Headwater - Austrian Lakes Self-Guided Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided
Destinations:
Austria
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C08SZ
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Min age: 8

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 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

Trip Highlights

  • 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, mountain rail rides

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain an emergency telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service. 

Adult min age:
13
Child min age:
8

Child max age:

12
Min group size:
1

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • 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
    Distance covered: 21 km / 13 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 42 km / 26 miles
  • 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,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 37 km / 23 miles
  • 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,
    Dinner
  • 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
    Distance covered: 43 km / 27 miles
  • 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

Accommodation

Hotels

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. We have included six evening meals on the holiday, leaving you free to choose from one of Mondsee's inviting restaurants.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 6 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.

Transportation

Your luggage will be transported between the hotels by taxi or minibus. The local representative is often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it in an emergency, but may wish to charge you for this service.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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!

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

The tour only prices for this holiday include our standard transfers. If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge). Transfers included from Salzburg airport at 13:35, and back to Salzburg airport at 11:30.

Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Mondsee
Location end:
Mondsee

What to Take

Essential Equipment

We recommend reasonably protective footwear - trainers are better than open-toed sandals. Never forget a hat and suncream.

Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Austria for all customers under 12 yrs. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

Self-Guided Hire Bikes

We use custom made Headwater hybrid bikes. All bikes are supplied with:

  • 1 handlebar map holder
  • 2 rear panniers
  • 1 bike lock per 2 people
  • 1 puncture repair kit per 2 people, which includes a pump

 

If you are booked as a group, but intend to cycle seperately please let us know in advance if you wish to have additional map holders or repair kits.

Seat and handlebar heights will have been set up in advance from the heights you have given us on booking. However, when you receive your bike there will be the opportunity to test and adjust. Our representative will be on hand to assist you and can fit pedals and your saddle if you wish to bring these with you.

Please note helmets are not provided and we recommend that you take your own on this trip.

Bike Repairs

As you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair an inner tube before setting off on your bike! The bikes are serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems but there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.

Helmets

In Austria helmets are a mandatory legal requirement for children under 12 years old to wear.

Optional Equipment

- warm top and leggings for the early spring and autumn departures
- swimming costume
- windproof and waterproof layer
- comfortable shoes and clothes for the days off the bike to explore the towns

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may of course bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

GPS Route Navigation

Ride with GPS logo

We've teamed up with RideWithGPS to provide our carefully researched and checked itineraries in a convenient format, similar to a car satnav, with turn-by-turn instructions all along your route.

Before you travel we'll send you everything you need to download your route notes and the free RideWithGPS app. It's available for iPhone and Android and the routes can also be used on any regular GPS device such as the Garmin Edge bike computers or Forerunner fitness devices. 

 For more details and to watch the demonstration video, please visit our GPS Route Navigation page.

Practical Information

Passport

Austria

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Austria

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Austria

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Austria's Timezone:
Europe/Vienna CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Austria's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

230V 50Hz

Money

Austria's Currency

The national currency of Austria is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.67 to the AUD and 0.63 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will only need money for the lunches, snacks, drinks, and entry for any sites you wish to visit. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy product from local markets or shops and make up a picnic. However, if you stop at a café you can easily spend €15. We would recommend budgeting for €5-15 for lunches and allow an additional €10 a day for any extras.

E-bike supplement - £50pp.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.