Salzkammergut Cycle Trail
From lake to lake on the imperial cycle trail
The route of this cycle trail has had the royal seal of approval for centuries – indeed, Emperor of Austria Franz Joseph and his wife Sissi recognised the charms of the Salzkammergut region back in the 19th century and spent their summer holidays in the area.
Travelling by bicycle, you have the opportunity to admire crystal-clear lakes and imposing mountain peaks as you follow the route taken by the imperial family. Surround yourself with history, majestic landscapes and picturesque views on this leisurely tour through the states of Upper Austria, Salzburg and Styria, and enjoy the same impressive scenery that captivated artists like Gustav Klimt.
Because the Salzkammergut Cycle Trail is circular, you can start at any point along its course. The “Festival City” of Salzburg is an ideal departure point. The first stage of the route takes you along the line of the former Ischlerbahn railway towards Eugendorf and then on to the “Mozart Village” of St Gilgen, passing through St Wolfgang before reaching the famous imperial town of Bad Ischl. Once here, you can really immerse yourself in the life of the Emperor and Empress. Must-sees include the Kaiservilla set within the Imperial Park, Bad Ischl’s town museum and conference centre – and don’t miss the chance to enjoy a spot of refreshment in the legendary Konditorei Zauner cake shop.
The next stop on the tour is the UNESCO World Heritage Region centred on Lake Hallstatt, where visits to the Gosau Valley and the Dachstein Giant Ice Cave should definitely be on your itinerary. Whether you travel the leg towards Bad Aussee and on to Trautenfels Castle in the Enns Valley by train or in the saddle, a real feast for the eyes lies in store. With its rich traditions and world-renowned Ausseer Lebzelterei gingerbread bakery, the Styrian region of Ausseerland Salzkammergut is a real highlight on the route. Alternatively, if you opt for the shorter option on departing Bad Ischl, you can board the world’s oldest coal-fired paddle steamer – the Gisela – at Gmunden, famous for its ceramics, and take an enjoyable trip on Lake Traunsee.
The tour continues via Aurach am Hongar to the Attersee – the largest lake in the Salzkammergut – and then on to Mondsee, a town named for its lake. In Mattsee, Porsche fans will not want to miss the chance to visit the Fahr(T)raum interactive museum. After that, you only have a few more kilometres to cycle before you reach your final destination back at the departure point in Salzburg.
The towns of Bad Ischl and Gmunden on the Salzkammergut Cycle Trail are members of the Small Historic Towns network, which means that they have met specific criteria that make exploring these towns a very special experience.
Level of difficulty:beginner - intermediate
Mainly cycle paths and quiet side roads, with sections on federal roads and a ship and train journey as an alternative.
Ideal time to travelMay - October
Signposting:Salzkammergutweg (Salzkammergut Cycle Trail)
Mobility & Return transfer:
This circuit consists of several loops and can be shortened by train or boat – Further information: www.salzkammergut.at
Further information:T: +43 732 221022
Cycling accommodation providers in Austria Salzkammergut 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.
AlpenParks Hagan Lodge
The outdoor activities and mountainbike resort in Ausseerland-Salzkammergut In the alpine village at the foot of the ...
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