Cycling and culture - 3 towns and culture - beer and culture - railways and culture! This cycling tour on the “Mittelkärntner Kulturradweg” (Central Carinthian Cultural Cycle Path) starts in the sunny town of St. Veit an der Glan, and it takes you past Althofen, with the site of its historic town centre visible in the distance, right through to Carinthia’s oldest town, Burgenstadt Friesach with its castle. The Hirt brewery and the romance of the authentic Gurktal narrow-gauge railway are just two of the highlights along the way.
The route uses parts of the Carinthian provincial cycle path network. Additional signposts at key points will help you find your way!The sections in detail:
- Fuchspalast in St. Veit an der Glan – St. Veit an der Glan railway station
- R7 “Friesacherweg” cycle path: North St. Veit – Mölbling
- R7B “Kappelerweg” cycle path: (roadside cycle and pedestrian lane) Mölbling – Treibach-Althofen railway station – Mölbling
- R7 “Friesacherweg”: Mölbling – Friesach
- Friesach (Grabenring/Bahnhofstraße junction) – Friesach railway station
This tour starts at the Fuchspalast in St. Veit an der Glan, with its highly recommended multi-media exhibition “Erlebnis Energie (Energy Adventure)”. You should also visit the Museum of St. Veit, and enjoy the atmosphere of the historic town centre. The route takes you past the railway station, to cycle path R7, the “Friesacherweg”, which you follow out of the town in a northerly direction. Parallel to the freeway, the path runs steadily uphill right from the start. Only when you reach the driving safety centre lying to the northwest of the freeway does the going become faster again, as the path virtually levels out. After a longish stretch through woodland, passing twice under the freeway, you presently see the site of Althofen’s historic town centre majestic on its hilltop, with the mighty Saualpe and Seetaler Alpen mountain ranges as a backdrop. From Mölbling, if the fancy takes you, it is possible to cycle to Althofen on cycle path R7B “Kappelerweg” (a roadside cycle and pedestrian lane). There you can visit the Auer-von-Welsbach Museum. A tip for connoisseurs: on the stretch between Althofen and Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern we recommend taking the Gurktal Museum Railway. Enjoy the romance of this authentic narrow-gauge railway!
From Mölbling the route continues in parallel to the freeway, first on minor roads, then on a cycle path to Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern. Shortly after Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern you cross the river Gurk by a roofed timber bridge. Then follow the main road for a short while before you come to a steep hairpin bend that will take you to Hirt in the Metnitztal valley. The cycle path leads you right through the well known Hirt brewery site. Well refreshed, head for Micheldorf in the direction of Burgenstadt Friesach on slightly elevated minor roads.
In Friesach, turn right onto the cycle path in front of the moat. This is the spot where the impressive castle will reveal itself, if it has not already done so. To get to the railway station, leave the cycle path, by taking a right turn at the bridge and heading into the historic town centre. But in all events, before you do that you will find it very rewarding to visit the oldest town in Carinthia, with its Stadtmuseum am Petersberg (municipal museum) and its “Erlebnis Burgbau” (“Building a castle”) project.
At the bridge entering the Old Town you have the option of leaving the cycle path, turning right in the direction of the railway station. Following the castle moat you leave the town behind, heading north and following the R7 in the direction of Dürnstein. Taking in views of Dürnstein castle ruins, you eventually reach the town centre, with its access point to the Zirbitzkogel-Grebenzen Nature Park’s “Via Natura” (Reading-Nature Path). Return by the same route as far as Friesach and then catch the train back to your starting location.
- Starting place: St. Veit an der Glan - Fuchspalast
- Finish: Friesach railway station
- Distance: 36.2 km
- Altitude difference: 378 m
- Duration: 4:00 h
- Degree of difficulty: medium
- Note: return trip by train. Of course you can also deal the return trip by your own energy if you have an economically way of cycling or you are prepared to cycle without electrical support.