This post is also available in: Italiano
For cycling enthusiasts, the Alpe Adria cycle path allows you to start from Salzburg in Austria and reach Grado, on the Italian sea, always on your bike.
A 410 kilometer long cycle path that crosses alpine passes, borders, medieval villages and enchanting places to visit.
Thanks to the collaboration between Friuli Venezia Giulia tourism, Land Salzburg and Land Carinthia, this project was born to link the two states, re-evaluating old abandoned roads and focusing on a slow and zero-impact holiday. Their goal is to make known the wonders of the area from the naturalistic point of view but also food and wine. In short, a green holiday suitable for the whole family along breathtaking landscapes but also lots of fun.
The Alpe Adria cycle route measures 410 kilometers and takes you literally from the mountains to the sea. With an average of 60 kilometers a day you can deal with easy stages, in a week. If you are thinking that all these kilometers could be too many do not worry, from Tarvisio the road is slightly downhill, you will see how fast you will run along the old railway line now transformed into a bike path.
Do not exaggerate with the kilometers you can also take time to visit some of the attractions along the way and especially enjoy the food and wine delicacies that are certainly not lacking in these parts.
Do not forget that in a cycling holiday the inconveniences can always happen so provide yourself with a suitable sports insurance for you and your children. During trips of this type, falls, injuries or inconveniences can happen, do not ruin your holiday, make the right insurance!
To prevent such situations, check out InterMundial’s TOTALSPORTS insurance. With their policy you will have 24-hour international medical assistance, repatriation or medical transport and all kinds of medical care and expenses are covered. Find out if TOTALSPORTS insurance also covers other sports that you practice HERE.
HERE ARE THE UNMISSABLE STOPS ALONG THE ALPE ADRIA CYCLE PATH
You can not leave Salzburg without visiting it at least a little bit. Here, in addition to the delicious historic cafes like Tommaselli and Furst, you can relax in the famous Augustiner or Stiegl Brauwelt Beer Gardens or take a trip to the Old Market to eat something and see the locals living in the city. If you’ve taken a whole day to visit it you have done very well indeed between Dom Quarter and the cathedral tour, the castle Hellbrunn, the Red Bull Hangar 7 and the dozens of churches and cathedrals you will have the day full and I am sure it will be stunned.
The first stop on your journey is Werfen, where Eisriesenwelt is located, the largest ice cave in the world. With a constant temperature below zero, going down 700 steps you will reach the heart of the cave with its icy waterfalls illuminated in a very suggestive way. Definitely not a show every day!
For the night the Travel Charme Bergresort Werfenweng could be exactly what you are looking for. At an altitude of 902 meters surrounded by mountains and green meadows, this eco-hotel with its pools and SPA will regenerate you for the next few kilometers. Do not let it escape.
If you are looking for a place to stop for your second night, I would recommend Bad Gastein. This small Alpine village is a real gem to be seen. Famous for its natural waterfalls that flow among the houses and for the spas here you will surely find a suitable accommodation. If you have time and do not suffer from vertigo do not miss the highest suspension bridge in Europe. What a view!
After at least 5 hours of pedaling you will arrive in Villach second largest city of Carinthia. With an always animated center it is worth going out to enjoy the city. In addition to the famous Baths, you can climb the bell tower to enjoy the beautiful view of the city or relax at the Villacher for a mug of beer or a shin.
Are you ready to visit Friuli Venezia Giulia? This region is literally between land and sea and enjoys a very varied tourist offer. In the mountains you can indulge in sports, relaxation and excellent cheese dishes while at the beach you will have poolside beds, swims or spaghetti with seafood that will accompany you to discover this beautiful land.
In Tarvisio you can not miss the alpine lakes like those of Fusine in Valromana, which can always be reached via a cycle path that winds through the ancient woods of Tarvisio. Returning back also deserves a visit to the Orrido dello Slizza walk in Boscoverde. An easy walk over the bluest and most beautiful torrent you can find in these areas.
If the effort is felt and you decide to stay in Tarvisio for a day longer you can not miss the visit to the Lussari mountain and its village that stands at 1789 meters. Reachable comfortably with the cableway or via the pilgrim’s path, on Mount Lussari you will find various shelters where you can eat and sleep, shops and of course a breathtaking view.
A visit to Casa Oberrichter is a must if you pass these parts, I assure you that you will not be disappointed. Casa Oberrichter is such an original place that you can not believe it. Besides being a beautiful and highly decorated hotel, restaurant and bar is also a toy museum, but you will realize it as soon as you enter the door. On the walls inside bulletin boards scattered around the room you will find hundreds of wooden toys while curious objects decorate the central hall. Every hotel room has a style and a different picture and the local wooden chairs are decorated by hand one by one. Enchanting, a pity not to visit it.
Winner of the “Borgo dei borghi 2017” award Venzone is a gem not to be missed. A village completely surrounded by old medieval walls and famous for its antique markets, restaurants and its charming square full of charm and history. Do not miss a visit to this beautiful and intact medieval village and buy a lavender souvenir typical of this area.
LAGO DI CAVAZZO
The Alpe Adria cycle path continues along the shores of the beautiful Lago di Cavazzo, the most extensive natural lake in Friuli. Also known as “lake of the three municipalities” because it wets 3 different countries, here you can decide to stop for a swim, cool off or eat something in the restaurants in the area. If you decide to stay for one night there is also a camping by the lake, you can go kayaking, canoeing, rent a pedal boat or simply contemplate the dense blue color of the lake.
Udine is the largest city that you will find in the Italian part of the Alpe Adria cycle route and is also one of the 4 provinces of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Here you will be spoiled for choice on what to visit and where to stop and eat and sleep. Staying in the center is certainly easier, so you can move on foot to visit the castle of Udine, via Mercatovecchio, Piazza San giacomo, the Loggia del Lionello and the streets of the center. To dine choose one of the historical Osterie of the city like Pieri Mortadele, Osteria il Cappello, Ghiacchiaia or old Maddalena. If it’s summer, find out about the various events that often take place in the parks surrounding the city.
Famous all over the world for its polygonal star-shaped plan with 9 points, Palmanova is a fortress city with perfectly preserved walls. Pedal under the monumental gates to enter the city and then reach the huge Piazza Grande and the Duomo is enchanting. Take a break from your itinerary and stop to eat an ice cream while admiring the power that was once Palmanova.
Aquileia was a very important city in Roman times. Thanks to the fact that Julius Caesar spent a lot of time here and also thanks to his position, became a political-administrative center and in a short time a nerve center for the Roman Empire. It was also a very important site for the Catholic church and thanks to all this today we can make use of one of the most famous archaeological sites in northern Italy. Here you can visit the Roman forum and the ancient river port, the Duomo, the Roman tomb and discover the fascinating history of this region.
Famous tourist destination of the northeast, Grado is known above all for the beauty of the old city and the numerous kilometers of beach. Here you can get lost among the charming narrow streets of the fishing village and see unique houses or do one of the thousand beach activities that Grado offers its visitors. But also excellent restaurants, boat tours in the lagoon, cocktails on the beach, games and activities for the whole family and lots of sun. This is what awaits you at the end of your cycling adventure, I would say nothing bad!
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
Equip yourself in the right way and for every eventuality, will help you to face this adventure with more serenity. So here is everything you need to absolutely not miss in your bikepacking bags for your cycling holiday along the Alpe Adria cycle path.
GPS + ITINERARY TRAIL
Considering that you will often move in alpine areas where the phone does not take, a GPS is necessary. Going to the website www.https: //www.alpe-adria-radweg.com you can download the Alpe Adria trail directly in your GPS and follow it more easily especially in connecting pieces between 2 cycle paths. Also in case you are looking for a place to sleep or dine the gps is a certainty as it is equipped with all roads and paths even dirt to make you get there faster.
Even if you plan to travel only during the day, the lights are very important because you will pass along many galleries. Here you can meet other cyclists from the opposite direction and in order to avoid collisions it is better to have rear and front lights.
LOADER, HELMET AND SAFETY KIT
A power bank charger with at least 5 charges where you can attach mobiles or lights is necessary. You do not risk finding yourself without charge in the phone or lights exhausted at the wrong time. Obviously, even the helmet is very important for your safety, choose it properly and do not forget the classic safety kit for minor injuries, disinfectant, ticks, dry ice, mosquito repellent spray and some appropriate painkiller.
SHORTS REINFORCED FOR CYCLISTS AND WATERPROOF JACKET
It does not even need to be said that for such important distances to ride a bicycle it is important to have the right clothing. There are many types of shorts, I recommend you to take 2 pairs with a serious padding like those of Assoss or X-bionic. You will see the difference already from the first kilometer. Also do not forget to train a little ‘before your holiday by bike, to make legs, breath and “callus” to the saddle.
Another expense that you have to face is a good waterproof jacket in case of bad weather. The goretex jackets are very expensive but last for years and even a helmet cover that keeps your head dry is a must.
Face travel days riding your bike without proper sports insurance is very risky. During your adventure you will often find yourself in urban streets, dirt paths or pedaling in the evening. To be covered 24 hours a day, activate a sports policy for the duration of your travel days. You will have the repatriation in case of a fall or illness, rescue, medical assistance on the spot and all the necessary subsequent care included in the policy. Take a photocopy of the policy with you so you know immediately who to call in case of emergency.
BICYCLE TOOL BOX
Carrying the minimum to fix the bike is a mus. Also have a tire and liquid in case you have a flat tire will be very useful to solve the situation quickly. Divide the weights fairly.
WATER AND FOOD
Even if there are fountains and public places along the route, do not forget to always bring the necessary for emergencies. Both in Italy and in Austria the restaurants are not open all day and even supermarkets often on Sundays are closed. Water and a few energy bars in the event of a crisis will help you reach the designated destination. Have a hearty breakfast, stay hydrated on the way and stop to eat in the typical places. The experience of the alpe adria cyclovia is also living like a local.
TECHNICAL INFO OF THE ALPE ADRIA CYCLE PATH
Official web site: www.https://www.alpe-adria-radweg.com
Facebook: @Ciclovia Alpe Adria Radweg
Total kilometers: 410 ( from Salisburgo to Grado)
Kilometers in Italy: 176 ( from Tarvisio to Grado)
Train: You can reach Salzburg, Tarvisio or Grado by train, taking the bicycles in the appropriate carriages.
Informazioni: the cycle track in the complex is very well marked even if there are still some small sections to be completed. As a result you will have to do some piece on urban roads and it is useful to have the GPS with the route included to find more easily the continuation of the cycle.
Safety: in general, all the areas that you face during the Alpe Adria cycle route boast an excellent level of safety. Obviously it is always advised to tie the bicycles and do not leave objects unattended.
Difficulties: Low. Cycle suitable for everyone, even for families.
Info sports insurance: https://www.intermundial.it/assicurazioni-sportive/assicurazione-totalsports.
Info travel insurance: https://www.intermundial.it/assicurazioni-di-viaggio
This post is also available in: Italiano