If you are still looking for the right cycle route for a long weekend in Austria and don't want to break a sweat, then the Ybbstalradweg is just right for you. If the temperatures should rise on the way, you will find numerous bathing spots on the banks of the Ybbs where you can refresh yourself.
The well-developed cycle path leads from Ybbs on the Danube to Lunz am See and has a total length of almost 110 kilometers (68 miles), which I have divided into three pleasant stages with suitable accommodation for you.
With mostly flat and gentle ascents, the route is also ideal for a family trip. Thanks to the recently-completed cycle path following the former Schafkäs-Express railway line, racing cyclists will also be happy as the route is completely asphalted. Just be aware that you’ll share the path with other cyclists so keep your speed reasonable.
At the beginning, the route leads you through the rural region of the Mostviertel. Here, a short visit to a cider factory is of course a must. Afterwards, the path follows the Tbbs as it winds its way into the slightly-alpine region of the Iron Road. While high peaks tower up to the side of you, you can enjoy the panorama without much effort as you cycle leisurely along the river to Lunz am See. On the way there are plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat, as well as numerous resting places directly on the river. You can decide whether you prefer to pack a snack or enjoy the regional cuisine.
If you feel fit enough, you can combine the three sections described here into two somewhat longer stages. In this case, you will find suitable overnight accommodation halfway through the entire route in Waidhofen an der Ybbs. For families with children who also want to do the route in only two days, we recommend starting directly in Waidhofen an der Ybbs. Suitable overnight accommodations can be found in Opponitz or Hollenstein an der Ybbs. However, book your accommodation in advance.
If three days in the Ybbs valley are not enough for you, there are numerous possibilities to extend your adventure. From Waidhofen an der Ybbs, for example, the Kleine Ybbstalradweg leads to Ybbsitz, a detour that is particularly worthwhile if you are interested in the history of iron craftsmanship in this region.
As an alternative to the return journey from Lunz am See to Waidhofen an der Ybbs with the bike hitchhiker bus or the Ybbstal bike taxi, you can also take the Ötscherland bike route and cycle back towards the Danube via the Erlauftal. From Waidhofen an der Ybbs, you can take the train to Ybbs an der Donau. By the way: If you want to take it easy, you can also start directly in Lunz am See and cycle the route downstream.
It is worth to inform yourself about the current situation on the website of the local tourist office before you start your trip, especially since it can happen in winter that the cycle path is closed due to snow: mostviertel.at/ybbstalradweg
The first stage starts where the Ybbs ends, namely on the Danube. The starting point of the tour is easily accessible by public transport from the ÖBB and the Western Railway from Vienna or Graz. The stop is Ybbs / Donau Bahnhof.You cycle the first ten kilometers along rural roads, past rural villages, until shortly afterwards you cross the Ybbs for the first time. This is followed by a short detour and you leave the official bike path for a visit to a real cider factory, the Seppelbauer-Hof, before you reach the Ybbs a few kilometers later. From now on you follow the course of the river in the direction of its origin, but don't worry, you will hardly feel the rise due to the well-developed paths.In Ulmerfeld you can opt for a short visit to Ulmerfeld Castle, from the tower of which you will have a magnificent view of the Mostviertel (note opening times).It will not be long now and you will already reach today's destination, the place of Kematen. But before you get there, you can refresh yourself in the natural pool on the Allhartsberg side of the Ybbs or even plan an extended break.The only accommodation nearby is the Grissenberger family's inn, not far from the swimming area. It is best to reserve a room there before the tour begins: grissenberger-gimpersdorf.at
Gradually you leave the agricultural area of the Mostviertel behind you and approach the wilder, alpine regions. This is also noticeable in today's altitude profile. However, the climbs are short and hardly noticeable due to the well-paved path.You can take the first break in Waidhofen an der Ybbs. Apart from the picturesque cityscape, which is best viewed from one of the many bridges, there are also numerous sights to see, such as the Rothschild Castle.Today's destination is the idyllic town of Hollenstein an der Ybbs, where you should have no trouble finding suitable accommodation. (Please remember to reserve this in advance.) Around 25 kilometers have to be mastered by then. How nice that the Ybbstalradweg is not stingy with rest stops and invites you to linger here and there. A drinking fountain was even built for the thirsty cyclist ten kilometers from Hollenstein on the Ybbs. For a small fee, you can refresh yourself there with delicious, cool drinks.At the destination there is yet another culture to admire: a museum wagon from the past few days of the Ybbstalbahn, the so-called "Schafkäs-Express", invites you to pause and be amazed.By the way, most of the day you are already on the foundations of the former Ybbstalbahn railway line. As you may already imagine, this fact contributes significantly to the extremely pleasant elevation profile of the route.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
The third stage is the shortest in this collection. So you can take a lot of time today and go swimming again before you really get going. The Hollenstein lido is ideal for this and just the thing on a beautiful summer day.As I said, there are more than enough places for a break on the route through the Ybbstal, but why should you refuse to do so? Today there is no hurry and the landscape is becoming more and more charming. Reason enough to stretch your legs from time to time.After the bathing fun in the morning, there is once again an insight into the traditional history of the Mostviertel: the so-called Töpper Bridge, just before Lunz am See, is more than worth a memorial to the region's difficult industrial times and the short stop on the way.It doesn't take long and you have reached your destination, Lunz am See. The Ötscher mountain range towers imposingly above the lake and is reflected in its surface. If you are still fully in the rhythm of cycling, you can rent a pedal boat on the lake shore and enjoy the lake panorama on a small round.The way back to Waidhofen an der Ybbs takes the Radtramper bus. This runs three times a day from the nostalgia station in Lunz am See (May to October at weekends and on public holidays; July and August every day). If the driving times just don't fit, you can also order the Ybbstal bike taxi. You can find more information here: mostviertel.at/anreise-und-transfer-zum-ybbstalradweg