 miles per day.

Less experienced cyclists may want to take a fortnight to do this route, while speed cyclists could do it in three days. It was breathtakingly beautiful, though, and the small towns and wine valleys add to the beauty that is Austria Tauernradweg is a lovely 170-mile route following the Salzach and Saalach rivers. When taken from west to east, it is a gently downhill-sloping route with relatively few major hills. We did it the other way, which gave us a bit of a challenge.

However, the route through the Alps again offers gorgeous mountain scenery throughout the trip, and it’s easy to get distracted by little side trips in the mountains. We completed the trip in five days, although I would recommend spending a little time exploring the towns and villages that line the route and perhaps booking an extra night in a hotel in Salzburg.

It’s good for beginners and experienced cyclists alike, although the fine gravel paths are not ideal for speed cyclists. Austria gives the novice and experienced cyclists great routes, and we are looking forward to cycling in Austria again soon.

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