1st stage: Salzburg – Bischofshofen
Stage distance: 56 km
The cycle tour begins in the historical old town of Salzburg. You then ride a leisurely cycle path alongside the Salzach river, heading south into the Salzburg Limestone Alps. The route passes numerous natural monuments on the way, as well as imposing rock faces and huge gorges.
2nd stage: Bischofshofen - Bad Gastein
Stage distance: 52 km
The second leg winds along past the reservoirs of the Salzach to Schwarzach from the starting point in Bischofshofen. Next, cyclists have to climb up into the Gasteiner Valley before continuing on to Bad Gastein, with incredible panoramic views of the Gasteiner waterfall along the way. Cyclists are also treated to stunning panoramas of the Salzburg Alps en route. The Gasteiner Valley even offers up fantastic views of the glacier-covered peaks of the Hohen Tauern.
3rd stage: Bad Gastein/Mallnitz - Spittal an der Drau
Stage distance: 59 km
The third leg starts in the Gaststeiner Valley or in Mallnitz, depending on which entry to the Tauern Railway Tunnel you prefer. The tunnel provides fast access to Carinthia, which is on the south side of the main Alpine spine. This stage mainly encompasses the Lower Möll Valley, surrounded by the 3,000 metre peaks of the Reißeck Group in the north and Kreuzeck Group to the south. The tour then continues on via Obervellach. The unforgettable highlights of this stage include Falkenstein Castle and the Bernitz waterfall. At your destination for the day, Spittal, the Renaissance-era castle Porcia is also well worth a visit.
4th stage: Spittal an der Drau - Villach
Stage distance: 39 km
This section of the route follows the Drau cycle path, which is very well maintained and signposted, making the route to Villach easy to follow. Most of this stage runs alongside the river. Memorable highlights include the early-Christian church by Molzbichl in the lower Drau Valley and the warm springs in Villach’s Warmbad.
5th stage: Villach - Tarvis
Stage distance: 37 km
This section of the trail runs alongside the Gail heading south into the Villach Alps, with some sections passing through the Dobratsch Nature Park. The route winds its way through several small towns as you edge ever closer to the Italian border, which is eventually crossed at Thörl-Maglern. From there, it’s only a few kilometres along a former railway line to reach Tarvis.
6th stage: Tarvis - Venzone
Stage distance: 63.6 km
This stage encompasses sections on dedicated cycle paths as well on national highway no. 13. The route continues through Dogna, Chiusaforte, Resiutta and then on up the road to the Moggio Udinese bridge, where it crosses the Fella and heads for Moggio. The path then proceeds through Campiolo, Ponte Ex Ferrovia, Carnia and Portis until it reaches Venzone.
7th stage: Venzone - Udine
Stage distance: 52 km
This stage starts in Venzone before following a number of roads towards the coast, passing through Ponte di Pioverno, Bordano, Braulins, Ponte di Braulins, Osoppo and Rivoli di Osoppo before reaching Tomba (Buja). From there, you can take the “Ippovia della Valle del Cormor” cycle path, which runs alongside the Cormor and isn’t tarmacked. This section heads through Cormor Park and Baldasseria Media before arriving at the stage’s conclusion in Udine.
8th stage: Udine - Grado
Stage distance: 53 km
The last leg of the cycle path passes through Baldasseria Media, Pradamano, Lovaria, Pavia di Udine, Lauzacco, Persereano, S. Stefano Udinese, Tissano, S. Maria la Longa, Mereto di Capitolo, Palmanovia Nord-Ovest, Palmanova Sud, Muscoli, Cervignano Sud, Aquileia and Testata Mosconi before finally reaching the centre of Grado.
Please take particular care when riding on busy roads!