Through Austria along the River Drau From Toblach to Tarvisio

Published on:  | Last updated: 30 March 2017

Early morning on the Drauradweg (Ciclabile della Drava) near Toblach - bike symbol on cycleway with meadows and mountains

Early morning on the Drauradweg (Ciclabile della Drava) near Toblach

At a glance

Distance

201 kms

Difficulty/​terrain

Easy. Mostly downhill or flat from Toblach to Villach and then climbs gently to Tarvisio.

Traffic

Mostly traffic-free cycleway with short stretches on quiet roads.

Surfaces

Mixed - mainly tarmac-surfaced cycleway or road, but there are some shortish sections of unsur­faced track.

Signs

Well signed.

Signs on the Drauradweg (Ciclabile della Drava)

Signs on the Drauradweg (Ciclabile della Drava)

Distances
Toblach (Dobbiaco) – Lienz 48 kms
Lienz - Oberdrauburg 21 kms
Oberdrauburg - Spittal an der Drau 58 kms
Spittal an der Drau - Villach 43 kms
Villach - Arnoldstein 17 kms
Arnoldstein - Tarvisio 5 kms

This route takes the Drauradweg cycle route from Toblach (Dobbiaco) in Italy to Lienz in Austria, and then following the Drau (Drava) river on to Villach where it turns back towards Italy and Tarvisio.

This route is will also be of interest to anyone planning a long-distance tour because it provides a link between the networks of cycleways in the Südtirol, the Austrian Tirol, Friuli Venezia Giulia region and Slovenija. It's worth consid­ering whether you're looking for a route that combines more than one country - or simply a convenient link between the Pusterbike cycleway in the Südtirol and the FVG1 (Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg in Friuli Venezia Giulia). See the options and connec­tions section below. 

The River Drau

The River Drau

Map and altitude profile

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Cyclist on the Drauradweg (ciclabile della Drava) cycleway with a dog in a child-trailer

On the Drauradweg (ciclabile della Drava) - this is Italy, so of course 'il cane' (the dog) comes too

Options and connections

The route connects with the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg at Spittal an der Drau (the CAAR starts in Salzburg). It follows the CAAR as it crosses the border and continues towards Tarvisio. From Tarvisio the CAAR heads south towards Udine and then Grado at the coast. 

As an altern­ative from Tarvisio to Kranjska Gora and follow the Alpe-Adria Bike through Slovenija and on to Trieste and then follow the Adriatic Coast. 

Both the CAAR and the Alpe-Adria Bike join up with the eurovelo 8 which offers a route along the Adriatic coast - either west towards Venezia or east towards Trieste, Slovenija and Croatia.

At its northern end the Drauradweg meets the Pusterbike cycle route which follows the valley of the Puster river. At Fortezza Franzensfeste it meets the cycleway that heads south from the Brenner pass on the border with Austria, towards Bozen (Bolzano) and onwards to the lago di Garda and Verona.

At Toblach (Dobbiaco) there's the junction with the Ciclabile delle Dolomiti which goes via Cortina d'Ampezzo to Calalzo di Cadore in the Veneto. The ciclabile delle Dolomiti forms is part of the München-Venezia ciclabile (Munich-Venice cycle route).

The Drau cycleway continues to Maribor in Slovenija. 

Cyclists on the Drauradweg near Bärnbad

The Drauradweg near Bärnbad

Downloads

Maps to print out or view offline

The zip files contain pdf files packaged together for convenience. If you are using a tablet you may find it easier to download the individual sections.

Show map download links for individual sections

 About the maps

sample map page.

Links open in new windows unless you ‘save as’ etc.

The maps are in two versions: A4 portrait format - for printing and maybe also for viewing on an iPad, and A5 for smaller tablets and smart­phones. As far as eReaders are concerned so far I’ve not managed to get them to work on a Nook - but you may have more success with other devices.

GPS files

  •  Along the River Drau from Toblach to Tarvisio gps files
    (.zip file containing 5 gpx files)
  •  Italy Points of Interest

     About POIs

    POIs are like waypoints, but while you can usually only store a limited number of waypoints on a device, you can store thousands of POIs. These files include inform­ation about campsites and hostels, bike shops, train stations, drinking water sources as well as warnings for tunnels and roads where bikes are banned. Please check the ReadMe file for instruc­tions. Updated March 2017.

Snail attempts death-defying crossing of the Drauradweg cycleway

Snail attempts death-defying crossing of the Drauradweg cycleway (Ciclabile della Drava)

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs

  Map:  Drauradweg-hotels-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  Drauradweg-hotels-FT-map  show map in new window 

Campsites

There are about a dozen campsites along the route. I've stayed at, and would recommend, the Camping Toblachersee on the lake near Toblach (Dobbiaco) and the Camping Draufluss which is on the branch of the route that goes via Baldramsdorf. 

  Map of campsites along the route:  Drau-campsites-map-show map in overlay    |    Drau-campsites-map-show map in new window 

Hostels

There are four hostels along the route:

There is also, in theory, the Ostello del Ciclista at Fusine north of Tarvisio on the FVG1A as it heads for Kranjska Gora. There are signposts for the hostel from the route, but I haven't been able to find any contact details or inform­ation. Otherwise there's the Hostel Barovc at Kranjska Gora, and the Casa Alpina Julius Kugy at Valbruna a short way further on from Tarvisio.

  Drauradweg-hostels-FT-mapshow hostels map in overlay    |  Drauradweg-hostels-FT-map  show hostels map in new window 

Transport and services

You are never very far from a train station on this route. The main rail hubs are Lienz and Villach. Toblach station is served by the SAD regional train company which operates services between Fortezza Franzensfeste and Lienz. At Fortezza Franzensfeste you can connect with the national and inter­na­tional train network.

The nearest airport is Klagenfurt but it offers only a limited range of destin­a­tions.

Resources

Resources for tour-planning

Both the Drauradweg and the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg have dedicated websites:

Screenshot of the alpe-adria-radweg.com home page

Screenshot of the alpe-adria-radweg.com home page

There are also a couple of useful apps - their most useful feature is the ability to save the maps for the sections you are inter­ested in:

The region also produces a paper map with an accom­mod­ation listing. There's no pdf download, but you can order it from the carinthia.it brochures page

If you're looking for inform­ation about cycling in the Kärnten (Carinthia) region then there is a very useful tour planning resource at touren.kaernten.at which includes (for example) the inter­esting-but-challenging Drei Laender Tour (three countries tour) which takes in Austria, Italy and Slovenija.

For the neigh­bouring Tyrol region see tyrol.com: cycling. There's a page dedicated to the
Drau cycleway tyrol.com: Drau Cycle Path as well as inform­ation about other long-distance cycle routes in the region tyrol.com: Cycle Paths

The national website about cycle touring in Austria radtouren.at (de/​cz/​it/​en). Has an extremely useful page with links to resources about cycle tours in Austria: radtouren.at: Cycle Tours. The Cycle Tours in Austria leaflet/​brochure gives useful overview of the 14 cycle-touring routes in the country  radtouren.at: Cycle Tours in Austria: the Top 14 Cycle Tours altern­ative link:  brochures.austria.info: Cycle Tours in Austria: the Top 14 Cycle Tour

Map of major cycle touring routes in Austria

Map of major cycle touring routes in Austria. Source: . PDF download: radtouren.at: Cycle Tours in Austria: the Top 14 Cycle Tours

General tourist information

  • tyrol.com (de/​en/​it/​pl/​nl/​fr/​cz/​ru/​dk/​ro)
  • carinthia.at (de/​en/​it/​pl/​nl/​hu/​cz/​slo/​ru)
  • suedtirol.info (de/​it/​en/​nl/​cz/​pl/​ru)

Articles in this series

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