Salzburg to Lake Bled Cycling Holiday

Cycle from the Sound of Music city of Salzburg through magical alpine valleys to breathtakingly beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia. Offering jaw-dropping scenery all the way, this route follows idyllic cycle paths and quite roads, stopping each night in beautiful alpine towns.

If you are looking for a leisurely alpine cycle route offering a succession of great scenery and interesting towns along its route then this tour is definitely one to consider.

Stunning Lake Bled

You’ll start in the charming city of Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and then head south along the beautiful Salzach Valley, past the lofty Hohenwerfen Castle, one of the oldest continuously inhabited castles in Europe, to the pretty alpine town of Bishofshofen.

In the Gastein Valley you’ll visit the beautiful town of Bad Hofgastein as well as its regal neighbour Badgastein with its grand old hotels and a tumbling waterfall. A short train ride will then carry you deep beneath the towering central spine of the alps to the pretty village of Mallnitz from where you’ll gently descend the peaceful Möll Valley.

After a brief sojourn into Italy you cross into Slovenia and follow a peaceful, green valley to the alpine resort of Kranjska Gora situated on the edge of the Triglav National Park with its towering granite peaks.

A final day of cycling along one of the prettiest valleys of all brings you to Lake Bled, one of the most scenic lakes in the Alps and a fitting finale to such a scenic route.

All along the route there are varied and interesting places to stop and explore, such as the largest ice cave in the world in the Salzach Valley, the deep Liechtenstein Gorge near Bishofshofen and the Mölltal Glacier near Mallnitz. There are also stunning waterfalls to stop and admire and crystal clear lakes that tempt you to stop for a swim.

For an alpine route this is relatively easy cycling. There are undulations along the way with one notable climb as you ascend the scenic Gastein valley on day 2.

Salzburg to Lake Bled Cycling Holiday

Cycle from the Sound of Music city of Salzburg through magical alpine valleys to breathtakingly beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia. Offering jaw-dropping scenery all the way, this route follows idyllic cycle paths and quite roads, stopping each night in beautiful alpine towns.

If you are looking for a leisurely alpine cycle route offering a succession of great scenery and interesting towns along its route then this tour is definitely one to consider.

Stunning Lake Bled

You’ll start in the charming city of Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and then head south along the beautiful Salzach Valley, past the lofty Hohenwerfen Castle, one of the oldest continuously inhabited castles in Europe, to the pretty alpine town of Bishofshofen.

In the Gastein Valley you’ll visit the beautiful town of Bad Hofgastein as well as its regal neighbour Badgastein with its grand old hotels and a tumbling waterfall. A short train ride will then carry you deep beneath the towering central spine of the alps to the pretty village of Mallnitz from where you’ll gently descend the peaceful Möll Valley.

After a brief sojourn into Italy you cross into Slovenia and follow a peaceful, green valley to the alpine resort of Kranjska Gora situated on the edge of the Triglav National Park with its towering granite peaks.

A final day of cycling along one of the prettiest valleys of all brings you to Lake Bled, one of the most scenic lakes in the Alps and a fitting finale to such a scenic route.

All along the route there are varied and interesting places to stop and explore, such as the largest ice cave in the world in the Salzach Valley, the deep Liechtenstein Gorge near Bishofshofen and the Mölltal Glacier near Mallnitz. There are also stunning waterfalls to stop and admire and crystal clear lakes that tempt you to stop for a swim.

For an alpine route this is relatively easy cycling. There are undulations along the way with one notable climb as you ascend the scenic Gastein valley on day 2.

Itinerary

For an alpine route this is relatively easy cycling. There are undulations along the way but nothing too long or taxing.

Day 1 : Arrive Salzburg

On arrival in Salzburg make your way to your hotel. After check-in you’re free to explore the city of Mozart. As well as being the great composer’s birthplace, Salzburg has plenty to offer. You shouldn’t miss the imposing Hohensalzburg Castle and Mirabell Palace, but we also highly recommend simply sitting in a traditional café and enjoying a coffee and indulgent pastry whilst absorbing the atmosphere of this lovely old town.

Day 2 : Salzburg – Bischofshofen/St. Johann im Pongau
34 miles/55 kms

Your first day’s cycling leads you south, out of the city and along the beautiful Salzach Valley. The wide green valley is bordered by towering peaks and dotted with pretty alpine towns and villages. The riverside cycle path is charming and the scenery sublime. Stop to admire the thundering waterfall at Golling before riding through the narrow Salzach Canyon with its steep pine-clad flanks. As the valley widens once more you’ll see the 900 year old Hohenwerfen Castle sitting high on its own hill above the village of Werfen. Nearby you will also find the largest ice cave in the world and we highly recommend a visit (more info eisriesenwelt.at ). Your first day of riding ends in the alpine town of Bischofshofen where you stop for the night.

Day 3 : Bischofshofen/St. Johann im Pongau – Mallnitz
34 miles/55 kms

You continue your journey south on the riverside cycle path today. Just after St. Johann im Pongau you may wish to make a small detour to the impressive Liechtensteinklamm, a deep and narrow gorge through which a wooden walk-way has been constructed for safe viewing. A little further on you bid the Salzach River ‘auf wiedersehen‘ and turn into the picturesque Gastein Valley. Near the end of the valley you arrive in the beautiful spa town of Badgastein with a natural waterfall tumbling through its centre. A little further along the road you arrive in the hamlet of Böckstein and here you board a train for the 11 minute journey through the Tauern Tunnel to Mallnitz. The trains run every hour so there is no mad rush to make a particular departure. You are now on the sunny side of the Alps, having just passed under the backbone of the famous mountain range, and you’ll spend the night in the charming alpine village of Mallnitz, deep in the Hohe Tauern National Park.

Day 4 : Mallnitz - Mühldorf/Sachsenburg
26 miles/41 kms

Today’s gentle descent along the serene Möll Valley is a truly unforgettable experience. Charming villages, towering granite peaks, sparkling mountain streams and vivid green meadows create picturesque scenes that will live long in the memory. As you’re slowly going downhill the riding is easy so there’s nothing to distract you from enjoying the incredible views all around. In the village of Kolbnitz you may wish to take a break and ascend to 1200m on the cogwheel railway for some lovely views across the valley. You'll stop for the night in the adjacent villages of Mühldorf or Sachsenburg.

Day 5 : Mühldorf/Sachsenburg - Villach
34 miles/55 kms

More easy cycling today as you follow the Drau River on it’s gentle descent towards Villach. You’ll pass through the bustling town of Spital an der Drau and here you might like to make a short detour to enjoy the serene views over nearby Lake Millstatt – also perfect for a swim if the weather is suitable. Your goal today is the large town of Villach located at the meeting point of four valleys. The weather tends to come from the south here and you may notice a distinctly mediterranean feel to the place. Enjoy a stroll through the lovely old-town centre or, if you’re still feeling active, head to nearby Lake Ossiach for more cycling, a walk or even a swim.

Day 6 : Villach – Kranjska Gora
40 miles/65 kms

Today’s route follows the River Gail southwest from Villach. You then cross the border into Italy for a brief spell, where you may be tempted to stop for some italian delights such as a cappuccino or gelato, before heading eastwards along the Romana Valley. After about 10 km you cross the border into Slovenia and once again the alpine scenery takes centre-stage with cathedral-like granite spires rising up above thick pine forested hillsides. The sparsely populated valley is peaceful and you’re riding on a wonderful traffic-free cycle path. You’ll stop for the night in the alpine resort of Kranjska Gora, a bustling little place in a beautiful setting. Popular with skiers in the winter months, the town also attracts summer thrillseekers too, offering an exhilerating high-speed zipline on the town’s ski-jump as well as tandem paragliding and a freefall wind-tunnel. You may be pleased to hear there are also more sedate activities available such as some excellent walking trails in the surrounding mountains.

Day 7 : Kranjska Gora – Lake Bled
28 miles/45 kms

From Kranjska Gora the route follows the Sava River eastwards along the valley. At Mojstrana, you leave the Sava Valley and follow a quiet, shaded lane up over a low ridge and into the magically remote Radovna Valley. Riding through this valley feels like you have stepped back in time as the only man-made object, in the unadulterated natural beauty, is the cycle path itself. At the end of the valley you reach Lake Bled and the sight is a fitting finale to such a scenic cycling holiday. The stunning glacial lake, surrounded by mountains with the tiny island church seeming to float on its surface has to be one of the most picturesque sights in the whole of the alps. Let one of the boatmen row you out to the church if you like but our top tip is to hike the steep trail at the south western edge of the lake to enjoy the view shown in the adjacent photograph. You should also visit the castle on the bluff overlooking the lake for more spectacular views before finding a nice restaurant in Bled to celebrate completing your Salzburg to Lake Bled Cycling holiday.

Day 8 : Lake bled - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available. €100 ‘cash only’ deposit to be paid on arrival. This will be refunded when bike is returned in good shape.

Helmets are not supplied so you will need to bring your own. Please note that it is compulsory to wear a helmet in Slovenia.

Accommodation

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night



Getting there

Arrival: Fly to Salzburg if possible but flights tend to be quite limited during the summer months from the UK. Alternatively, fly to Munich, then take the shuttle train to Munich’s main station. From there catch an inter-city-express (ICE train) to Salzburg. More info on times and prices can be found at DB Rail.

Departure: The closest airport to Bled is Ljubljana (LJU) and the public bus journey with one change will take about two hours. Alternatively, you can book a private transfer to Ljubljana Airport with your package – see dates and prices for details.

It’s also possible to return to Salzburg and Munich by train. You’ll need to take a taxi the 2km to Bled Jezero station and then a commuter train to the town of Jesenice. From there you can catch a direct train to Salzburg (3hrs journey time) and onwards to Munich.

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