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Ride Info

Ride Overview

Epic Europe Bike and Hike

  • Arrival
  • 8/9/2021
  • Departure
  • 9/14/2021
  • Ride Director
  • Warner Griswold
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Sue Bunten
  • Driver
  • Garry Clifton
  • Starting Location
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Finishing Location
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $6200
  • Deposit
  • $2200
  • Number of Riders
  • 24 (min. 20 /max. 24)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Director Comments

BAC's medical insurance coverage outside the US or your home country only provides insurance coverage for dates of the tour and travel days to and from the tour up to a maximum of 30 days. Because this rides is 37 days without travel, the board will be contacting the insurance company after the first of the year and will be getting back regarding what they have learned. Furthermore, all riders should have their own travel insurance! Prior to signing up, please read the entire ride description. Thanks, Warner

Ride Description

OVERVIEW

If you love biking and hiking, here is your chance to cycle and to hike in one of the world’s most beautiful areas - the Austrian and Italian Alps.  If you love alpine hiking and enjoy a fine lunch on a stunning deck at high altitude mountain huts: this trip is for you.  We will spend quality hiking time - 3 full days each – in 4 magnificent valleys in the Alps:  Kaprun Valley in the High Tauern National Park, Salzburg province and the Zillertal and Stubai Valleys in Tirol province, Austria, and in Cortina, Italy in the heart of the famous Dolomites.  

We’ll also have 17 stupendous riding days totaling 650 miles on a network of well marked, well used and often off road bikeways on a counter-clockwise tour starting and ending in Salzburg Austria. We’ll ride south and west through the Alps then south through the famous Brenner Pass into the South Tirol region of northeastern Italy and the stunning Dolomites, then continue south down through the Alps foothills into the warm olive and wine growing region of the Veneto. We will have a full day to explore Venice using the frequent train service into Venice from Treviso (Little Venice), our home for 2 nights.

We’ll cross the busy Veneto plain by train to connect with the Alpe Adria bikeway and ride into the heart of the Julian Alps.  We have a choice day to ride into Slovenia, then we will leave Italy and descend into the warm lakes region of Carinthia province, Austria.

Detailed Daily Itinerary

Please note – The URL links may need to be copied and pasted to your browser to view.

Route overview: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31431528

Day 1: Welcome to Salzburg: city of Mozart, strudel, torte, and the Salzburg music festival. We will meet for a 5:30 happy hour at the Holiday Inn Salzburg followed by the first night’s group dinner. Old Town Salzburg is a 20-minute walk: Rick Steves has a wonderful audio walking tour of nearby Old Town Salzburg for your smartphone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salzach#/media/File:Salzburger_Stadtansicht.jpg

Day 2: We have an easy day with a scenic bike ride around Salzburg passing Baroque palaces (and perhaps a beer garden) as we test our bikes. The Salzburg festival is in full swing so classical music options abound, or you might want to take an hour bus ride to Hitler’s Eagle Nest, just southwest of Salzburg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kehlsteinhaus

Day 3: (45 Miles & 2,122’ elev.) We leave Salzburg via the Mozart and Tauern bikeways travelling south up the Salzach River past a historical salt mine then through the first of many Alps sub-ranges. We will overnight at the Hotel Bruckenwirt in Sank Johann and get a taste of local Austrian cuisine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salzach#/media/File:Tussen_Tenneck_en_Pass_Lueg,_panorama_mer_de_Salzach_foto2_2011-07-17_14.29.JPG

Day 4: (24 Miles & 1,950 elev.) Pack your swim suit today as we continue along the Tauern bikeway upstream to the small lakeside resort town of Zell Am See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Zell.We have a spa treat ahead for our next 3 nights at the 4 star spa hotel Sportcamp Wolfergut in the town of Bruck. https://www.sportcamp.at/en/woferlgut-p459.html.

Day 5: Rest day with choices. See how far you can climb up the unforgettable Grossglockner alpine road climb followed by the thrill of a hairpin descent followed by a steam soak sauna swim and water slide back at the hotel. https://www.grossglockner.at/gg/en/index or enjoy a scenic ride around the Zell Am See valley. http://www.blog.austrianalpinegetaways.com/kaprun-day-trips

Day 6: More options today: ride the nearby Kitzsteinhorn cable car into the heart of the largest alpine national park in Austria for stunning panorama of snow covered peaks https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g608661-d1230926-Reviews-Kitzsteinhorn-Kaprun_Austrian_Alps.html or hike one of the 130 plus hiking trails in the scenic Zell Am See valley or stay close and take advantage of the Sportcamp’s fine spas, pools, outdoor games, and an amazing obstacle course to test your skills. https://www.outdooractive.com/en/hikes/zell-am-see/hiking-in-zell-am-see/1443846/

Day 7: (40 miles & 2,122 elev.) Today we leave Sportcamp and ride up the Pinzgau Valley to the Hotel Post Krimml in the village of Krimml. Train buffs might enjoy traveling to Krimml on a local narrow gauge train. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krimml

Day 8: Hike the highest waterfall in Austria https://www.austria.info/us/austria/natural-beauty/krimml-waterfalls to the valley above for a streamside lunch at an alpine hut. 

Day 9: (24 miles & 3,377' - no trains available for shuttle) Today we have a 4-mile climb over Gerlos Pass into the Tirol, a province of Austria.  Here we will experience over the next two weeks some of the best hiking the Austrian Alps has to offer. We’ll have a long descent to the Strass Sport & Spa Hotel in stunning Mayrhofen https://www.tyrol.com/places/a-mayrhofen, our luxury base with indoor pool, spas, and relaxing gardens for 4 nights.  

Days 10, 11, & 12:  Myrhofen is a hikers paradise with a highly developed network of alpine trails and mountain huts https://www.mayrhofen.at/en/. Two cable car stations and the local bus stops are all within 5 minutes of our front door. Also consider rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, or doing Via Ferrata. Lots of music, bars and local Tirolean restaurants in this special spot to enjoy.

Day 13: (48 miles & 1,057') We leave Mayrhofen heading north down the Ziller river bikeway then, turn left (west/upstream) at the confluence with the Inn River. We are on riverside bikeways all day! We will ride past the UNESCO World Heritage site the Hall Mint https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5801/ and Swarovski Crystal World en route to our beautifully located Hotel Grauer Bar in Old Town Innsbruck https://www.innsbruck.info/en

Day 14: Enjoy a day sightseeing historic Innsbruck https://www.austria.info/us/where-to-go/cities/innsbruck an important medieval Hapsburg capital and now a thriving university town with wonderful museums, restaurants, walking sights, and a cable car to the hiking trails in mountains above town. https://www.innsbruck.info/en/hiking/tours/tour/innsbrucks-nordkettenbahnen-lifts-and-cable-cars.html

Day 15: (14 miles & 2, 011’) Today we leave Innsbruck for a short ride to Neustift, one of a string of villages in the gorgeous Stubai Valley: another Alps outdoor and hiking paradise  https://www.stubai.at/en/stubaital  with a nearby cablecar and local bus service up and down the valley. We’ll be staying at the Bergjuwel Hotel in Neustift for 3 nights

Days 16 & 17: Stubai has many local hiking options from waterfall trails to alpine hikes to Glaciers to riverside paths. All trails in the valley are listed and described here: https://www.stubai.at/en/stubaita Check out some of the free walks put on by the hotel or ride or bus to some of the other Stubai valley villages and relax afterwards in the warm indoor pool, steam bath and saunas at our hotel.

Day 18: (53 miles & 3,500' - trains are available to Brenner Pass today from Innsbruck) Today will be memorable: we ride south through Brenner Pass, one of the principal passes in the Eastern Alps. We’ll climb up side roads with beautiful views then cross into Italy at the top for an outstanding downhill on the sunny side of the Alps in the Sud-Tirol /Alto Adige region of northeast Italy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Tyrol. Bressanone / Brixen is a walkable town and we will be staying for 2 nights very near the medieval town center at the Tollero Cityhotel.           

Day 19: Rest Day in Brixen. Highly recommended is the short train ride to Bolzano to visit the “Utzi the Iceman” museum http://www.iceman.it/en/ or take a short local ride from our hotel to the beautiful Augustinian Novacella Abbey c.1145.

Day 20: (44 miles & 4,346' - trains are available today from Brizen) We ride easterly out of Bressanone on the Pustertal bikeway through the Puster river valley along the north edge of the breathtaking Dolomite Mountains. Before you settle into the Hotel Heidi in Dobbiaco you might want to tour the Tre Cime cheese factory just a bit further down the road. https://www.cyclingweekly.com/routes/cycling-in-the-dolomites-when-to-go-where-to-stay-and-ride-379827

Day 21: (19 miles & 1,225') Today we’ll ride a beautiful rails to trails bikeway south into the Dolomite mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Criterion given for inclusion of the Dolomites: “The Dolomites are widely regarded as beings among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world”.  https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1237/  We are riding to Cortina D’Ampezzo, home of the 1956 Winter Olympics and co- host for 2026. Our hotel for the next 4 nights is the Hotel Bellaria. https://www.dolomiti.org/en/cortina/choose-your-holiday/summer/

Days 22, 23, & 24: We have 3 full days in Cortina in the heart of the Dolomites with over 330 hiking trails, local ride options, gelaterias, world famous mountain scenery and much more. https://www.outdooractive.com/en/hiking-trails/cortina-d-ampezzo/hiking-trails-in-cortina-d-ampezzo/2501441/

Day 25: (48 miles & 2,039’) We hate to leave Cortina but today’s ride will ease the pain: it’s incredibly scenic and mostly downhill as we leave the mountains for the Prealps foothills in the beautiful Veneto region of NE Italy.  https://www.tripsavvy.com/veneto-tourist-map-and-guide-1548138 We’ll have a Michelin one star restaurant to look forward to tonight at the family owned Locanda San Lorenzo in Puos D’Alpago. https://mycornerofitaly.com/wheres-veneto/

Day 26: (52 miles & 1,290' - Mostly downhill today) We have it all today: lake view descents, medieval ruins, sections of cobble through old town centers, and rides through cherished vineyards producing the finest Prosecco in Italy https://www.winerist.com/magazine/wine/what-is-conegliano-valdobbiadene-prosecco. We’ll stay in the walkable historic town of Treviso, crisscrossed with canals and home of Tiramisu while staying at the Hotel Continental.     

Day 27: Venice!!! Train service between Treviso and Venice (Santa Lucia) station is frequent from early morning to late evening and takes 40 minutes each way. Ride into Venice by train, and after exploring enjoy an Aperol Spritz by the Grand Canal at sunset, perhaps a Venetian seafood dinner, then catch one of the many trains back to Treviso in the evening https://www.earthtrekkers.com/9-must-have-experiences-venice-italy/.

Day 28: Your train experience will pay off today. It’s a travel by train day. We take a train eastwards across the busy coastal plain from Treviso to Udine, then transfer onto a northbound train to Gemona de Fruili at the foot of the Julian Pre Alps where we will stay at the Hotel Pittini. https://www.summitpost.org/julian-prealps/191647

Day 29: (44 miles & 3,630' - All climbing is railroad grade os 2% or less) Today we start our northward ride on the Alpe Adria bikeway through the Alps to Austria. In addition to stunning scenery and mountains rising sheer above a narrow gorge, we are riding on what might be the most expensive bikeway per mile ever. It is a beautiful bikeway with many lighted tunnels. http://theitaliansmoothie.com/2018/04/04/ciclovia-alpe-adria-tutte-le-info-e-dove-fermarsi/. We are headed for our comfortable rooms in the Hotel Edlehof http://www.hoteledelhof.it/en/ in the Sud Tirol town of Tarvisio, Italy for 2 nights.

Day 30: Surrounded by the Julian Alps, Tarvisio is in northeastern Italy’s ‘3 Corners’ where the Italian, Austrian and Slovenian borders meet. Options for today include an out and back day ride into Slovenia along the D-2 rails to trails bikeway, and a cable car or walk up to the nearby mountain top sanctuary village of Mount Lussari. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarvisio

Day 31: (21 miles & 832’) Leaving Tarvisio today on the Alpe Adria bikeway we soon cross into Austria as we descend to Villach in the lakes district of the Austrian province of Carinthia. https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/villach-a-k-vill.htm. We’ll stay at the Holiday Inn right beside the bikeway and the Drau (Drava) River in Villach.

Day 32: (28 miles & 1031’) We will enjoy a very pretty ride along the Drau River bikeway all the way to Spittal, where we will spend 2 nights. https://www.drauradweg.com/en/sections/section-3/.  

Day 33: Spittal rest day. Ride around Lake Millstatter, walk this very comfortable town, perhaps tour the 16thC Schloss Porcia palace, or relax by the Hotel Ertl’s quiet outside pool. https://www.austria.info/uk/things-to-do/lakes-and-nature/swimming-water-sports/bathing-lakes-in-carinthia

Day 34: (29 miles & 3,460’ - train options are available from Spittal) Today we leave the Drau valley and ride our last mountain pass climb northwards as we return to Salzburger land. We’ll have 20 miles on bikeways before a 4-mile climb on a lightly travelled road to our first destination: the Mallnitz train station. Here the train takes everybody (cars, trucks, bikes, and passengers) though a 12 minute tunnel to Bockstein station on the north end. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauern_Railway_Tunnel. From there it’s a short ride downhill to our spa hotel Europaischer Hof near Bad Gastein to soak steam and relax

Day 35: (23 miles & 1,960’) We will enjoy a relaxed ride down through the beautiful Gastein Valley to the confluence of the Salzach River. https://www.britannica.com/place/Gastein-Valley. Then we turn east (downstream) along the Salzach and join the Tauern bikeway: yes, we have been here before. We’ve closed the loop and are back at the Hotel Bruckenwirt in St. Johann Im Pongau tonight.

Day 36: (40 miles & 1,548’) Today we ride into Salzburg on the reverse of our ride out of Salzburg. We’ll follow the Tauern bikeway downstream along the Salzach all the way back to the Holiday Inn Salzburg.  We have shared amazing mountain scenery, rides, hikes, and perhaps an adventure or two… It should be a memorable group goodbye dinner tonight under the chestnut trees.

Day 37: Departure day.

RIDE RATING: This ride is rated 2B with an average daily mileage of 35 miles and average daily climbing of 2240 feet on mandatory riding days. Please note the riding days vary greatly in difficulty and the average may not fully communicate the challenge. Of the 17 mandatory riding days there is one day rated 3A, two days rated 4B, and one day rated 4C. The remaining mandatory days are rated 2B or easier. Rail service is available for all of these days except day #9.

Riders are expected to be comfortable riding on a multitude of surfaces (including cobblestone, compact dirt, loose dirt, and bike paths) along with riding in city traffic.

Routing expectations. Due to the complexity of riding in foreign countries, links to ridewithgps.com will be provided for each day’s ride. All participants should have RideWithGPS, which will allow them to download the rides to their smart phones or download the GPX files to their Garmins or to print their maps and cue sheets. Many of the 2018 & 2019 Europe riders preferred downloading the routes and cue sheets files via ridewithgps.com to their smart phones, then saving the files off line. The smart phone screen provides an improved view of where you are on the route and it also provides audio turn-by-turn cues!  Participants should have better than average map reading and directional skills.

WEATHER: Riders should plan on cooler morning and evening temperatures along with rain days. Temperatures can range from lows of 47F to highs of 80F. Bring your full rain gear! On this ride, everything in Austria is green for a reason. 

VAN SUPPORT: The luggage van will transport the luggage. Participants are expected ride the entire route and will be transported only in the case of injury or illness. Riders should be able to handle their own bike repairs - at a minimum how to change a tire.  If you have a major equipment failure, you will need to call a cab or catch a train to the nearest town with a bike shop.  

LUGGAGE LIMITATIONS:  A number of the hotels do not have an elevator! Luggage size is restricted to TWO CARRY ON PIECES each under 25 lbs! Carry on means you are able to walk on the plane with your luggage. However, if you bring your bike and a large piece of luggage, plan on bringing two small duffle bags to use once you arrive. Your large luggage can be stored in Salzburg.

BICYCLESYour bicycle should have tires that are 28mm or larger in size!!  Smaller size tires are not recommended! Riders in 2018 & 2019 found riding with 23mm or 25mm size tires was very hazardous on wet surfaces and difficult at times on the dirt surfaces. They all agreed larger tires would work well for this ride. You will be riding on all types of surfaces – everything from nice smooth paved bike paths to cobblestone, compact dirt paths, single track paths, farm roads, to busy city streets. Bike boxes can be left at the starting hotel in Salzburg. Tandems and e-bikes are welcome. However, E-bike riders should be experienced riders prior to riding their e-bikes along with knowing the "rules of the road"!

The ride leader is not aware of any location in Salzburg at which to rent appropriate high quality bicycles.

LODGING & MEALS: Lodging will be in everything from family owned hotels to 3 and 4 star hotels. All breakfasts and most dinners are included in the cost of the tour. Happy hours will be at the hotel's bar, which will include a glass of house wine or a local beer before each night’s dinner.

LOGISTICS: Fly into Salzburg airport (SGZ). Arrival day is Monday August 9, 2021. We will have our first formal meeting at 5:00pm followed by a group dinner. The ride’s departure day is Tuesday morning September 14, 2021. Other options are to fly to Munich and take a train to Salzburg. Bike boxes and large luggage can be stored at the Salzburg hotel.

COST & ADMINISTRATION: The cost estimate is $6,200, which includes 36 days lodging, all breakfasts, all but a few dinners, happy hour drinks, commercially created maps, GPX files for down loading to your GPS devices or phones. Estimated cost is based on an exchange rate of 1 Euro = $1.25. The initial deposit of $2,200 does not include the BAC registration fee of $100 and both will be due upon acceptance to the ride. The second payment of $2,000 is due July 9, 2020, and the final payment of $2,000 is due on February 9, 2021. The final payment may be adjusted up or down based on the exchange rate at the time. Participants are responsible for all train rides including the two train rides on day #28. 

SINGLES & SOLOS: Singles (riders who have or who want a roommate) will be accepted. Due to limited room availability in certain locations the ride leader cannot accept solos (riders who want their own room). While we encourage singles to try to find their own roommate, we will assist singles who are looking for a roommate. If a roommate cannot be found by February 9, 2021, participants can cancel without penalty (except the BAC registration fee and payment processing fees).  

CANCELLATION POLICY:  The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you might have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

SIGN-UP: To register for this ride, use the sign-up links above the Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $2,300 by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Leader by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description.


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