Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia

  • Itinerary Summary

    This cycling tour has you border hopping through Austria, Slovenia and Italy. We'll experience the fascinating intersection of Slavic, German and Italian culture. Join us to relish alpine landscapes with a hint of the Mediterranean. We'll bicycle along idyllic alpine lakes in Austria's Carinthia region and northern Slovenia. Quiet roads and river paths lead us through picturesque villages, traditional farmhouses, imposing medieval castles and cozy hotels. We'll introduce you to two of Europe's most overlooked and pleasant cities, Klagenfurt and Villach.

    If you would like to explore further the beauty of Slovenia, check out our Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia Plus! Ljubljana which extends this itinerary by three days.

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    1. Day 1: Arrive in Klagenfurt on the shores of Lake Woerther

      Highlights: Gateway to Lake Woerther; beautiful city center; welcome dinner

      Meet us today in Klagenfurt, hometown to Gustav Mahler and Robert Musil. Klagenfurt boasts one of Austria's prettiest old towns and was thrice awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra Diploma for its arcaded Renaissance courtyards which today accommodate modern boutiques, trendy bars, and rustic beer gardens.

      Distance: Test ride along the canal to the lake and back. 9 km (6 miles). Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Sandwirth.

    2. Day 2: Cycle to Lake Ossiach

      Highlights: Lake Ossiach, Feldkirchen, idyllic countryside.

      Our ride today takes us through beautiful countryside along small lakes before arriving in the larger town of Feldkirchen with its quaint square where you'll be tempted to stop for a coffee. Continue on then to Lake Ossiach, nestled between the Gerlitzen Mountain and the Ossiacher Tauern mountain range. It is the third largest lake in this region and unique in that the lake's water temperatures reach up to 28C (82F) in summer. A perfect place for a swim after a day on the bike! <

      Distance: 38 km (24 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Zur Post

    3. Day 3: Villach and Lake Faak

      Highlights: Bike path along lake Ossiach, the center of Villach, Drava river bike path, Lake Faak

      We have a short ride today. Catching up with the Drava river bike path, we'll head to the center of Villach, a modern and flourishing city with an ancient history as a crossroads between Austria, Slovenia and Italy. After lunch, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Faak await us for an afternoon of relaxation or water sports after we catch a ferry to our hotel.

      Distance: 35km (22 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Insel Hotel

    4. Day 4: Faak Lake to Velden, on the Lake Woerter riviera

      Highlights: Drava river bike path, Velden Castle, Lake Woerter riviera, cooking class

      Today you'll lake-hop from Lake Faak to Lake Woerter, where you can take your chance in Velden, also dubbed Austria's Monte Carlo, and gamble in the lakeside casino. Alpine meadows and rocky peak views will delight as you make your way to Velden. We'll head back to Lake Faak where we'll enjoy a cooking class before dinner together on our last evening in Austria.

      Distance: 37 km (23 miles). Meals: B, D.

      Lodging: Insel Hotel

    5. Day 5: Bicycle across three borders in one day: Austria, Italy and Slovenia

      Highlights: Idyllic landscapes, Tarvisio, forest of Tarvisio, Podkoren

      Enjoy the perfectly manicured landscape of southern Austria's Carinthia region before you cross the border into Italy, where a gradual descent leads you to the border market town of Tarvisio. We'll continue through the Tarvisio forest and cross the border into Slovenia on a dedicated bike path built on a former rail line. Your destination today is the peaceful alpine village of Podkoren, crowned by the Julian Alps, where mountain culture comes with a Slavic flavor.

      Distance: 53 km (33 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Vitranc

    6. Day 6: Relax in the Julian Alps

      Highlights: Hiking paths, deep forests, stunning high mountain scenery, charming hamlets

      Today is a rest day. You can hike to the Koren Pass taking in the characteristic Slovenian hayracks, now preserved as part of the national heritage. Winter sports fanatics may want to see the biggest ski jump in the world near Planica, a few steps from the Italian border, where ski-flying world championships take place every year. Tonight's dinner together includes a special cultural surprise.

      Hike Distance: 7 km (4 miles). Meals: B, D.

      Lodging: Hotel Vitranc

    7. Day 7: Lake Bled

      Highlights: Tito's summer residence, Otok Island, Bled Castle, wine tasting

      An easy ride takes us along the Sava Dolinka Valley to the old town of Radovljica, a peaceful, medieval haven. We'll continue to Lake Bled, Slovenia's leading mountain resort. Our hotel offers postcard views of the lake and handy access to the path around the lake. You can hike up to the castle, take a typical pletna boat to the island, or just go for a refreshing swim in the lake. Our sommelier will lead us through a delicious tasting of Slovenian wines before dinner tonight.

      Distance: 58 km (36 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Triglav. August 26th departure will be at the Vila Bled

    8. Day 8: Lake Bled

      Highlights: Lake Bled, Bled Castle, Kremna Rezina cake

      Our tour ends this morning, we hope you'll consider staying a few days to explore Lake Bled and its surroundings and find the perfect Kremna Rezina cake!

      Meals: B

      If you would like to explore further the beauty of Slovenia, check out our Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia Plus! Ljubljana which extends this itinerary by three days.

    • Highlights

      Lake Ossiach, Drava river path , Tarvisio, Klagenfurt, Villach, Lake Faak, Lake Bled, Border hopping between Austria, Slovenia and Italy, Julian Alps
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights accommodation; 6 dinners with wine or beer, all breakfasts plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Austria, Slovenia, Italy
    • Begin/End

      Klagenfurt, Austria / Bled, Slovenia
    • Arrive/Depart

      Klagenfurt Airport (KLU), Vienna International Airport (VIE), Munich Airport (MUC), Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU/LJLJ)
    • Total Distance

      Cycling Distance: 220 km (136 miles). Hiking Distance: 7 km (4 miles).
    • Daily Distance

      Average daily mileage of 44 km (27 miles)
    • Rating

      201 Gentle cycling along bike paths, through mountain valleys and around lakes. You will encounter some short (a mile or less) steeper climbs.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Aug 26-Sep 2, 2017 USD$3555 USD$550 Two Spaces Now Available. Book it
    Sep 9-16, 2017 USD$3555 USD$550 Sold Out. Wait List Available. Book it
    Jun 9-16, 2018 TBA TBA Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Jul 7-14, 2018 TBA TBA Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Sep 8-15, 2018 TBA TBA Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Fabulous guides, back country biking thru farmland and woods with views of the Julian Alps, lots of lakes, streams and rivers, great fun going from country to country with a guide from each country, delicious local cuisine, wonderful ending in the charming capital of Ljubljana, charming hotels with welcome planning of two nights in three of the hotels, good distribution of rooms among guests, interesting introduction to history and culture.

      Lenore L., Weston, MA
    • Spectacular. Life changing.

      Verdi D., Wynnewood, PA
    • Outstanding trip, exceptional guides, wonderful selection of activities and places to stay. Really fun with friends.

      Janet S., Boulder, CO
    • Beautiful country side in both countries; many miles of safe bike paths. Now, one of my favorites among my first 21 ExperiencePlus! tours.

      Dave F., Columbia, MD
    • Wonderful trip through lovely countryside...challenging for me (but not for most others!)...great staff support...fabulous bicycle!

      Anne V., Edgartown, MA
    • It was great! Super scenery, great roads with lots of safe bike trails and village roads. Excellent leaders. It felt wonderful every day to be on the bike. Love those arrows! Slovenia was a wonderful discovery.

      Linda Z., Sherborn, MA
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? It is a toss up between the soup cooked in the outdoor caldron and schnapps tasting in Podkoren and the carriage ride around Lake Bled. The tour had everything from casual fun to sophisticated splendor! It was an excellent trip!

      Kathy V., Roseburg, OR
    • Incredible scenery, wonderful bike paths, just the right amount of mileage, and excellent hotels. A week of thoroughly enjoyable riding. And the bikes are wonderful.

      Steve I., Aurora, CO

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