Get on your bike and explore the “Gurktal air-cured bacon” gourmet area – it is a culinary speciality unrivalled throughout Austria. After many gourmet delicacies the route takes you to Gurk Cathedral which houses the tomb of St. Hemma. It is the goal and destination for the many pilgrims on the Hemma pilgrimage routes. The beautiful town of Straßburg in Carinthia lies directly on the route of this wonderful cycle tour – and if you choose, you can also enjoy the Gurktal Museum Railway, and the romance of an authentic narrow-gauge railway.
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:
- R7B “Kappelerweg” cycle path: Treibach-Althofen railway station – Mölbling
- R7 “Friesacherweg” cycle path: Mölbling – Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern
- R5B “Gurkweg” cycle path: Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern – Gurk – Weitensfeld
- Outward and return
The starting point for this tour is in front of Treibach-Althofen railway station. The historic town centre of Althofen, with its Auer-von-Welsbach museum is also accessible by bike provided you are an energetic cyclist.
As you come out of the railway station your route leads off to the right from the square. After about 300m take a sharp left turn, following cycle path R7B “Kappelerweg” away from the town in the direction of Mölbling. Shortly before you come to Mölbling you cross under the freeway and in Mölbling itself you branch off to the right, onto cycle path R7 “Friesacherweg”. Your route initially follows minor roads running parallel to the freeway, then picks up the cycle path to Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern. 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. Another possibility is a visit to the Hirt brewery, reached by cycle path R7. Shortly after Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern, and before you come to the bridge over the river Gurk, leave the R7 “Friesacherweg” cycle path and from here follow cycle path R5B “Gurkweg” into the beautiful Gurktal valley. At first this superb cycle path runs near to the Gurk river, far away from the road. Then it comes back parallel to the main road again for some 6km to Straßburg in Carinthia. You will already be able to make out Straßburg in the distance, on top of its distinctive eminence. The Straßburg castle museums are accessible by a stairway.
You then press on in the direction of Gurk, along a finely constructed cycle path that will warm any cyclist’s heart. For the next 4km, as you approach Gurk, the Cathedral which houses the tomb of Saint Hemma will already be visible in the distance. It makes for such a striking image in the tranquil Gurktal valley! Recover your strength, and visit the Kulturstätte der Heimat (local cultural centre) or enjoy the Gurktal Dwarf Park family experience, before continuing to Weitensfeld, with its Kranzelreiter Museum. Weitensfeld is the furthest point of the tour and you turn here to retrace the same path back to Althofen.
From here the route follows the main road to Altenmarkt, before turning off the R5B. The Glödnitz road is traffic-calmed thanks to the small dips. Taking a leap into the refreshing waters of the natural pool at Glödnitz is absolutely perfect, before returning to Althofen along the same route.
- Starting place: Treibach-Althofen railway station
- Finish: Treibach-Althofen railway station
- Distance: 70,1 km
- Altitude difference: 552 m
- Duration: 6:45 h
- Degree of difficulty: medium