The Sound of Music Cycling

From $2510 per person

****# (92%) Based on 14 customer reviews
  • Great for families; gentle traffic-free cycling trails, excellent flexibility
  • Excellent 3* and 4* hotels, some with spas and pools; warm, friendly hoteliers; lovely local cuisine
  • Exceptional lakeside routes: swimming opportunities every day
  • Fairytale city of Salzburg: Baroque palaces, historic castles, stunning gardens
  • Masses of 'rest day' choices: boat trips, water sports, mountain rail rides
  • 4 nights in gorgeous Bad Ischl - cog railway, ice caves, thermal salt baths, Imperial Villa

What's included?

  • 10 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 19 May '17 to 20 Sep '17
  • Continental breakfast and 8 evening meals
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 85%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

The Sound of Music Cycling

Our 10-night cycling holiday in the Austrian Lakes is fantastically varied with something to suit travellers of all ages. It's a glorious mix of spectacular scenic views, gentle shoreline routes and swimming opportunities galore. The cycling is rated as a one bike-wheel rating, and you can extend or shorten your routes on most days.

Every stop brings new discoveries such as St Wolfgang's antique cog railway to the summit of Schafberg, Mozart's museum in St Gilgen, and Mondsee's frescoed high street; the church here was the location of the famous wedding in 'The Sound of Music'! When you fancy a change from cycling, local buses and boats shuttle between delightful lakeside villages making exploration easy. Regional highlights include Emperor Franz Josef's summer residence in Bad Ischl (he declared war on Serbia here, which led to WW1), Gmunden's 'floating' castle Seeschloss Ort, and its porcelain town hall bells, and an unforgettable paddle steamer on Lake Traunsee below spectacular mountain peaks. Not to mention a trip to Salzburg itself.

Our hotels throughout are extremely friendly and form pleasant contrasts en route. From the centrally located Hotel Leitnerbraeu, and the lakeside retreat in Gmunden to 4-star luxury with swimming pool and exclusive spa in Bad Ischl. We have included eight evening meals on the holiday, leaving you free to choose from one of Mondsee's inviting restaurants.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Gmunden

Arrive at your lakeside hotel in Gmunden. Take a stroll along the esplanade before dinner on the terrace of the hotel, with Gmunden's lights shimmering above the surface of the lake.

Day 2 At Gmunden

Head up to the top of the Grunberg, by cable car, for wonderful views of Gmunden and the C17 Schloss Ort, Traunsee's 'floating castle'. Take a trip on the Gisela, the last coal-fired paddle steamer.

Day 3 Gmunden to Bad Ischl 19km/12mi or 30km/19mi

Take the boat across to Ebensee on the south shore then head up the cable car to the Feuerkogel Peak for spectacular views. Cycle a beautiful riverside route, criss-crossing the River Traun to Bad Ischl.

Days 4-6 At Bad Ischl

You're spoilt for choice for things to see and do in Bad Ischl: the imperial spa, the salt mines, the ice cave in Obertraun, thermal salt baths, the Katrin cable car, the Siriuskogl viewing platform, museums and villas. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride, people-watch on the riverside esplanade, enjoy coffee and cake in the famous Zauner restaurant or take the cog railway to the top of Schafberg (1,783m).

Day 7 Bad Ischl to Strobl 16km/10mi or 29km/18.5mi

Explore the Kaiservilla, Emperor Franz Josef's former holiday home, before setting off along the banks of the River Ischl below the Leonsberg and Bleckwand peaks. Continue on to lakeside Strobl.

Day 8 At Strobl

Spend the day in Strobl with its watersports, cable cars, summer toboggan run and animal park. Visit the fairytale city of Salzburg, a Baroque jewel with a UNESCO-recognised historic centre.

Day 9 Strobl to Mondsee 30km/19mi or 43km/27mi

Stay close to Wolfgangsee's southern lakeshore, cycling through a tiny nature reserve into lovely St Gilgen. Take the cable car up Zwolferhorn for stunning 360° views or visit the Mozart museum.

Day 10 At Mondsee

Cycle past yachts and wooden boathouses along Mondsee's north shore to sparkling Attersee or explore locally and enjoy an apfelstrudel in Mondsee's central square looking out over St Michael's Basilica.

Day 11 Leave Mondsee

We take you to Salzburg for extra nights or to catch your flight home.

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.

See our Austrian Lakes Cycling for an 8-night version of this holiday.

For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Passau to Vienna 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.

Hotel Grunberg, Gmunden   (3 Star)

Hotel Grunberg, Gmunden

The Hotel Grunberg has a great lakeside location directly below Grunberg Mountain which soars above the town of Gmunden.

The hotel is right on the lakeside with a view over to the lights of Gmunden itself shimmering on the water. It takes about 10 minutes to cycle into the centre of town.

Bedrooms are spacious and the majority have lake views - they are not typically Austrian but more contemporary in feel.

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

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed

Villa Seilern , Bad Ischl   (4 Star)

Room at Villa Seilern

Villa Seilern is a perfect blend of the modern and the traditional, featuring a 19C villa along with a modern and stylish accommodation block.

The bedrooms are spacious and use a mixture of natural materials and all have a balcony.

The spa facilities at the hotel include an indoor pool, whirlpool, Bio and Finnish sauna and steam bath.

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

Local facilities:

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

Hotel Bergrose, Strobl   (4 Star)

Hotel Bergrose, Strobl

This a beautiful 30 room hotel based a 5 minute bike ride from the eastern shore of Wolfgangsee on the outskirts of the village of Strobl.

It is a traditional building with wooden balconies and Gothic script on the exterior, and is located on a river bank next to a meadow. It has a lovely secluded garden, and three floors of perfect Austrian wood panelled luxury inside.

Rooms here are junior suites - all Headwater rooms have a balcony - with shower or bath. All the rooms are beautifully decorated with quality pine furniture and comfortable beds.

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

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed

Hotel Leitnerbraeu, Mondsee   (4 Star)

Hotel Leitnerbraeu, Mondsee

The Leitnerbraeu Hotel can be found in the very heart of Mondsee, just a stone's throw from the famous church used in 'The Sound of Music' and a 5 minute stroll from the lakeside where there are frequent summer shows and events.

A 30 room family run property, it is broad, modern and spacious inside while retaining the typical Tyrol architecture outside. Bedrooms are extremely spacious with queen size beds and traditional wooden furnishings.

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

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

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

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.

Markus Sittikus, Salzburg   (4 star)

Markus Sittikus, Salzburg

The 4 star Markus Sittikus is a beautifully presented hotel, based in an 18C building with a mustard façade located in a quiet side street not far from the Mirabell palace, just a 15 minute walk from the old city.

Inside the hotel the décor is attractive and individual, with bold colours like mustard yellow and red tartan in the comfortable bar area, and some colourful murals painted on the walls throughout the building. Public rooms have period furniture and the upbeat interior, combined with the personal attention you receive from the friendly staff, make a stay here particularly memorable.

The hotel has 39 rooms though it feels smaller, with television (CNN/BBC), direct dial phones and hairdryers. Each one is individually decorated with attractive colour combinations and solid wooden furniture, in keeping with the age and status of the building.

It is also one of the few hotels in Salzburg to have a garden to relax in, if you are looking for some respite after doing the sights.

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

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Television

Hotel Austria, Vienna   (3 star)

Hotel Austria, Vienna

The location of the Hotel Austria could not be more central in Vienna. The Fleischmarkt is within walking distance of all the city centre attractions, and the opportunities for dining out are plentiful in the evenings.

The hotel is squirreled away up a small alleyway so looks quite unassuming. It is an enormous traditional building with a grand spiral central staircase. The public rooms on the ground floor are all very high with an atmosphere of faded and comfortable rather than modern grandeur. Ancient maps of the city hang behind reception and reds and crimsons form much of the décor, with antique furnishings dotting the lounge from where you can access the internet.

Bedrooms upstairs are off long corridors, and have high windows and dark wooden furnishings and velvet chairs. All come with satellite TV, minibars and tea and coffee making facilities.

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

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Travel options

Transfers included from Salzburg airport at 13:35, and back to Salzburg airport at 11:30.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email 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 Mr Grief on 26/08/2016

This was a very enjoyable holiday. We have done Headwater cycling holidays before but not for the past 8 years and with neither age nor fitness on our side, were apprehensive about embarking on this one. However, although I found the first two cycling days challenging; the first quite hilly and much of it in pouring rain, the second quite long and in temperatures not far short of 30 degrees, we loved the cycling and chose to use the bikes on many of our free days, discovering some lovely quiet country routes. I was still in training to be an 'Uphill Bicycle Pushing' champion at the end of the holiday but was definitely much fitter. Colin and Jill made us feel very welcome from the minute we arrived at Salzburg airport and it was good to know they were at the end of the phone should we need them. Each hotel had its own character and all were good. All were welcoming and the service attentive. The food ranged from good to excellent. We chose to add two extra nights in Bad Ischl and were very pleased that we did so. It is a delightful little town and we were there during the celebrations of the Kaiser's birthday which involved a lot of dressing up in wonderful period costumes as well as music of all kinds in the parks and streets. There was also a very impressive craft fair by the river and a festival of Light Opera at the theatre where we saw a wonderful performance of Die Fledermaus. Our two extra nights in Salzburg were also good although after the tranquillity of the hills and lakes the city was very busy and a bit overwhelming in the heat. If you are using the Marcus Sittikus hotel and like us were feeling ready something different to classic Austrian dishes, 'My Indigo' in the parallel street serves a great curry and some good beer (salads also available) at a very reasonable price. We also had a very good salad in the Pitter Garten in the same street. We enjoyed a concert of chamber music in the Marble Hall of the Mirabell palace, which was conveniently close to our hotel. Previous holidays with Headwater had been in more remote rural areas and having read reviews of the holiday we were also apprehensive about a lot of cycling on and near main roads. The geography of the region means that very often this is the only available route for parts of the journeys but the bicycle paths were excellent, the scenery still stunning and compared with many parts of the UK the traffic reasonably light. There were stretches of lovely countryside on all days. We also did three local rides on our free days which involved very little time by main roads.
Headwater response:
Dear Mr Grief, Thank you for taking the time to provide your extensive feedback, I am sure future customers will find this information valuable. After reviewing the feedback received during the summer, we have made some improvements to this holiday. A number of customers found the 1st days cycling challenging, therefore, we have replaced this day from the itinerary, which in turn removes some of the hilliness of the tour. We have also removed Hotel Blumenhof. We hope you will agree these improvements will continue to enhance this popular holiday. In closing, we would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Kind regards, Headwater Customer Service team

Reviewed by Mr Struthers on 09/08/2016

The area was great albeit cycling on day 1 (maybe some of day 2 also) was a bit too hilly for a one cycle holiday. Better to be one cycle plus Hotels and locations variable but generally very good Overall a very enjoyable holiday Hotel food of better standard than usual (except maybe Hotel Blumendorf). Hotel Grunberg spectacular in every way (location, food, view etc)

Reviewed by Dr Miller on 21/07/2016

This is a lovely area in which to cycle. The route passes through rolling farmland and around beautiful alpine lakes. Each village was storybook perfect, though all were slightly different. There are quite a few opportunities to be a tourist on the non-cycling days, with options for alpine viewing platforms, salt mine tours and cave tours. The hotels were solid choices and typically had warm, friendly staff. The food at the half-board dinners tended to be on the heavy side, so eating a light lunch would be advisable. The bicycling is not too challenging. There are a few climbs, but I don't think any were more than 250 meters of elevation gain. It is more challenging cycling than the Passau to Vienna trip on the Danube, but easier than Umbria and far easier than Piemonte. The cycling route is a mix of dedicated cycle paths, often alongside a busy road, and cycling on quiet country roads. I would rate the trip three (out of five) stars for the quality of the cycling terrain/experience, but five stars for scenery and the charm of the villages. During my trip, there were several days of 30+ degrees with high humidity. This is not surprising for cycling in July, but do not expect anything in rural Austria to be air conditioned, including the hotel rooms.

Reviewed by Mr Goss on 01/10/2015

Our second Headwater cycle trip, (first was Canal du Midi). Excellent route. Spectacular scenery. Reps on site very knowledgeable and helpful. 'Free' days have many interesting places to visit.

Reviewed by Mr Nicol on 20/09/2015

our first one biking abroad and will do it again

Reviewed by Mrs Lee on 17/09/2015

Very well organised, excellent representatives, good cycling along dedicated cycle paths. Let down by standard of some hotels.

Reviewed by Ms Slivnitskaya on 20/08/2015

The holiday with Headwater was indeed the best holiday of my life. We went with my partner and were really impressed with the service and everything else. Reps were amazing, very helpful and we knew if we need them they come very quickly. Bikes were very good and all the equipment felt new and very high quality. In fact, I struggle to cycle now back home as my bike can not be compared with amazing Headwater one. Notes were excellent, we didn't use a map even once, I was very impressed that reps did all the walking and cycling themselves and check it regularly for updates. Hotels were very good and chosen in a very clever way, the further you go the better they get, perfect. Food was restaraunt quality and we saved a fortune on it. Hotel facilities were excellent, nearly all of them had spa and swimming pools which was a great reward after a day of cycling. I could say that neither me nor my partner are experienced cyclists, we never been to the cycling holiday before and didn't do much cycling back home. So we were quite scared and were expecting all sorts of challenges. But I have to say that Headwater made it easy. They are not cheap but you gonna get a holiday of your life. We came back home being fit, happy and much more confident with cycling and everything else too. Thank you very much, I really hope to save for another holiday in the future. I won't go with anybody else.

Reviewed by Mrs McCann on 18/08/2015

Fantastic holiday in a beautiful area. Our 8 year old twins thoroughly enjoyed the cycling and the many swimming opportunities. Lovely hotels with excellent food. The temperatures were way above average during our trip which was challenging at times, especially as it was hard to cool down the hotel rooms but at least we never got wet! Overall a wonderful experience.

Reviewed by Mr Duckworth on 01/08/2015

When I go on holiday I like to chill, and my wife likes to get out and go visiting places of interest. We found that this holiday covered all bases. We chose a category one purposely because we have not done anything like this before, ok there were some hills and inclines but nothing that was to difficult, we had a fantastic time.

Reviewed by Mr Lawrence on 25/06/2015

The independent cycling holiday you provided suited us perfectly as we prefer to travel/holiday independently and the service you offer takes the legwork out of the organisation of such holidays and provides a low key, assuring back up should things go wrong.

Reviewed by Mrs Price on 15/10/2014

The lakes were easy to cycle around & the scenery beautiful. Fab hotels & food. People friendly & helpful. Another successful trip with Headwater.

Reviewed by Mr Sly on 27/08/2014

The whole holiday was pretty much as expected, the bikes provided were in pretty good condition and worked perfectly well, we found the route notes a bit difficult to follow at times and took a few wrong turns but still managed to get back on the right track. The Hotel Tirolerhof was really nice and we were surprised that it was not the first choice for that stop, we spoke to the other Headwater group and they said the other hotel was 'bland and the food disappointing'. We were not impressed with the Hotel Bergrose, after being told it was the best food etc. We arrived there wet from the ride and were told they do not serve tea and coffee during the day but there is a café next door if you want a hot drink. We were sitting in one of the rest areas playing cards the first evening at around 9pm and were asked to move into a small, cramped lounge area as they were closing the other lounge down for the night. The sauna was not switched on until 5pm each evening and dinner time was 6.30-7.30 which meant there was not time to use it, although when my brother in law tried to use it for a quick visit one evening there was a sign on the door in Austrian which he thought mentioned wearing swimming costume to use it when in fact it was the opposite, as he found out the hard way on entering, the hotel knew we were English and should have catered for that on the sign. The food, although presented very nicely, were very small portions compared to everywhere else we stayed and at times not that tasty, the 4 people in our group felt the Hotel was lacking the friendly, family run feel of all the others. The whole experience though was generally very good, the scenery was exactly as expected, a trip to the salt mines was my best day, we cycled to the ferry pick up point and caught a train back to Bad Ischl from he ferry port afterwards.

Reviewed by Mrs Morgan on 19/08/2013

This was our first arranged cycling holiday and was excellent from start to finish. Routes were easy to follow and not too strenuous. The weather was very much in our favour with temperature in the 26 - 34C. Hotels were good, excellent food and friendly service. Our rep James was very good and advising on things to see and do along the way. The Blue book is an excellent idea to help choose thing to do on none cycling days. Luckily we chose 3 extra days in Bad Ischl as there was lot to see and do from there.

Reviewed by Mr Stamp on 16/08/2013

We have been on a number of Headwater cycling holidays but the Austrian lakes cycling holiday was a disappointment. Hotels not up to usual Headwater standard, no sleep due to lack of air conditioning with temps in the high 30s, frequently kept awake by traffic noise, balconies without a view, one hotel with no choice of menu, 2 nights interrupted sleep by noisy neighbours all night. Cycling days were either on busy roads or close by motorways. Difficulty in finding picnic spots on the journey

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 13$2510
May 15$2510
May 17$2510
May 19$2510
May 21$2510
May 23$2510
May 25$2510
May 27$2510
May 29$2510
May 31$2510
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$2650
Jun 4$2650
Jun 6$2650
Jun 8$2650
Jun 10$2650
Jun 12$2650
Jun 14$2665
Jun 16$2665
Jun 18$2665
Jun 20$2665
Jun 22$2665
Jun 24$2665
Jun 26$2665
Jun 28$2665
Jun 30$2665
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2665
Jul 4$2665
Jul 6$2665
Jul 8$2665
Jul 10$2680
Jul 12$2680
Jul 14$2680
Jul 16$2680
Jul 18$2680
Jul 20$2680
Jul 22$2680
Jul 24$2680
Jul 26$2680
Jul 28$2680
Jul 30$2680
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2680
Aug 3$2680
Aug 5$2680
Aug 7$2680
Aug 9$2680
Aug 11$2680
Aug 13$2680
Aug 15$2680
Aug 17$2680
Aug 19$2680
Aug 21$2680
Aug 23$2680
Aug 25$2680
Aug 27$2680
Aug 29$2680
Aug 31$2680
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2650
Sep 4$2650
Sep 6$2650
Sep 8$2650
Sep 10$2650
Sep 12$2510
Sep 14$2510
Sep 16$2510
Sep 18$2510
Sep 20$2510

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.


Every two days from 19 May '17 to 20 Sep '17, for 11 days (10 nights).


Continental breakfast and 8 evening meals.

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 Salzburg airport at 13:35, and back to Salzburg airport at 11:30.

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.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
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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  • ABTA Member (No. W1593)
  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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