Published on: 30 August 2015 | Last updated: 17 March 2018
At a glance
Easy. Mostly downhill or flat from Toblach to Villach and then climbs gently to Tarvisio.
Mostly traffic-free cycleway with short stretches on quiet roads.
Mixed - mainly tarmac-surfaced cycleway or road, but there are some shortish sections of unsurfaced track.
|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.
Map and altitude profile
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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.
Maps to print out or view offline
- Through Austria along the River Drau from Toblach to Tarvisio: A4 maps (18Mb)
- Through Austria along the River Drau from Toblach to Tarvisio: A5 maps (18Mb)
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
Through Austria along the River Drau from Toblach to Tarvisio A4 maps
- Through Austria along the River Drau: 1 - Toblach to Spittal and der Drau: A4 maps
- Through Austria along the River Drau: 2 - Spittal and der Drau to Tarvisio: A4 maps
Through Austria along the River Drau from Toblach to Tarvisio A5 maps
About the maps
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.
Along the River Drau from Toblach to Tarvisio gps files
(.zip file containing 5 gpx files)
Italy Points of Interest
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 April 2018. The file format is only compatible with Garmin GPSes .
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs
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.
There are four hostels along the route:
- the Jugendherberge Toblach in Toblach (Dobbiaco)
- the Jugendherberge Sillian-Arnbach on the other side of the Austrian border. No website — phone +43 4842 61121
- the Jugend- und Familiengästehaus Villach
- the Jugendhotel Egger ('Youth Hotel') in Landskron near Villach.
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.
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 for tour-planning
Both the Drauradweg and the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg have dedicated websites:
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:
- Drauradweg: iOS version | Android version
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: (app name: "Alpe Adria Biketour") iOS version and Android version ).
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: Radtouren in Österreich. 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