Innsbruck is best known as a winter sports destination, but in the summer months it’s also the place to go for roadies. In this guide to Innsbruck road cycling holidays you’ll find out why it’s probably the best biking city break in Europe.
Guide to Innsbruck road cycling holidays
From flat valley routes through the Alps to epic climbs up to hidden mountain valleys, however you like to ride, you can do it here. Here’s our guide to Innsbruck road cycling holidays and some of the best biking routes in and around the city.
Innsbruck to Kühtai
You’ll make your way out to Ötzerau before tackling the tough 1,200-metre climb towards Kühtai. At its steepest, the gradient is a lung-busting 18% but there are some mountain huts to stop at along the way.
You’ll need to take a jacket and gloves, even in the summer season because at this altitude it can get cold. Especially on the thrilling descent back down to Kematen. It’s possible to hit speeds of up to 60mph here but be careful as there is occasional traffic and animals often wander into the road.
The whole route is around 105km and should take around five hours of cycling plus stops.
Innsbruck holiday villages
Discover the immediate surroundings of the city on this 60km route around Innsbruck’s holiday villages. You’ll stay within sight of the city at most times, sticking to tarmac roads with little traffic. This ride shows you why Innsbruck is the best biking city break in Europe.
Heading out north along the Karwendel mountain, you’ll pass through villages including Mühlau, Arzl and Rum, climbing around 1,200 metres. On you way back to the city, stop at Wattens and visit the Swarovski Crystals Museum, starting point for the 2018 UCI Road Championship race.
You’ll wind back towards Innsbruck through Rinn and Lans at the bottom of the Olympic Mountain, with views of the ski jump tower and majestic Nordkette.
The ride should take around three hours, but there are multiple stopping options in the villages along the route.
Innsbruck light cultural tour
Looking for something with a little less altitude but still plenty of stunning views? This 70 km tour around Innsbruck takes around three hours plus stops, climbing around 650 metres.
You’ll leave the city on the Innradweg cycle path along the south side of the river. Pass through villages including Hatting and Flauring stopping at the impressive Stams Abbey.
The ride climbs a little here, offering superb views of the Wetterstein Mountains and reaching the plateau at Mieming. You’ll be surrounded by green meadows as you make your way back down to Telfs. There’s just time for one last climb at Martinswand, with its steep mountain wall.
Other rides in and out of Innsbruck
The Karwendel Tour starts and finishes in the city, and clocks in at 168km in length. You’ll ascend about 1,500 metres along the route but it’s bookended by a couple of flat sections, with a big climb and descent in the middle. This classic route has been widely used since the 1970s.
The Innsbruck to Telfs ride is a nice, relatively gentle 50km ride along the valley floor. Perfect as a warm up for tougher rides later in the week or for riders looking for a gentler experience. Plus, you can always ride back (or catch the train if you’re feeling lazy).
If you want to challenge yourself, then the Aldranser Alm Mountain Hut route climbs from the valley floor up through the alpine forest to the hut. You’ll climb a gruelling 705m over 6.3km.
There are also hundreds of kilometres of flat valley trails. Often on dedicated bike paths running in and out of the city along the valley. Perfect if you want to just get out on two wheels and explore and part of what makes Innsbruck the best biking city break in Europe.
Two of the toughest climbs in the Tirol
No guide to Innsbruck road cycling holidays would be complete without taking about two of the region’s biggest and most famous climbs.
The Kleinvolderberg-Tufelberg is considered one of the toughest in the Alps. It’s got everything a great climb should – views, forests and switchbacks that lasts for around 30 minutes in total. It’s a 20km ride to the bottom of the climb from the city, which makes the ideal warm up for what’s coming.
Getting to Sellrain, the other big climb, feels like you’re discovering your own little secret. You’ll follow the main valley road then traverse up into the mountains at Axams. The views out over the Sellrain Valley make the climb worthwhile, and some of the descents are around 20%.
Inn Valley Cycle Route
Finishing out guide to Innsbruck road cycling holidays why not bike the entire length of the Tirol along the Inn Valley? Either starting or passing through Innsbruck this superb ride and part of the reason we feel it is the best biking city break in europe.
You’ll follow the River Inn as it flows through some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe. As the valley widens out along the route, the cycling gets a little easier along the flatter terrain. The path runs along purpose built cycle path and passes some outstanding food and accommodation options along the way.
Innsbruck bike Hotels
Part of what makes Innsbruck the best biking city break is the huge choice of accommodation, coming in many different styles and suitable for all budgets. In the summer, many of these tailor their services to bikers, offering everything a cyclist could need.
Important to protect those expensive bikes is secure bike storage that is both lockable and insured. To keep bikes in tip top condition there are designated washing areas with hose and brushes plus a repair kits. There are also facilities for washing and drying your sweaty gear.
To keep the cyclists energy up, bike hotels offer sports breakfasts with fruit and muesli etc., designed to provide the fuel you’ll need to stay in the saddle longer. Bike Hotels are also and excellent source of information, providing bike maps, tour tips and cycling magazines, plus current weather forecasts and regional information.
Of course great accommodation and excellent cycling is all very good, but to be the best biking city break you also need a city! Innsbruck has a population of around 130,000 so it is not that big, but big enough to have plenty of bars restaurants and facilities. It’s also an attractive town with a nice vibe and an airport just 15 minutes fro the centre.
Find your ideal Bike hotel by visiting: www.bikecity-innsbruck.com/accommodation-for-bikers
UCI World Championship and other events
With more than 350,000 spectators and 1,000 riders, the UCI Road World Championship is coming to the city in September 2018, it looks like Innsbruck is cementing its reputation as a top cycling destination. The race organisers chose the city because of the region’s excellent terrain and challenging routes.
Innsbruck is also the finishing destination for the 2017 Tour of the Alps and the start for the Haute Route amatuer race. Plus it is the location for the 2017 Ötztal Bike Marathon, an event that sees riders covering 238 km and climbing 5.5km in just one day.
If you want to test yourself on routes deemed tough enough for world champions, come and check out the roads around Innsbruck.
Innsbruck: The best biking city break
Whatever your style, whether it’s relaxed and taking in the views or pushing yourself up 18% gradients, it’s all available in Innsbruck. Which is why we feel it is the best biking city break in Europe.
Of course, you can’t ride everything in this guide to Innsbruck road cycling holidays during one visit. So it’s worth doing your research and thinking about what kind of routes you really want to ride. Plus if, like us, you love riding in Innsbruck you can always return.
We hope you found this guide to Innsbruck road cycling holidays useful. For more information go to: www.bikecity-innsbruck.com/cycling