Alpe-Adria cycle path: Salzburg - Grado
From the Alps to the sea.
What more could you ask for than letting your bike roll down from the Alps to the Mediterranean? This special bike tour begins in the festival - and Mozart city of Salzburg. Wonderful bike paths lead you along the Salzach river and through the wild and romantic Gastein Valley. Surrounded by mountains over 3000 meters high, you meander through the fascinating world of the Alps. Enjoy impressive landscapes, cultural gems, local customs and hearty cuisine. When you arrive at the sea, you will surely agree with us: great composers were at work here! You mainly cycle on well-developed bike paths and quiet side streets. Only a few sections lead on roads with heavy traffic or unpaved roads. Overall, the route is not always downhill, but rather slightly hilly, whereby the most demanding section between St. Johann and the Gastein Valley can be avoided by train.
1. day Arrival in Salzburg
Look forward to the city of Salzburg. There are winding alleys, places to stroll, dreamy cafes with real Austrian coffee specialties, colorful culture and diverse history at every turn.
2. day Salzburg – St. Johann approx. 65 km
Through meadows along the Salzach, you cycle leisurely from Salzburg south to Hallein. Take a break here in the medieval heart of the city. Stroll through the narrow streets and across the wide squares of the historic salt and Celtic city. Hallein will surprise you with a romantic old town, historic archways and houses with magnificent facades. Continue past the rushing waterfall and Golling. On the well-developed Salzach cycle path, you cycle almost always directly along the riverside to St. Johann. Unmistakable - like double mountain peaks - the towers of the Pongau Cathedral can be seen from afar. Look forward to the town and enjoy the special atmosphere of this little shopping paradise. Whether modern or traditional, friendly shops invite you to browse, cozy inns and inviting restaurants promise a nice evening.
3. day St. Johann – Mölltal approx. 60 km + train journey
You cycle 7 kilometers by bike along the Salzach river to Schwarzach. From here, the river Gasteiner Ache accompanies you through the wild and romantic Gastein Valley. Via Dorfgastein and Bad Hofgastein you continue through the Hohe Tauern National Park to the well-known spa and winter sports resort Bad Gastein. Marvel at the impressive villas from the Belle Époque period that were built on the steep slopes. Surrounded by peaks that tower above the three-thousand-meter mark, Bad Gastein is the Monte Carlo of the Alps! Take a worthwhile break here and marvel at the narrow center that has emerged around the waterfall. The total fall of the Gasteiner Ache is 341 m and is spread over three steps. Then you cycle another 4 km to the train station in Böckstein. You use the train, which takes you comfortably to the other side of the Alps to Mallnitz in just 10 minutes. Look forward to your bike route in the Mölltal, because a rushing descent will get you there fast.
4. day Mölltal– Villach approx. 70 km
Enjoy the Möll valley, which got its name from the Möll river. The Möll rises on the Großglockner and flows into the Drau only 80 km later. Let yourself be fascinated by the wild water of the Möll and the impressive alpine mountain landscape. Look forward to the Drau valley, because this is where the sunny south of Austria begins. Almost by itself, your bike will bring you downhill along the Drau. Visit Porcia Castle in Spittal, because it is one of the most important Renaissance buildings in Austria! Then you cycle along the riverbanks of the Drau from one small highlight to the next. You can explore excavations of an early Christian church near Molzbichl, an archeology museum and the Dobratsch nature park near Villach. Stroll through Villach in the afternoon and discover the old streets and idyllic arcaded courtyards. Enjoy the pulsating life of the more than 800-year-old trading town and visit the late Gothic parish church, one of the most beautiful hall churches in the country.
5. day Villach – Venzone/ surroundings approx. 60 km + train journey
You can bypass the ascent to Tarvisio by train. In Italy, too, the cycle path is well developed and so you cycle comfortably downhill through the Canal Valley and admire the beauties of the Friulian Alpine region with untouched nature and extensive forests from the saddle. One of the pretty villages at the foothills of the Julian Alps will be your hotel.
6. day Venzone / surroundings - Udine approx. 55 km
Almost the same route as the iron which was transported in the 15th century, today you will follow the course of the Tagliamento before turning shortly after Gemona towards Udine. But first take a break in Gemona, because it is one of the most beautiful historical places in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Marvel at the beautiful facade of the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral and stroll through the narrow streets of the old town. In 1976 Friuli was hit by a severe earthquake (Richter scale 6.5), the epicenter of which was near Gemona. Gemona and the neighboring communities of Venzone and Osoppo were almost destroyed. The right aisle and the campanile of the famous cathedral Santa Maria Assunta (Holy Mary Assumption) collapsed. Everything has been rebuilt as well as possible, including the campanile (bell tower), but the columns in the cathedral are still a bit crooked. Then you cycle back and forth through fields and meadows from one village to the next. Look forward to Udine, a small town with flair, where “dolce vita” can be felt. In Piazza della Liberta, one of the most beautiful squares in northern Italy, you can marvel at the Palladio Gate and the Venetian clock tower, and don't miss out on having an espresso or cappuccino here. Stroll through the historic center, marvel at the cathedral and the Castello on the hill above the city.
7. day Udine - Grado on the Mediterranean Sea, approx. 55 km
Today you cycle through wide reed landscapes and along small water channels towards the Gulf of Venice. Take a break in the small town of Palmanova (approx. 5500 inhabitants), whose layout was planned at the end of the 16th century and whose star-shaped outline has been preserved to this day. Some planning features were once relatively wide, regular streets so that the soldiers from the center (parade ground) could get to the defenses (city wall) as quickly as possible. On your bike route to the Adriatic coast, you should definitely stop in Aquileia. The historic Roman city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. Parts of the remains of the Roman city have been uncovered, such as the forum and the inland port. While in Aquileia, visit the 11th-century medieval basilica, famous for its early Christian floor mosaics. The mosaics are among the most important in the country! Now it's only about 10 km to Grado. Look forward to one of the most popular seaside resorts on the Adriatic with an extensive sandy beach and a historic fishing town. Let the evening and your trip end in the narrow streets with cozy restaurants and Italian flair.
8. day Grado departure
If you want to spend more relaxing days on the Adriatic, you are welcome to book additional nights in Grado.
prices & services
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Prices are per person.
29.04. – 12.05.2023
30.09. – 07.10.2023
13.05. – 26.05.2023
09.09. – 29.09.2023
27.05. – 08.09.2023
bookable additional nights
bookable additional services
- Personal tour information
- 1 train journey Böckstein - Mallnitz including bike
- 1 train ride Villach - Tarvis incl.bike
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- GPS tracks on request
- tips for tour preparation
- touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
Worth knowing about the cycle tour Salzburg - Grado
Below you will find specific information about the individual bike tour Salzburg - Grado. If you have any further questions about this trip, just give us a call: Tel.: 06421 - 886890.
Arrival by car
There are tolls and motorway fees in Austria. A vignette is required. You can buy vignettes online or at petrol stations just before the border or at the border.
Arrival by train
The arrival hotels are either within walking distance or up to a maximum of 1.5 km from Salzburg Central Station. The best way to get to our partner hotels in Salzburg from the train station is a short taxi ride. Current timetable and price information can be found at:
Train schedule information Deutsche Bahn
Parking facilities at the hotel
Some of the arrival hotels have parking spaces that cannot be reserved in advance. Costs approx. 10,00 - 15,00 € per day. A good alternative to the hotel parking spaces is the Linzergasse parking garage at Glockengasse 4A. A week ticket costs around 70,00 € (reservation necessary). You will receive detailed information on parking at the hotel booked for you with the detailed travel documents two weeks before the start of your journey.
Condition of the bike paths
You mainly cycle on well-developed bike paths and quiet side streets. Only a few sections lead on roads with heavy traffic or unpaved roads. Overall, the route is slightly hilly, although the most demanding section between St. Johann and the Gastein Valley can be avoided by train.
Tour information and rental bike handover
The personal tour information with subsequent bike handover takes place on the day of arrival between 5 pm and 7 pm. The exact time will be announced by the reception upon arrival. If you do not want to take part in the tour information, documents and rental bikes will be deposited at the arrival hotel. A short message in advance is very welcome!
Available rental bikes
For this trip, you can choose from unisex bikes with either 7-speed gear hubs and coaster brakes or 21-gear chain gears in various frame heights, as well as 8-gear electric bikes with coaster brakes. Simply state your bike requirements when booking.
Transfer back to the starting point
You can book an organized return transfer from Grado to Salzburg in advance. The return transfer takes place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the shuttle bus including bike departure 09.30 am. A reservation is required.
Alternatively, a return journey by train from Grado to Salzburg is only possible with several changes. You must first take the bus to Udine (Grado - Cervignano - Udine, duration: approx. 1.30 hours), then take the train to Salzburg with a change in Villach (duration: approx. 4 hours, 1x change in Villach, costs approx. 65,00 €).
Cycling in Austria and Italy
Helmets are not compulsory in Austria, but wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Since 2011, cyclists in Italy have been obliged to wear safety vests in rural areas during the night (half an hour before sunset to half an hour before sunrise). In addition, luminous vests are mandatory as soon as you cycle in tunnels with road traffic.
Weather / climate
The climate in Austria can be assigned to the humid-warm temperate zone. The ideal travel time for cycling is therefore spring, summer and autumn. Northern Italy is still in the Central European climatic area (cold winters). The subtropical transitional climate begins from the Po Plain down. The middle and south of the country are characterized by mild, humid winters and dry, hot summers. During the summer months, it is advisable to pack light, easily washable clothes, and light woolen clothes should not be missing in your luggage for the evenings. For the rest of the time, transition clothing and warmer woolen clothes are recommended.
Extra costs that are not included in the tour price
Any visitor's tax that may be incurred is not part of the tour price and must therefore be paid on site.
7 day hotline service
In case of chain breakdown, flooding or other bad surprises that makes a continuation of your tour impossible: no problem, we also work during weekends and you can reach us 7 days a week in case of emergency.
Passport and visa requirements, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
Corona travel information:
Before booking your trip, please inform yourself about the measures in place to contain the Corona pandemic.
An up-to-date overview of applicable measures and travel and safety advice regarding Covid-19 for all countries in the EU and Switzerland can be found here:
You can also find more information on our website at:
Corona virus and holiday planning
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
The 900-year-old Hohensalzburg Fortress, the symbol of the city, is one of Europe's largest and best-preserved castle complexes. The fortress, built by Archbishop Gebhard during the investiture controversy in 1077, served to protect the clergy and the population.
Mirabell Palace is located in the middle of the old town. With its castle garden and view of the fortress, it attracts visitors in every season. The palace garden is a recreational park for tourists and locals alike. In the palace area, the visitor walks across the rose hill, into the dwarf garden, through the hedge theater and through the avenue, discovering fountains and monuments. An unusually large aviary from around 1700 no longer serves as a bird house today but invites its gallery visitors.
Around 500 animals from a total of 150 species live in Salzburg Zoo, a modern nature and species protection center managed in accordance with strict EU guidelines. Animals who are sorely in need and whose habitat is being irretrievably destroyed find protection and a home here. And not only exotic species like the Siberian tiger are affected- domestic species such as the Alpine Ibex would be extinct without conservation breeding as well.
The dreamy streets, the romantic corners and the lovingly renovated houses make Hallein's old town, which is listed under monument protection, a gem of medieval architecture.
A walk through the old town is a journey in the footsteps of the times when salt was still called "white gold". For many centuries this was the basis for the development of the cityscape, its residents, as well as trade, handicrafts and trades.
St. Johann im Pongau
Around 60 km south of the city of Salzburg lies St. Johann im Pongau with its alpine village in the wide valley of the Salzach river. Many cozy hotels, inns and restaurants invite you to linger and as a shopping city St. Johann offers a shopping experience for every taste. Discover the sights of the city: Pongau Cathedral, Anna Chapel and the Liechtenstein Gorge.
Porcia Castle in Spittal
Porcia Castle is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings north of the Alps. A unique work of art of the Renaissance was created here by Italian masters on behalf of Gabriel of Salamanca and his descendants. For a long time, the castle also served as the residence of the Princes of Porcia (1662 - 1912). The beauty of the three-story arcade courtyard now forms a worthy setting for numerous cultural events.
Aquileia was an important trade and transport hub during the Roman Empire. In 452 the Roman city was destroyed by the Huns. The archaeological sites and the basilica were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.
Enjoy an aperitif in the historic ambience of Piazza della Libertà and Piazza Matteotti in Udine. The small Piazza della Libertà inspires with its intimacy and the surrounding palaces and statues. The mighty fort of the city watches over the hustle and bustle. The Piazza Matteotti impresses with its spaciousness and is framed by colorful town houses that look at the local weekly market from Tuesday to Saturday. A visit to Udine Cathedral and the castle complex with museums and galleries with religious art treasures should not be missed.
Grado is a paradise for cyclists! The island is located at the end of the Alpe Adria, the best bike path in Europe in 2015, with its beautiful mountain, hill and lagoon landscapes. Just a few steps from the beach you can stroll through the streets of the historic center, the "Castrum". Discover old, historical places with a lot of art and culture.