Alpine Summer – Bike Regions
There is already a special magic emanating from the Salzburger Alpine summer. While down in the valley life plays out in all its facets, and up above mountaineers celebrate lonely peaks, in between we can find one thing above all – the idyll and tranquillity of the Alpine pasture. Cows graze peacefully away, hikers reach cosy huts and eagles fly majestically around at sunset. What could be better than discovering this special world than on a mountain bike? Equipped with a healthy dose of fitness, adventure and the spirit of discovery, you can wind your way around the heights. Motivation comes also from being inspired by the beautiful panoramas and from the approaching delicacies in the mountain huts. Here are our six most beautiful bike regions in the Alpine summer.
Flachau and the Bike Night
Lonely mountain tours, spectacular trails, beautiful Alpine pastures and varied biking. Flachau contains exactly that which every bike enthusiast is after. But that is only one side of the coin. Because even when the tranquillity in the mountains around the picturesque village is broken only by the noise of car tires, this Ski World Cup village at the weekend turns into the centre of the international bike world, and to the most spectacular MTB race track in the world. At the legendary Bike Night Flachau, which runs each year in August, a small but highly motivated field of riders along with celebrity athletes from other disciplines meet over a huge, enthusiastic sea of spectators, moderation, music, action and adrenaline. But also away from the hustle and bustle, there is plenty going on for bikers. The official MTB map lists 20 routes with about 650 kilometres, most of which head skyward.
Bike Night Flachau 2017
Date: 12th /13th August
Track: Backlit circuit of 4.5km / 200m altitude
Race time: 2 hours
Eligible to race: those who want and feel fit enough
Entry fee: € 35 up to 30.6. / € 40 up to 10.8 / € 45 on the 12.8.
Side Programme: Rubber duck race, raffle, family day
Information and registration: www.bike-night.at
All information about Flachau
The Giant Samson in Lungau
The uninitiated are often amazed when they visit Lungau in the months of June, July, August and September and thereby meet the giant Samson and his dancing companions. You cannot blame them! After biking comfortably through the sun basin of SalzburgerLand, with maybe a crisp ascent behind them and then suddenly a 6.5 metre Giant faces them on the road. But don’t worry, this oversize fellow has not used his sharp weapons for many decades and also the two large-headed dwarves at his side serve only to amuse the audience. With brass band music, traditional dress and market festivals, the Samson procession fascinates both tourists and locals, young and old. The giant Samson is an Old Testament character with superhuman powers, who symbolically stands for the struggle of the Jews against the Philistines.
Lungau holds not only wonderful tours for bikers on the summer Alpine pastures, but also the cuisine here surely does not fall short. Salzburg’s southernmost corner carries the title of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with pride. In addition, this sunny region is also an official Austrian Culinary Region thanks to its “Eachtling” (as the locals call their potato). But also Hasenöhrl (rabbit’s ears), Tauern rye bread, bacon, cheese and cream cake are gladly served at nearly 70 Alpine huts in Lungau along this 500 kilometre stretch of MTB network.
2017 dates for the Samson procession on www.lungau.at
© TVB Mariapfarr – the giant Samson goes around
Biking in the Gastein Valley Water Worlds
Rushing streams, thundering waterfalls, bubbling springs – water characterises the Gastein Valley like no other element and is without doubt the cornerstone of the centuries old tourism trade here in the valley. Famous swimming guests such as Empress Sisi, Grillparzer, Schubert or Schopenhauer have already cavorted in the historical spas. The radon-containing springs, incidentally first documented in 1327, relieve rheumatic pains, diseases of the respiratory system or damage to the nervous system. In the modern wellness facilities, mountain bikers will also find plenty of opportunities to recharge their batteries and relax after touring the local mountains. And there are plenty of such facilities on the 15 MTB routes in the Gastein Valley.
Good to know: with the free “Gastein Card”, available directly from your hosts, there are reduced admissions to many attractions, including among others the thermal baths and many spa facilities.
Information can be found on www.gastein.com
The Salzburger Alpine Pasture Tour through Tennengau
Sparkling streams, rolling hills and behind them the bright walls of the Tennen mountains at sunset. How idyllic the Tennengau presents itself in summer. A region seemingly created for us bikers. For those who would like to get to know this beautiful little part of the world better, the ‘Salzburger Alpine Pastures Tour’ is just perfect. On the extra signposted circuit, bikers will experience 146km and 4,170m altitude spread over three stages. Sporty types can do it in two days with an overnight stay on the Zwölferhorn. Except for this (un-ridable) summit, you remain below 1,300m which makes it ideal for trips in spring or late autumn. The subtitle of the tour, ‘3 days, 30 Alpine pastures’, tells you that also the culinary art of the region comes up trumps. The three day stages vary between 40 and 60 kilometres with 1,100 to 1,700 metres altitude. So, you really should be a little trained for it. 55% of the route runs on forest paths with 5% on single trails. The rest is asphalt. With the practical luggage transfer you can have your luggage sent on to the next accommodation.
Biking in the pleasure region of Grossarl Valley
Not for nothing is the Grossarl Valley called the ‘Valley of the Alms’. This region, separating the Hohen from the Niedere Tauern Mountains, has no less than 40 Alpine pastures which make this area one of the most beautiful biking spots in SalzburgerLand. Tours such as the Sunrise tour to the Bichlalm with a hearty breakfast, the crisp 3-Alpine pasture tour together with the bike & hike option on the Wetterkreuzsattel, or a short work to the Hirschgrubenalm make it easy for bikers to find their way in this impressive mountain world. Of course, also the cuisine in this designated region of pleasure does not fall short. Above all, it is the Alpine cheese which you just can’t get enough of and which is made to ancient recipes by the Alpine herdsmen up on the mountains. Many different varieties are produced such as cream cheese with herbs, garlic or peppers, hard cheeses (called Sweet Cheese locally) and onto sour cheeses which are so typical of the Valley of the Alms. You can best enjoy these, as they are rather dry, on a slice of farmer’s bread with thick butter, or also with vinegar, oil and onion.
Impressive Wildkogel Arena
You can experience the beauty and uniqueness of the Hohe Tauern National Park in the Wildkogel Arena from the saddle. Experience the roar and noise, the falling and crashing of the world-famous Krimmler waterfalls, the totally unspoilt nature of the lower Sulzbach Valley and the fascination of Europe’s only Emerald site in the Habach Valley. The Tauern Valleys provide good reasons to stop and gaze and to never have enough of seeing the wonders of nature. Especially impressive is a tour in the Habach Valley, known by locals also as the ‘Valley of the Emeralds. The narrow glaciated valley in the Hohe Tauern is the only known site of the green gold in Europe and its treasures adorn even the British Crown jewels.
Bike for Kids
Biking in SalzburgerLand is also an unforgettable experience for children and youngsters. There’s hardly a sport that promotes fun, action, co-ordination and stamina as much as this. In order that the kids find ideal conditions to grow into biking step by step, the bike regions of Saalbach and Leogang have created special parks, lifts and training routes. Welcome to the Gravity Kids.
© Erwin Haiden-SalzburgerLand Tourismus – the earlier the kids sit in the saddle, the further they get in bike sports.
The Bike Park Leogang, with the Riders Playground, features an exceptionally extensive practice area that allows access to biking and downhill not only for kids. Whoever masters here the Pump Track, the Rookie, Contessa and Greenhorn trails, can venture slowly onto the Drop Line. It is great to see what progress once can make here within a short time. For those who would rather be under professional guidance in the park, the Leogang Bike School with its special kids training is perfectly suited. Lifts, trails, and rental equipment especially for kids are available here and make the beginning child’s play.
Downhill in Saalbach Hinterglemm
The kids are biking strongly also in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, only one valley further on. Elegant, skilfully and fearlessly they glide over the strips and waves of the Milka Line. This technically rather simple Saalbach Hinterglemm Freeride route, with its 3km and 400m altitude, is ideal terrain not only for gravity newbies but also experienced bikers who want to roll up gently. The MTB Junior, once familiar with the basic techniques, also finds a perfect playground here. Generally, the ‘Home of Lässig’ not only offers 400km of routes divided between four mountains but also specifically in summer is great in terms of biking technique camps. This ranges from multi-day workshops for fathers and sons, to whole weeks with a camp character, and up to intensive training with professional coaching. Biker’s hearts – what more do you want?
All details and dates on www.saalbach.com
The junior is also catered for in all MTB events in Saalbach. The Downhill Race for Rookies at the Mountain Biking World Games is legendary (7-10.9.2017).
Relaxed E-Mountain Biking
Whoever prefers to discover for themselves the mountains and valleys on two wheels, will find ideal conditions in SalzburgerLand. In addition to numerous opportunities to let off steam with a mountain bike, utmost importance is especially placed on the subject of E-biking which is in complete harmony with nature. The two regions of Salzburg’s Saalach Valley and Hochkönig are absolute pioneers and have created an infrastructure which allows each E-Mountain biker to reach even the remotest peaks.
© Salzburger Saalachtal Tourismus – E-Mountain biking in the Salzburger Saalach Valley.
Box Seats in the Salzburger Saalach Valley
Across the whole region there are almost 100 E-bike rentals with 21 charging stations, along with bike-friendly accommodation, easy bike transport with the Lofer Alpine World cable car, organised bike tours and above all the 480 kilometres of signposted bike routes. This ensures that every cyclist gets their money’s worth here, from the pleasure cyclist to ambitious sport cyclists. With the E-Bike, mountain towns that are normally only reserved for top athletes are also in-range, even for average athletes. Aside from the best box seats nature has to offer, there are also real culinary delights along the designated routes in the Salzburger Saalach Valley.
TIP: HERB FARM LUTZBAUER
In the Gföll district of Unken, you can find this show herb garden with its cider tavern and farm shop. Guided tours every Sunday, 10 a.m. (registration required). www.lutzbauer.at
E-MTB ROUTES THROUGH HEU VALLEY: Stone plate circuit, 50 km/1,421m altitude, Unken – Winklmoosalm – Wildalm – Unken, 37 km/1,086m altitude
More E-MTB routes in the Salzburger Saalachtal on www.lofer.com
Comfortably higher and further on the Hochkönig
E-Mountain biking on the Hochkönig has been capitalised on for several years, which makes this region the absolute leader in E-Mobility. One of the figureheads of the almost 30 signposted tours is the ii-Tour. This tour is about 110km and 5,000 metres in altitude, with the Wastlhöhe (1,750m) as the highest point. On a dirt track leading through gently undulating meadows, there is a gigantic panoramic view of the magnificent rock formations of the Hohe Tauern Mountains, Leogang Steinberge and the Steinernes Meer. And above all of them sits the majestic and immovable namesake of the region. However, E-Biking also means enjoyment and so you can treat yourself, especially during the Salzburg Harvest Festival time, to culinary delights of all types of cuisine art in the region.
Harvest Festival in the Hochkönig Region
29th August, 2017: 9th Maria Alm Dumpling Festival
3rd September, 2017: Harvest Festival Mühlbach
9th September, 2017: Harvest Festival in Hinterthal
16th September, 2017: Harvest Festival Maria Alm
24th September to 1st October, 2017: Harvest Festival Week in Dienten
Bike trails in SalzburgerLand
Freeriding on the many trails in SalzburgerLand is one of the most diverse and exciting things that can be experienced on a bike. Everything is here from the after-work tour on the latest lines in the Bike Park, to lonely trails with views of the highest mountains in the country and on to a relaxing Alpine trip. The two regions of Wagrain-Kleinarl and Zell am See-Kaprun have specialised particularly in biking pleasure on the narrow paths and are known far beyond the country’s borders as a trail rider’s insider tip in the Alps.
©David Schultheiß-SalzburgerLand Tourismus – Once infected with the biking virus, it is hard to get away from it.
The trails of Wagrain-Kleinarl
Whoever searches for the ultimate bike trail in Wagrain-Kleinarl must not miss the Hirschleiten Trail. The entrance to this versatile trail is located just below the Kleinarl hut and the Kurzeggalm. Initially, it winds up leisurely over Alpine pastures and evolves gradually from a wide dirt track into a narrower meadow path with smaller sections. Beyond a cattle gate, the trail becomes significantly steeper. Waiting in the bottom section is the highlight – a root carpet that takes everything out of bikers technically.
All those who feel at home in bike parks will simply love the Bike Park Wagrain, which emphasises the subject of flow. Such as the 1.8km long On Air, which is ideally suited to trying out freeriding. Or the much narrower, simply perfect curves orgy of Lilly’s Treat. Northshore fans get their money’s worth on the narrow Holzbrückchen of the RnB.
All information on opening hours, lift prices and offers.
High-altitude trails in Zell am See-Kaprun
Since 2013, the three trails that make up the MTB Offering on the Kitzsteinhorn Mountain run from the eternally white mountains of the Hohen Tauern National Park down to the open level of Zell am See-Kaprun. Altogether, they offer 12km and 1,500m altitude of pure downhill fun – blessed with a varied mountain bike trail and a wonderful view unlike any other. The Geißstein Trail, directly at the Alpine Centre, knows how to convince with loneliness and high speed. A little further down is the entrance to the Wüstlau Trail. In the area of the tree line you can really accelerate here and conjure up fat Airs over the ramps here and there. Comparatively relaxed despite its steep slope, the final run is through forest and meadow. You can find the start of the Bachler Trail, as per its name, at the Bachleralm. Due to the lower altitude and Alpine meadows, it seems quite lovely as it combines some loose gravel and meadow sections with single, quite tricky bends until it finally ends at the idyllic Klammsee Lake. By bike from the snow down to the / into the Lake – it is finally a reality in the Zell am See-Kaprun region.
THE RIGHT TICKET
The Summit World 3000 wants to be visited without a bike – MTBs are transported free of charge up to the trail entrance at the Alpine Centre. Thus, a normal ascent (€ 20.50), but also optionally only from/to the middle station Langwied (€ 13.50) is enough to bike, with the remaining ascent by muscle power over the Asten way or the Alpine Centre way. Holiday guests in the region can travel for free thanks to the Zell am See-Kaprun Summer Card.