Innsbruck, Austrian capital of the west, lies between mountains and ski slopes, with amazing views for the locals every day of the year. It is not a surprise that so many roads in Innsbruck’s surroundings offer amazing trips by car, motorcycle or bicycle.
Route and places of interest on the way
This route begins directly in Innsbruck on the tarmaced Innradweg heading west. After the airport, it’s along the highway on the northern banks of the Inn towards Telfs. From here, it’s across the river, heading south towards Ötztaler Höhe. Turn right at the roundabout and head towards Ötz, from where the challenging ascent to the highest point in Kühtai begins, passing through Ötzerau and Ochsengarten. The steepest section contains a gradient of 18% to overcome. Kühtai is a peaceful place in summer with a few restaurants. From here, the route heads downhill towards Kematen along a litte-travelled road, but any other road users should still be respected. The route is flat from Kematen to your destination of Innsbruck, and we recommend leaving the highway at Zirl to join the Innradweg.
This classic yet challenging tour goes from Innsbruck to Kühtai, with ascents into the mountains requiring strength and endurance. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic panoramas, rapid descents and idyllic villages.
Kaunertal Glacier Road
Visit Kaunertal Glacier Road, that will lead you to the glacier up to 2700 metres and round trip will require 240 kilometres. Kaunertal Glacier Road is a real highlight for road bike riders and one of the most spectacular climbs in the Alps. From the village of Prutz it winds its way up 29 corners and 1,900 vertical metres to an altitude of 2,750m metres. It has featured several times in the Tour of Austria and hosts the annual “Kaunertaler Gletscherkaiser” race to determine who is fastest rider from bottom to top.
Ötztal Glacier Road
Visit Ötztal Glacier Road, that is around 13.5 kilometres long and has an average gradient of 10.5%. It leads to the highest point in Austria accessible by road bike, at 2,829 metres above sea level. Built in 1972, the road is a challenge for even the fittest of riders and leads from the village of Sölden through the spectacular Rettenbachtal Valley up to the glacier ski resorts at the end of the Ötztal Valley. After 14.5 kilometres and after passing through the Rosi-Mittermeier-Tunnel, the highest tunnel in the Alps, riders reach the Rettenbachferner and Tiefenbachferner glaciers. The trip requires 180 km.
Visit Ötztaler road, that connects both Italy and Austria. At 238 kilometres in length and with altitude differences of 5,500 metres, the Ötztal Cycle Marathon is the most revered marathon amongst road cyclists: It is, quite simply, legendary. But if you divide the distance into two days of cycling, you can savour an intense, yet more enjoyable experience of the highpoints of the “Ötztal” Tour – such as Kühtai, the highest intra-Italian mountain pass and of course Austria’s highest pass, the Timmelsjoch. The trip includes 4 mountain passes and is 240 km long.
Photo credit: http://www.convention.tirol.at/