From lake to lake on an imperial cycle tour in Austria's Salzkammergut

This trail has existed for many centuries and comes “recommended by the emperor”. Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Sissi loved the beautiful Salzkammergut region and spent their summer holidays here.

By bike you can marvel at crystal-clear lakes, imposing mountain summits and follow in the footsteps of the imperial family. The landscape is historic, imposing and picturesque. This leisurely tour leads through the federal states of Upper Austria, Salzburg and Styria and scenery that has impressed artists such as Gustav Klimt.

And because the trail is a circuit, you can start your journey anywhere. Salzburg is an ideal starting point. The trail begins on the tracks of the old Ischlerbahn railway and on to Mozart’s home village of St. Gilgen to St. Wolfgang and the famous imperial town of Bad Ischl, where you can fully immerse yourself in imperial life. Discover the Imperial Park and Villa, the Town Museum, the Congress House or stop for a bite to eat at the legendary confectioner Konditorei Zauner.

The trail then continues head to the UNESCO World Heritage Region of Lake Hallstatt. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Gosautal and the Dachstein Cave. The section to Bad Aussee is an unbelievably beautiful experience, whether you choose to do it by train or bike. The Ausseerland-Salzkammergut region in Styria is a fixture in many tour calendars thanks to its traditions and world-famous Lebkuchen gingerbread. A forest trail leads from Altaussee back to Bad Ischl. Along the way is a little surprise: the historic town of Gmunden, famous for its ceramics. A boat trip on the majestic Gisela or a visit to Schloss Ort, a palace on the lake are great ways to finish off your tour.

The trail continues via Aurach am Hongar to the largest lake in the Salzkammergut, the Attersee, and Mondsee, which is the name of both the lake and the town on its shores. Petrolheads can’t miss a trip to the Porsche World of Experience in Mattsee. There are then just a few kilometres to the finish in Salzburg, where the trail began.

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