In the heart of the Alps in the Salzburg region of Lungau in Austria, a small, rippling stream springs – the Mur. As it winds its way through Styria, it becomes the largest and most significant river in this south-easternmost province of Austria. The river has shaped the region for many centuries, helping the economy to thrive. It flows through many charming villages and towns, such as the thriving metropolis of Graz.
After leaving the Alps, the Mur meanders leisurely along the border between Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. The scenery is filled with contrasts as snow-capped peaks tower behind vineyards and wide plains. Along the way, you explore the region’s historic culture from the Stone Age to today and enjoy a culinary tradition that is second to none. Plus, you get to see all of this from your saddle!
In this Collection, I present the Murradweg for you so you can follow this great adventure. I’ve based the route on the official stages, but you can of course change it as you see fit. Maybe you’ll like a place so much that you’ll decide to stay longer or perhaps you’ll spend a day hiking in the Alps or relaxing on a wellness day in a thermal spa.
The Murradweg is a very popular and well-developed route so you’ll be well catered for on your adventure. As well as wonderful cycle paths, you find a variety of accommodation and restaurants where you can indulge in roast chicken salad or cabbage strudel. If your calves need a break, you can always find a train station closeby. You can even take a trip on the Murtalbahn steam train. You won’t find a station in every starting point or destination, but there are always alternative ways to travel to and from the route with your bike. You can find helpful information in English, here: steiermark.com/en/mur-cycling-path/at-a-glance/mobility-options
Your bike adventure along the Mur begins in the middle of the Alps, surrounded by a magnificent mountain backdrop at an altitude of 1,750 meters. The official starting point of the Mur Cycle Path is the Sticklerhütte, a few kilometers below the source of the Mur. If you also want to see the source, you can, for example, spend the night in the Sticklerhütte and hike to the source. In any case, you will have a smooth journey, because the valley bus and bike will take you to the hut! You can find information here: taelerbus.at.The first steps on the Mur Cycle Path are the easiest. You roll down a total of 800 meters in altitude in the wild and romantic valley of the Mur. Breathtaking nature is your constant companion on the stage. If you look up, you can see partially snow-covered mountain peaks beyond the tree line.The babbling Mur is dammed here and there and forms extremely beautiful reservoirs. The valley continues to widen and the Mur meanders through the landscape. After around 27 kilometers you have already reached your stage destination St. Michael im Lungau.
The beautiful nature greets you again as you exit St. Michael. The Murinsel is a paradise on earth. Here you will feel like putting your feet in the fresh water. You cycle comfortably along the Mur and pass pretty, small towns. Soon you will reach Tamsweg, where the southern Taurach flows into the Mur. The place has a pretty, medieval old town that invites you to take a coffee break.The Mur now flows a little to the south through a narrow valley. The bike path was cleverly built between road, river and railroad so that you can enjoy the alpine panorama that surrounds you.The Mur slowly transforms from a babbling brook into a stately stream and the valley widens again. The cycle path leads you varied, sometimes directly along the Mur, sometimes a little hilly through the valley. Your destination for today is Murau, an extremely beautiful place at the confluence of the Rantenbach and Mur. Take your time to explore the pretty alleys on both sides of the Mur.
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Also today you drive through the narrow valley of the Mur. To your left and right, the mountains rise proudly while the river babbles next to you. There are also always small swimming areas or resting places that are suitable for a picnic. One after the other, the small, pretty towns line up, all of which exude their special charm.Unzmarkt is a very special gem. On a futuristic bridge you cross the Mur and can then relax in a particularly beautiful park. You drive on along the river, every now and then a train of the Murtalbahn “rushes” past you, in summer there is also a steam train every Tuesday and Thursday. A small museum has been set up at Frojach station for the narrow-gauge railway.The stage ends in the historic city of Judenburg. The medieval old town invites you to explore. The pretty town square dates from the time when Judenburg was the "capital" of Upper Styria.
Today's stage is particularly varied. You keep going up small hills, from where you can enjoy a wonderful panorama. The first one awaits you right after you leave Judenburg. You can see how the city is elegantly embedded in the green mountains.A little later you drive through the beautiful Murwald. Enjoy the scent of the conifers and the murmur of the Mur. The town of Zeltweg with its long industrial history is an interesting contrast to the peaceful nature. This part of the Mur valley in Upper Styria experienced an enormous boom during industrialization.In St. Michael it is worth leaving the cycle path and making a short detour to the pretty old town. Behind St. Michael the Murtal becomes very narrow again and after a short, lush ascent you can enjoy a beautiful view of the valley.The stage ends in Leoben, the second largest city in Styria. When correctly pronounced, the vowels a, e, i, o and u appear directly after one another. The city has a great old town and after the stage you can celebrate the mountain festival of the tour in a rustic pub with a Gösser Radler, which is brewed here, and a fried chicken.
Don't slumber too long, because today the queen stage of the tour lies ahead of you. Although it tends to go downhill along the river, there are always short, crisp counter climbs. Fortunately, you are already trained and can hardly wait for the fifth stage. And the many enchanting villages along the way all want to be explored by you.It starts in Leoben and after a good hour you can treat yourself to a coffee in the beautiful old town of Bruck an der Mur. After the confluence of the Mürz and Mur rivers, the valley narrows again. The ride is exciting and varied. Again and again it goes steeply up into the forest, shortly afterwards you whiz down and a pretty place welcomes you.The end of the stage is the impressive entrance to Graz, the capital of Styria. The cycle path leads directly along the Mur into the heart of the city, where tradition and modernity meet. Here it is a good idea to take a break and explore the lively city. There's much to see!
Now you have finally left the Alps behind you and are rolling on the plain in the direction of southern Styria. You leave Graz on the banks of the Mur via the beautiful Augarten. After the motorway bridge, you dive into the beautiful world of the Murauen.Flora and fauna feel particularly at home here and, together with the Mur and its oxbow lakes, form a wonderful biotope and a local recreation area. In Wildon there is a great swimming lake with a kiosk. Ideal for a short break in between.The stage ends in Leibnitz, which is already on the Weinstrasse. The city between Mur and Sulm has many sights, such as Seggau Castle, Sulmsee or the Frauenberg with its excavations. Here you will find some of the most important evidence of Roman culture in Austria.
After a short distance on the Sulm you change the river and drive along the Mur again. In Oberschwarza you leave the now very stately Stom and drive through small southern Styrian villages. From here the Mur forms the border between Austria and Slovenia.Shortly before Weitersfeld you can take a cable ferry to the other bank and have hearty Slovenian food for lunch in a rustic restaurant. Otherwise, the path leads you to Mureck, where you will also find all kinds of good restaurants in the colorful old town.The cycle path to Bad Radkersburg no longer leads directly along the Mur, but through sleepy villages and past numerous lakes. There is also a beautiful swimming area at Liebmannsee.Your stage destination is the sunny Bad Radkersburg, a very special city in the southeastern corner of Austria. Monument preservation is very important here and you will find all architectural styles from Romanesque to Art Nouveau to the present in the city. The health resort is also known for its excellent thermal baths, where you can relax after the tour.
The last stage of the Mur Cycling Path summarizes the route from the Austrian border to the mouth on the Hungarian border. For a good 100 kilometers you drive through Slovenia and Croatia. Of course, you can also divide the stage.The path itself often leads you away from the Mur, which, especially in Croatia, meanders through the landscape in countless meanders. You drive through quiet, small villages where time seems to have stood still.At the end of the tour you will reach the Mur again, which flows into the Drau at Legrad. You have completed over 470 kilometers and seen how the Mur has transformed from a babbling mountain stream into a stately river.For an uncomplicated return journey to Bad Radkersburg, the Gasthaus Rosi (gaestehaus-rosi.at, +43 664 3925227) offers a taxi service including a bicycle trailer from Legrad. From Bad Radkersburg you can reach Graz in one and a half hours with the S-Bahn.