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Gourmet Highlights and Sights on the Alpine Crossing

What you should definitely not miss on your Alpine crossing.
Alpine crossing on the E5

Crossing the Alps by bike is probably every cyclist's dream. Cycle through breathtaking mountain vistas, where the peaks of the Alps rise proudly into the sky, amidst flowering mountain meadows and rugged cliffs. These impressions will surely stay with you for a long time to come.

With a variety of routes catering to all difficulty levels, there's a path for everyone to conquer the mountain range that divides northern Europe from the south. We've curated the most picturesque routes for you, complete with recommendations for must-see attractions and delectable dining experiences.

Alpine crossing on the E5

The Alps – Europe's defining mountain range

The Alps characterize the landscape from Monaco to Slovenia and are the highest mountain range in Europe. They stretch across eight countries, with Mont Blanc as the highest peak at 4808 meters.

The region's flora and fauna are uniquely adapted to its varied environments. Many of the approximately 13,000 plant and 30,000 animal species are exclusive to the Alps. Examples include the edelweiss, the marmot, and the ibex.

Alpine climate mirrors its biodiversity, with lower elevations experiencing temperate conditions featuring cold winters and warm summers. The middle range, around 800 to 1800 meters, brings notably colder and wetter weather. Beyond 1800 meters, the high alpine zone begins, marked by glaciers and perpetual snow and ice.  

Pleasure and culture on the Alpe Adria Cycle Path

One of the most picturesque cycling routes for crossing the Alps follows the Alpe Adria Cycle Path, starting from the city of Salzburg. This renowned route meanders along the Salzach and Gastein valleys into Carinthia on your cyling holidays, then continues on to Italy. Along the journey, you'll pass through charming towns like Tarvisio and Udine before arriving at your final destination, Grado. At the end of the journey, you'll have clocked 410 kilometers on your bike. You should feel proud of this accomplishment! And don't worry, you don't have to pedal the entire way. We have tours suited for every preference and skill level.

Gastein waterfall

One of Bad Gastein's iconic features is its central waterfall. Cascading in three stages with a height drop of 341 meters, it provides a thunderous spectacle. The atomization of the negatively ionized air around the falls is known to have a positive impact on overall well-being. The Gasteiner Ache river originates from the Hohe Tauern National Park. 

Take a leisurely stroll through the enchanting streets of Bad Gastein, where you'll be captivated by the historic Belle Époque buildings surrounding the waterfall, the quaint narrow alleyways of the old town center, and the breathtaking natural scenery. It's easy to see why Bad Gastein was once referred to as the "Monte Carlo of the Alps."

Gastein waterfall

Tarvisio with a view of the Triglav National Park

Tarvisio is situated in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region within the border triangle of Italy, Austria, and Slovenia. The area's landscape is defined by the imposing Julian Alps mountain ranges. Just before reaching Tarvisio, you'll be treated to an incredible panoramic view of Slovenia's Triglav National Park. This is an experience you absolutely shouldn't miss.

The Church of St. Peter and Paul in Tarvisio is a must-visit attraction. Dating back to the 15th century, it boasts numerous frescoes that are sure to captivate visitors. The square in front of the church is a bustling hub and a popular gathering spot during the summer months.

Signposts on the cycle path to Tarvisio

Porto Mandracchio in Grado

You've reached Grado, the destination of the Alpe Adria Cycle Path. The port of Grado is situated right in the city center, exuding a lagoon-like atmosphere as the sea flows through the city like a canal. It invites you to stroll past beautiful yachts and boats.

Every year on the first Sunday of July, the "Perdòn de Barbana" is celebrated. This is a procession with impressively decorated boats from the lagoon in Grado to the island of Barbana. It originated as a thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary for ending the plague that struck Grado in the year 1237.


Delicacies along the Alpe Adria cycle path

A culinary highlight awaits you right at the start in Salzburg: the famous Salzburger Nockerl. In keeping with tradition, they are served in the form of three sweet soufflé, which symbolize Salzburg's three local mountains.

In Carinthia, you simply can't miss out on trying Kasnudeln. These dumplings are packed with curd cheese, potatoes, mint, and chervil, then generously topped with brown butter. The art of sealing Kasnudeln, known as Krendeln, is highly revered. There's a local saying in Carinthia that goes: "A girl who can't krendeln won't find a man!"

At your destination, you'll be treated to Italian cuisine featuring pasta and wonderful wines. However, don't miss out on trying the typical specialties from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, such as Prosciutto di San Daniele, polenta, or salsiccia. 


Carinthian Kasnudel

Blogtips for further reading

Read exciting reports about crossing the Alps on the Alpe Adria cycle path

Transalp from Munich to Lake Garda

Would you like to cross the Alps from Munich? No problem. Set off from the Bavarian metropolis on your way to Lake Garda. Pass Lake Starnberg and the famous winter sports resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen before reaching Tyrol. From there, the route takes you to beautiful South Tyrol with the famous spa town of Merano. The last stretch takes you along the Adige river to Lake Garda. After approx. 380 kilometres you have reached your destination - be proud of yourself! You only want to cycle part of the route? Wonderful - let our variants inspire you. 

Karwendel view

The Karwendel mountain range is a majestic landscape shared by Tyrol and Bavaria. Not only is it a national park, but it's also home to a diverse array of wildlife. With a bit of luck, you can spot eagles, marmots, ibexes, chamois, and more roaming freely in their natural habitat. During the summer months, hundreds of mountain sheep graze on the alpine pastures.

Established as a nature conservation area in 1928, the Karwendel Nature Park in Austria encompasses 737 square kilometers of protected land, ranging from high mountain peaks to lush moors.


Two cyclists on a cycle path between fields and wooden huts, with the Zugspitze massif in the background

Lake Reschen and its church tower

Lake Reschen, with its iconic church tower protruding from the water, is a reservoir and the largest lake in South Tyrol. Despite its idyllic appearance, its origins are steeped in drama. Originally, three natural lakes occupied this area. However, with the construction of a dam wall in the late 1940s, Lake Reschen was formed, submerging the village of Graun and parts of Reschen. Sadly, homes were destroyed in the process, but the church tower of Alt-Graun was left standing as a haunting reminder. Numerous myths surround it, with some claiming that the church bells can still be heard tolling from the depths below.

Cyclist at lake Resia

The view over Torbole

The charming town on Lake Garda isn't just a hotspot for sailors and windsurfers. Taking a leisurely stroll through its historic center is a must-do. The winding alleyways offer glimpses into the village's rich history as a fishing and logging community. Be sure to visit the customs house and the quaint harbor adorned with the characteristic buildings of the Vecchia Dogana.

During his visit to Italy, Goethe explored Torbole and was captivated by the allure of this quaint town.

Cycle path next to Torbole

Culinary highlights on your Alpine crossing

Before embarking on your tour, enjoy some refreshments at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Savor the excellent Bavarian beers and bask in Munich's cozy atmosphere. Just remember as per tradition, Weißwürste shouldn't hear the 12 o'clock chime!

In Tyrol, the hearty culinary journey continues. Traditional Tyrolean delicacies include Speckknödel (bacon dumplings), Tiroler Gröstl (a hearty potato dish with meat), or Kasspatzln (cheese noodles) with savory cheese and fried onions. In rustic taverns or mountain huts, you'll find sweet treats like Apfelradln (apple fritters), Buchteln (sweet yeast dumplings), or

One of the most renowned culinary customs in South Tyrol is Törggelen. During autumn, following the harvest season, it was customary to invite workers to taste the new wine as a gesture of appreciation for their labor.

Snack in Bavaria
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