Easiest crossing of the Alps on two wheels
From the birth city of Mozart to a shimmering alpine lake amid the majesty of the south-eastern Alps, there is something for everyone on this unforgettable alpine ride. Beginning at the baroque city of Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will cycle from ornate baroque architecture to a splendid alpine landscape laden with meandering rivers, picturesque valleys, waterfalls, and towering mountain peaks. The route goes through quaint villages where you can sample great local food. A network of cycle paths and quiet country roads will take you through the magnificent Salzach, Gastein, and Molltal valleys. South of Villach, you'll pass through Italy briefly before turning into Slovenia and continuing on through the heart of the Julian Alps and onwards to the magical, fairytale setting of Lake Bled, with its unique island church and hilltop castle to top it all off.
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN SALZBURG
We recommend arriving in Salzburg a day or two before the tour begins to acclimate and fully savor the city, especially the charming Altstadt (old town), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 2: SALZBURG - BISCHOFFSHOFEN / ST. JOHANN IN PONGAU (↔ 55 km, 460 m, ↓ 350 m)
On the first day, you'll embark on a picturesque cycling journey through the scenic Salzach Valley, heading towards one of Europe's oldest and remarkably preserved castles, the Hohenwerfen Castle, which has proudly stood atop a rock 113 meters above the market village of Werfen for 900 years. The Tennengebirge, Hagengebirge, and Hochkönig mountain ranges create a breathtaking backdrop. If time allows, consider a detour to the glacial caves of Eisriesenwelt. Your night will be spent in the popular alpine sports town of Bischoffshofen.
Day 3: BISCHOFFSHOFEN / ST JOHANN IN PONGAU - MALLNITZ (↔ 57 km, ↑ 900 m, ↓ 260 m)
Today's cycling route leads you through the enchanting Gastien Valley and the striking Liechtensteinklamm (Liechtenstein Gorge) to the lovely spa town of Bad Gastien, adorned with a central waterfall. Continuing on, you'll traverse the Tauerntunel, emerging on the sunlit southern side of the Alps. Your overnight stay will be amidst the vibrant colors of the Hohe Tauern National Park.
Day 4: MALLNITZ - MÜHLDORF / SACHSENBURG (↔ 30 km, ↑ 140 m, ↓ 770 m)
Today, you'll venture into the historic province of Carinthia, descending gently into the Mölltal Valley, with majestic 3,000-meter mountain peaks dominating the scenery. Immerse yourself in the enchanting North-Carinthian rural countryside, offering a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and scenic tranquility as you pedal through the valley.
Day 5: MÜHLDORF / SACHSENBURG - VILLACH (↔ 54 km, ↑ 150 m, ↓ 310 m)
Today's journey involves a relatively easy descent along the Drau River, passing through the lakeside town of Spittal an der Drau and its impressive ancient Roman city of Teurnia. The route then takes you to Villach, where the Alpine climate meets the Mediterranean climate, making it an ideal location to explore the vintage car museum or enjoy a riverboat cruise.
Day 6: VILLACH - KRANJSKA GORA (↔ 53 km, ↑ 610 m, ↓ 290 m)
Cross the border briefly to savor an Italian pizza and cappuccino in Tarvisio before following a scenic cycling path along the old railway line that crosses the Italian-Slovenian border. Continue through the lush, green landscapes of the Sava Valley, heading to the village of Kranjska Gora for the night, with the magnificent Vitranc Mountain dominating the view.
Day 7: KRANJSKA GORA - BLED (↔ 35 km, ↑ 310 m, ↓ 630 m)
Your journey begins in the town of Kranjska Gora, a renowned alpine ski resort that has hosted numerous world cup skiing events. The route then winds through the enchanting forests of the Krma Valley, passing a historic farming museum, before reaching Slovenia's premier destination: Lake Bled. The captivating island church in the middle of the lake, overlooked by a medieval hilltop castle, offers a perfect opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after a day of cycling. You can choose to unwind with a boat ride to the island or savor a coffee along with Bled's famous cream cake (Kremšnita).
Day 8: DEPARTURE
The tour concludes after breakfast, but there's the option to extend your journey. Our most popular extension is the "Best Of Slovenia" tour. Alternatively, you can prolong your stay in Bled and explore the cycling day trips featured in our "Cycling Lake Bled" tour.
Price per person based on two people sharing:
Low season: April 29 to May 19 and September 15 to September 29, 2024: 1.290 EUR
High season: May 26 to September 8, 2024: 1.340 EUR
Consider another departure day? Trip can also be started at any other desired day / date if there are minimum four participants in a group!
No departures between July 28 to August 3 and September 1 to September 6, 2024 due to local events in Austria
• accommodation in hotels and guesthouses 3* or 4* in a two-bed room with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis
• luggage transfer – one piece, max 23 kg / 50 lb, Lufthansa dimensions. Every additional piece 60 EUR per tour, payable on the spot.
• welcome meeting and bike handover
• tour description and maps in GUIBO application electronic form
• backup service (hotline) during the trip
• local tourist and other taxes in Slovenia. They are not included on Austrian side of the tour.
• train ticket for Boeckstein to Mallnitz trip incl. bicycle, approximately 10 EUR per cyclist with bike
• single traveler 490 EUR, applies when a person travels alone
• single room 230 EUR in low season, 290 EUR in high season, applies when a person in traveling together with other persons in party
• bike rental 120 EUR. Classic touring bikes are equipped with 24 gears, one pannier per bike, one lock, one repair set per couple /pair of bikes - one long lock, one spare inner tube, one set of Allen keys, tire levers and a basic puncture patch set. Every additional rental day: 25 EUR per bike. Bike rental period starts at 9:00 on day 2 of the tour and ends at 18:00 on day 7.
• electric bike 270 EUR.
• 3* Hotel in Salzburg 95 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 135 EUR
• 4* Hotel in Bled 130 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 170 EUR
Not included: local & tourist taxes in Austria where applicable. Entrance fees, lunches, dinners, drinks with meals, saunas and massages in hotels.
Total Length: 310 km
Total vertical up: 2.470 m
Track type: 50% of the trip goes over dedicated cyclingway, 35 % over country roads and remaining over single tracks. Track surface: 80% asphalt or paved, 20% unpaved.
Difficulty: challenging - one cycling trip yearly is a must! For cyclists who like to go on cycling trips in the surrounding area at the weekends and are not afraid of a climb or a day's stage with a demanding profile. Average daily elevation gains does between 500 and 1.000 meters.
Helia supports responsible travel. On our trips we therefore use small, authentic hotels and guesthouses with character operated by locals or their families. Here you can find the list of standard accommodation we primarily use on the trip. The actual hotels may differ from this list, depending on time of booking and rooms availability.
Day 1: 3* Hotel Post / Villa Ceconni in Salzburg
Day 2: 3* Hotel Alpenland in St. Johann in Pongau
Day 3: 3* Ferienhotel in Mallnitz
Day 4: 3* Hotel Krainerhof in Mühldorf
Day 5: 3* Hotel Moser in Villach
Day 6: 3* Hotel Miklič or 4* hotel Kompas Kranjska Gora
Day 7: 4* Hotels Triglav, Park, Kompas, Savica, Lovec in Bled
The starting point of the trip is Salzburg in Austria.
By plane: closest airport is Salzburg (SZG). It is 3 km from the city center. Several major airlines serve it: Austrian, British Airways, German Wings, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. Low-cost Ryanair serves the city all year round. From the airport, you can travel to the city center by bus or take a taxi.
By train: main station is called Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, it is in the city center. It is on the mainline Vienna (two-hour trip) to Munich (one-hour trip).
By car: Salzburg is at the junction of several main roads. Motorways A1 and A10 meet here.
.... and away
By plane: closest airport is Ljubljana (LJU). Several airlines serve it. From Bled you can travel to the airport by bus (change once, takes about 2 hrs) or book our transfer - please ask us for a favorable quote!
By train: Bled has two railway stations: Lesce Bled on the Villach-Ljubljana mainline, four km away from the town center, you'll need to take a bus or call us, we'll give you a lift for free. The other station is Bled-Jezero on the Jesenice - Nova Gorica sideline, only a few trains a day. 2 km away from town center. From Jesenice border station there is one direct train to Salzburg (and onward to Munich) and several more with one stopover in Villach.
By car: Bled is on the A1 motorway Ljubljana - Jesenice, Karavanke.
Helia bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model:
- aluminium frame
- rear rack
- comfort gel saddle
- anti-puncture Continental tires
- ergonomic bicycle grips
All rented adult bikes are equipped with:
Vaude one-sided saddlebag
combination bike lock
Only for self-guided tours: one repair kit per two bikes: one spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, two Allen keys and tire levers
We were doing the self guided tour from Salzburg to Lake Bled. Jana from Helia travel was excellent. Everything was well organized and well priced. Selection of hotels was stunning. Maps were provided, booklet with history and clear description of what to expect each day. The attention to detail made this tour one of the best holidays we had. I highly recommend Helia tours.
We have just returned home so would like to tell you that we had the most wonderful experience from start to finish. It certainly did exceed our expectations. The bikes we received were very good, the accommodation along the way good, the cycle route quite spectacular, loved the small cycling paths along the rivers, the scenery breathtaking and overall we had a superb experience. We really enjoyed the organization behind the trip which makes for a very relaxed and enjoyable holiday. The food generally was good wherever we ate, and the last apple strudel stop on the last morning that was mentioned for us to stop at, was the best apple strudel we had on the whole trip.
- Bev from South Africa