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Carinthian Waters 10-day Self-guided Cycling Tour Level 2
Lots of sun, water and marvellous cycling paths await in Austria’s most southern state, in Carinthia. Initially the river Drau is your meadering companion. You cycle past languorous villages, the route is lined with mountain panoramas catching your eye. During the second part of this cycling holiday Carinthia’s crystal-clear and marvellously warm lakes invite you with their gentle lakesides to embark on a few additional loops: Lake Faaker See, Lake Ossiacher See, Lake Klopeiner See – each of them has their own character. And naturally on top of that the 'carnival town' Villach and then Klagenfurt, the so-called 'Rose of Lake Wörthersee', are all part of the itinerary and should be properly explored. Look forward to the country roads warming your hearts and plenty of opportunities during your cycling tours to take short breaks and plunge into the cool water to feel refreshed and invigorated.
The Drau-cycle path mostly leads you along the riverbanks on well-maintained paths, sometimes also on side roads with very little traffic. The cycle path around the lakes are also signposted well, lead on flat terrain and are suitable for everyone
If you would like to rent a bike (85 EUR) or e-bike (189 EUR) please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Slow Tours offers a number of other Cycling Tours in Europe
Arrival in Lienz
Arrival in Lienz in East-Tyrol situated at the confluence of the rivers Isel and Drau. With a total of two thousand sunshine hours annually it is Austria’s sunniest holiday region. The breathtaking panorama onto the Alps and the Lienz-Dolomites will excite you.
Lienz - Toblach - Lienz approx. 50 km
A train ride takes you comfortably together with your bikes from Lienz to Toblach, located shortly before the Italian border. The river Drau is still a young river in this section, babbling and breaking her way through the narrow Pustertal-valley. Defiant fortresses, castles and palaces rise majestically above the valley and herald desires of the once rich and powerful. Modest Romanesque chapels, Gothic and Baroque churches, crucifixes and piety columns invite for a short break. Over a long distance the rugged, bizarre rockfaces of the Lienz-Dolomites tower over the landscape and hence turn today’s stage into an unforgettable experience. Day Finish again in Lienz.
Lienz - Berg approx. 35 km
From Lienz, the confluence of the rivers Isel and Drau, you again follow the river Drau now appearing in a shade of gray, by the locals called ‚glacier milk‘, which is due to very fine rock particles coming from the gigantic rocks. Along ancient Roman trade routes – past ruins, castles, little churches and wayside crosses – you cycle through the picturesque Oberdrautal-valley. En route you pass pretty villages such as Pirkach, Oberdrauburg and the first market town on Carinthian soil, Dellach.
Berg - Spittal approx. 45 km
Today you cycle mostly along the river Drau through the marvllous Carinthian farmland featuring forests, fields, old farm houses and little hamlets. Cosy wine taverns, called ‚Buschenschenken‘ await with proper farm food and invite you to take a break. Past time-honoured farm houses decorated with flowers the well-developed Drau cycle path takes you to Spittal an der Drau. The centre of Spittal features a main square, which you might call ‚cute‘ and a particularly beautiful palace, which is considered one of the most impressive Renaissance building with the clearest style in all of Central Europe and is called ‚Porcia‘ named after the previous owners.
Spittal - Villach approx. 40 km
Today you cycle through the ‚Cultural Promenade of Upper Corinthia‘. You leave the area of Spital along the river Drau and immerse yourself into an ancient cultural scenery, meadows and forests and idyllic wetland- areas. Past Kellerberg palace always along the river Drau you reach Villach. The heart of Villach features the pretty old part of town with its Italian flair and the cosy pubs and restaurants. The Drau-metropolis presents itself to visitors adequately as vivacious and oozing southern flair. Part of the character of the town is definitely the river Drau, meandering through Villach just like a blue ribbon.
Villach - Klagenfurt approx. 50 km
Initially you cycle for a few kilometres along the Drau-cycle path headed East. The route continues through unspoilt Carinthian farmland. Your next destination is the bussling town of Velden on Lake Wörthersee. The clear, turquoise-blue water of Lake Wörthersees and the hussle and bussle invite you to a break in the ‚celebrity ‘-town. Through a charming scenery with rolling hills you reach the ‚Keutschach Seental‘. Sometimes it is a languorous wayside cross, sometimes it is a farm house decorated with flowers that catches your eye. The wide valley, the soft rolling hills and wooded mountains, four lovely lakes and in the distance: mountains. Even the close-by sunny South can be felt.
Lake Hafnersee, Lake Keutschacher See, Lake Baßgeigensee and Lake Rauschelesee are grouped around the resort Keutschach. The ‚Lend ‘-canal, situated at the eastern shores of Lake Wörthersee, leads you into the state capital of Carinthia, to Klagenfurt.
As an alternative (approx. 40 km) to the ‚Keutschacher Seental‘-region you can also embark on the option along the northern shores of Lake Wörthersee leading via Velden, Pörtschach and Krumpendorf to Klagenfurt.
Klagenfurt - Klopeiner See approx. 35 km
Klagenfurt – "the Rose of Lake Wörthersee" – captivates with its enchanting old part of town. Built by Italian architects in the 16/17th century, it has kept its southern flair over centuries. As legend has it the home of a dragon (Lindwurm), today features winding alleyways, romantic arcade courts churches and town houses to explore.
After such a big dose of culture you continue by bike. Along the small river Glan you will leave Klagenfurt and after you passed a small range of hills with villages and forest you will reach the river Drau. On the Drau-river cycle path you will cycle to the Völkermarkter reservoir. Now it is only a short distance before you reach the warmest lake of the state, Lake Klopeiner See. The shores of Lake Klopeiner See are very inviting: the surroundings are mostly wooded and from the hilltops you see flashes of white little churches, in the South the Karawanken-mountain chain rises and above it all you see the sun in the (usually) blue sky. Now there is only enough time for a refreshing swim in the lake.
Klopeiner See - St. Veit approx. 50 km
Idyllic cycle paths lead you from Klopeiner See to the Völkermarkter reservoir, where you will cycle along its waterfront and then pass the river Drau for the last time. On the Glan-Gurk-cycle path you will be led around the former duke city Völkermarkt, capital of the Jaunatal and located on a rising ground and further through typical Carinthian villages and landscapes in direction to the castle Hochosterwitz. It is very impressive what the nature and human beings created there! On top of a 150m high chalk rock there is an invulnerable fortress which overcame lots of centuries and can be visited now. Numerous castles and palaces in the surroundings remind us of the former significance of the onetime state capital St. Veit.
St. Veit - Villach approx. 55 km
For centuries St. Veit has been the seat of the Carinthian bishops. The city wall, the medieval main square, the oppulent Rainassance houses, beautiful archade courts, Herzogsburg-castle and many monuments still testify of this period even today. You head west and cycle along the river Glan to Glanegg. Already visible from afar is Glanegg castle ruin, towering here over and above the valley.
The cycle path leads you through Feldkirchen which is surrounded by wooded hills, romantic palaces and venerable ruins and directly to Lake Ossiacher See and back again to your start-and end destination, beautiful Villach.
Departure or extension
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