Starting in Dobbiaco in South Tyrol and finishing in Maribor in Slovenia, this pleasant trail leads up sometimes steep, sometimes gentle mountain climbs and past Carinthia’s crystal-clear swimming lakes. The River Drava Cycle Trail links Italy, Austria and Slovenia – three different cultures and landscapes. It also takes you through the breathtaking scenery of the imposing peaks of the Lienz Dolomites, impressive towns and picturesque villages. The River Drava Cycle Trail has also been awarded 5 stars after passing the strict criteria of the German Cycling Association (ADFC). It is one of just four European cycle trails to be awarded top marks.
The River Drava Cycle Trail begins at the source of the Drava in Dobbiaco, South Tyrol. There is the immediate advantage of a wide, gently downhill trail, which makes it perfect for the whole family. The first stage leads through East Tirol and offers breathtaking scenery, as the trail passes through Alta Pusteria on the way towards Lienz. Once you enter Oberdrauburg you are in the Austrian state of Carinthia. The trail continues along the Drava Valley and those keen on learning new things and new experiences should take the time to barge trip to the Drauoase and visit the themed trail that runs through the floodplains in Berg. You can also visit the village of Irschen at the foot of the Kreuzeck Group: it is famous for its herbs and a hidden natural jewel that you should take the chance to experience with all five senses. The trail continues past the forested slopes and imposing rocky peaks of the Gaital Alps towards Spittal an der Drau. The imposing Renaissance palace of Schloss Porcia in the centre of Spittal an der Drau is one of the most important historical buildings in the Millstätter See region, and is the site of the annual summer comedy festival.
The River Drava Cycle Trail then continues on to Villach, from which you can visit numerous lakes, including the Faaker See, the Wörthersee and the Ossiacher See, to cool off. You can also put your feet up at the KärntenTherme thermal spa in Warmbad-Villach. The castle ruins of Burg Landskron above the waters of the Ossiacher See offers an eagle show and a monkey sanctuary, which makes it an attractive trip for families. But Villach and the surrounding area are not the only places to offer unique experiences and excursion destinations. Ferlach, Gallizien and the bird paradise of Neudenstein are other sights on the River Drava Cycle Trail that are worth a visit. The trail finishes by leading through the Jauntal, where you can jump into the cool waters of the Klopeiner See, and on to the finish in Lavamünd.
The last two stages from Lavamünd to Maribor and from there to Varaždin are completely new. The expansion of the new bike path between Dravograd and Maribor should be completed by 2021 at the latest. This will enable the River Drava Cycle Trail to offer a new backdrop through Slovenia. Well-known cities such as Maribor, Ptuj or Varaždin enhance the River Drava Cycle Trail.
Start: Dobbiaco (I)
Aim: Varaždin (HR)
Level of difficulty:
Mainly gentle downhill by riverbank, more challenging in Slovenia
Cycling accommodation providers in Austria River Drava Cycle Trail
You will find bicycle-friendly accommodation establishments with the ADFC bett+bike seal of quality all along the best cycle trails in Austria. They range from small inns to 4-star hotels. If you’re looking for accommodation on particular cycle trails or in particular Austrian states, you can use the filters options.