Crossing the Alps is on the bucket list of many touring cyclists. In fact, for many it becomes THE highlight of their adventures. As the highest mountain range in Europe and covering an area of 200,000 square kilometres (124,00 miles), the Alps offer countless opportunities for a crossing. In Collection, we guide you along one of the most stunning crossings – the Munich-Venice long-distance cycle route.
Over 584 kilometres (362 miles) and 8 stages, you get closer and closer to your dream of crossing the Alps – turn by turn. Riding from Munich over the Alps to the Adriatic Sea is an incredible adventure. Tell us about your experiences after yout Tour, as you will make countless unforgettable memories: magnificent river landscapes, breathtaking mountain panoramas, glittering alpine lakes, and cultural highlights that will amaze you time and time again during the day.
You set off from the magnificent landscape of the Bavarian Oberland region before entering Austria’s largest nature park, the Karwendel Mountains. Next, the Brenner Pass takes you up to dizzying heights, yet the gradients are so gentle you barely notice how high you ride. In the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Dolomites, you surpass your previous altitude record as you are whisked away to another world of rugged rocks. Here, you can enjoy the Italian lifestyle and ride onto the world-famous city of Venice where you can swap your bike for a gondola on the historic waterways.
If you want to extend your trip, we show you three variations in this Collection. The long-distance cycle route’s western variant is the main route here, but we also show you the eastern variant. There’s also a two-day circular through the Belluno Dolomites National Park. Aside from the variants, all stages end somewhere with accommodation. If there’s only a limited choice, we’ll point this out. It’s a good idea to book in advance nonetheless.
If crossing the Alps sounds like a challenge, you’ll find the right valleys and passes with the help of this Collection. The Munich-Venice long-distance cycle path winds through high mountains as comfortably as possible. As the route is still quite new, some parts are not yet paved, so you should ride a robust touring bike. If you’d like to cycle the route with your road bike, then make sure you have sturdy tyres and avoid the route occasionally to avoid the main roads.
You start your bike tour to Venice at Munich Ostbahnhof. This is very well connected to the Deutsche Bahn network and can be reached practically from anywhere. From the train station it is only a short ride past Bordeauxplatz and you are already on the Isar, which will accompany you throughout today's route.The banks of the Isar can easily be seen as the green lungs of the Bavarian capital, because many of the city's parks can be found on its banks and the life-giving water attracts numerous native animals. It will take a while until you have left the last suburbs of the metropolis behind you, but the ride on the banks of the Munich Isar will give you a nice foretaste of the pristine meadow landscape along increasingly wild river meanders, as await you on the further stage .Shortly before Grünwald, the long-distance cycle path splits into west and east variants. If you have decided on the eastern option, you should stop here briefly and call up the alternative route in your navigation device.The cycle path is sometimes closer to the banks of the Isar, and sometimes it leads a little further away over densely wooded, shallow hill country. Again and again you will come across idyllic bathing spots that invite you to take a dip in the cool water in summer and one or the other beer garden will attract you with the local refreshments.At 60 kilometers, today's stage is a little shorter than the ones that are still waiting for you on the journey - perfect to warm you up a bit before heading to the Alps tomorrow. You will find your accommodation today in picturesque Bad Tölz. Here you can end the day comfortably on the Isar promenade, while you can see the peaks of the Alps on the horizon.
The eastern variant of the long-distance cycle route from Munich to Venice runs along the banks of the picturesque Tegernsee. Shortly before Grünwald it branches off from the Isar and leads to a large extent along the railway tracks via Oberhaching to Otterfing and from there via Holzkirchen and Oberwarngau to Gmund on the north bank of the Tegernsee. A stop at the Kugler Alm near Oberhaching is worthwhile: the beer garden is considered the birthplace of the popular Radlermaß - if that is no reason to quench your thirst with a big sip of it.For the sake of clarity, we have shown the eastern variant over the Tegernsee in one piece in this collection. It is therefore not to be understood as a single stage. If you decide on the east route, you drive on stage 1 of this collection to Grünwald and then switch to the alternative route in your navigation system. There are some nice overnight accommodations for the first day at Tegernsee directly in Gmund or a little further south in Bad Wiessee.The next day you leave the Tegernsee in the south and drive along the Weißach to Glashütte. Here, shortly before the highest point of today's route, you can consider switching to the main road, which is a bit easier to drive on from the terrain. If you are on a fairly off-road touring bike and are not too heavily loaded, the route away from the road is still worthwhile, because here you can enjoy wonderful peace and quiet while you cross the border to Austria surrounded by beautiful nature.After a rather steep descent over gravel paths, the alternative route meets the western route near the border and the Walchen and reunites to form the main route, which continues to Lake Achensee. From here you should switch to stage 2 in your navigation system.
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Today's stage not only brings you closer to the Alps, you are already driving a good bit into them and thus into the Karwendel Mountains, Austria's largest nature park. At the end of the day you will have almost passed the 1,000-meter mark, and you are only a few meters away from it. The shallow, albeit permanent, ascent of almost 700 meters will also make itself felt in your calves - another part of the warm-up program for the upcoming Alpine crossing.Until the first larger elevations await you on this day, the path leads you for a little more than twenty kilometers along the Isar, whose lower course rises from the Sylvenstein reservoir. Before you reach the reservoir and pass the bicycle tunnel to the dam, you have a wonderful view down to the Isar. You will also be able to enjoy this view again from the dam, here the Sylvensteinspeicher extends to the other side with a first-class alpine panorama in the background.You cross the lake and can first stop in the village of Fall and strengthen yourself for the onward journey. Then you set off in the direction of Austria. At the eastern of the three tributaries you drive out of the area of the reservoir and follow the Walchen to the border, which you drive along a short distance. Incidentally, where you leave the border area inland towards Austria, the Tegernsee variant of the long-distance cycle path joins the main route again.By the way, in Austria the Walchen is called Ache or Seeache. She will guide you for the rest of the day to your stage destination Pertisau am Achensee. In Pertisau you can comfortably put your feet up at the beach bar or dive into the Tyrolean stone oil Vitalberg in the Stollen Museum, where you can find out everything about this special product. It is best to take a suitable bottle with you, because the oil is said to have a healing effect - ideal for doing something good for your legs after a hard day in the Alps.
Today you drive into the imposing Inn Valley, which you follow from Jenbach to Innsbruck. On the south bank of the Achensee you will pass just before Maurach am Seespitz. The Achenseebahn stops here with its nostalgically chugging steam locomotive. If you want, you can exchange your bike for a great train ride down to Jenbach - don't worry: it can be transported for a price of 6 euros, but only after prior registration. The normal fare is 24 euros to Jenbach. It's not cheap, but it's definitely worth the experience. The almost five kilometer long descent by bike into the Inn Valley, on the other hand, naturally also has its charm.From Jenbach you follow the Inn on comfortably flat paths. At Stans you can make a detour to Wolfsklamm - one of the most beautiful gorges in the Tyrolean Alps, but which you can only enter on foot. You should therefore park your bike and luggage safely beforehand.There is still a lot to discover on the further route: For example the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, one of the most visited attractions in Austria or the Hall Mint, where the first thaler was minted over 500 years ago, the ancestor of today's dollar.In Innsbruck you leave the Inn Valley again and have a decent ascent of 470 meters in altitude in front of you. It is worthwhile to take a rest before you devote yourself to this task. If you are after a very special break, the restaurant "Bergisel Sky" in Innsbruck's famous Olympic ski jump is ideal, because from here you can enjoy a very special view during your meal.Above the Sill, the path leads you higher and higher into the mountains of the Alps until you have done the worst at Patsch. The journey continues above the Silltal at around 1,000 meters above sea level, accompanied by a never-ending dreamy view down into the valley. At Mühlbach you join the river again, which accompanies you even further to Steinach am Brenner, where you move into your night quarters.
On today's stage, a highlight awaits you in the truest sense of the word: The Brenner Pass is on the bucket list of many touring cyclists and you will conquer it today! From your starting point it's another ten kilometers along the Sill to the Brennersee and from there it's really only a breeze until you suddenly find yourself with your bike at an incredible 1,370 meters in altitude in Italy - a winner's photo is almost a must here.After this masterpiece, you are of course entitled to a corresponding reward. You get it in the form of a former railway line, on which the newly created bike path leads down along the Eisack to Sterzing. This becomes a truly nostalgic experience with an amazing view, former railway buildings and signal systems along the route. In Sterzing you will find a cozy alpine-Mediterranean ambience, which invites you to take a long break.The route continues along the Eisack, which is growing in size and, like you, begins its way towards the Mediterranean. Shortly before it flows through the Franzenfeste reservoir, it is worth visiting the fort of the same name from the 1830s. Before that, a detour to the Sachsenklemme restaurant is a good idea if you haven't already satiated your hunger in Sterzing.Over a flat hilltop you now turn into the valley of the Rienz, where today's stage ends in St. Sigmund. If you still have energy in your legs, it is worth continuing on towards Bruneck. In this way, tomorrow's route will be shortened for you and with it the ascent into the Dolomites. You will also find overnight accommodation every five kilometers along the route. So you can get off at any time if your legs no longer want to pedal.
Today you go directly towards the Dolomites. So that it doesn't get too strenuous, you follow the entire day over the Rienza - almost to its source. As a result, the more than 900 vertical meters that have to be mastered today are spread over a pleasant 56 kilometers, as no longer descents await you. But what sounds a bit bitter at first, ultimately makes for a doable ascent, which you will quickly get used to due to the continuously low incline.Nevertheless, you can now clearly count yourself among the mountaineers among touring cyclists - on what is now the second legendary climb through the Alps. And as such, it is of course also worth taking a look at the famous pioneers of mountain sports. The Messner Mountain Museum in Bruneck Castle offers you a good opportunity before you really get down to business.The bank of the Rienza becomes more and more idyllic the further you work your way up the valley. The course of the river becomes narrower and narrower, the silent flow of water changes more and more clearly to a babbling mountain stream. Every now and then, cozy resting places appear on the bank, which invite you to take a long break. In Monguelfo you also have the opportunity to make a short detour to the castle of the same name, which loftily watches over the village.At the latest at Lake Dobbiaco, you can really immerse yourself in the landscape of the Dolomites. Steep mountain slopes narrow the valley behind the lake and indicate the approaching pass. Another eight kilometers and you have reached your today's destination. This gives you little more than a fabulous view of the Three Peaks - the symbol of the Dolomites. If time and energy allow, it is worth taking a trip to this impressive mountain ensemble to see it up close.You will spend the night today in the middle of the loneliness of the mountains. The Drei-Zinnen-Blick is a popular excursion destination, but most tourists disappear with the setting sun and the next day nothing stands between you except the tranquility of the mountains and a unique sunrise directly over the Drei Zinnen. The only hotel directly at the lookout point is the Hotel Drei Zinnenblick. If you are looking for a slightly higher price range, you will find two more hotels about three kilometers up the street in Schluderbach.
Today you will reach the highest point on your journey to Venice. It's about six kilometers from the starting point, then you have overcome the pass - at more than 1,530 meters above sea level. But even if the subsequent descent promises a lot of fun, it is worth enjoying the morning in the mountains. At Dürrensee you can expect a fantastic view of the Cristallo Group, which is reflected in the water on the lake surface when there is no wind. There is also a nice restaurant across the street where you can have breakfast.On the route of the former Dolomitenbahn the journey goes downhill from now on - hard to believe, but today you can roll down a total of 1,670 meters to your destination. Appearances are deceptive, because spread over the 82 kilometers will hardly give you enough momentum to put your legs up while driving. Nothing stands in the way of a leisurely day tour with great views - you deserve it!You will soon join the valley of the Boite, which you first follow to the winter sports resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo, where you can take a break. You follow the river valley for a decent distance of 27 kilometers, then the old railway branches off at Valle di Cadore and from now on runs along the Piave, into which the Boite flows a short time later.For a short stretch the route gains momentum, then the journey continues leisurely, along steep rocky slopes and through deep valleys, into which the waters of the southern foothills of the Dolomites have dug themselves over time. At the height of Longarone, if you look closely, you can see the last witnesses to a huge flood disaster that completely destroyed the place in the 1960s.What's the saying? “The water always finds its way.” So do you. For as destructive as the power of water can be, on the way to Venice it paves the way for you and gives you a loyal company. Today your trip ends a little north of Soverzene, where you will find a pizzeria next to a bed & breakfast - what more could you want after a day like this?
This additional option on the route from Munich to Venice leads you along the southern part of the Belluno Dolomites National Park. In addition to diverse landscapes, the splendor of which is particularly evident in summer, when the flowers and grasses bloom in the brightest colors on the plateaus, you will discover cities rich in history such as Belluno and Feltre, which already exude a touch of Venice.The tour starts on the main route south of Soverzene, only about one kilometer from the end point of the sixth stage. Unless you're a professional athlete crossing the Alps on a long weekend, it is worth dividing the lap into two stages. A good overnight spot halfway through is Feltre in the southwest of the route.Basically, you are driving in a large arc around the Piave, which merges into several elongated lakes in the extensive valley with several rivers. But what sounds like a flat stretch at first, quickly turns into a hilly undertaking near the mountains - but clearly an experience in terms of the landscape, because you can be sure of magnificent views.A little south of Soccher, this extra lap returns to the main route after 114 eventful kilometers - roughly at the height of kilometer 5 of the seventh stage.
Even if Venice is not yet in sight, you are already nearing the end of your Alpine crossing. From Soverzene you drive on almost flat terrain to Lago di Santa Croce, a kite and windsurfer paradise. Here you can take your first break after 13 kilometers, let your gaze wander over the lake and the surfers scurrying around on it and drink a delicious coffee in the beach bar at the campsite.From Lago di Santa Croce the journey goes over a small hill down to the smaller Lago Morto. After another five kilometers you will reach the even smaller Lago del Restello. So you shimmy down lake by lake over the last foothills of the Alps until you break through the last mountain ridge at Vittorio Veneto and the expansive Venetian plain spreads out in front of you.The rest of the stage takes you mainly through flat land to the beautiful city of Conegliano and from there over the Piave, which you know, which has meanwhile increased significantly in size, to Volpago del Montello. If you pay attention to this section, you might notice the inconspicuous place-name sign for the village of Bavaria - a venerable moment, because that's exactly where you started.In your destination Volpago del Montello you can enjoy yourself twice or three times today, after all, the Alps are behind you. And that may well be rewarded with two or even three delicious Italian pizzas.
Today you swing onto the home straight towards Venice. Wow what a moment! Just 82 kilometers separate you from the gates of the lagoon city. And these will be able to be cycled down like clockwork due to the absolutely flat height profile. From Volpago del Montello, the route initially continues on a gently sloping route on rural interurban roads to Treviso, your first destination for the day.The old town, enclosed by a ring wall, invites you to take a short detour with its idyllic canals. The Piazza dei Signori represents the center of the city. Here you can sit down in one of the many neat cafés and watch the hustle and bustle. Then you drive out of the city in the southeast and stick to the course of the Sile. At the height of the Cimitero dei Burci, a relatively new archaeological site, where the skeletons of half-sunken Venetian boats protrude from the water, the path divides again into west and east variants.You follow the western course of the route along the Sile, cross the archaeological jewel Quarto d'Altino and turn south from the river. You will soon reach Mestre. The city in front of Venice is an important traffic junction and starting point for many day trips to Venice.Before you take on the Ponte della Libertà, the bridge that leads you over the Venetian lagoon over a length of 3,850 meters, you make a short detour to Parco San Giuliano. Here it is worthwhile to pause for a moment - let your journey go through your head and what masterful achievement you have accomplished. The best way to do this is to drive to the southern tip of the park, where you have a great view over to Venice - your destination of the trip! Maybe the day is coming to an end, then just spend the night in Mestre and enjoy Venice in peace the next day.When you finally translate to Venice, please note that bicycles are prohibited in the entire city. Even pushing the bikes is not allowed due to the narrow streets and the many people - there is simply not enough space. Of course, you can still enjoy the experience and ride your bike over the Ponte della Libertà. At the entrance to Venice you will find a parking garage especially for bicycles, where you can park your loyal companion including luggage in a secure bicycle box.
The eastern variant of stage 8 is again shown separately in this collection and should not necessarily be understood as a single stage, as it is linked to the western variant of stage 8 behind Treviso. From Volpago del Montello there is a total distance of 110 kilometers, which you can also divide into two days. You will find an ideal overnight spot in the coastal town of Jesolo. So the next day you only have about 15 miles to go and enough time to visit Venice in peace.If you decide on the east variant, you should make a short stop shortly after Treviso at the level of the Cimitero dei Burci and switch from stage 8 to the east variant on your navigation system. You will soon leave the course of the Sile and turn east on cozy interurban roads.After about 19 kilometers you will reach the Piave, which has already accompanied you a good part in the mountains. Past the large park of the graceful town of San Dona di Piave, you now orientate further south. If you want, you can take a little break here. In the Parco della Scultura in Architettura, for example, numerous sculptures by artists of international renown are on display.Following the original course of the river, you will soon reach the eastern end of the Venice lagoon. You continue on a headland that is not quite two kilometers wide, always between the lagoon and the sea of Jesolo. The Punta Sabbioni forms the western end of the headland and Venice is already in sight. From here you continue with the ferry.If you want to take your bike with you to Venice, for example to ride a lap around the lagoon, the car ferry to Tronchetto is recommended. It brings you near a parking garage with bike boxes, where you can safely park your bike: the Bicipark Venezia. Please note that bicycles and pushing bikes are prohibited in Venice itself.