Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

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levarg
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Joined: 26 Sep 2018, 9:32am

Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby levarg » 26 Sep 2018, 9:43am

Anybody ever cycled this route? It looks pretty flat (except for one peak), despite passing through the Alps:
https://www.alpe-adria-radweg.com/en/

Interested to know more about the terrain and surface. Plus accommodation recommendations and cost.

Cyckelgalen
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby Cyckelgalen » 26 Sep 2018, 2:56pm

Hi, that is possibly one of tne best cycle routes in Europe. Is is not as flat as it appears, but fairly flat considering that you are in the Alps. Half way between Salzburg and the tunnel you start to climb and tne final stretch to Bad Gastein and Böckstein, where you have to catch the train, is brutal, hardly negotiable on a very loaded touring bike. At Böckstein the road ends and everyone, including cars, have to board a shuttle train that crosses the high Alps to the southern side, about 20 minutes in a long tunnel. There are some long distance trains that also go through that tunnel, so many cyclists board one of those further down tne valley to avoid the last climb. Consider doing that and plan ahead because those trains are less frecuent.

Tne surface is a bit of everything, mainly good country roads and bike lanes, though some are gravel tracks. At one point you have through a 2.5 k tunnel on a narrow lane separated by a railing from the deafening heavy traffic besides. You will need a light.

pal
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby pal » 26 Sep 2018, 4:49pm

This has been on my routes-to-ride list for a bit too. Cyckelgalen (or other experts): do you have any views about whether it's best to cycle it north-south or south-north (or does it not make much difference)?

nirakaro
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby nirakaro » 26 Sep 2018, 6:47pm

I rode from Salzburg to Tarvisio earlier this year. I was on slick tyres, and rode all the way on tarmac.
I'm an out-and-proud wimp where hills are concerned – anything much above 8% is get-off-and-walk territory – and I don't recollect any problems. IIRC there a two really vicious, but short, sections, one at the start of the road up the valley to the rail tunnel, the other in Badgastein itself, neither of them more than about a kilometre. Other than that, a reasonably easy, and very pretty, ride.
From Tarvisio, btw, there's a very nice bike route on an old railway line to Kranskja Gora in Slovenia.
I found campsites readily, in Golling, Badgastein, Spittal.

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ConRAD
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby ConRAD » 26 Sep 2018, 7:05pm

levarg wrote:... it looks pretty flat ...

... done on the reverse way from Grado to Villach, ... yes ... basically flat. HERE some pictures.
Image

levarg
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby levarg » 26 Sep 2018, 9:06pm

Some great feedback here. Thanks everyone.

Good to know the two major climbs are reasonably short (1km each) and therefore should be easily negotiable (even with a walk). Also good to know about the potentially dangerous 2.5km tunnel. Thanks for that Cyckelgalen.

Conrad - Great photos. They really have whet my appetite for doing this trip.

In terms of which way to do it, north-south or south-north? I reckon north-south would be a little easier. The final third looks like a gentle downhill gradient to the coast. Plus my plan would be to end in Grado and spend a bit of time relaxing by the sea after a hard few days of riding. Anyway, I'm going to plot the full route on a map. Will post it here when done.

levarg
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby levarg » 27 Sep 2018, 2:17pm

Here's the full route plotted on a map:
https://en.mapy.cz/s/35xbo

You can see the elevation profile in the right hand column (click to expand). Unbelievable how relatively flat it seems considering it is slap bang through the middle of the Alps.

bohrsatom
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby bohrsatom » 29 Sep 2018, 9:50pm

I rode the Austrian part of the Alpe-Adria Radweg last year, as part of a longer trip in Slovenia. The plan was to ride to from Salzburg to Tarvisio then enter Slovenia but we had dreadful weather (September) and only made it as far as Spittal-an-der-Drau before taking a train to Ljubljana on a particularly wet day.

After the trip I wrote that I was a bit disappointed with the Alpe-Adria. It was alright but we couldn't understand why it won so many awards. Following the main road would be the most direct route up and across the Alps, but it's narrow and busy with freight traffic. The Alpe-Adria does what it can to avoid it, but the Salzach and Gastein valleys have steep sides and so the alternative route is pretty hilly. We found ourselves getting tired of needlessly climbing only to rejoin the main road a few kms later.

The Klammtunnel mentioned by Cyckelgalen was a little unnerving to ride through. The tunnel amplifies the noise of traffic and makes an approaching Morris Minor sound like a tank, but you're riding on a path segregated by a crash barrier so it's just uncomfortable rather than unsafe.

Perhaps we didn't see the best part of the route - the section crossing into Italy is meant to be great but unfortunately we never made it there!

levarg
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby levarg » 1 Oct 2018, 9:08am

Hi bohrsatom,
Following the main road would be the most direct route up and across the Alps, but it's narrow and busy with freight traffic. The Alpe-Adria does what it can to avoid it, but the Salzach and Gastein valleys have steep sides and so the alternative route is pretty hilly. We found ourselves getting tired of needlessly climbing only to rejoin the main road a few kms later.

Thanks for the info. I will check the route beforehand to see if particular deviations are unnecessary. And just stick to the main road for a few extra kms instead.

nirakaro
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby nirakaro » 1 Oct 2018, 1:41pm

I stuck to the main road all the way up the valley IIRC, and I don't recall the traffic being an issue at all.

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mjr
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby mjr » 1 Oct 2018, 2:35pm

nirakaro wrote:I stuck to the main road all the way up the valley IIRC, and I don't recall the traffic being an issue at all.

But what time of which day and how close can you withstand being passed?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

nirakaro
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby nirakaro » 2 Oct 2018, 10:24am

Point taken – I'm pretty relaxed about riding in traffic. And I rode up to Bad Gastein on a Sunday. And it was the day after the end of the skiing season – possibly the quietest day of the year?
Certainly best to have an alternative route planned.

skinikki
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby skinikki » 4 Oct 2018, 6:23pm

We rode from Villach to Grado this summer along the Alpe Adria Radweg and had a fantastic trip. It was the first part of a trip which then extended to Trieste, Ljubljana, Skofja Loka, Bohini, Bled, Kransa Gora and back to Villach.
A really lovely route and well sign posted even through the towns through Italy.
Have a great tip :)

Bogawski
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Re: Salzburg > Grado (via the Alps)

Postby Bogawski » 18 Oct 2018, 6:33pm

Did you go with a tour company or sort it yourself? I have been looking at the threads and links above and there seem to be quite a few outfits that do the route.
I am interested in Salzburg to Grado with an addition to Triest with a bike transfer back to Salzburg where I will have left the bike box at the 1st hotel.
Is there a Company you could recommend please.
Thanks Bogs