But first, back to Salzburg…
On a sunny autumn morning I headed south from the ‘Mozart city’ by bike, past Salzburg’s old town towards the green suburbs and nature. After a few kilometres you could see the first mountains on the horizon, a little taste of what was to come. I was full of anticipation. Past the Königssee-Ache – by the way, my insider tip for swimming on hot summer days – we went comfortably along the river to Hallein, the town of the ‘White Gold’. Here you can certainly take a nice break at lunchtime in one of the cafes or restaurants. But I went on, deeper and deeper into the Alps, it got a little hilly. I missed the detour to the ‘Gollinger waterfall’. I thought it would be an impressive natural spectacle at the end of the first cycling stage for our guests when I cycled past the signpost.
Via the Lueg Pass to St. Johann
I continued cycling towards St. Johann im Pongau, my first place to stay. But first I had to overcome the Lueg Pass. If you already need a break, I recommend visiting the Salzachöfen. A gorge-like breakthrough of the Salzach through the Northern Limestone High Alps. The power of the water can really be felt here. Those interested in culture can visit Hohenwerfen Castle on the way, which sits above the cycle path. We continued along the Salzach to Bischofshofen, famous for its ski jumping and the annual finale of the Four Hills Tour. I climbed gently afterwards on the beautiful cycle paths past the Hochkönig to St. Johann, where I reviewed my first day of exploring in the evening with many highlights, still hoping that the bad weather forecast for the next day would change…
Through the Tauern lock…
My prospect of good weather was literally clouded at breakfast. Wrapped up in rainwear, I started the stage, the mountains shrouded in thick clouds. After a few showers, I reached the entrance to the Gastein Valley and at least the rain slowly subsided. Unfortunately, there was not much to see of the impressive mountain scenery I knew from skiing in inter. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the passage through the green Alpine valley. In the end I reached the top, then got on the train and reached the south of the Alps after ten minutes. Fortunately, I was greeted by the first rays of sunshine, so I could enjoy the kilometre-long descent from Mallnitz into the Mölltal.
…into the Mölltal
I went through the romantic and, for alpine valleys, very calm Mölltal. When I arrived in Möllbrücke I came across the Drau and the beautifully landscaped Drau cycle path. I was happy to see it after the rather strenuous previous stage, so I cycled comfortably towards Spittal, a small but fine town. With a good portion of Carinithian Kasnock’n I ended my day in style.
Last stage to Villach
In the best weather (apparently yesterday was an exception!) I took on my last stage. So I cycled smoothly over the mostly flat cycle path and through the idyllic landscape along the river to Villach, where I took time to enjoy the flair of the city. The borders to Italy and Slovenia are not far from here and there are numerous beautiful lakes in the vicinity that are worth visiting during the ‘Carinthian Lake Tour’.