Plan your Austrian summer cycling vacation

5/6/2024 – Lauren Wolff

Plan your Austrian summer cycling vacation

One of the best things about cycling is having the freedom to explore and visit new places while enjoying the physical challenges it presents. When riding outdoors is not always possible, you can do so indoors in the comfort of your home, safe from traffic and inclement weather.

Whether you choose a flat course, rolling, or roads that head skyward, every pedal stroke allows you to push your limits, propel you to higher fitness levels, and explore exotic and unchartered territory simultaneously. It is the chance to fuel your sense of adventure and explore and check off places you may never have the opportunity to, a change of scenery from your usual local route. Alternatively, you can prepare and train for a particular goal event or bucket list climb to aim for on a memorable trip that you plan on riding for your next vacation. The sky is the limit!

The wide variety of ROUVY virtual routes spoils you for choice

The app's vast video route library is like a blank canvas, inviting you to paint your journey with vibrant colours of new experiences and discoveries.

Choosing a route in the app allows you to step outside your comfort zone, challenging your body and mind as you embrace the unknown in search of the following beautiful virtual destination or challenging climb to conquer spread over six continents. If you want to explore the pleasures of travelling further afield on your trainer, keep reading, be inspired, and find out where to teleport your brain this summer.

I suggest Salzburg, an Austrian city on the border of Germany, with views of the Eastern Alps and where you can ride two routes filmed expertly by the professional video creator, Heike Hardt, for ROUVY. Here are Heike’s thoughts on the area: ‘The Großglockner High Alpine Road is a must-visit location in the Alps. Riding a bike along its kilometres-long stretch is an unforgettable experience that you should take your time to enjoy. The weather can be unpredictable, but the breathtaking views on all the routes make it all worth it. The Rauris Valley, located to the east and near the Großglockner area, is also a beautiful and idyllic valley worth exploring when on holiday there.

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Grossglockner High Alpine Road to Edelweissspitze

We start our 28-km journey on the outskirts of the Hohe Tauern National Park in Salzburg, following the lush green valley of the renowned Großglockner High Alpine Road—a main attraction in Austria and famous for its breathtaking views to the famous pass of Edelweisspitze.

Bruck-Edelweisspitze-Austria-on-ROUVY.jpg Above: Cycling through the magnificent valley on the panoramic Großglockner High Alpine Road on ROUVY.

The route runs through the Pinzgau area of Salzburg, nestled between the Hohe Tauern mountain range to the south and the Kitzbuehel Alps and Steinernes Meer Mountains to the north. Historically, the road was created to provide jobs during the Great Depression. Today, it is one of the most impressive and beautiful excursions on one of the most panoramic roads in Europe that you can do on your bike.

Edelweisspitz-on-ROUVY-1.jpg Above: Ascending the 21km climb with an average gradient of 8% with breathtaking vistas on ROUVY

The Großglockner High Alpine Road from Bruck to Edelweisspitze is an iconic bucket list experience to ascend 1778 m through challenging switchbacks and hairpin turns while taking in awe-inspiring vistas. The road winds up through the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, passing through alpine meadows, thundering waterfalls, and rugged peaks where you will encounter increasingly challenging sections reaching double-digit percentages. The closer you get to the top, the harder it gets. However, the effort is rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, including the majestic Großglockner - the highest peak in Austria at 3,789 meters above sea level.

Edelweisspitz-on-ROUVY-2.jpg Above: On the Edelweisspitze, the landscape becomes more desolate near the summit on ROUVY.

Prepare for this adventure

To conquer this climb on ROUVY, you'll need a bit of preparation before you begin, as this is no easy walk in the park! You’ll need enough hydration and easy-to-consume snacks to keep you going during your trip. A slice of traditional Apfelstrudel with coffee before the ride will get you in the Austrian culinary mood, and a couple of electrolyte drinks should hydrate and energise you to get to the summit! Don’t forget to take regular small sips every 10 minutes.

Edelweisspitz-on-ROUVY-3.jpg Above: The final 1 km is the steepest and covered in cobblestone.

Ensure you have enough climbing gearing, front and back, so as not to require you to grind those pedals and tire your legs with too much torque, but instead use a comfortable cadence above 80 rpm. If you have enough ROUVY coins, purchasing a lighter bike for your avatar for this route would also be an idea. And a fan for some cooling is essential, especially for climbs. Pace yourself conservatively as the 21 km climb alone averages over 8%, so start easy in zone 2 and gradually increase your effort to the summit as it is steep, especially over the last 1 km of cobbles that are sure to test you to your limit!


Above: Reaching the summit of the Edelweisspitze on the cobbles with spectacular panoramic views.

The perks of your indoor journey

The best part is that you don't have to worry about the weather or high altitude while riding indoors. You only need to focus on enjoying the ride, the beautiful scenery and the summertime on your screen. Whether after a new iconic bucket list challenge or simply looking to soak in the breathtaking scenery, this ride will be worth it as you finally reach the summit.


Above: Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse connecting the federal states of Salzburg and Carinthia. View from Edelweissspitze.

Rauris Valley, the Golden Valley of the Alps

We explore the Rauris Valley next to recover from the long climb on the Edelweisspitze. We meander along streams through rolling green pastures against the picturesque Austrian Alps in the background, including the Hohe Sonnblick and the Hoher Tenn, both over 3,000 meters high. These mountains provide a magnificent backdrop to the valley's picturesque towns and villages.

Rauris-valley-Austria-ROUVY.jpg Above: The Rauris Valley in the High Tauern Mountains, the most beautiful and famous valley in Salzburg, Austria.

The Rauris Valley is also a treasure trove of history. It was once a thriving gold mining area, a fact that echoes through the centuries and is why it is also known as the Golden Valley of the Alps. From the 14th century to the early 20th century, gold was extracted from the mountains, shaping the region's history. Today, the valley is renowned for its traditional handicrafts, a testament to its rich cultural heritage. Wood carving and embroidery are just a few of the crafts that have been lovingly passed down through generations.


Above: Cycling through a small village in the Rauris Valley on ROUVY.

The Rauris Valley is also home to Salzburg's largest nature reserve, the Hohe Tauern National Park. The park covers an area of over 1,800 square kilometres and is known for its stunning mountain landscapes, glaciers, and wildlife. The valley is not only a popular road cycling destination but also a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. The region is also known for its hot springs, which are said to have healing properties.


Above: Cycle through the picturesque Rauris Virgin Forest, Austria, on ROUVY.


Above: Riding towards the Kolm Saigurn Valley head in the Rauris Valley on ROUVY.

Enjoy your ride on this gently undulating and primarily flat route until you reach your final destination in the magical Rauris Virgin Forest at the Kolm Saigurn Valley head, one of the most popular excursion destinations in Rauris Valley.

On ROUVY, there are many places to travel to, and Austria is only one of them to kickstart your summer vacation.

Next on the itinerary, I'll be taking you over the border to Germany!


Ride with ROUVY, the world’s most realistic cycling app. With 1,300+ real routes, pro training plans and more, staying motivated is easy with ROUVY, Get a free trial!


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