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Cycling like a Kaiser – From lake to lake in Austria's Salzkammergut

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Cycling like a Kaiser – From lake to lake in Austria's Salzkammergut

Bike Touring Collection by Tobias

11

Tours

27:49 h

250 mi

14,350 ft

I always remind myself that “not only is the view from the mountains into the valley fascinating, but the view up to the peaks is remarkable too – especially where you are standing by the lake.” Emperor Franz Joseph I and his “Sissi” certainly also saw it that way when they chose the Salzkammergut to be their summer resort in the 19th century.

If you are a fan of lakes and mountains and enjoy relaxed cycling, then the Salzkammergut Cycling Trail is perfect for you. On the trail, you can explore 12 fantastic lakes (ten of which are included in the 20 largest lakes in Austria), impressive mountain peaks, and cliffs that hug the crystal clear water. You can reach these stunning landscapes with just 1,280 feet (390 m) of climbing on average per day.

And the best thing about it: there are an incredible number of possible variations on how you can ride this impressive route. The Salzkammergut Cycling Trail is a circular route, meaning you can start at almost any point. The trail also often crosses road junctions, such as in Bad Ischl, which allows you to shorten the stages if necessary. Furthermore, there is an official alternative route to the first stage, which I also present to you in this Collection. So, if you run out of time, you can easily split your adventure into two, three or even more stages.

The festival city of Salzburg is an ideal starting point, which is very easy to reach by train or other means of transport. From there, the route runs for almost 223 miles (360 km) past the Mondsee to the Wolfgangsee, through the imperial city of Bad Ischl to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hallstatt-Dachstein, on to Bad Aussee, the Traunsee and Attersee lakes and finally to the Salzburg Lakeland. You can look forward to ten relaxed and varied stages with beautiful mountain panoramas, which Empress Sissi would once have enjoyed.

You cross three Austrian federal states on your journey: Salzburg, Styria and Upper Austria. The roads are mostly low-traffic and asphalted, but there are also occasional gravel sections. You rarely have to ride along busier federal roads. If you do, you can usually skip them by jumping on the train or a boat if you wish.

Since the Salzkammergut is a popular tourist region, you will find suitable accommodation almost everywhere. From campsites, guesthouses, and self-catering to luxury hotels, there is something for every taste and budget. Your food cravings will also be well catered for at the popular cafes and restaurants along the way. Here, you can try smoked trout or char, freshly-caught from the Salzkammergut lakes.

On The Map

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Salzkammergutradweg

218 mi

11,775 ft

11,775 ft

Last updated: December 17, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1a: Von Salzburg nach Gries – Salzkammergutradweg (Variante Drachenwand)

    Intermediate
    02:10
    21.6 mi
    10.0 mph
    925 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    As the Salzkammergut cycle path is a circular route, you can, as already mentioned, get on at any point without any problems. The most affordable option is clearly in the city of Salzburg. If you want, you could even travel by plane. However, it is more environmentally friendly by train. Here you will

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  • Difficult
    02:55
    26.1 mi
    9.0 mph
    2,125 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The slightly more demanding variant of the first stage on the Salzkammergut cycle path also leads you from the city of Salzburg via Eugendorf to the hill just before Enzersberg, from where you can see the Drachenwand in the distance. Before you turn five kilometers later from the cycle path, which here

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  • Intermediate
    03:03
    27.1 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage takes you from Gries via Sankt Gilgen and Strobl on Lake Wolfgang to the imperial city of Bad Ischl. If you want, you can make a detour to St Wolfgang in the Salzkammergut on the opposite side of the lake just behind Strobl. Alternatively, it is possible to take the ferry from Gschwendt

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  • Intermediate
    02:08
    18.9 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,050 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    From Bad Ischl past Bad Goisern, you follow the glittering Hallstätter See on its east bank and at the end of it you make a small U-turn to the northwest to cycle a little further to Hallstatt. Alternatively, you can shorten the stage by ferry at various points: for example at the Uferwirt “Seeraunzn

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  • Difficult
    02:32
    18.9 mi
    7.5 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It's a bit mountainous today. From Hallstatt you work your way up the Koppentraun to Bad Aussee. From here you follow the gently rising Grundlseer Traun to the lake of the same name, at the end of which your day's destination is in Gößl.

    

    On the way you can make a detour to the Koppenbrüller cave as a

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  • Difficult
    02:55
    23.3 mi
    8.0 mph
    2,175 ft
    2,400 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today's stage is almost the most demanding of the entire collection, with a climb of almost 500 meters on a gravel track. Therefore I would like to briefly remind you that you can alternatively skip stage 5. For the beautiful mountain panorama that awaits you today, the "small" excursion is definitely

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  • Intermediate
    02:47
    24.2 mi
    8.7 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,900 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    On stage number 6 you drive from Bad Aussee via Altaussee and Bad Ischl to Ebensee am Traunsee. The day does not start unspectacular: after the first short but crisp climb, you can let your gaze wander over the Altaussee plateau on the plateau of Altaussee, with the Trisselwand majestically enthroned

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  • Intermediate
    02:21
    23.0 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At least half of today's day is entirely devoted to Lake Traunsee, the western bank of which you follow to Gmunden to its northern end. From now on you part with the Traun and cross the northern foothills of the Höllengebirge to Seewalchen am Attersee.

    

    The route on the banks of Lake Traunsee leads mainly

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  • Intermediate
    02:49
    25.8 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Seewalchen you drive along the west bank of the Attersee to Unterach where the Mondsee merges over the less than three kilometers long Seeache into the Attersee, which is a little lower down. At Mondsee you follow the east bank of the second half of the day to its northern end.

    

    You start the stage

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  • Intermediate
    02:16
    22.1 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,025 ft
    950 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The path now leads you further and further west, back to your starting point in Salzburg. On today's stage you drive from Mondsee to Irrsee and via Straßwalchen to Mattsee in the idyllic Salzburg Lake District.

    

    You will have noticed that you are leaving the large mountain lakes more and more behind you

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  • Intermediate
    01:53
    18.5 mi
    9.9 mph
    525 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You can afford a little dangle to the north to pass the fascinating land bridge between Mattsee, Grabensee and Obertrumer See, then it goes southwards, back towards Salzburg.

    

    Shortly after Obertrum am See a small hill awaits you, but it is quite easy to master. Then it goes down to Salzach on the German

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    250 mi
  • Duration
    27:49 h
  • Elevation
    14,350 ft

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