Austrian Lakes Self-Guided Cycling

9 days
Suitable for:
Age 8+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Min group size:
Min age:

Enjoy leisurely rides with stunning lake views every day

Every stop brings new discoveries such as Mozart's museum in St Gilgen, and Mondsee's frescoed high street; the church here was the location of the famous wedding in 'The Sound of Music'! When you fancy a change from cycling, local buses and boats shuttle between delightful lakeside villages making exploration easy. Regional highlights include Emperor Franz Josef's summer residence in Bad Ischl (he declared war on Serbia here, which led to WW1), Gmunden's 'floating' castle, Seeschloss Ort, and its porcelain town hall bells, and an unforgettable paddle steamer on Lake Traun below spectacular mountain peaks, not to mention a trip to Salzburg itself.


  • Cycle exceptional lakeside routes: swimming opportunities every day
  • Visit fairytale Salzburg: Baroque palaces, historic castles, stunning gardens
  • Enjoy masses of 'rest day' choices: boat trips, watersports, cable car rides

Key information

  • Great for first time cyclists; gentle cycling trails; excellent flexibility
  • 8 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels, all with en suite facilities
  • 4 days move on cycles with luggage transfers; 3 free days
  • 80% tarmac, 20% gravel cycle paths
  • GPS route navigation provided 
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Countries visited: Austria

What's included

  • All continental breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • Route notes and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • High quality bikes (optional e-bikes available for a supplement)

What's not included

  • Optional electric bikes
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement (available on request)
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Cycling

Mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths. Some minimal cycling on a designated cycle route but with traffic. 80 % tarmac, 20% gravel.

Day by day breakdown
Day 221.0km/13.0miles
Day 342.0km/26.0miles
Day 537.0km/23.0miles
Day 843.0km/27.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Arrive in Mondsee

    Arrive at your hotel in Mondsee. There’s time to explore before dinner (pay locally).
    Comfortable hotel

  • Day 2

    Mondsee to Weissenbach

    Today you follow the shore of Mondsee before joining Attersee at the pretty lakeside town of Unterach and following the lakeside to Weissenbach. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Weissenbach to Gmunden

    Follow a route on the eastern side of the lake through Steinbach and the scenic Weyregg, before passing through Schorfling where you can visit the Gustav Klimt museum. The backdrop of 1000m peaks loom over the lake and are mirrored in the water. As you head towards Gmunden and Traunsee you will pass fields of wheat fringed by poppies and cornflowers. 
    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    At Gmunden

    Today, take a trip on Gisela, the last coal-fired paddle steamer, once used by Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The cable car at the top of the Grunberg (944m) offers wonderful views at the summit, where you look down on Gmunden's esplanade and the romantic Seeschloss Ort, a 'floating' castle on the lake dating from the 17th Century.

    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Gmunden to Bad Ischl

    Taking the boat across to Ebensee, you'll stop off at Traunkirchen to visit the church with its famous fisherman's pulpit. Alternatively, you could cycle from Gmunden along the western shore of Traunsee to Ebensee, and enjoy the spectacular fjord-type scenery. From Ebensee, cycling a beautiful riverside route, you'll criss-cross the River Traun to Bad Ischl. 

    Two options: 19 km / 12 miles or 37 km /23 miles

    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 6-7

    At Bad Ischl

    You're spoilt for choice for things to see and do in Bad Ischl so we’ve included 3 nights here: The imperial spa, the salt mines, the ice cave in Obertraun, the Katrin cable car, the Siriuskogl viewing platform, museums and villas are all worth a visit. Perhaps take a horse-drawn carriage ride, people-watch on the riverside esplanade, or enjoy coffee and cake in the famous Zauner restaurant. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Bad Ischl to Mondsee

    Today's route takes you west along the river through country villages and meadows, with the opportunity to stop at the waterfront in Strobl before heading past the shimmering Wolfgangsee. Going either north or south of the lake, you'll pass beautiful St Gilgen at the top of the lake before heading onto Mondsee for your final night. 

    Comfortable hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Leave Mondsee

    If you have pre-booked a transfer, we take you to the airport in time for your flight home.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info




There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals are included.

Austria is renowned for wholesome, robust food. The cuisine is a reflection of the culinary exchange that went on during the time of empires - French, Spanish, Dutch, German and Croatian cuisine have all contributed to the flavours, to name just a few. You will be set up for the day with a breakfast of cold meats and cheeses, traditional bread, jam and coffee. Austrians tend to eat heartily at lunch time and less in the evenings, but you will be well catered for at dinner. Local specialities include the ever present 'Wiener Schnitzel' (breaded veal cutlet) and various stews of beef and pork. Dumplings, potatoes or noodles are all regular accompaniments along with vegetables. Of course the fresh fish found in the lakes like rainbow trout, brown trout and whitefish will be a feature of many menus, often grilled with butter and herbs, or stuffed with local mushrooms.


Salzburg and the surrounding area is at the Northern edge of the Austrian Alps and as such has a typical Central European climate with hot summers and cold winters. However, Salzburg actually experiences relatively moderate weather making it a good year round destination. Being in the mountains, it can rain at any time in this area so be prepared for this at any point!

Is this trip for you?

Average daily distance: 34km (21 miles).
No. of days cycling: 4 (including 1 optional rides)
Terrain and route: mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths. Some minimal cycling on a designated cycle route but with traffic. 80 % tarmac, 20% gravel.

Our 8-night cycling holiday in the Austrian Lakes is fantastically varied with something to suit travellers of all ages. It's a wonderful mix of spectacular scenic views, gentle shoreline routes and swimming opportunities galore. The cycling is graded as leisurely/moderate, but you can extend your routes on all days.
It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes using an app called RidewithGPS, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Take your time on the routes - enjoy the views and visit the sights before you set off in the mornings. It is surprising how quickly you can cover the distances on such well-prepared roads and tracks.
We provide detailed notes for each day you move on. If you’d like to make the cycling day longer and see more of the area, or if you arrive at the hotel in good time, you could do the optional circuits suggested at the end of each day’s notes. Alternatively, these are ideal short routes for your stay put days.

The notes mention places of interest as well as any confusing junctions or anything else of which to be aware. We don’t give any times, as these will vary with different routes - and how fast you cycle. We do give distances, usually by the most direct route.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.



Our hotels are extremely friendly and provide a wonderful contrast throughout your holiday, from the lakeside Hotel Post to the centrally located Hotel Leitnerbrau, and the lakeside retreat in Gmunden, to 4-star luxury in Bad Ischl.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Travel literature, whether it’s the fascinating memoirs of a life-changing trip into the mysterious Himalayan mountai

  • Reviewed September 2018
    Mary James

    Perfect active family holiday.

    While this holiday is designed for adults, it is in fact perfect for active families. I'd choose this type of trip again over a Mark Warner style watersports and beach club trip. We loved moving on every 2 days, having a day to explore our surroundings by bike or on foot, followed by a day moving on using the excellent GPS system. Such an unspoilt area, while being so beautiful. Everything was clean, efficient and friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the beautiful turquoise lakes. Pretty much every day. The water was warm and so clean. And even the public beaches rarely crowded. The cycling was great, especially the really quiet routes along cycle paths or very rural country lanes. Our twins were 11 years, and reasonably active. It turned out that cycling between 20 and 40 kms every other day was perfect for them. Mixing adventure with plenty of swimming or exploring time on the stay put days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had wonderful thoughtful and helpful reps. Colin and Jill were on their 3rd season there and totally knew what to tell us to make the most of each day. The occasional evening text with some reminders for tomorrow was a lovely thought, and made it clear there were always available for advice or assistance.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The RideWithGPS smartphone App loaded with Headwater's tailored routes made the cycling a real pleasure. Please make sure you use it instead of the sheets of paper and maps. It really is easy to use.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lovely hotels, and the included evening meals were great quality and value.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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