Alpe Adria Cycle Path – Family Cycling Holidays in Austria

Author: Dan Brewer

Last Updated:

If you are looking to enjoy family cycling holidays in Austria, you should consider the family-friendly version of the Alpe Adria cycle path. The full version of the Alpe Adria cycle path is a challenging route running directly south through the Austrian Alps. A family-friendly version of the Alpe Adria cycle path removes the most difficult parts, while preserving the scenery in one of the most beautiful regions of Austria.

Family cycling holidays are a great way to be active with your kids in a beautiful, natural setting. When looking for a family cycling destination, Europe is always a great place to start, but with so many excellent options it can be hard to choose. While researching family cycling holidays in Austria, we came across a bike tour company which looked amazing!

EuroBike offers a wide variety of self-guided family cycling holidays in Germany, Italy and Austria. We had an incredible time on our family cycling holiday in Austria, and we are confident your family will as well.

The Family Can Travel team rides the Alpe Adria Cycle Path on Family Cycling Holidays in Austria.
The scenery along the Alpe Adria Cycle Path was amazing!

We love to work with bike tour companies who cater to active families, so we eagerly teamed up with EuroBike, allowing us to share our experiences with you. The following is an honest account of our experiences on our family cycling tour in Austria on the Alpe Adria bike trail:

This post contains compensated links.

Benefits of a Self-Guided Family Cycle Tour

We don’t typically enjoy the traditional guided tour experience, so the concept of a self-guided tour of Austria is a perfect cycling trip for families like us. Self-guided cycling tours allow your family to go at your own pace and the tour company provides all the equipment and logistical support you need to make your family holiday super-easy and enjoyable.

Dan Brewer, of the Family Can Travel blog, enjoys a family cycling trip with his daughter along the Alpe Adria Cycle Path in Austria.

The benefits you can expect on a EuroBike family cycling tour are:

Detailed Route Notes and Maps

For each day of your family cycling holiday you will receive detailed route notes, a map of your route and an app detailing the exact cycling path for the day, along with the location of attractions, recommended restaurants, etc. Using a handlebar mount made it stress-free to use our phones to follow the full Alpe Adria cycle path from beginning to end.

Luggage Transfers

We love this part about self-guided trips. EuroBike will transport your luggage from place-to-place for you, meaning you only need to take a small day bag with you on your daily cycling along the Alpe Adria trail.

Emergency Support

Chances are you will not need it, but EuroBike is there to help just in case you need it.

the countryside along the Alpe Adria Cycle Path is so charming.

Cycling Tour Equipment

We were very happy with the bike gear that EuroBike provided for our family cycle tour in Austria. We appreciated the panniers to carry our gear and the well-stocked repair kit in case of a minor incident along the way.

Cycling Gear for the Adults

You may bring your own bike on the Alpe Adria cycle path, but coming all the way from Canada, we elected to rent bikes. EuroBike provided each of us a high-quality, 21-gear KTM touring bicycle.

Cycling Gear for the Kids

EuroBike has a wide variety of equipment for kids of all ages and capabilities, including kids’ bikes, trailer bikes, bike carts or child seats. Our daughter had a great 24” mountain bike, while our son had a slightly smaller 20” mountain bike. 

An 8-year old boy rides a quality rental bike while on a family-friendly cycling tour beginning in Salzburg.

Alpe Adria Cycle Tour Accommodations

Of all the family-friendly self-guided cycling tours we’ve done, I believe that EuroBike did the best job picking hotels for our tour. The actual accommodations may vary for each family who takes the Alpe Adria cycle route tour, but we stayed in some very good family-friendly 3 and 4 star hotels along the way. Two of the four star hotels were so nice, we thought there must have been a mistake – but there wasn’t… these hotels were amazing!

our fancy hotel room in Bad Gaston, Austria.
Our Bad Gaston hotel was very nice.

What I appreciated most about the family-friendly hotels selected by EuroBike were the room configurations. There were no standard 2 Queen bed rooms on this tour.

There were several hotels on our Alpe Adria tour where the adults had a separate bedroom from the kids, which is a very nice touch, allowing everyone to get a better night’s sleep. And on most occasions, the kids had two single beds, which meant they didn’t have to share a bed, which again leads to a better night’s sleep. Having well rested kids makes such a difference on an active family holiday.

Three of the hotels selected by EuroBike had pools, which our kids loved. It was nice having a pool waiting for the kids at the end of the day’s cycling. It was a useful incentive to keep our kids moving on the Alpe Adria bike path.

a girl plays in a hotel swimming pool after a day of cycling with her family in Austria.

Food on the Family-Friendly Alpe Adria Cycle Path Tour

Having access to healthy food is imperative when on active family cycling holidays. Traveling with small children who may be picky eaters can make this even more challenging. With a little advance planning you’ll be able to ensure that even the pickiest eaters will have something nourishing and enjoyable to eat at every meal. 

A free breakfast is included at each hotel, making it the easiest meal of the day. A typical breakfast on tour is a buffet, including a selection of eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, pastries, yogurt, cereal and more. One hotel served us an à la carte breakfast, while the rest were buffet style.

an excellent buffet breakfast at our Bad Gaston hotel along our family cycling tour through Austria.

We self-catered lunch every day by stopping at grocery stores along the route. We’d buy some buns, salami, cheese, fruit, trail mix, granola bars, etc. Lunch is a great opportunity for parents to load up their children with food you know they’ll eat.

We were free to explore each new town along our Alpe Adria cycling tour and find restaurants for our family dinner. It was easy to find good, kid-friendly restaurants along the way.

Two kids about to enjoy pizza after a day of cycling the Alpe Adria Cycle Trail with their family.

The Alpe Adria Family Cycle Tour in Austria

Days 0 & 1 – Salzburg

After a family road trip through Austria, we arrived in Salzburg one day early for our Alpe Adria bike tour. We knew there were lots of fun family-friendly things to do, so we wanted to spend an extra day in Salzburg with kids.

Highlights of our amazing two days in Salzburg with kids include enjoying a show at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, exploring the Fortress Hohensalzburg and having a ton of fun at the Salzburg Natural History Museum.

You can read all about our 2 days in Salzburg with kids.

Day 2 – Salzburg to Golling

We were super excited to wake up and get on our bikes to begin our Alpe Adria family cycling tour. We filled our bellies at the excellent breakfast our Salzburg hotel, before dropping our bags at the front desk. Our rental bikes from EuroBike had been delivered the day before, so we didn’t have to wait to start the fun!

Cycling the Salzach River

We always worry about cycling with our kids in big cities, but it was super easy to leave Salzburg by bike. It was only a few short blocks on quiet streets from our hotel to the bike path along the Salzach River. As we left Old Town Salzburg, the church bells started ringing, giving us a nice sendoff.

a family is excited to leave Old Town Salzburg on a family-friendly, self-guided cycling trip across Austria.
We are all smiles as we leave Old Town Salzburg.

Being early on a Sunday morning, there were lots of locals out for a bike ride or jog on the nicely paved paths along the Salzach River. A canopy of trees lined the paths as we rode through the suburbs, with rolling hills on our left and mountains on the right.

Approximately 4 km / 2.5 miles after leaving our hotel, we left Salzburg behind. Here the Alpe Adria cycle trail changes from paved to gravel, but it’s hard packed and very easy to ride on. With the city noises behind us, the sound of birds now fills the air. We’re starting to get very exciting!

The Family Can Travel team leaves Salzburg on a self-guided cycling trip across Austria.

The miles were rolling along when we arrived at the confluence of the Salzach River and the emerald green Konigsseeache River. As we stopped to drink from our water bladders, we noticed a sign for the Kletterpark high ropes course. We love high rope courses, so we rode on over!

Kletterpark High Ropes Course

The Kletterpark high ropes course is an exciting adventure park for the whole family. The reason we love high ropes courses so much is that it teaches our kids to problem solve and it gives them a huge confidence boost, all while having the time of their lives!

The kids from the Family Can Travel blog enjoy the Kletterpark High Ropes Course - just outside Salzburg, Austria.

If the high ropes course isn’t for you, Kletterpark also has a very popular swimming lake. The temperature was 28°C / 82°F during our visit and the lake was packed with people looking to cool off in the refreshing water.

Hallein

Our next stop on our Alpe Adria bike tour was the charming Austrian town of Hallein. Given the warm summer temperatures and their excellent efforts at the high ropes course, we stopped at Dolomiti Uhu Eissalon for some ice cream. Today was a two scoop kinda day!

Back on our bikes, we could feel the mountains of the Austrian Alps getting closer and closer. We were now cycling towards Golling on some quiet country roads. The occasional car would pass us, but it was never an issue. Along these quiet country roads, we enjoyed the shade of a few dense, lush forests.

A selfie of Celine Brewer, on a family cycling tour on the Alpe Adria Cycle Trail.
We loved the quiet roads and epic Austrian Alps scenery.

We passed a field with goats and a donkey, so our kids had to stop to try to pet and feed them. We love these fun & unexpected experiences when we go on a self-guided family cycling tour.

a 10-year old girl cycling the Alpe Adria Cycle Path with her family, stops to pet a cute goat.
We stopped for every cute animal along the entire Alpe Adria Cycle Path!

Speaking of unexpected experiences, a few kilometers later, we were off our bikes again – this time to watch people surfing on the rapids of the Salzach River!

Golling

As we rode into Golling, we felt great about our first day on the Alpe Adria family cycling tour. The big city of Salzburg felt a million miles away, and the Austrian Alps were right on our doorstep.

a family on the Alpe Adria Cycle Path rolls towards Golling, Austria.

Being Sunday, most restaurants in Golling were closed, so we went to Enes Kebap Pizza for dinner. The food was great, the portions huge and we really liked the nice open air seating area near a garden.

Sadly, due to our adventures at the high ropes course, we arrived in Golling too late to see the Golling Castle. But, to be perfect honest, we’d pick a high ropes course over a castle every day of the week!

A 10-year old girl is excited to try the high ropes course near Salzburg, Austria.
You won’t get a smile like that at a castle…

Day 2 Cycling Stats for Alpe Adria Cycle Path

From our Salzburg hotel to our Golling hotel, we biked 31 km / 19 miles. The first 10 km was nearly perfectly flat, then over the course of the next 20 km, it was slightly uphill, with only a few, very short steeper sections.

It took us 3 hours of moving time to complete this leg of the Alpe Adria cycle trail. The kids had great energy throughout, but our kids had to walk their bikes up a small section on one of the hills. We stopped for lots of pictures and videos, and due to the heat, we stopped for plenty of water as well.

a vibrant green river as seen on the Alpe Adria Cycle Trail between Salzburg and Golling.

Day 3 – Golling to St. Johann

After filling our bellies with a hearty hotel breakfast, we were on our bikes at 8:20 am for our third day of the Alpe Adria cycle tour. The clouds were still burning off the lower slopes of the alps, giving the morning a mystical feel.

The first few kilometers of the ride were pretty easy, a flat trail through fields of cows grazing. The first challenge of the day was after 3 km / 2 miles.

a family begins cycling the family-friendly version of the Alpe Adria Cycle Path from the town of Golling.

Pass Lueg

Today’s leg of the Alpe Adria cycle path trends slightly uphill for most of the day, with two major hills to conquer. The first hill, Pass Lueg, was the biggest and most challenging. Still following the path of the Salzach River, Pass Lueg gains 100 m / 330 feet of elevation over just 1.5 km / 1 mile.

This was a pretty tough hill for our kids, and each of them got off their bikes and walked a small portion of it. But, it’s fair to say that they each cycled over 90% of Pass Lueg. It was challenging, but not impossible.

a 10-year old girl walks her bike up a steep section of Pass Lueg on a family cycling vacation in Austria.
There’s a few steep sections along Pass Lueg.

Upon reaching the top of Pass Lueg, we stopped and rehydrated while looking at the interesting stone monument at the top. The downhill section of Pass Lueg was a fun reward for our hard work climbing.

an 8-year old boy cheers his family on as they near the top of Pass Lueg.
Celebrating reaching the top of Pass Lueg.

The next 9 km / 5.6 miles of cycling was not the best stretch family cycling in Austria, but to be fair, there’s not much EuroBike could have done about it. This section of the Alpe Adria cycle path goes through the bottom of a very tight mountain valley. There’s barely enough room for the highway, the railway tracks and the Salzach River, let alone a dedicated bike path.

So, the next 9 km of cycling is along the shoulder of a reasonably busy highway with a speed limit of 80 km/h (50mph). In the moments in-between traffic, there was some stunning Austrian Alps scenery to enjoy, but I found I could only enjoy it in small doses.

a narrow section on a busy highway while cycling in Austria with kids.

The mighty Burg Hohenwerfen castle comes into view at the 14 km / 8.7 mile mark. What a magnificent castle, perched up very high on a hill overlooking its domain below. I loved how the Burg Hohenwerfen castle is a proper castle, with turrets and round towers, etc. The Alpe Adria cycle path goes right past the castle, and with a funicular up, it’s very easy to visit. We had other plans for Werfen though.

a funicular up to Burg Hohenwerfen castle in Werfen, Austria.

Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave

We locked up our bikes in the Eisriesenwelt ice cave shuttle bus parking lot and took the shuttle up to the visitor center. We had purchased our Eisriesenwelt tickets online while on the shuttle bus, so upon arriving at the visitor centre, we were able to go straight in.

It’s a 20 minute walk from the visitor center to the Eisriesenwelt cable car. It’s a short cable car ride up, followed by another 20 minute walk to the ice cave entrance. As you can see, it’s quite the effort to get up there, but trust me, it’s worth it.

an 8-year old boy visits the Eisriesenwelt ice cave with his family during a summer vacation to Austria.
The views on the walk to the ice cave were amazing!

We were lucky that an English tour was leaving the moment we arrived at the entrance to the ice cave. We were given an oil lamp (with a real flame!) and we entered the cave. It was instantly colder inside and we could all see our breath.

we were given a real gas lamp for our English tour of the Eisriesenwelt ice cave.

Visiting Austria in the middle of summer, we didn’t have a lot of warm clothes, but we each wore pants, a t-shirt, fleece jacket, rain jacket and baseball hats and we were all warm enough.

The 60-minute tour through the Eisriesenwelt ice cave was incredible. I was worried it would be too similar to the Hintertux Glacier ice cave we visited earlier in our family trip to Austria when we visited Zillertal with kids, but it was completely different.

a tour group is led through the Eisriesenwelt ice cave.

Our trusty guide led us 1 km / 0.6 miles into the massive ice cave complex, using a wooden walkway over some incredibly large ice formations. He stopped at the major ice formations, giving us some history of the early explorers and about the ice cave itself. It was an amazing experience and we recommend you visit as well if you have the time on your Alpe Adria family cycle tour.

a guide lights up a huge ice structure on a tour through the Eisriesenwelt ice cave in Werfen, Austria.

From the time we left our bikes to the time we returned, it took nearly 4 hours. We really hustled too, but there’s really no way to make it any shorter.

Werfen to St. Johann

The second half of the cycling today was so much better than the first half. Most of this leg was on dedicated bike paths along a glasslike Salzach River. With less traffic stress, it was easy to look around and appreciate the fact that we had now cycled right into the heart of the Austrian Alps.

an 8-year old boy cycles next to the Salzach River while on a family cycling tour through Austria.

Getting to our hotel in St. Johann was really easy, with just one block on the town streets. After checking in, we walked to Spaso’s BBQ on the far side of the train tracks. They have a big kids menu, and my Cevapcici sausage sandwich may have been the best meal I’ve had on our Austrian family vacation so far!

Recommendation for this leg of the Alpe Adria Cycle Path with kids:

If you are cycling the Alpe Adria cycle path with smaller kids, we recommend you skip the Golling to Werfen leg and take the train instead. You won’t be missing much scenery-wise, but you will be skipping the two big hills, as well as an awful lot of traffic stress. By taking the train, you’ll free up more time to see the sights in Werfen, perhaps even getting to see both the Burg Hohenwerfen castle and the Eisriesenwelt ice cave.

an 8-year old boy makes a funny pose on a break from cycling on a family biking tour through Austria.

Day 3 Cycling Stats for the Alpe Adria Family Cycling Tour

Today we cycled 36 km / 22 miles from our Golling hotel to our St. Johann hotel. The general theme of the Alpe Adria cycling path today was uphill, with two major hills to conquer. The hills were a challenge, but very doable for the kids – perhaps with a small break here and there. It took us 3 hours and 45 minutes of moving time to complete this leg of the Alpe Adria bike path with our kids.

two young kids cycle on a country road in the Austrian Alps on a family cycling vacation.

Day 4 – St. Johann to Bad Gastein

Austria is famous for its vibrant green mountains. In order for a landscape to be this green, it needs to rain every now and then, and boy was it raining when we woke up for the fourth day of our family cycling trip.

The rain was supposed to let up in the afternoon, so we had a nice, slow paced morning at the hotel. We enjoyed a big breakfast, and many, many cups of coffee, which just tasted better when it was raining outside. We even managed to get some laundry done using the hotel’s washer and dryer.

The kids put in some hard work the first half of our family cycling trip in Austria, so we rewarded them with some time in the heated outdoor swimming pool. I ran into town to buy food for lunch, and amazingly the sun came out early! We ate a quick, self-catered lunch at the hotel and were back on two wheels around 11 am.

the Family Can Travel team cycles out of St. Johann, Austria for another day on their family cycling tour.

Liechtensteinklamm Gorge

We had planned to catch the 1:11 pm train at Schwarzach, which was only 7 km / 4 miles away, so we had lots of time to go visit the Liechtensteinklamm gorge. We only needed to bike a few minutes off the official bike trail to reach the Liechtensteinklamm gorge, and we were surprised to see a long line-up of cars to get in.

Being on our bikes, we rode past the long line of cars to the front. We were again surprised to find the lineup for tickets was about 100 people long. We quickly realized that we didn’t have enough time to visit the Liechtensteinklamm gorge after all, which is disappointing given how beautiful it looks. Learn from our mistake and arrive at the Liechtensteinklamm gorge as early as you can.

Schwarzach to Dorfgastein Train Ride

Our family bike ride from St. Johann to the Schwarzach-St. Veit train station was a very pleasant ride. The air was so fresh after the rain and the clouds were lifting to reveal the stunning mountains underneath. It’s amazing that we are still following the Salzach River, although it’s a much smaller river here than it is well downstream in Salzburg.

The kids thought it was a ton of fun taking our bikes on a train. The train ride from the Schwarzach-St. Veit train station to the Dorfgastein station was only 13 minutes long, but it cut off a large section of difficult bike riding on the Alpe Adria cycle track.

two kids have fun waiting to take their bikes on a train along the Alpe Adria cycle path.
Having some fun waiting for the train.

Cycling Dorfgastein to Bad Gastein

As luck would have it, by the time we left the Dorfgastein train station it was raining again, but that’s ok as we were prepared for it. Cycling in the rain is actually a lot of fun and our son loved that he could ride through unlimited puddles without us telling him to stop (he wasn’t going to get any wetter). I’m sure our ride in the rain will be something the kids remember from this family cycling trip.

The brilliant green countryside outside Dorfgastein seemed especially vibrant in the rain. We passed several charismatic, run down old barns just outside of town. The first 7 km / 4 miles was almost perfectly flat, along a dedicated bike path, mostly in the countryside, but sometimes adjacent to the highway.

the team from the Family Can Travel blog, cycles through the Austrian countryside in the rain.
A little rain never hurt anyone…

After passing through the lovely town of Bad Hofgastein, the dedicated bike trail paralleled the highway for a bit, before leading us onto a wonderful country trail alongside the small Gasteiner Ache river.

Bad Gastein

The pleasant country bike trail came to an end at the bottom of the hill leading into Bad Gastein. This final hill leading into town was a doozy, with us gaining 200 m / 650 feet of elevation over 3 km / 2 miles of riding. We managed to get the kids up the hill by setting small, achievable goals – “We’ll ride to that church and we’ll take a break”. It was hard work, but they got there, and we’re very proud of them.

the hill leading into Bad Gaston was very steep and we had to walk our bikes for portions of it.
The hill into Bad Gaston was a challenge even for the adults.

The most exciting moment on this leg of the Alpe Adria cycle path was crossing the bridge over the famous Gasteiner Waterfall. What an extraordinary waterfall to run right through the center of town! Upstream of the bridge the Gasteiner Waterfall rages through a tight gorge, while it becomes a tall & powerful waterfall below it. We could have stayed and enjoyed the Gasteiner Waterfall for a long time, but we were also eager to get to our hotel.

the Gasteiner Waterfall flows right through the town of Bad Gaston, Austria.

After such a challenging climb at the end of our family cycling today, we wanted to eat near our hotel, so we managed to get the last non-reserved table at Angelo – a classy Italian restaurant. We knew from the aroma the moment we walked it that it would be a great meal, and it was.

Day 4 Cycling Stats for the Alpe Adria Cycle Trail with Kids

Including our little side trip to the Liechtensteinklamm gorge, we cycled a total of 28 km / 17 miles. The entire length of our family cycling was remarkably flat with the exception of the side trip and the final leg to our Bad Gastein hotel. The biggest challenge of the day was the final 3 km, where we gained nearly 200 m / 650 feet in elevation. All together, it took us just under 3 hours of moving time to cycle the Alpe Adria cycle trail from St. Johann to Bad Gastein.

a family enjoys biking through some scenic Austrian countryside on a family cycling tour.

Day 5 – Bad Gastein to Molltal

Ahhh… we all enjoyed a really good night’s sleep in our excellent Bad Gastein hotel. After stuffing our bellies at the well-stocked breakfast buffet, we were ready for another day of cycling the Alpe Adria cycling path with our kids.

There was a slight drizzle as we hopped on our bikes mid-morning. After such a difficult climb to our hotel at the end of the previous day, we were happy to start with a downhill stretch.

After 2 km / 1.2 miles, we began biking along a charming country bike path next to the Gasteiner Ache river. As we cycled through this deep mountain valley, I was happy to notice a towering waterfall on the mountain to my right.

a happy 10-year old cycles alongside a river while on a family cycling tour in Austria.
Happy to be cycling downhill after yesterday’s challenging climb.

Bockstein to Mallnitz Train Ride

We followed the water all the way to the Böckstein Bahnhof train station. At this point, the mountains are so imposing that even the highway ends. Anyone who wishes to continue on from this point (cars, bikes, etc.) must take the train approximately 11 km through a mountain to Mallnitz, where the highway and cycling paths resume.

This was the second train of our Alpe Adria family cycling tour. We were all fascinated to see so many passenger cars being loaded onto a train! Given the entire journey was through a mountain tunnel, there wasn’t any scenery, but the kids always find a way to have fun on a train.

We entered the tunnel in the Austrian province of Salzburg and emerged 10 minutes later on the south side of the Alps in the Carinthia province. We were about to have a whole lot of fun on our bikes!

a 10-year old girl takes her bike off a train after skipping a hard section of the Alpe Adria cycling path.

A Long Winding Downhill

Although we began cycling on the side of a highway with no shoulder, the road wasn’t overly busy. The sun was out, the birds were singing and there were thousands of wildflowers growing all around. After 2 km / 1.2 miles of enjoyable riding, we reached the long downhill section.

Dan and Celine Brewer, of FamilyCanTrael.com, stop for a picture with their son in a field full of wildflowers on a family cycling tour in Austria.

Over the next 6 km / 4 miles of cycling, we would lose approximately 500 m / 1,600 feet of elevation. Along the way, there are a series of tight 180 degree turns, which are so much fun while on a bike. The meadows along the side of the road had millions of wildflowers and the vistas of the mountain valley below were amazing. It was a genuinely fun stretch of family cycling in Austria!

a long, winding downhill section of road along the Alpe Adria cycle path in Austria.
We had so much fun cycling down this long, winding road!

Groppensteinschlucht Gorge

Once we reached the valley floor, we deviated from the EuroBike route to go enjoy a short family hike through the incredible Groppensteinschlucht gorge.

The Groppensteinschlucht Gorge hike is a super fun family hike which ventures into the heart of a towering mountain gorge, with a river raging through it. Much of the first half of the family hike is along elevated boardwalks which kids always enjoy.

Along the elevated boardwalks on the Groppensteinschlucht gorge hike, we passed three amazing waterfalls, each connected by a section of powerful river rapids. It’s one of the most fun and scenic family hikes we’ve enjoyed in Austria so far.

the Groppensteinschlucht Gorge hike is a fun family friendly hike along the Alpe Adria cycling path.

We spent 1 hour and 40 minutes enjoying the Groppensteinschlucht gorge hike with our kids. It’s a worthy stop along the Alpe Adria family cycling tour.

Obervellach to Molltal

Back on our bikes, we cycled through the very colorful town of Obervellach before joining a dedicated bike path. The scenery here is what I imagined cycling though Austria would be like… a vibrant green valley floor, with churches, ancient barns and livestock with lush mountains all around.

To me, the highlight of the day was the Groppensteinschlucht gorge hike, but if you ask our kids, the highlight was the 20 minutes we spent feeding ponies and a donkey in a field next door to a country church. The ponies and donkey were very friendly and enjoyed all the loving attention from our kids.

taking a break from our family cycling tour to feed donkeys near a church.
At least at was a scenic place to stop and feed donkeys.

Day 5 Cycling Stats for the Alpe Adria Family Cycling Tour

After a difficult finish to our Day 4 cycling, we were rewarded with a reasonably easy family cycle path today. Not including the distance we travelled by train, we cycled a total of 21 km / 13 miles.

The first leg from Bad Gastein to the Bockstein train station was mostly flat with a moderate uphill at the end. The second leg had a long & winding downhill section which was a lot of fun. Not including the time on the train, it took us approximately 2 hours of moving time to cycle from Bad Gastein to Molltal.

Celine Brewer walks along an elevated boardwalk next to a waterfall on the Groppensteinschlucht Gorge Trail.

Day 6 – Molltal to Spittal

After a couple of cloudy, somewhat rainy days, we were super happy to begin our day of cycling under a bright blue sky. The beautiful green mountains of Austria seemed to pop against the blue backdrop.

Baby Goats

After beginning our day with a ride through a nice, refreshing forest, we stopped at a field with a bunch of cute baby goats. Baby goats are irresistible, so we stopped and tried to pet them, but they were too jittery and shy. Some of the bigger goats were friendly though.

a 10-year old girl takes a break from her family biking tour through Austria to feed a goat.

Beautiful Countryside

The miles kept coming easy as the Alpe Adria cycle trail continued in a downhill direction. We passed many charming rural houses and colorful villages. We stopped again for more baby animals (this time kittens), but they too scampered away before we could pet them.

The valley we were cycling through was especially beautiful today. We passed through forests, corn fields, wheat fields as we crossed over the Moll River several times.

beautiful Austrian countryside on the Alpe Adria cycle path.

Barbarossatisch Gorge Hike

After such a fun gorge hike yesterday, we wanted to go on another one today. After 12 km / 7.5 miles of easy and enjoyable cycling we reached the town of Muhldorf. From here, we left the main Alpe Adria bike path and headed north towards the Barbarossatisch gorge. It was a pretty steep 1 km ride to the trailhead, but we all made it ok.

The Barbarossatisch gorge was more of a natural hike, without all the showy elevated boardwalks from the day prior. Also missing were the crowds – it was a nice opportunity to enjoy a beautiful hike in the Austrian Alps without the crowds. The gorge was beautiful and featured a bridge over a powerful waterfall at the end.

a powerful waterfall on the kid-friendly Barbarossatisch Gorge Hike.

Including a stop for lunch, the Barbarossatisch gorge hike took us an hour to complete.

Cycling Muhldorf to Spittal

As we cycled south from Muhldorf towards Spittal, we noticed that the mountains are starting to get a little smaller, a sad reminder that our Austria family cycling tour is nearing the end. We also began to notice a shift towards agriculture in the wide valley floor, as we cycled through many tall corn fields and fields of wheat flowing in the wind.

beautiful countryside along the Alpe Adria cycle path near Spittal, Austria.

Despite the fact that Spittal is a bit of a larger town, it was quite easy to make it to our hotel. There were a few short, unavoidable sections on moderately busy roads, but for the most part we kept to bike paths or very quiet streets.

Day 6 Cycling Stats for the Alpe Adria Bike Path for Families

Including the 3 km / 2 miles it took to get to the Barbarossatisch gorge and back, we cycled a total of 34 km / 21 miles today. The only difficult section was getting to the trailhead for the gorge hike, otherwise it was easy, mostly downhill family cycling today. It took us 3 hours and 15 minutes of cycling time to get from Molltal to Spittal.

a 10-year old girl cycles past a wheat field while on a family cycling trip in Austria.

Day 7 – Spittal to Villach

It was with a little sadness that we hopped onto our bikes this morning for our final day of our Alpe Adria family cycling tour. Today our family cycling journey will be the longest of our family-friendly Austria cycling tour, but thanks to the gentle downhill slope, it won’t be the hardest.

It was really easy to leave Spittal by bike, with very little on-road cycling required. Before long we were on an easy cycling pathway on our way out of town. As we crossed a train bridge, there were still 2,000 m+ peaks to our left and right, but these would gradually get smaller throughout the day.

a father cycles with his daughter on a self-guided family cycling tour through Austria.

Unlike the other days on our Alpe Adria family cycling tour, there weren’t any major attractions to stop for, so we cycled the entire way continuously, with just a few short breaks. The cycling today was so enjoyable, and so easy, that the kids didn’t ask to stop even once.

It was such a fun, easy and enjoyable bike ride along the Alpe Adria cycle trail to Villach today. Nearly the entire way was on a dedicated cycling path, so there was no traffic worries today. The gentle Drau River was our companion for most of the ride today as we passed through an agricultural part of Austria. We cycled through beautiful fields of corn, wheat, lettuce, green onions, and more. In addition, there were long shady stretches where trees lines both sides of the path. On a hot, sunny July day, we really appreciated the shade.

At one point, we stopped at a clearing by the Drau River to skip rocks. Our only other stop was also by the Drau River, this time at a picnic table to have our packed lunch.

the Family Can Travel kids take a break from their family cycling tour to skip rocks in the river.

Despite being a larger city, it was super easy to cycle to our Villach hotel. It was high-fives all around when we got off our bikes. We were so proud of our kids, who over the last week cycled nearly the entire way across Austria, through the incomparable Austrian Alps. It was a dream come true to cycle the kid-friendly sections of the Alpe Adria cycle path in Austria with our kids. We are grateful to EuroBike for creating this fun family cycling tour and helping to make it happen.

Next up on our family summer vacation to Austria & Slovenia, we crossed the border for some fun at Lake Bled with kids. This was the beginning of an incredible 2 week trip to Slovenia with kids.

the Brewer family celebrates arriving in Villach, marking the end of their self-guided family cycling tour across Austria.
We made it!!

What to Pack on a Family Cycling Trip

In addition to your bike clothing, we recommend you bring the following with you each day on your Alpe Adria family cycling trip:

A handlebar mount for your phone allows you to easily navigate your way through this family-friendly cycling trip.

A small travel first aid kit. You never know when an accident will happen, so having a small first aid kit will help with the minor scrapes you many get along the way.

A sweat resistant sports sunscreen.

Bug spray. To be honest, we didn’t notice many mosquitos on the Alpe Adria trail, but we did notice them on a few of our hikes. I’m always happiest when I pack bug spray, but don’t use it.

an 8-year old boy sits on his bike during a family cycling vacation to Austria.

A small power bank. You’ll burn through your phone battery pretty quickly running your GPS, taking videos and photos etc. It’s always comforting to have a small power bank and charging cord along with you in case your phone battery gets too low. It’d be a shame to miss out on great family photos of your cycling holidays because your phone was dead.

Packable sun hats are useful for when you get off your bikes and take off your helmets. If the sun is strong, you’ll still want your kids to be protected from the sun.

A cycling backpack with a hydration pack. The cycling specific backpacks are great as they are small and aerodynamic. Having a hydration pack for each cycler is imperative to ensure everyone gets enough water along their daily ride. This becomes especially important as the temperature rises. Our kids used a hydration pack from MEC (the Canadian version of REI) similar to this hydration pack from Outdoor Products, while we used this Osprey bike hydration backpack.

a cycling hydration backpack is a must for all family members while on a family cycling holiday in Austria.

Tips for Cycling the Alpe Adria Trail with Kids

Early morning rides are a good way to beat the heat if the daily high temperatures are too much for your children.

There are benches along much of the Alpe Adria cycle path. Pack a healthy lunch and stop at a scenic bench for a nice family break along the way. Many of the benches have garbage cans, so there is no need to carry your litter with you.

two kids enjoy ice cream cones while cycling the Alpe Adria Cycle Path with their family.
Ice cream makes a great reward for a good day of family cycling.

E-bikes are becoming more and more popular, so there always a risk of a gang of older people on e-bikes whizzing up behind you. Train your kids to stay on the right-hand side of the trail, and to always listen for bikes and/or cars coming up behind you.

Final Thoughts on the Alpe Adria Family Cycle Tour

We have done family cycling tours before, but we wondered if they could handle a trip through the heart of the Austrian Alps. We knew they were capable of the daily distances from some of our previous self-guided family cycle tours, but running straight through the Austrian Alps sounded a little intimidating – even for us adults!

a family cycles through a lush forest in Austria.

As usual, we had no need to worry as the kids did amazing. They each had their moments of getting tired or frustrated (as all kids do), but overall they amazed us with their energy, resilience and positive attitudes.

The beautiful Austrian mountain scenery along the Alpe Adria bike path lived up to the hype. The mountain peaks were stunning, the rivers beautiful, and the towns in the valleys were charming and colorful.

a 10-year old girl cycles the Alpe Adria Cycle Trail in summer while on a family trip to Austria.
Our cycling tour was a great confidence builder for our kids.

EuroBike did an excellent job. Their trip information package gave us interesting information about the region and the places we would be cycling with our kids. Their Alpe Adria cycle path route maps and detailed directions gave us confidence as we set out each day. The cycling equipment was in great shape, and with help only a phone call away, we felt safe taking our family cycling each day.

We would travel with EuroBike again and would recommend their Alpe Adria family cycle tour to anyone.

More Amazing Family Cycling Tours

+ posts

Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.

When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip).