Cycling

The Drava cycle track

Difficulty:

Easy

Length:

366 km

Height difference:

674 m

Hours:

01:00

This route leaves Brunico, goes through the Tyrolean Val Pusteria as far as Dobbiaco (Drava springs), continues over Sillian (Austria) and Lienz (Austria) in East Tyrol, then it reaches Villach, in Carinthia (Austria). It follows the complete course of the river Drava, over Völkermarkt (Austrian-Slovenian border).
The whole "Drava" route is 460 km long and can be divided into stages.
This stage does not include any hard slopes, except in the tract Brunico-Dobbiaco. The track is mainly flat with light descents; one-third of the cycle path is dirt road, the remaining consists of asphalt road. When you reach Brunico railway station, take the trail to reach Riscone.
Go through the town eastward. Follow the signs to Perca and Valdaora.
The road to San Candido, immersed in lush meadows, is a panoramic and easy way. The next tract that continues to Valdaora di Sotto, Valdaora di Mezzo and Valdaora di Sopra, is characterized by gentle ascents. Then, the cycle trail leads to Monguelfo.

At this point, you meet a 1,5 km long slope to Gasthof Saller; this is not a difficult slope, it still remains a uphill road, and as far as you get at the Gasthof Saller the way becomes a long descent as distant as Monguelfo. At Monguelfo the path becomes slightly steep, then flat in the direction of Braies. 
Continue downhill through Valle di Braies. At Braies take the Val Pusteria cycle trail - the "Pustertaler Radweg" that leads to Villabassa. 
Here you can choose between two different routes: the first is easier and continues over Dobbiaco - the second goes by Bad Maistatt, is shorter but presents some ups and downs. At Dobbiaco follow the signs to Dobbiaco Lake and continue as distant as "Höhlensteinstraße" - here the two routes join.

The road to San Candido is asphalt but narrow and full of bends - past Dobbiaco it winds among the meadows on the slope of the mountains. In San Candido you can visit the splendid Franciscan monastery and its cloister. Inside you find the museum, the archives and the library of the confraternity. The treasure of the cathedral and a collection of manuscripts give evidence of the intellectual and spiritual activity of the oldest collegiate church in Tyrol. Leave the town and go on eastwards, continue straight on along the cycle path - here it is not too busy. The war memorial dedicated to the Italian soldiers comes into sight on the left of the main road. You reach Versciaco and its little chapel on the top of the hill. Cross the village in the direction of Prato Drava. Now the road becomes busier and busier; go on for 1 km and reach the border. 
Past the customs, follow the green signs of the cycle trail to Lienz. The first part of the trail is mainly asphalt and always well-marked, immersed in an alpine and wild landscape, among dark fir-woods and isolated castles. Lienz, the picturesque capital of East Tyrol, is worth a visit: Bruck Castle, situated on the hills, is the seat of the local museum.