The Touring Center Austria is a new tour organized by Edelweiss in 2019!
We have our base in Velden am Woerthersee and ride daily loops through southern Austria, Italy and Slovenia!
First day of riding! YES!!!
After our daily briefing we head south west towards the austrian-slovenian border. The road is perfectly shaped through the hills and we soon reach our first coffee stop. The weather isn't promising the best, but we continue riding and we enter Slovenia. On a dry surface we start climbing the Radlpass, a perfectly paved pass road that takes us back in Austria...a lot of happy faces can be seen on top!
We ride on backroads through the vineyards and the hops. Wine production here isn't something new. In fact even the romans used to bring the local wine (like Welschriesling or Veltiner) to Rome! It's almost lunch time so we decide to stop in a perfect spot...there isn't just food but also an heart-shaped road!!!
On our way back towards Velden that weather isn't helping but the famous Sobothpass is anyway a great fun!
What a first day!!!
Our second riding day starts in the best possible way...the sun is hugh, the sky is blue and the mood is great!
We leave Velden and ride by the Milstätter lake towards the incredible village of Gmünd, a typical austrian village that has been a perfect waypoint between Venice and Salzburg for centuries. After a good coffee we start our climb to the Malta Alpenstrasse, a toll road build to reach the Kölnbrein dam (which is 200m high!!!). The road is 14,4km long and has six natural-stone tunnels and many many curves...and obviously they built a skywalk on the dam!
After a typical austrian lunch with salad, gulasch and spaetzle we continue our journey towards the Nockalmstrasse, another toll road of 35km and with 52 hairpins...more than Stelvio!!!
310km done...what a perfect motorcycle day!
A new day is starting and the weather is still perfect to ride!
Today we ride our longest day (340km) and we discover the stunning italian region Friuli. An area with incredible history, a difficult dialect and amazing roads.
We leave Velden on the highway in order to reach Italy as soon as possible. The backroads towards sella Nevea are empty and the curves perfect. A coffee helps us to warm up and soon we reach the river Tagliamento. This river isn't just the most important of the region but it's also wide and it is actually allowed to ride in it! (no, we didn't do it hehehe).
Soon we reach San Daniele del Friuli, a small village of just 8'000 inhabitants but where there is a raw ham production of 2.5 millions hams a year!!!!!!
We mouve on and reach Tolmezzo for a perfect lunch with typical food. Some have the raw ham, some others have a special cheese filled ravioli and some other a special kind of pasta! What a lunch!
The afternoon takes us on the west side of the Monte Zoncolan, probably the toughest climb for bicycles in all Europe...also with the motorbike it's a lot of work, but the view on top pays for all the fatigue!
Soon we reach the italian-austrian border at the top of the Ploeckenpass and Velden seems a lot closer.
Another great and long day on the motorcycles! Fabolous tour til now!
The sun welcomes us for the third day in a row...what a way to start!
Today our route takes us into Slovenia over the Loiblpass and than straight to lake Bled, probably one of the most famous places in the whole country. A good coffe, a tasty cake and some amazing view create a perfect stop.
We continue over the Bohinjsko Sedlo, a pass road with zero traffic, and this takes a typical motorcycle restaurant along the road!
We keep riding south til we reach the Soca valley (or in italian Isonzo valley) that has been theather of 12 bloody battles during WW1 between Italy and Austria. Hundred of thousends of people died in this historically sad, but incredibly beautiful river and valley.
The next stop is the Mangart road. Nowadays it is a touristic toll road, but it was build by the italian army between WW1 and WW2 in order to reach the top of the Mangart mountain and from there being able to control the austrian territories.
The last riding day has come...sadly the cloudes are covering the sky but today we will ride the shortest distance of all tour (160km) since we have many places to visit.
The first place we stop is the Pyramidenkogel, the tallest wood tower worldwide, from which is possible to see the entire Woerthersee and the mountains around it...Astonishing!
Some of us, after enjoying the view, decided to use the slide to go down...what a nice speed through the constant curve...perfect for us biker!
To enjoy a coffee we reach Klagenfurt, the capitol city of the region, and soon later we visited the Maria Saal church.
We are getting hungry and so we reach the Hochosterwitz castle. This was build during the 16th century on the top of a rocky hill and it was never conquered, nor did it belong to a different family from the one that founded it...yes, 500 years in the same hands!!!
A guided tour tells us everything about this magnificent place...for sure having lunch in such an incredible place is an experience to tell to all our friends!