An Alpine crossing is the dream of many cyclists challenging stages with fabulous views through the rugged mountains, passing picturesque alpine lakes and quaint mountain villages. The Via Claudia Augusta can make this dream come true. In this Collection, we show you a path across the Alps that anyone can conquer. The Via Claudia Augusta already brought the ancient Romans from Bavaria to the Mediterranean Sea in the easiest way possible and is now ready for your own alpine adventure.
The Via Claudia Augusta is considered an easy Alpine crossing but you will still need to use your legs. You can expect more than 310 miles (500 kilometers) and more than 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) of elevation gain. As this is spread over seven stages it is still very manageable. Of course, a certain level of physical fitness will help, but you don’t have to be a pro-rider. The route usually leads along quiet side roads or gravel cycle paths. The majority of elevation gain is over the first four stages of the Collection. From the Reschenpass, the Via Claudia Augusta heads downhill almost the whole way. And, if a pass seems too much for you, you can take advantage of the help of a bike shuttle. They take cyclists up the Fernpass and the Reschenpass and can be booked up to 24 hours before the desired departure.
We have chosen all the stages’ final destinations so that you can easily find comfortable accommodation at the end of the day. In addition, most of the destinations have a railway connection – good if your plans change. From Riva del Garda you can easily get back to Augsburg by bus or train. The bus will take you to Rovereto which has good train connections back to Germany. But, before you head back, we wish you a fantastic cycle tour through the Alps and a wonderful stay in Riva del Garda, where you deserve a huge ice cream and an original Italian pizza.
Your crossing of the Alps via the Via Claudia Augusta, the ancient Roman road, will start in Augsburg. Augsburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany and was once one of the largest Roman settlements north of the Alps. From here, you start the first stage, which is long but relatively flat and therefore an excellent "warm-up program" for the way across the Alps.Your journey takes you first through the picturesque Lechauen, where you can look forward to warm days on various small lakes with swimming. It is only very gently, but steadily uphill, until it is so far at some point: You see the mountains for the first time on this bike ride! Still they are far away and still the view on it is the foretaste of the following stages. Enjoy the view and find yourself a cozy beer garden where you can relax and enjoy the coming days. In the picturesque old town of the stage destination Schongau you are guaranteed to find the right place for it.
From Schongau you follow the course of the Lech further up the river, which is dammed up on this section. In addition to beautiful viewpoints on the water, there are so many leisurely breaks: If you feel like it, just make a short detour to the shore and allow yourself a dip.The second stage over the Via Claudia Augusta is still not mountainous, but still some altitude meters are waiting for you today. Many small ascents and descents provide variety, but also for a certain claim. It's best to take it easy and always plan small breaks - beautiful scenery for it is sufficient. A real highlight awaits you at about halfway: The view over the Forggensee lake with the picturesque royal palaces in the background is a truly magical setting for a break.Behind Reutte it is slowly "serious": Here you master the first crisp increase in the tour. However, it is accompanied by an amazing view of the mountains, so that you can hardly tell from your enthusiasm that you have to pedal very well. In addition, there is the second reward on top: A great downhill parallel to the Fern Pass, which brings you via Lermoos to the stage destination to Ehrwald.
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A bike ride can not start any better: the view of the Zugspitze is simply a dream. Enjoy it again in peace, because as soon as you swing on your bike, you leave Germany's highest mountain behind you.Today's stage follows first the course of the Fernpassstraße. Just that you leave the car caravan, which rattles across the street, on the left and instead follow the beautiful quiet trails and paths of the old Via Claudia Augusta. No matter where you look, the view is always fantastic - you drive right through the mountains and it's just gorgeous here. The blue glittering mountain lakes along the route always make for particularly beautiful moments, until you finally reach the highest point of the stage and you can look forward to the first long descent of your Alpine crossing.The drive through the Inn Valley to the finish line Landeck is relatively flat and is a relaxing ending to this tour. Again and again you come through cozy Tyrolean villages, where you can fill up your drinking bottle or give you a refreshment. Landeck itself welcomes you with its beautiful, lively city center and various cultural highlights. So you could end the day, for example, with a visit to the castle Landeck or - quite comfortably - at the cultural program in the "Old Cinema".
Today there are two demanding climbs on the program: right at the beginning and towards the end of the stage there is something to do for the calves. In between, a beautiful, promising drive through the Inn valley awaits you.After the start in Landeck, it goes straight to the point: Via a steep single trail leads the Via Claudia Augusta up on the flow plate. Here you can admire the traces of the Romans whose cartwheels left visible grooves in the rock of the mountains even today. Rest in peace and breathe deeply - the first challenge of the day you have passed!Now it goes downhill first, back to the Inn Valley, where the route follows the course of the river until shortly before the end of the stage gently rising. Until you finally cross it in Martina and at the same time pass the border from Austria to Switzerland. On a beautiful but always uphill road you drive up to the Norbertshöhe. At the top, you have almost reached the waypoint. Only a few kilometers and you are in the famous resort of Nauders am Reschenpass. Countless restaurants, bars and ski huts invite you to a cozy stop-off here. Tyrolean indulgence high on the mountain - the perfect program after an active day in the saddle.
This stage takes you from one holiday dream to the next: from Nauders to Naturn. On the way glittering mountain lakes, idyllic mountain villages, the ever-present mountain panorama and the fantastic route of the Via Claudia Augusta await you. You experience all this on your bike first hand and the best: Today it's mostly downhill!From Nauders, you ride for a while on the high plateau on the Reschenpass, so that you reach the beautiful Reschensee quite relaxed. If you take the camera out of here and push it off, your first postcard motif of the day is guaranteed: the lake, the half-sunken steeple and the mountains all around - it's just beautiful! Past the Haidersee you will continue to Glurns. The pretty town with its cozy bars and cafes is perfect for a break.After that it's going downhill fast. The Via Claudia Augusta leads now through the Adige Valley always slightly downhill. On the way you can expect old castles, fountains with fresh water, apple orchards and totally cozy villages - all framed in the beautiful mountain scenery of the Vinschgau. So you come full of beautiful impressions on today's stage goal: Naturns welcomes you with its alpine-Mediterranean flair and offers you the best conditions to enjoy the beautiful, but exhausting bike tour.
Today's stage is relatively short and mostly leads slightly downhill - so you have enough time to stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Maybe a glass of wine? As you drive along the South Tyrolean Wine Route, it would be worth it ...You start in Naturns on the southern edge of the Texel Group Nature Park and continue along the course of the Adige. If you can see in the Merano Valley, the route bends south. The landscape is becoming ever more Mediterranean and you can feel that you are getting closer to your long-distance destination, Lake Garda. In keeping with the landscape, the entire flair becomes more Mediterranean: Around noon, a relaxed siesta is actually obligatory in one of the many snack stations or wine taverns along the way.Shortly before the Adige unites with the Eisack to flow together in the Po Valley, you take course for Bolzano. Surrounded by rolling vineyards, today's stage destination is where you can not only eat well and drink (wine), but where lots of sights and cultural highlights are waiting to be discovered by you. An evening walk through the narrow streets of the old town should not be missed.
For six days you have been working for it, today is the day: The seventh stage on the Via Claudia Augusta is the grand finale, which culminates in the picturesque Lake Garda. But wait until the time has come for a really nice day on the bike. Also, if you do not need to master any big climbs, the 115-kilometer stage is quite demanding. Your ice cream and your pizza on the beach of Lake Garda, you've earned so tonight!The route runs mostly on the Etschtalradweg, which is usually very well developed and paved on this section. Framed by orchards and the high mountains of South Tyrol you follow the course of the Adige - as well as the highway and a railway line. To experience the route on the bike is without a doubt the most beautiful option! Viticulture still shapes the region. For example, you will pass the town of Tramin, known for its Gewürztraminer.With Trento you can reach one of the largest cities in the Alps and one of the oldest in the Tyrol. It is worthwhile to plan a longer break here, to strengthen oneself and to look at the beautiful old town. The short break here is good and you can gather strength for the last 50 kilometers of the stage. Towards the end it gets a bit hilly again. But if you arrive at the top of the Passo San Giovanni and roll around the bend in Val Molini, you will see a fantastic view of Lake Garda and you know immediately that every meter of this tour was worth it. From now on, the enjoyment begins: Down to the lake, it's just downhill and on the shore in Riva del Garda already waiting for a thick ice cream and a hot pizza on you!