Have a week free this summer? Then you might want to check out the Alpa Adria Radweg, which runs 410km from the Austrian city of Salzburg to Grado in Italy, on the Adriatic coast.
It’s just been named one of Europe’s top bike paths by the Fietsenwandelbeurs — a major, annual fair held in the Netherlands and focused on cycling and walking adventures.
The route is described as one that mostly leads cyclists over dedicated bike paths, and as one of the easiest routes over the Alps, thanks to an 8km long tunnel under the highest hills. The Austrian portion of is partially made up of the Tauernradweg and the Drau Radweg, while the Italian section follows an old railway line (rail trail).
The Italy Cycling Guide (itself a good resource) also highly praises the trail.
This is one of the very best of Italy’s long-distance cycleways with a high proportion on well-surfaced traffic-free cycleways. Centrepiece of the route is the cycleway on the old rail line between Pontebba and Chiusaforte, as it follows the river, criss-crossing it on a series of restored railway bridges. The cycleway takes you through a series of historic towns including Venzone and Udine, and on to Grado on the Adriatic coast via the World Heritage site at Aquileia.
There’s a free information folder you can download, though at the moment it’s only in Italian and German.
If you’re interested in more great bike paths through Europe, see last year’s list of nominees for Europe’s best bike path.