Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia

Cycling the Lakes of Austria and Slovenia

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.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Sep 8-15, 2018
USD$3555
USD$550
Guaranteed to Go!
Jun 8-15, 2019
TBA
TBA
 
Jul 6-13, 2019
TBA
TBA
 
Sep 7-14, 2019
TBA
TBA
 

* 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.

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Avg. Distance / 44 km (27 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty / 201
  • Countries / Italy, Austria, Slovenia
  • Price / From USD$3555
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Daily Ride Summary

Distance

1 6 mi / 10 km
2 24 mi / 39 km
3 22 mi / 35 km
4 23 mi / 37 km
5 36 mi / 58 km
6 4 mi / 6 km
7 36 mi / 58 km
8 No cycling today.
  • Highlights
    Lake Ossiach, Drava river path , Tarvisio, Klagenfurt, Villach, Lake Faak, Lake Bled, Border hopping between Austria, Slovenia and Italy, Julian Alps

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    Some hotels do not have air conditioning or fans available but neither are typically needed in this area. We use a number of bike paths on this trip which means that the support van is less readily available.
  • Includes
    Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights accommodation; 6 dinners ( two of which will be less formal and lighter) with wine or beer, all breakfasts

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Countries
    Italy, Austria, Slovenia
  • 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
    220 km (136 miles)
  • Avg. Distance
    44 km (27 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty
    201
    Gentle cycling along bike paths, through mountain valleys and around lakes. You will encounter some short (a mile or less) steeper climbs.
  • Terms
Daily Itinerary

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.

Lodging: 2018 departures are at the Hotel Zlami-Holzer.

June 2019 we will be at the Hotel Palais Porcia. July and September 2019 TBA.

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!

DAY 3: Villach and Bicycle Lake Faak

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

We have a shorter ride today. Catching up with the Drava river 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: 22 mi / 35 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Loop from Faak Lake to Velden

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

Today you'll lake-hop from Lake Faak to Lake Woerter, where you can try your luck in Velden, dubbed Austria's Monte Carlo, and gamble at the lakeside casino. We'll head back to Lake Faak and enjoy dinner together on our last evening in Austria.

  • Distance: 23 mi / 37 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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

Highlights: Forest roads, mountain surroundings, Tarvisio, forest of Tarvisio

Enjoy the perfectly manicured landscape of southern Austria's Carinthia region before you cross the border into Italy, where a Rails to Trail bike path leads you to the border and 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 town of Kranjska Gora, crowned by the Julian Alps, where mountain culture comes with a Slavic flavor.

Lodging: 2018 departures are at the Hotel Kotnik. 2019 departures will be at the Lek Hotel Kranjska Gora.

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.

Lodging: 2018 departures are at the Hotel Kotnik. 2019 departures will be at the Lek Hotel Kranjska Gora.

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: 36 mi / 58 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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!

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.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Up to the standard of the best cycle tours we have done. I can''t suggest any improvements.

    Lynton C., Kaiaua, NZ
  • 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
  • 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
  • Spectacular. Life changing.

    Verdi D., Wynnewood, PA
  • Overall excellent. Exceeded my expectations. Very well organized, excellent guides, nice route, interesting countryside, some beautiful hotels, nice pace.

    Anne L., Gabriola, Canada - September 2017
  • Wonderful trip through lovely countryside...challenging for me (but not for most others!)...great staff support...fabulous bicycle!

    Anne V., Edgartown, MA
  • Outstanding trip, exceptional guides, wonderful selection of activities and places to stay. Really fun with friends.

    Janet S., Boulder, CO
  • Cycling through forests, farms, villages with beautiful vistas of lakes and mountains. The most beautiful tour I''ve ever ridden.

    Cathy W., Denver, CO - June 2017
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