A long weekend is just around the corner and we as a family would like to spend it together in nature and on our bikes. At short notice we decided to embark on the Eurobike ‚Ten Lakes for Families‘ cycle holiday through the Salzburger Land region and Upper Austria. The four-day version of this holiday is one of the shortest trips that Eurobike offers for families. A perfect length to saddle up for a long weekend, enjoy nature and leave everyday life behind.
Just as the name of the holiday suggests, there is more than just a lake to linger en route. Most of the time we cover the daily riding distances of 30 to 45 kilometres and 300 metres in altitude on perfect cycle paths through the beautiful foothills of the Alps. A tour made for families who do not have that much time or want to try out a cycle holiday.
Little organisation for families
On our end there is not a lot to organise: book arrival and departure, pack luggage, done. Is it really that simple? Yes, because Eurobike takes care of the rest. My children are 3 and 6 years old, so we rented a bike trailer (to nap in) and a child seat (for a better view) from Eurobike for my little daughter. My older daughter had her own bike and handy ‚Tow Rope‘ with her. If required, Eurobike also rents children’s bikes from 21 inches and ‚Follow-Me‘- tandem couplings. We ourselves have opted for e-bikes. Eurobike also takes care of hotel bookings and organises a luggage transport. A cycle holiday with children is also possible for last-minute travelers like us.
Salzburg with children
Our circular cycle holiday starts with a day in Salzburg – without bikes. We decide to arrive early so that we can take a look around the city. The birthplace of Mozart, surrounded by mountains, wth the Hohensalzburg fortress majestically towering above the city, is always worth a visit. My children also give Salzburg top marks. It could be that an ice cream and the playgrounds we visited (two in number) definitely had an influence on this rating. In the evening we meet a Eurobike employee at the hotel, who hands us our bikes, the child seat, the trailer and the saddlebags. He explains the daily luggage transport to us and provides us with the printed travel documents, which I have already received in advance by e-mail. We feel very well looked after.
Always along the river Salzach
The initial part of the circular cycle holiday takes us 30 kilometres along the river Salzach. The 15 kilometre-long section to Oberndorf can also be covered by local train. We decide to ride our bikes all the way, as the terrain is mostly flat or leads slightly downhill along the Salzach. The river, which rushes past us quite impetuously, is our constant companion until noon. We ride through the unspoilt Salzach meadows along the Salzach riverbends, and through Oberndorf with its well-known ‚Silent Night‘ Chapel. There are a few benches along the river Salzach that invite you to take a break with a view of the historic Salzach bridge, Laufen situated on the opposite side and the collegiate church.
Swimming, cycling & hiking in Austria’s largest moor area
The cycle path along the river Salzach is perfect for starting the tour comfortably and without any ascents. However, the cycle holiday only gets really interesting for the children, when we leave the Salzach and cycle through hilly foothills of the Alps right into Austria’s largest moor area and the Salzburg Lake District. Now all we have to do is decide which of the many lakes and lidos to stop at. We take the first opportunity that presents itself and stop at Lake Höllerersee – a moor lake that is considered one of the warmest in Austria. In ‚Sam´s Stuben‘, located directly at the lido, we recharge ourselves with an elderberry spritzer and cake before we jump into the lake. On this first day of summer at the end of May, we declare the swimming season open for us.
Due to the weather, which unfortunately only offers summer temperatures on the first day, we do not swim in any other lakes, but stop at Lake Holzöstersee, at Lake Heratinger See, at Lake Obertrumer See and Lake Mattsee. We then skip Lake Wallersee due to the onset of rain. The ‚Ten Lakes Tour‘ lives up to its name and the nearest lake for swimming is never far away.
We also recommend stopping at the ‚Ibmer Moor‘, which we ride through on Day 3 of our holiday. We walk on the small moor nature trail and stop at the swamp bath. Although it is possible to go all the way into bog, we only exposed our feet to the healing effects of the bog water.
Always downhill: A finale between rain and pure cycling bliss
What started out as a cycling summer dream with wheat fields swaying in the wind, blooming summer meadows, ice cream and a dip in the lake unfortunately ends for us with drizzle instead of sun on our faces. But since, as is well known, there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing, we do not let it spoil our mood and jet back to Salzburg along the former Ischlerbahn-railway line route with a grin on our faces. Pure cycling bliss at the end of our cycle holiday, because for ten kilometres it is almost all downhill back to Salzburg. A great feeling to be standing where we started as a family four days ago. There are so many experiences in between.
In the end, however, it is always the little moments that make such a trip special and that no picture or text in the world can show: the rushing of the river Salzach, the cool air in the forests, the children’s eyes lit up with every ice cream, the smell of summer in the air, the wind in your face, the pleasant feeling of sinking into freshly made hotel beds, the relief when your suitcases are actually in the hotel each day on your arrival.