Published on: 2 March 2014 | Last updated: 4 March 2017
Ciclopista del Sole
The Ciclopista del Sole, is Italy's longest-established long-distance cycle-route. It goes all the way to Rome and then to the Lazio coast - and it's planned to continue to Sicilia. In the Südtirol the route runs almost entirely on surfaced traffic-free cycleways. The traffic-free cycleways take you as far as the Lago di Garda or Verona.
In the Südtirol the Ciclopista del Sole is made up from four local cycleways, each with their own name (actually usually at least two names):
- the EisackTal Radweg;
- the Drau Radweg which joins the Pusterbike;
- the two branches then join north of Brixen (Bressanone) and change name again, becoming the Etsch Radweg
For more information see the detailed article: Ciclopista del Sole.
The individual cycleways
The Drau cycleway (ciclabile del Drava) links Toblach (Dobbiaco) with lienz in Austria where it connects with the … offering the possibility of continuing to Maribor in Slovenija or … in Austria
The PusterBike (PusterTal Radweg/Ciclabile della Val Pusteria) runs through the green PusterTal. It is almost entirely traffic-free, with a short section of unsurfaced cycleway near Bruneck (Brunico).
Read more about the Pusterbike cycleway.
The EisackTal Radweg (also know as the Ciclabile della Valle del Isarco or Ciclabile del Brennero) starts very shortly after Brenner pass and follows the Eisack (Isarco) river south meeting the Pusterbike at the Fortezza Festung.
The Etsch Radweg follows the river Etsch (Adige) south to Bozen via a series of attractive towns. It is almost entirely on traffic-free cycleways, however, there is a section through woodland north of Brixen (Bressanone) that might be difficult on road bikes - especially if it is wet.
Ciclabile delle Dolomiti
The Ciclabile delle Dolomiti (formerly the Lunga Via delle Dolomiti) follows the old train line that linked Toblach (Dobbiaco) in the Südtirol with Cortina d'Ampezzo and Calalzo di Cadore in the Veneto. As well as being quite probably Italy's most scenic cycleway, it offers long-distance tourers a very useful link into the Dolomites or to the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.
Read the more detailed article: Ciclabile delle Dolomiti
Via Claudia Augusta
The other international route through the region is the Via Claudia Augusta which starts at Donauwörth in Germany. It comes into Italy at the ReschenPass and then follows the Vinschgau (Val Venosta) through Meran (Merano) to Bozen (Bolzan) where it joins with the Ciclopista del Sole. The two cycleways follow the Etsch (Adige) river onwards to Trento. New: read the detailed guide: Via Claudia Augusta: overview.
This cycleway is very popular both with long-distance cycle tourers but also with people out for a day - ride - taking advantage of the train service to Mals to let the train take the strain. The route is almost entirely traffic-free with the exception of some brief interludes as you pass through villages on the way. When I did the route in 2011 there was a short unsurfaced section north of Meran.
More information elsewhere on the web
Brennero cycleway (Ciclopista del sole)
Via Claudia Augusta (Vinschgau Radweg/Etschradweg/ciclabile del Val Venosta)
Probably the best sources of information are the main Süd Tirol cycling websites and the Via Claudia Augusta site. However there is some information on the local area sites: Cycling in Val Venosta and bikemeran.it German only.
Pustertal (Val Pusteria)
Information about the Pustertal/Val Pusteria cycleway Pusterbike.