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The Alpe Adria Cycle Path: From the city of Mozart to the Adriatic Sea

From the Glacier to the Sea

The Alpe Adria Cycle Path (Ciclovia Alpe Adria Radweg, hence the acronym CAAR), a cross-border long-distance cycle route linking Salzburg, on the northern side of the Alps, to Grado, a well-known Italian tourist and thermal center, overlooking the Adriatic Sea.

  • Start location: Salzburg (Austria)
  • Destination: Grado (Italy)
  • Distance: 415 km
  • Ascent: 5410 m
  • Descent: 5804 m
  • Multiday route: 8 days
  • Direction: One way
  • Surface: asphalt/aggregate surface
  • Time required: 30H (A safe and relaxing bike trip)
  • Difficulty: Medium

The path, by integrating old railway tracks and numerous tunnels, makes the Alpine crossing a pleasure tour on two wheels – with culture, sport, and cuisine.

Crossing the Alps by bike is a dream for many cyclists. And thanks to the perfectly prepared Alpe Adria bike path, you don’t even have to be a top athlete to master this tour. In just one week, it takes you from Mozart’s hometown Salzburg in Austria to the Italian Mediterranean Coast.

Due to the many inquiries, we have received about a tour that would be suitable for road bikes, a route has been designed that bypasses all the unpaved sections of the Alps-Adriatic Bike Tour. In those cases, riders simply have to switch to the nearest (main) road, though this only affects around 20 percent of the entire tour. 80% of the road-bike variant still follows the original route of the Alps-Adriatic Bike Tour!  
The link for a map of this route

Make your way from the Gastein Valley to Böckstein, where a train takes you to Mallnitz on the other side of the Gamskarlspitze mountain range in just 11 minutes. Out in the open again, the bike path is winding through the Austrian county of Carinthia.

Once in Italy, you will pass Tarvis, Gemona, Undine, and Aquileia on your way to Grado on the Adriatic shore. Idyllic spots, beautiful tourist sights and impressive landscapes will accompany you on your trip to the South. One thing is for certain: every cyclist deserves a delicious gelato at the end of their trip, as well as a refreshing jump into the Adriatic Sea.

Alpe Adria Cycle Track FVG

Eight cycling stages connect the city of Mozart to the Adriatic Sea. The Alpe Adria cycle path, by integrating old railway tracks and numerous tunnels, makes the Alpine crossing a pleasure tour on two wheels – with culture, sport and cuisine.

This itinerary is considered one of the most heterogeneous and scenographic cycling routes in Europe and offers continuous surprises for cyclists. You will cycle through pleasant towns, medieval villages and characteristic villages, riding along the banks of placid rivers and foaming streams that sometimes disappear into wild ravines.

Alpine landscapes, peaceful villages and a host of sights will accompany you on your journey, while more than 20 tunnels will assist you on your journey, making an Alpine crossing an undertaking that requires a more manageable amount of energy.

The Alpe Adria Radweg cycle route has won awards “Best Cycle of the Year 2015” during the active tourism fair in Amsterdam and the “Oscar of Cycle tourism” at the Cosmobike in Verona in 2016.

From the suggestive alpine valleys, rich in woods and dominated by high mountains, we descend towards the fertile Friuli plain and the sunny Mediterranean beaches. While cycling along this path you will surely be fascinated by the continuous succession of natural wonders, historical monuments, rich popular culture and typical dishes of the regions crossed.

There is therefore no wonder that the number of cyclists who choose this track for their cycling holidays is increasing year after year!

You do not have to worry about transport from Grado back home to Carinthia and Salzburg. The Alpe Adria bike path runs almost continuously along the railway line. If required, various sections can be covered by train at any time. The “Micotra train” connects the cities of Udine and Villach with its own bike carriage, offering a special service for every cyclist.

The Alpe Adria Cycle Trail is not only a perfect example of the good cooperation between the three states of Salzburg, Carinthia and Friuli–Venezia Giulia. It is also a practical example of how to get to know the culture and cuisine of three states within just a few days: today you can start with Salzburger Nockerl dessert, then enjoy the cuisine of the Carinthian Alps and Adriatic on the next day, followed by Italian delicacies in a trattoria in Tarvis, Udine or Grado.


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