A transfer has been arranged to meet you at Salzburg airport and take you to your hotel (45 mins) in Mondsee. Please see the joining information for more details. There will be time to explore Mondsee and have a soak in the spa whirlpool before dinner.
Today you will begin your first ride, pedalling past yachts and wooden boathouses on Mondsee's north shore. You will then cycle through rolling pasture dotted with country churches, before the triangular white sails scoring the blue surface of Lake Attersee hove into view as you descend to the lake shore. The ride then takes you inland. You pass a deer farm and roadside stalls piled high with bright local produce, before receiving a warm welcome from the Sollinger family.
Ride Approx. 27km.
Today is free to enjoy the area on or off your bike. You can follow in the footsteps of Gustav Mahler in Attersee. Mahler was a late Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He composed prolifically in Attersee, acting as a bridge between the 19th Century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th Century. You can enjoy lunch local style, with a choice of freshly smoked fish available for sale along the lakeshore. There is also a fabulous swimming pool complex that you can enjoy. We recommend taking a boat ride to the pretty village of Weyregg beneath the craggy mountains on the Eastern shore.
This morning you will enjoy views of the 1000m high peaks on the east shore of Attersee Lake as you freewheel down to Schorfling, whose castle was painted by Gustav Klimt with its reflection mirrored on the lake surface. You will cycle on past fields of wheat fringed with poppies and cornflowers before you coast into Gmunden with its cobbled marketplace and painted buildings. Your hotel is in a fantastic location right on the lakeside, directly below the Grunberg Mountain, which towers above the town. Dinner can be taken on the terrace of the hotel, with Gmunden's lights shimmering above the surface of Lake Traunsee. It is truly magical.
Ride Approx. 38km.
You can take the time to visit the town of Gmunden today. For the area it is quite a big town. Famous for ceramics, the town hall has porcelain bells that chime on the hour in the Rathausplatz (the town square). From the town hall there is a lovely lakeside esplanade shaded by chesnut trees. The esplanade takes you to Seeschloss Orth which is a historic castle built on Roman foundations set in the lake itself; its romantic setting will take your breath away. You could also take a boat trip on the Gisela - the last coal fired paddle steamer, once used by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, giving you fantastic views from the lake itself. Alternatively, you could take the cable car to the top of Grunberg (984m), which offers wonderful views from the top; here you can look down on Gmunden's esplanade and the romantic Seeschloss Orth.
Today you take the Traunsee boat from the pontoon below the hotel to Ebensee on the south shore. We recommend taking the cable car up to the Feuerkogel Peak for spectacular views over the area. Then climb back on the bikes and ride along a beautiful riverside route, criss-crossing the sparkling River Traun, and on through scented pinewoods to Bad Ischl. The town is the meeting point of the Ischl and the Traun rivers, and is where the first and oldest brine baths in Austria were founded in 1823. Perhaps relax in the opera house gardens before returning to the hotel for a swim.
Ride Approx. 19km.
Today is free to relax. Your hotel feels like a small Austrian stately home with oil paintings on the walls and traditional Tyrolean furniture. Outside is a pretty garden to relax in and the hotel spa facilities are excellent. In and around Bad Ischl there is simply so much to see and do. Take time to visit the Imperial Spa, where the parents of Franz Joseph came in 1827 to follow a health regime that they hoped would help them produce an heir. They subsequently had four sons, and their first born, Franz Joseph, lived at the Kaiservilla from 1875 - which you can visit tomorrow. We highly recommend visiting the ice caves, which are among the most spectacular natural sights of Upper Austria. Dress for the cold, as even in summer the temperature only reaches 1 degree. You will see breathtaking frozen waterfalls, King Arthur's Cave and the Great Ice Chapel. There is much more to see in Bad Ischl, so it is worth planning your day so you see the highlights that most interest you. If you want to go further afield you can even take a day trip to Salzburg.
This morning is a good opportunity to explore the Emperor Franz Josef's former holiday home, the Kaiservilla, before setting off along the banks of the River Ischl. Sunlight sparkles on the water as you pass tiny shrines hidden in the pines below Leonsberg and Bleckwand peaks. Your ride will end in Strobl where your hotel is situated a 5 minute ride from the eastern shore of Lake Wolfgangsee on the outskirts of the village. It is a beautiful traditional building, with a lovely secluded garden on a riverbank next to a meadow. It is simply idyllic. One of the highlights of the hotel is its spa facilities, including an outdoor pool, whirlpool, massage and sun beds.
Ride Approx. 16km.
The lakeside village of Strobl is 1km from the hotel and has a popular beachfront for a cooling swim. The name of the village goes back to the iron merchant family Strobl who were associated with the village. It has an ancient stone bridge and delightful streets filled with restaurants and cafes. There are ferry pontoons where you can take a boat cruise on the lake or to St Wolfgang on the north shore of the lake. The village has been widely celebrated as a holiday destination for over a century with its wide flat lake and natural beaches playing the perfect host to a whole array of water sports, as well as pleasant bars and waterfront dining opportunities. There is also a summer toboggan run, cable cars and an animal park. Alternatively, the fairy-tale city of Salzburg, a Baroque jewel with it's UNESCO-recognised historic old centre, is just an 80 minute bus ride away.
Keeping close to Wolfgangsee's southern lakeshore, a level cycling track through a tiny nature reserve brings you into lovely St Gilgen. The town is famous for being the birthplace of Mozart's mother, and home to his sister for several years after her marriage. The village centre is lined with attractive frescoed houses, the ones on the façade of the Hotel Post date from the 18th Century. Here you can visit the small Mozart Museum, situated in the house where his mother was born. Alternatively, you can take the cable car up Zwolferhorn for stunning 360 degree views. In the afternoon, cyle effortlessly downhill to Mondsee Lake, before returning to the hotel in time for an aperitif before dinner.
Ride Approx. 30km.
A transfer has been arrange to take you back to Salzburg. Please see the joining information for more details.