VéloSki Austrian Alps Bicycle Tour: Innsbruck to Salzburg // August 29th to September 12th, 2020
Austria literally means the “Eastern Realm” and it forms the western link to what is commonly considered “Eastern” Europe. This German-speaking wonderland for cycling spans from Switzerland to Hungary and encompasses a vast range of scenery, terrain, cuisine and culture…all of which we’ll have ample opportunity to explore at length.
We’ll travel centuries-old trade routes across breathtaking mountain passes, and along valleys connecting ancient Tirolean villages, as we ride this land famous for family meals, colorful flower boxes, enthusiastic music, Alpine skiing and hiking. Our route will traverse Tirol, Carinthia (Kärnten), and Styria (Steiermark) stringing together climbs and valleys from Innsbruck to Salzburg.
The Tyrol! The very name evokes a magnificent vision of beauty: emerald valleys with rushing mountain torrents rushing untamed, ancient towns and tranquil villages resting on meadowy slopes; above the villages, dark forests, white, grey and red rock faces towering up from their shade; above these rocky pinnacles, a shimmering, sparkling awning of ice and eternal snow…this is our destination and our journey. Known from medieval times as the “land in the mountains” the Tyrol is today comprised of three distinct regions; Tirol, Sud-Tirol, and Osttirol.
The mountains beckon us to explore the high peaks and glaciers of the Grossglockner-Tauern, Lienzer Dolomiten, Kitzbuhler Alps and Zillertaler Alps and the Hohe Touern National Park. The Hohe Tauern is comprised of classic alpine landscape and farming culture; it is by far the largest nature protection area in Central Europe. The Hohe Tauern National Park extends over vast expanses of pristine Alpine landscapes—glaciers, rock faces, plant communes, glacial and mountain streams, and the summer pastures that have been carefully tended for hundreds of years. Three Austrian provinces – Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol – share the park; the inter-province nature protection area represents a mission for the present and future responsibility. These provinces will be the backdrop for our two-week cycle tour of Austria, with a bit of the Julian Alps in Slovenia too.
As we traverse the Inns, Drau, Pongau, and Gail river valleys we are treated to sights that remind us of the past and point us to the future. We invite you to join us for this very special exploration of the culture, heritage, flavors and sights of the Austrian Alps – Tirol and OstTirol. Carinthia occupies a favored geographical situation on the southern side of the Austrian Alps in the Alps-Adriatic region, so it is especially spoiled by the sun and enjoys a mild, yet snow-filled, winter climate. And, of course, this also has an effect on the people who live here. So, it is no surprise that Carinthians are regarded as being especially fun-loving. Arrive and come alive – nowhere else is this promise fulfilled with more relish than in Carinthia.
Our tour will then arrive in Salzburg, one of the most popular destinations for visitors. Castles, cathedrals, the Sound of Music, Mozart and Steigl brewery all create welcome diversions suiting a host of interests. From ski resorts, national parks, and cycle paths to delightful pastries, glaciated peaks and traditional Austria cooking…there is something for everyone on our ride from Innsbruck to Salzburg.
1. Four Seasons Shuttlevan (perhaps the easiest to manage). More info: HERE.
2. Train from Munich airport (Franz Joseph Airport) to Innsbruck (fastest & least expensive choice). More info: HERE. We have hotel space reserved for earlier arrival dates, so let us know your flight itinerary to confirm extra room nights. The VeloSki van will be available from the 28th.
Salzburg is a secondary option, but has similar limitations as Innsbruck for flights. The VeloSki van will leave for Castelfranco-Veneto the morning of the 12th.