Cycling in Carinthia
Discover all cycling routes and bike maps in and around Carinthia
Carinthia by bike
Land of lakes
Carinthia is well-known for its sunny climate and its many, many beautiful lakes. The southernmost province of Austria boasts no less than 1270 bodies of water, featuring fresh mountain lakes as well as magnificent larger lakes ideal for swimming and watersports.
It’s no secret that the regions surrounding the lakes are best explored by bicycle, and we have the best routes for you below.
The most popular cycle routes around Carinthian lakes
Around the lake
The Wörthersee is the largest of the Carinthian lakes and – with its bright turquoise colouring – one of the most spectacular. Due to its wind-protected location, the Wörthersee’s water temperatures can easily climb to over 25°C (77ºF), making it one of the warmest Alpine lakes.
The Wörthersee path R4 takes cyclists on a tour of the lake, inviting them to explore the towns on the way – Pörtschach and Krumpendorf, the Carinthian capital Klagenfurt and the beautiful peninsula Maria Wörth.
Featured routes around Wörthersee
The best of both worlds
In winter, Weissensee is paradise for ice skaters. At 930 metres (3051 ft) above sea level, the lake has been known to form an ice surface up to 58 cm (22 inches) thick, making it the largest frozen lake in the Alps.
In summer, the area is a popular destination for bike tours. It offers the best of both worlds: challenging climbs to the surrounding mountain peaks and gentle easy rides for all ages. Gitschtal cycle path R3b takes you on a scenic tour from Weissbriach to Hermagor.
Featured routes around Weissensee
A shallow island near Villach divides Faaker See in two. Together the two pools form the fifth largest lake in Carinthia. Every September, motorbike riders take over Faaker See to celebrate European Bike Week.
But the region also has plenty to offer for unmotorized two-wheelers, most notably the 10 kilometer (6.2 miles) cycle route around the lake. For those passing through, the Faakersee cycle path R1b forms a useful connection between the Rosental cycle path R1c and the Gailtal cycle path R3.
Featured routes around Faaker See
Along the shore
Millstätter See is situated north of the scenic Drautal valley. With a depth of 141 metres (463 ft), it is the deepest and most plentiful of the Carinthian lakes. The southern shore is thinly populated and especially charming with its idyllic panorama of surrounding mountaintops.
There is a beautiful bike path surrounding the lake, and a nearby cycle path named after the Drau River and valley. The Drau cycle path R1 is 360 km (224 miles) long and follows the river from Toblach (South Tyrol, Italy) to Maribor (Slovenia).
Featured routes around Millstätter See
Ossiacher See lies in the heart of Carinthia, flanked by the peak of the Gerlitzen mountain and the foothills of the Ossiacher Tauern range. The region surrounding the third largest lake of the province is popular with hikers and cyclists alike.
The Alpe Adria Trail, a long-distance hiking trail from the foot of Grossglockner to Muggia on the Adriatic coast, leads past the lake. The spectacular mountains serve to attract sports enthusiasts, but the flat Ossiachersee cycle path R2 caters to families and cyclists of all abilities, following the shore to the town of Feldkirchen.
Featured routes around Ossiacher See
745 miles of fun
Water temperatures of up to 29°C (84ºF) in summer make Klopeiner See a wonderful destination for swimming and water sports. Located southeast of the town of Völkermarkt, Klopeiner See is the remnant of a much larger ancient lake from the post-glacial period.
The area is particular popular with bicycle enthusiasts of all levels due to its varied and extensive (1200 kilometers or 745 miles long) network of marked cycle routes. Nearby Petzen mountain is a highlight for mountain bikers: with a length of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), Europe’s longest Flow Country Trail.
Featured routes around Klopeiner See
Four lakes and lots of action
Keutschacher See lies in the valley of 4 lakes (4-Seental) and is no less stunning than the nearby Wörthersee. Three other smaller lakes share the valley between the peaks of Pyramidenkogel and Sattnitzzug and are worth a visit: Hafnersee, Bassgeigensee and Rauschelesee. The area sees a lot of active cyclists and even catches a glimpse of the contestants of Ironman Austria, who pass the upper end of the valley before heading south.
Featured routes around Keutschacher See
Cycling and watersports
Pressegger See is tucked away in the middle of a 416 hectare (1028 acres) nature reserve in the Eastern Gailtal valley. Due to its remote location tourists only discovered the area in the 1920s, but it is a very popular holiday destination today. Carinthia’s first adventure park attracts many families, and sports enthusiasts come for the surrounding natural beauty. The Karnischer Cycle Route R3 runs all the way from Kötschach-Mauthen to Villach.
Featured routes around Pressegger See
Lakes south of the Drau river
Lakes worth a visit
Many less well-known lakes lie south of the Drau River – the longest river in Carinthia – and are always worth a visit. The largest of these is the Völkermarkter Stausee, an artificial lake which is 20 kilometers (12 miles) long. There is also the Turner See with its famous bird park, Sonnegger See which hosts an annual music festival, Gösselsdorfer See which is known for its triathlon and Pirkdorfer See. That's lake hopping made easy!