Klagenfurt am Wörthersee is the perfect starting point for exploring Carinthia’s cycle paths and rural roads by road bike. The ideal base camp for some great experiences on two wheels.
The Mediterranean Renaissance city Klagenfurt lies not only at the most beautiful end of Lake Wörthersee, but also at the centre of the 1,300-kilometre cycle path network in Carinthia. The multi-award winning Drau Cycle Path (R1) is quick and easy to reach. The Wörtherseeweg (R4), Glan-Gurkweg (R5), Völkermarkterweg (R6) and Friesacherweg or Loiblweg (R7) even go through the city area. And lastly there are connections via these paths to virtually all the other cycle paths in the province.
Wide choice of varied road bike tours
But what makes the Lindwurm city the perfect base camp for road bikers above all is its ideal location, set amid challenging and varied road bike tours on country roads that have little traffic, but are nonetheless well-developed. From Klagenfurt in just a few turns of the pedals you can be in Central Carinthia, with its gentle hills and crisp ascents, or discovering the wide plains and long-distance viewpoints in Southern Carinthia.
But the challenging cycling territory in Upper Carinthia is also not far away, just like Italy and Slovenia. However, there is no need to pedal so far to tackle some great tours, as there is also lots to discover in the immediate surroundings of Klagenfurt.
Here is just a small selection of classic road bike tours around Klagenfurt:
Lake Wörthersee circular tour(s)
Ride round Carinthia’s largest lake once or several times. Well-developed cycle paths, excellent gastronomy, and all sorts of places to swim when it gets hot in summer (39 km).
We recommend setting off as early as possible in summer to avoid the bathers and enjoy the lake in peace. You can also extend your circular tour with a proper mountain stage up to the Pyramidenkogel (845 m) or a detour into the lake’s hinterland.
By road bike to the loveliest Carinthian lakes
But other Carinthian lakes are also well worth seeing, especially when you conquer them by road bike. The around 100-kilometre-long cycle tour to the loveliest Carinthian lakes is ideal for this. There are no fewer than seven swimming lakes on this tour through the Keutschach Valley of Lakes (lakes Hafnersee, Rauschelesee and Keutschacher See) towards Villach (Lake Faaker See) and via Lake Ossiacher See back to Lake Wörthersee. So there is plenty of choice when you need to cool off.
Road bike tour through the Gurk Valley
If you like your rides undulating but not too steep, we recommend the circular tour of the Gurk Valley, which is steeped in history. This leads via Feldkirchen and Albeck into the Gurk Valley with the majestic Gurk Cathedral, and back to Klagenfurt via the former centre of Carinthia, the Zollfeld with Hochosterwitz Castle and Maria Saal. 117 kilometres, but a difference in altitude of “only” 628 metres promise a fairly relaxed afternoon on your bike.
The local mountain of Klagenfurt’s racing cyclists
Mountain specialists who are ultra-fit are recommended to try the Magdalensberg (1,059 m) to the north of Klagenfurt. The local mountain of the people of Klagenfurt offers a merciless final climb, and then an all-round view of the surroundings of Klagenfurt from the summit. If you have entirely worn yourself out, wellness and the finest food await in the newly extended Gipfelhaus Magdalensberg. If you only need a short break, you should at least visit the little church on the summit and pray for success as you hurtle back downhill again.
The Radsberg (812 m) to the south-east of the city is somewhat like the Magdalensberg’s little brother, and offers beautiful views over Klagenfurt to Lake Wörthersee, and on the other side down into the Rosental Valley. No matter whether it’s the steep hairpin bends on the north slope, the even steeper ones on the east slope or the somewhat longer (but in return less challenging) approach via the west side, the Radsberg is always worth a short cycle ride. A popular stop is the Jausenstation Mickl, from where daring paragliders plummet down into the Rosental Valley. The Jausenstation Raunjak awaits hungry road bikers nearby.
Up into the sun at Diex
You can reach the sunny town of Diex (1,170 m) from Klagenfurt via a highly challenging circular tour with numerous cultural highlights, such as Hochosterwitz Castle and Maria Saal. Diex, the municipality with the most hours of sunshine in Carinthia, sits on a high plateau from where it overlooks the Carinthian lowlands, and thus also the return trip via Völkermarkt and the Drau Cycle Path to Grafenstein, and finally back to Klagenfurt. At an unforgettable 90 kilometres and with a difference in altitude of 1,000 metres, this is a tour which really packs a punch.
The Karawankenrunde circular tour
Similar in length, but further south, is the Karawankenrunde, which will take you over the Schaida Saddle to Zell Pfarre and back. First you will ride to Sittersdorf in Lower Carinthia, and then up to Bad Eisenkappel and in a narrow valley directly past the Hochobir to the crisp Schaida Saddle. Here you can enjoy the spectacular view of the picturesque high valley of Zell Pfarre and the rock face of the Koschuta.
Now you can either take a shortcut via the ice-cold Freibach Reservoir down into the Rosental Valley and back to Klagenfurt, or complete the circle by crossing the full length of the high valley before launching yourself into the descent to the gunsmiths’ town of Ferlach. From here, you only need to vanquish Hollenburg Castle, which reigns over the River Drau, before you can return victorious to Klagenfurt. The entire circular tour covers 91 kilometres and a difference in altitude of 1,164 metres.
The ideal base camp for road cyclists
If you are planning a sporty cycling holiday in southern Austria, then Klagenfurt am Wörthersee is just the right place for you. The buzzing life of the Mediterranean old town with an Alps-Adriatic feel and all its shopping and eating options will while away the time between your varied road bike tours through the whole of Carinthia. Whether they are mountain specialists or long-distance cycling lovers, everyone gets their money’s worth here.