Cycling to Austria

May 4, 2016 / Places
San Candido, Trentino Alto-Adige
Cycling to Austria Orna O Reilly (2)

Visiting Villabassa in the Italian Dolomites a few months ago, it was suggested that I try cycling to Lienz in Austria. Not having cycled for many years, I was filled with trepidation at the idea of cycling 45 kms, but was persuaded to give it a go.

Alighting onto the station platform in San Candido, my companion and I immediately spotted Papin Sport with what looked like thousands of bicycles parked outside: from City Bikes to Mountain Bikes to Trekking Bikes to accessories such as canvas dog carriages on wheels.

The hire of the bicycles was €16.00 each, plus a fee of €5.00 to have them transported back to San Candido. (And you have to show your ID).

The cycling path through the beautiful countryside was no problem at all, even for me. It was warm and sunny most of the time, but quite cool in the forests where the sunshine could not penetrate.

Cycling to Austria Orna O Reilly (5)
Cycling to Austria Orna O Reilly (1)

Adding to the fun, we overtook – and were overtaken by – many of the little dog carriages, which meant that the trip to Lienz was regularly punctuated by sounds of excited whining noises.

Passing Heinfels Castle we paused for a breather.

Cycling to Austria Orna O Reilly (3)

We then continued towards Lienz until we spotted a bar, directly on the cycling path, where we stopped for a welcome lunch of bratwurst, chips and ice-cold beer.

Cycling to Austria Orna O Reilly (4)

Arriving at Lienz, after just a few hours, we headed for the railway station, where we dropped off our bikes.

Cycling to Austria Orna O Reilly (6)

They were promptly loaded onto a trailer for transporting back to San Candido by road, while we boarded the train back to Villabassa.

A 45km cycle sounds like a lot, but honestly there were small children and people of all ages on this trip. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves the great outdoors and it’s the perfect way to see the beautiful countryside of the South Tyrol.

by Orna O’Reilly

Orna is a former interior designer who practised in South Africa, Mozambique and Ireland. Now writing full time, she moved from Ireland to the Veneto area of Italy in 2013.

She writes her way around Italy by blogging about it (at Ornasite) and is currently writing a novel set in Venice. You can follow her tweets @OrnaOR, and her Travel & Design page on FB.

5 Responses to “Cycling to Austria”

  1. Mary Lynne Simpson

    Sounds delightful but was a lot of it uphill? Seems like one would need to be in tip top shape for such a long haul…

  2. Orna — Have you considered Le Tour de France? Nice article. I’ll have to give it a go next time I’m in the Alta Pusteria.


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