Austria

Two weeks of memorable moments

This trip has something for everyone: romantic castles, majestic mountains, amazing roads, fascinating towns and even a fabulous city. The best bit is how fresh it feels, as Austria often feels like a bit of a biking secret. Plenty of experienced tourists have visited the Black Forest or the French and Swiss Alps. Many know the Dolomites, the Picos and the Pyrenees... but how many have explored Austria?  

This trip lays Austria out on a plate - in easily managed days suitable for groups or pillion couples. Naturally it includes the one road everyone's heard of, the Grossglockner, but there's so much more to the riding than just that one pass. With more than four days in the country to explore, you'll experience all the great riding Austria has to offer - including Europe's highest paved road, the famous Timmelsjoch and Nockalmstrasse passes – and many more besides.

There's much more to this trip than piling on miles, though: it's designed to allow regular rest days in interesting locations – both on the way to Austria and in the historic capital Vienna, or one of the other fascinating locations visited along the way. You decide which appeal and book the stops to suit you.

What’s included on the route? Each day’s route includes recommended places to stop for coffee in the morning and afternoon, with a suggested lunch stop and planned fuel stops. Tourist attractions along the way are highlighted, so you can pick which to visit.

How long is each day’s ride? It is a riding holiday, so these are day-long rides: check-out and hit the road by 9-9:30am, to get to the next hotel at 5:30-6pm. That's with stops for coffee and lunch: each day is a full but relaxed ride, not an endurance test. 

What are the highlights? On the riding front, Austria offers those big-name passes: the Grossglockner, Timmelsjoch, Nockalmstrasse, and the Otztal Glacier Road (used for the plane chase in the Bond film Spectre) which is Europe's highest paved road at 2830m. As Austria is such a long way from the UK that there's epic riding on the way there, through the Ardennes, the German Tyrol, the Black Forest and other areas. Each destination has been chosen to offer something special on the sightseeing front - and depending on whether you like castles, cathedrals, cafe culture or something else, any one of those could be the highlight of the trip.   

Why eleven days? This tour is designed to be a two-week trip; that gives (Saturday to Sunday) up to16 days to play with - which is plenty of time to put in as many rest days and sightseeing days as you fancy. You could do the trip in 12 days with just a single rest day, but it would really suit a relaxed pace, spread over 13 or 14 days. It also means there's time to ride to Folkestone the day before setting off, or stop in France before returning at the end of the trip – it's totally flexible. The idea behind planning the riding to take up 11 days is that it gives you that level of control over the schedule. ​

How is it supplied? Just download the GPX files and install them in your sat nav. Garmin or BMW Navigator users should download the complete file, which comes with additional waypoints for the various attractions that aren't directly on the route; TomTom users (or riders using a GPX compatible phone app like Scenic or MyRouteApp Navigator) should download the individual files. I also supply a tour pack of day-by-day route notes and marked-up maps (not sold separately). Garmin/BMW users can order it at the same time as downloading the routes; TomTom users should use the "Contact" section to arrange it.

Download the tour

Garmin/BMW users should download the complete-route file. Individual day files should be downloaded for TomTom or GPX-compatible phone apps. 

© 2020 Simon Weir. Motorcycle touring services

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SIMON WEIR
The Riding Guide