Cycling around Austria's Hidden Lakes

From $1987 per person

****# Based on 20 customer reviews
  • Wonderfully peaceful cycling: lakeside paths, riverside trails, unspoilt beaches
  • Snow-capped mountains, glistening lakes, postcard-pretty villages
  • Gorgeous Mediterranean climate; enjoy al fresco lunches and balmy evenings
  • Mediaeval towns, onion-domed churches, Romanesque cathedrals
  • Luxury **** hotels throughout with swimming possibilities every day

What's included?

  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '16 to 20 Sep '16
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 90%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Carinthia Card included

Excellent for...

Cycling around Austria's Hidden Lakes

Tucked into the eastern Alpine triangle where the borders of Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet, lies the region of Carinthia. Largely unknown outside of Austria, this region of contrasts mixes lively lakeside towns with unspoilt countryside. Its great natural beauty, a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, over 200 pristine lakes, lush forests, picture-perfect meadows and beautiful beaches, have made it the firm secret favourite of the discerning Austrian upper classes for centuries.

This eight night cycling holiday follows a peaceful route around some of the best known lakes that the region has to offer, blending quiet countryside roads, lakeside paths and river trails teeming with nature. The towns and villages en route are full of history and charm; you'll observe a real mixture of Austrian, Italian and Slavic architecture and the countryside is quite simply spectacular with each day providing numerous wonderful photo opportunities, from mountain vistas to deep green valleys and pretty picnic spots alongside delightful little lakes. It's little wonder that the region has been enjoyed by Austrians for centuries with its friendly people, wonderful fusion food and Mediterranean climate which allows lake swimming from May to October.

You'll stay in hand-picked 4-star hotels all with their own charms and highlights including Hotel Schonruh with its magnificent views of Faaker See; Hotel Burgstaller, a traditional hotel with a friendly welcome; Hotel Lindenhof which mixes luxury with a working farm and Seepark Hotel with its inviting spa. The food is an enjoyable mix of Austrian and Italian fayre: pasta dishes in tangy cheese sauces, seasonal fresh vegetables, succulent meats and lake fish.

Read press reviews of this holiday in Mirror.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Klagenfurt

Arrive at your 4-star hotel just a short distance from Worthersee.

Day 2 - Klagenfurt to Drobollach 51km/32mi

Today you follow a series of cycle routes out of the valley before a long swoosh down to the River Drau. The rest of the day is spent following the cycle trails alongside the river with the backdrop of the imposing Karawanken Mountains. There are great birdwatching opportunities and the chance to catch a glimpse or two of deer, before arriving at your 4-star hotel in the small town of Drobollach.

Day 3 - At Drobollach

You could easily spend the day just admiring the turquoise waters of Faaker See; if you fancy being more active, enjoy a cycle around the lake before finishing at the hotel's private beach. Or why not head down to the River Drau and take a boat cruise (included on your Carinthia Card)?

Day 4 - Drobollach to Dobriach 41km/26mi

A wonderful trail takes you along the banks of the River Drau, passing through the heart of Villach, the Italianate city with its many spires. Enjoy a riverside lunch and then climb above the river to be rewarded with a long downhill section with super views of Millstatter See; this fjord-like lake is one of the gems of the area. Arrive in Dobriach to a warm welcome from the Family Burgstaller, dressed in dirndls!

Day 5 - At Dobriach

There are plenty of choices today. You can follow the well-marked cycle track around Millstatter See, or take a cruise around the lake (free with your Carinthia Card). The town of Millstatt is a charming place to spend a few hours or perhaps head to the nearby city of Spittal an der Drau to visit the impressive Schloss Porcia, one of the most important Renaissance buildings in Austria. You may also wish to ride the impressive Goldeck cable car for glorious views of the Grossglockner mountain.

Day 6 - Dobriach to Bodensdorf 41km/26mi

Today's cycle takes you through the Gegend Valley with a long freewheel stretch passing pretty hamlets. Have lunch in the town of Feld am See or picnic by one of the picturesque small lakes en route. The day ends as the cycle path leads you to lovely Ossiacher See to follow the lakeside trail, arriving at your luxurious 4-star farm hotel in quaint Bodensdorf in time for a dinner of homegrown produce.

Day 7 - At Bodensdorf

Your free day here can be as active or relaxing as you want. Cycle around the lake, or ride the Gerlitzen cable car to the 1970m peak, where you can enjoy lunch with views of the whole cycle route. Further afield the train will take you to Friesach, Carinthia's prettiest town, or the hotel has its own private beach complete with bar and cafe, so you could simply spend the day on the lake.

Day 8 - Bodensdorf to Klagenfurt 38km/24mi or 42km/26.5mi

Today, you follow the shores of Ossiacher See, and the tiny Tiebelach river on cycle paths and quiet country roads with the Ossiacher peaks towering above. You'll pass through Feldkirchen with its pretty church, bars and shops before following a quiet road out of the valley, then enjoy a lovely freewheel, through forest tracks and farmlands, arriving in Portschach, nestled on wonderful Worthersee. It's then on to Klagenfurt where you can spend time exploring the lively city or relaxing in the hotel spa.

Day 9 - Leave Klagenfurt

Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Austria for all customers under 12 yrs. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.


For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Austrian Lakes Cycling

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day and £18 per child per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Seepark Hotel, Klagenfurt   (4 Star)

Restaurant at the Seepark hotel

The Seepark hotel is modern luxury hotel, located just 200 metres from the shores of Worthersee. It has its own beautiful gardens where you can relax after a days cycling or walking.

The rooms are of a good size and come with city or lake view, it has a great restaurant serving local specialties, a terrace and bar.

There is also a free spa area which has a small gym and an indoor pool (please note that the pool will exceptionally be closed between 22AUG – 27AUG 2016).

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Schonruh, Drobollach   (4 Star)

Hotel Schonruh, Drobollach

Situated in the small village of Drobollach, close to bars and the tourist office this 4* hotel has the most incredible views of Lake Faakersee, with its own beautiful gardens heading down to the lake.

The hotel has its own small bar and terrace, where breakfast and dinner can be taken when weather permits. They provide free beach towels to be used on the hotel’s own private lake bathing area.

The rooms are large and well decorated and all have balconies with lake views.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe

Hotel Burgstaller, Dobriach   (4 Star)

Hotel Burgstaller, Dobriach

This family run traditional farmhouse oozes charm and is situated in the centre of the small village of Dobriach, which has a bar, supermarket and Tourist office, it is just 700m from stunning Lake Millstattersee where you find more shops, bars and restaurants.

The hotel has a warm and friendly feel, it has a large bar area, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna and Turkish bath. In good weather you can take your meals in the lovely grounds.

The large rooms are traditionally decorated, with modern touches. All have large balconies overlooking the grounds and surrounding hills. There is free wifi in the reception area.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar

Hotel Lindenhof, Bodensdorf   (4 Star)

hotel Lindenhof pool

The Lindenhof is a wonderful place to spend a couple of nights, the old farm buildings have been refurbished to a very high standard, combining a great mix of traditional pine with modern touches. Located on the outskirts of the small village, the Tourist Office, and a couple of small shops are nearby.

There is a heated outdoor pool and spa area and a lovely courtyard where you can take your meals in good weather. The hotels has its own lakeside beach with bar and restaurant. You will also find a dairy on site selling a nice mix of cheeses and cured meats. There is also a small petting zoo.

NB This hotel will be used on our 8 night walking holiday in July and August

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Tea/coffee facilities



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Trend Hotel Rathaus Park, Vienna   (4 Star)

Hotel Rathaus Park

This impressive palace built in 1882, is a great hotel in a superb location for visiting Vienna. Close to the hotel is the Rathaus and the Hofburg Imperial Palace, and in walking distance of all the major sights of the Old Town.

The hotel has 24 hour reception and a concierge service, free wifi and all rooms are ensuite, come with wifi and flat screen televisions.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe

Hotel Opera, Munich   (4 Star)

Exterior of the Hotel Opera, Munich

The Hotel Opera is situated in the Lehel district of Munich, the area has a village feel to it, but is just a 15 minute walk to the main centre of Munich and a 20 minute walk to the Englischer Garten, Munich's huge leafy park.

The hotel has a wonderful Romanesque facade, and the building itself dates back to the C19, damaged in the war the building was bought in 1968 by the present owners who took 8 years to painstakingly restore and renovate the building.

Today's hotel is a nice mix of modern and old, with lovely airy rooms and and a relaxing tranquil garden patio. Rooms have all mod cons and some come with balconies, the hotel also owns a couple of superb restaurants close by.

Breakfast is served at your table with a choice of cold meats and cheeses or croissants and fruit and the option to order freshly cooked eggs.



Please call for prices and details



Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfers included from Klagenfurt airport at 10:30 and back to Klagenfurt airport at 16:00.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs Wilshaw on 11/09/2016

***#.
Great cycling holiday in some of the most scenic parts of Europe we have ever seen. Carinthia is blessed with its countryside, lakes and mountains and takes good care of them for all to enjoy. Headwater was a very good experience if a bit on the expensive side for UK visitors.

Reviewed by Mrs Irving on 08/08/2016

***#.
We had a mixed experience, but overall enjoyed the holiday. The cycling was great, and the scenery was fantastic. The bikes and the route notes were both extremely high quality. Most of the hotels were wonderful, but the Familie Burgstaller was really geared to families with young children rather than older couples. The reps were 20 minutes late both collecting us from the station when we arrived and to take us back to the airport at the end, which wasn't very professional. Also our rep on arrival said that he had not cycled any of the routes for the last 3 days of our cycle trip so therefore couldn't give us any advice whatsoever about those sections of the journey! And obviously the problem with being booked onto the wrong flight from Heathrow to Vienna didn't get the holiday off to a good start.

Reviewed by Mrs Robertson on 21/07/2016

*****
An excellent holiday with a very high standard of hotel throughout. Without doubt our favourite hotel was the Lindenhof, where we had a beautiful suite of rooms all immaculately presented, and the staff were unbelievably friendly. The cycling was virtually all on cycle tracks, in the main interesting and varied but occasionally a bit dull e.g.. alongside the River Drau which seemed to go on for rather a long time. The bikes were excellent and the comfiest saddle I have ever experienced. The variety of things to do on the non-cycling days was excellent and Headwater's suggestions all very helpful. The complimentary Carinthia Card (allowing free access to various attractions) was a good idea and was made full use of on the non-cycling days.

Reviewed by Mr Davis on 31/08/2015

*****
Having done all of the other Headwater cycling holidays in Austria this one proved to be the best. We were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful scenery and varied and interesting cycling routes through a part of Austria we had not been familiar with. All of the hotels were very good or excellent in all respects: location, accommodation, food, and friendliness of staff. Gareth, the Headwater rep who met us at Villach rail station was excellent and could not have been more helpful and informative. Our bikes were brand new and didn't miss a beat during the whole holiday. We added on two extra nights in Munich at the end of the holiday, which proved to be an excellent decision. What a beautiful and interesting city! The 'two bike' rating of the route is probably correct - 95+% of the route is flat, gentle uphill or downhill, whilst there are three of four uphill sections where we had to get off and push. The nice thing about these was that they were followed by fantastic downhill stretches! Wish I could do it again!

Reviewed by Mrs Morton on 01/07/2015

***#.
Austria is a beautiful country to cycle in and there are good cycle tracks and paths which take you off the beaten track and help you discover the wonderful countryside. The people are very friendly and helpful but be aware there are some long steep inclines on the route.

Reviewed by Mr Goulding on 21/06/2015

*****
Austria is extremely cycle friendly - the whole route was mostly off road, very peaceful with spectacular scenery.

Reviewed by Mrs Bews on 16/06/2015

***#.
We totally loved Austria. The route was fantastic and not as challenging on the bikes as we anticipated. All the lakes were fabulous. The food amazing and people so friendly. We would love to go back again. Recommend this holiday for everyone

Reviewed by Dr Fine on 02/06/2015

*****
A very enjoyable holiday, particularly the days at Burgstaller and Lindenhof. Beautiful countryside, better appreciated from higher altitudes: I would encourage visitors to walk or cycle uphill from these two hotels for really spectacular views. The Sandwirth was a disappointment. It is an ordinary city hotel in a town/city which has little to commend it. I would have preferred extra days in the Burgstaller and/or Lindenhof, or a hotel outside the city centre. Local rep. Gareth was delightful, always helpful and nothing was too much trouble.
Headwater response:
Dear Dr Fine, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback, it was lovely to read that you had an enjoyable holiday, taking in all of the sights and sounds this beautiful region has to offer. We were however sorry to read of your disappointment with the Hotel Sandwirth. As we continue to improve and develop our holidays for future customers, we are sure you will be pleased to hear that we have taken on board the feedback we have received for this holiday and from this, we have decided to change this hotel for 2016. Replacing it with a hotel located very close to the Lakeside. We are sure you will agree this change will continue to improve the overall enjoyment of this holiday. We would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this year and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Yours sincerely, Headwater customer service team

Reviewed by Mrs Campion on 01/06/2015

*****
Great cycling in some lovely scenery. Our weather was a bit mixed but all the routes are suitable for rain or sun. We made good use of the Karnten card, especialy at Bodensdorf and used both the boats and the cable car / chair lifts to get to some fantastic views. Lots to do on the days off, but we tended to cycle anyway. Fab hotel at Bodensdorf with wonderful pool and spa facilities, could have happily spent a week there!

Reviewed by Mr Duckworth on 27/05/2015

*****
Another excellent Headwater holiday (our third - and we will be back). The bikes were, as always, ideal for the kind of touring; clean, well-maintained with a wide range of gears. The 'hidden lakes route' was perfect; occasionally challenging, always scenic. As usual it's imossilbe to grade the route in terms of difficulty, as so much depends on individual cycling fitness and experience. Most of us do a fair bit of cycling, and so there were no problems. Yes, the famous 6k hill on day one was bracing, but we would not have missed it, and the free wheel down the other side was awesome. The route notes this year did not, as in previous years, contain any diagrams, which we missed. The notes were accurate, and well thought out, but over-wordy. The routes as far as possible avoided main roads, which was great. Please, please consider providing Garmin routes. Intermittant, poor wifi was a constant irritation in all the hotels. Three of the four hotels were excellent. However, the Sandwirth in Klagenfurt is a city-centre executive hatchery; perfectly helpful staff but, notwithstanding the choclate on the pillow (on first day, not the second...and when does one eat said choclate? Before or after teeth cleaning?) rather cold and clinical compared to the warm welcome at the other hotels. Central Klagenfurt itself is not the ideal place for a a cycling holiday; a more holiday orientated hotel on the outskirts or on the lake would have been much better. The standard of food was as good as you could expect in Austria. Nouvelle cuisine has yet to arrive, so the helpings were huge! Gareth, the Headwater rep, was outstanding; simply the best. A warm welcome, constantly cheerful and smiling. Nothing was too much trouble for him; he was always available and helpful above and beyond all that might be expected. There was one serious problem, which Headwater needs to address. For those coming from LHR to Vienna, the lack of time to change to the Klagenfurt flight is absurd. We made it, just, by a fast walk/jog through the airport, but a three of four minute delay (LHR flight late in, minor hold up in security, stopping for a pee...whatever) and we would have missed it. Some people did miss it, and were faced with hours in Vienna waiting for the next flight out, or a wearisome train journey. This needs sorting out. But, notwithstanding Vienna airport, this was (as is usual with Headwater) a great holiday and, as I say, we will be back.

Reviewed by Mrs Heller on 26/05/2015

***#.
Just needed to justify the 'fair' rating for location. We felt that the hotels were isolated and so difficult to walk into villages. They were resort hotels. Exception in Klagenfurt but not a very interesting or attractive town. The 'good' rather than excellent for the overall rating was really based on this not on the cycling or support we received. I would recommend a Headwater holiday but not this particular one.

Reviewed by Mr Higton on 26/05/2015

*****
This was our favourite Headwater cycling holiday, the country was just beautiful with superb views, top notch hotels and in Gareth, the best rep we've had! The locals were very welcoming and its nice to be off the usual tourist track. The weather was unpredictable but we were lucky with only a brief rainfall on 2 days. It got pretty warm though. The 6k climb on the first day was a touch testing but do-able ! We were lucky that the road around Ossiacher See was closed on Sunday 17th May for a few hours to allow free access to families to cycle and roller blade around the car free main road.

Reviewed by Mr Johnston on 21/09/2014

*****
Good cycling in an interesting area not usually visited by people from the UK

Reviewed by Mrs Rawle on 24/08/2014

*****
Pleasant and occasionally challenging cycling. Good hotels and beautiful scenery. English widely spoken. We would go again. A good addition to the Headwater portfolio.

Reviewed by Mrs Kimber on 02/08/2014

*****
Super sites and fun. Not sure we would go for a holiday with 2 flights so close together next time - to stressful.

Reviewed by Ms Ray on 24/07/2014

*****
Our holiday was absolutely perfect, very well organised, fantastic bikes, great cycling routes, amazing scenery, wouldn't change a thing!

Reviewed by Mrs Roe on 14/07/2014

*****
Beautiful scenery. Lakes, rivers, mountains, flowers at every turn. Cycling quite demanding. We think 2.5 bikes, especially given the 6km climb on the first cycling day.

Reviewed by Mr Evans on 14/07/2014

*****
Good brochures. Excellent office liaison. Clear instructions. Well organized throughout. Highly recommended .

Reviewed by Mrs Laing on 27/06/2014

*****
Well organised

Reviewed by Mrs Kirby on 23/06/2014

*****
One of the best Headwater cycling tours we've been on. Lovely scenery, good hotels, friendly people.

Departure dates & prices

May 2016 departuresTour only 
May 13$1987
May 15$1987
May 17$1987
May 19$1987
May 21$1987
May 23$2208
May 25$2208
May 27$2208
May 29$2208
May 31$2208
June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$2105
Jun 4$2105
Jun 6$2105
Jun 8$2105
Jun 10$2105
Jun 12$2105
Jun 14$2208
Jun 16$2208
Jun 18$2208
Jun 20$2208
Jun 22$2208
Jun 24$2208
Jun 26$2208
Jun 28$2208
Jun 30$2208
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2208
Jul 4$2208
Jul 6$2208
Jul 8$2208
Jul 10$2239
Jul 12$2239
Jul 14$2239
Jul 16$2239
Jul 18$2239
Jul 20$2239
Jul 22$2239
Jul 24$2239
Jul 26$2239
Jul 28$2239
Jul 30$2239
August 2016 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2239
Aug 3$2239
Aug 5$2239
Aug 7$2239
Aug 9$2239
Aug 11$2239
Aug 13$2239
Aug 15$2239
Aug 17$2239
Aug 19$2239
Aug 21$2239
Aug 23$2239
Aug 25$2239
Aug 27$2208
Aug 29$2208
Aug 31$2208
September 2016 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2105
Sep 4$2105
Sep 6$2105
Sep 8$2105
Sep 10$2105
Sep 12$1987
Sep 14$1987
Sep 16$1987
Sep 18$1987
Sep 20$1987

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by Headwater appointed agent.

Departures

Every two days from 13 May '16 to 20 Sep '16, for 9 days (8 nights).

Meals

All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Klagenfurt airport at 10:30 and back to Klagenfurt airport at 16:00.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

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