Beautiful Road Cycle Tours without Borders in Carinthia

Carinthia, Austria’s southernmost state, offers an attractive terrain for road cyclists.

The mild climate on the southern side of the Alps makes it possible to take extended tours as early as in March, with the season generally lasting until November. The routes also provide variety, which is made possible by the distinctive mountain and lake scenery of the Alpe-Adria region that borders Italy and Slovenia.

The sunny south has countless beautiful tours available for road cyclists. They lead along routes with little traffic through marvellous natural scenery, from the lofty peaks of Hohe Tauern National Park to the gentle hills of the Nockberge Mountains and into the wide valleys with their bathing lakes whose warm water is clean, pure enough to drink and reaches temperatures of up to 28 degrees.

Carinthia offers road cyclists routes of all performance levels on the most varied terrain. Options include riding for several hours over relatively level terrain along the beautiful lakes and taking a tour on Austria’s highest mountain pass, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. The mild climate, the hearty Carinthian Alpe-Adria cuisine, and excursions over the Carinthian borders into Italy and Slovenia provide many enjoyable tours and magical moments.

Explore magnificent mountain passes and alpine roads on your road cycle

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is doubtless amongst the most beautiful alpine roads in Europe. The tour leads through Döllach in the Mölltal Valley, where a relaxed climb leads to the famous mountain climber village of Heiligenblut. From there it goes directly into the central zone of Hohe Tauern National Park and past the famous Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe; the distinctive view from the Hochtor (2,576m) of the highest mountain in Austria, the Grossglockner (3,798m), awaits you as a reward.

The Nockalm road

An excursion on the Nockalm road is another highlight which opens in May. It is the classic amongst Carinthia’s mountain roads and leads through gorgeous Almen right in the heart of the Biosphere Park.

The Villach Alpine Road

Another recreational tour that you can discover is the sun-kissed Villach Alpine Road on the mighty panoramic mountain, the Dobratsch. The view from the panoramic plateau reaches out over the entire area. At over 2,000 metres above sea level, the Dobratsch is a worthy destination and the delicious dishes at Rosstrattenstüberl or at the Aichingerhütte will refill your energy stores.

The Carnic Dolomite Road

The Carnic Dolomite Road is another insider’s tip. It leads from Carinthia to Italy and back again via two beautiful mountain roads through the Carnic Alps. Geological features, witnesses to the passage of history and small linguistic enclaves in the Italian region of La Carnia accompany road cyclists.

Around the lakes of Carinthia and

on to sunny alpine plateaus

Those who like to take on rewarding climbs should take an excursion to Carinthia’s sunniest outlook, Diex, a lovely little town with an average of 2,000 sun hours per year. The panoramic views of the Jauntal Valley, the Lavanttal Valley, the Karavankas, the Steiner Alps and the Petzen reward cyclists for the challenging ascent.

Another treasure of the south are the gentle epicure routes in the spacious Lavanttal Valley, which is also affectionately known as ‘Carinthia’s fruit pantry’. With its thousand-year history of fruit and wine growing, the valley is known for its pleasures and continues to lure visitors into taking a comfortable respite amidst the numerous cider growers and vintners. The Steiermark and Slovenia are also accessible from here via lovely routes.

And even more beautiful road cycle Tours

Three countries in one day

Faaker See

Faaker See bei Villach

Three countries in one day means pleasure cubed: cultural, scenic and culinary. The famous ‘Three Country Tour’ starts at the desired departure point around Villach and follows serene roads to the national boundary and into Italy. Near Tarvisio it turns off into a romantic tributary valley that leads to idyllic Lado del Predil and winds its way up to the Predil Pass. Arriving at the top, cyclists finds themselves in Slovenia, and in Triglav National Park. This is a good place to pause and allow the stunning mountain scenery to have its effect. The path continues on into the famous valley of the Soča, which is amongst the most beautiful turquoise rivers in Europe. The incline to the Vrsič Pass rewards cyclists with a wonderful vista of the Trenta Valley before making a brisk descent in the direction of Kranjska Gora. The last climb travels over the Wurzen Pass, and the cyclist finally arrives in Carinthia once again after wonderful hours of cycling. Cyclists should forget about the time on the way because cycling too quickly through this impressive scenery will cause them to miss the unique scenic delights. On the contrary, cyclists should live in the moment and allow the Alpe-Adria region to work its magic. The best way to treat yourself to the local cuisine along the way is with prosciutto and cappuccino in Tarvisio, or with a ‘Gibanica’, a traditional flaky pastry, in the famous World Cup site of Kranjska Gora. The imaginative creations of Carinthian Alpe-Adria cuisine lure cyclists to an enjoyable finish on the many lakeside terraces. 

In the footsteps of Ironman Austria

A ride on the famous Ironman Austria route is a treat for any passionate road cyclist. It travels on the lovely Süduferstrasse along Lake Wörthersee past the picturesque Maria Wörth pilgrimage church and further on to Rosegg. Here, cyclists can take in the magical views from the lofty summits of the Karavankas Mountains. The ‘speed course’ at the turquoise Lake Faaker See provides a thrilling experience and lets cyclists feel the refreshing air rush by. The climb up the Rupertiberg crowns the tour with a grandiose view of the Rosental Valley. It travels along this valley via Klagenfurt towards Lake Wörthersee, where cyclists can proudly proclaim that they have experienced first-hand the intensity of the Ironman route. The tour is well signposted throughout with the unmistakable Ironman logo.

Kärnten Radmarathon Bad Kleinkirchheim
Bad Kleinkirchheim

Events and activities

The ‘Tour de Kärnten’ will also be held again this year. It is a stage race that will take place from 18 - 23 May 2019 at Lake Ossiacher See and the Nockberge Mountains. There are six stages to conquer in the distinctive mountain and lake scenery of the sunny south. The racing event is part of an attractive larger programme with musical events, daily award ceremonies and, of course, pasta parties. 

300k in one day is a mystical limit for every road cyclist. Only few have done that. The Alps-Adriatic Region is perfect for such a project. Starting at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs Höhe at 2500m above sea level the course goes mainly downhill through Carinthia, the Soča valley in Slovenia as well as Friuli to the finish in Grado at the Adriatic sea. Fuga300 is limited for 150 starters.

Weather today, 28. November 2023