We have three tours that go to Austria, which is because its such an incredible place to ride- but also because the country provides so much variety! There really are two Austrias.. the winter wonderland of the colder months, with the snowy Alps and beautiful frosty mornings, and then the summer Austria, with meadows and forests and the most insane roads to ride, and a warmer climate to enjoy.
For now, Im just going to give you a little overview of the reasons that I think Austria should be on your (must ride) bucket list.
Firstly, the scenery is just unbelievable. it feels like every corner you turn you’re confronted with ‘the best view of your life’ except it keeps happening, over and over! This photo is from Hasnau, just past the German border with Austria, and breathtaking views like this seem to be ten a penny throughout the country. The best time to go is probably in the ‘high season’ or summer months, as riding is safest and you’re less likely to get into any snow/ice related difficulties.
I would highly recommend the ‘Tyrol’ region, which is a federal state in the west of Austria, with skiing in the winter and gorgeous spots to hike in the summer, this area really has the best of both worlds. The people are friendly, the mountains rugged and the roads are bendy and fast, its truly a riders paradise.
Culturally, there is a huge historical influence in Austria, with most food and traditions stemming from those of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The food is traditional, with a huge variety of meats and vegetables to choose from, alongside specialities like Schweinsbrate (pork with potatoes and onions), Kaiserschmarren (a fluffy shredded pancake) and Knödel (a little bit like dumplings). On the sweeter end of the spectrum, this is the home of the strudel.. so undo your belt a notch and get ready to eat back all those calories you burnt riding over here!
Finally we have found that although there isn’t a huge biking culture in Austria, they are such a welcoming and friendly people that we haven’t yet had a bad experience. Although its worth noting that the blood/alcohol level for driving is a little lower than in the UK, at 0.5 rather than 0.8, and the police will not be at all lenient on this, so make sure you don’t have a pint with lunch!
Check out this full feature video of our 2016 Austria and Switzerland tour
If this looks like your sort of thing then why not take a look at our Austrian tours before they sell out!