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
Jun 8-15, 2019
USD$3555
USD$550
Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person.
Jul 6-13, 2019
USD$3555
USD$550
2 More to Guarantee the Departure. Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person.
Sep 7-14, 2019
USD$3555
USD$550
Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person.

* 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.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 220 km (136 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 44 km (27 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 2.0
  • Countries / Italy, Austria, Slovenia
  • Begin/End / Klagenfurt, Austria / Bled, Slovenia
  • Price / From USD$3555
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • 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.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Klagenfurt Airport (KLU), Vienna International Airport (VIE), Munich Airport (MUC), Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU/LJLJ)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    38km / 432m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    3
    42km / 345m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    4
    37km / 436m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    5
    55km / 764m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    6
    Hike option6km / 0m
    difficulty level
    7
    54km / 370m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    8
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Gentle cycling along bike paths, through mountain valleys and around lakes. You will encounter some short (a mile or less) steeper climbs.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

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: 42 km (26 mi)
  • Gain: 345 m (1132 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • 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: 37 km (23 mi)
  • Gain: 436 m (1430 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • 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: 54 km (34 mi)
  • Gain: 370 m (1214 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • 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
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Arrive in Klagenfurt on the shores of Lake Woerther

Lodging: Hotel Zlami-Holzer

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

We recommend flying into Klagenfurt Airport (KLU). You can also fly into Ljubljana (LJU).

Flying into Klagenfurt:

  • Taxi from the airport to the Day 1 Hotel (20 min/EUR 20)

Flying into Ljubljana:

  • Private transfer (1 hour/EUR 200)
or Public transportation:
  1. Taxi from the Ljubljana Airport to Ljubljana Central Station (35 min/EUR 30-45)
  2. Train From Ljubljana to Klagenfurt Hbf (3-4 hours/Fares vary)
  3. Taxi From the Klagenfurt Central Station to the Day 1 Hotel (10 min/EUR 10)

Day 8: Departure Information

Lake Bled

Your trip ends on the final day after breakfast.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio

We recommend flying out of Ljubljana (LJU). You can also fly out of Klagenfurt Airport (KLU).

Flying out of Ljubljana:

  • Taxi from the ending hotel to the Ljubljana Airport (30 min/EUR 30-60)
or Public transportation:
  1. Taxi from the Ending Hotel to the Lesce-Bled train station (10 min/EUR 15)
  2. Train from Lesce-Bled to Ljubljana Airport (1.5 hours/ EUR 5-15)

Flying out of Klagenfurt:

  • Taxi from the ending hotel to the Klagenfurt Airport (80 min/EUR 140)
or Public transportation:
  1. Train from Lesce-Bled to Klagenfurt (1.45 hours/fares vary)
  2. Taxi from Klagenfurt central station to Klagenfurt airport (20 min/EUR 20)

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

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.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike comes with a pack for the rear rack, lock, cyclometer (bicycle computer), a spare tube and patch kit and pump, a rear light and in some places a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • 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
  • 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
  • Spectacular. Life changing.

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

    Janet S., Boulder, CO
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