Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer
Via Claudia Augusta, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer

Via Claudia Augusta

This easy paced cycling tour is ideal for those wishing to experience the beauty of the Tirolese Alps in style. The riding is concentrated along historic Via Claudia Augusta, a 2000 year old Roman built road which was, for many centuries, the main commercial route across the Alps, linking Northern Italy with modern-day Southern Germany. Originally used for the transportation of goods and Roman troops, it now serves as the perfect 130-kilometer long biking route through an area of stunning views and historic sites. The three day journey begins at the border between Germany and Austria and takes in some of the most beautiful Tirolean landscapes imaginable—and not forgetting the excellent food: Many inns and restaurants between Füssen and Nauders whip up dishes using Roman condiments to take you out on a historical journey.

  • Cycle in the steps of the Romans: The historic Roman Road "Via Claudia Augusta" was traced out as a connection between Italy and the foothills of the Alps in 15 B.C. when Drusus, the Emperor Augustus' son in law, was waging a campaign in the Alps. The road was intended to improve the passage through the Alps for military purposes and to increase Roman control over Rhaetia (modern Southern Germany). The project of converting a pack-animal trail to serve wheeled vehicles was completed sixty years later in 46-47 AD by the son of Drusus, the Emperor Claudius. People and goods could pass between the Adriatic Sea and Augsburg.
  • Nowadays, the historic 130-kilometer long route enables cyclists to experience a unique and stunning crossing of the Alps and takes in some of the most beautiful Tirolean landscapes imaginable.
  • This rewarding three-day cycle tour takes you from the town of Füssen on the German border to Fern Pass, and all the way to Landeck, Nauders and Reschen Pass on the border to Italy. If you wish you can take the Via Claudia Augusta Shuttle Transfer to conveniently manage the two challenging mountain pass roads.
  • Cycling along the Via Claudia Augusta is a great opportunity to explore and get acquainted with the prettiness of the former Roman provinces. The countryside varieties along the entire route are almost unsurpassable in its inherent natural beauty. You’ll cycle past historic sights, building and museums and can gather new strength at one of the many lovely places to eat along the route: Many inns and restaurants between Füssen and Nauders whip up dishes using Roman condiments to take you out on a historical journey.
  • The culinary Cycling Package provides a perfect combination of self-guided cycling, great nature exploration and culinary excellence en route.

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Starting point

Füssen, Germany

Finishing point

Reschen Pass

Length

146 km

Duration

3 day(s)

Features

  • Circular route
  • Handicap-accessible
  • Route with e-bike charging station

Difficulty rating

medium

Altitude

1,405m

Elevation uphill 1,600m

Trail description

Day 1: Füssen Border Area – Biberwier
Distance: 37 Kilometers | Vertical Gain: 400 Meters | Difficulty: Easy

From the German town of Füssen, the route travels across the Austrian border, past the lovely villages of Unterpinswang and Oberpinswang. After a short ascent at Kniepass you reach Pflach and Reutte, continuing to the destination end of this tour, which is the village of Biberwier.

In Reutte, the Via Claudia Augusta leaves the scenic and pristine banks of Lech River. Shortly after Reutte the Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble, a fortress well worth seeing built in times of the Thirty Years’ War, can be visited. This remarkable fortress with its imposing walls and towers dominates the landscape of Reutte as much today, as it did centuries ago. From this narrow defile, the journey heads down to Heiterwang across undulating countryside trails passing verdant meadows and small moorlands. Cycling past the tiny communes of Bichlbach, Wängle and Gries you’ll get to the village of Lermoos, which is situated at the edge of Ehrwald Basin. The local parish church and its lower church building are a highlight not to be missed. The last section of this day ride runs across the Basin of Ehrwald, a truly unique nature preserve. These ancient marshlands rank among Tirol's most important habitats for biodiversity. In the village of Biberwier, located at the southern edge of Ehrwald Basin, you will find three lovely lakes for swimming: Cool off in the refreshing waters of Blindsee, Weißensee or Mittersee.

Day 2: Biberwier – Landeck
Distance: 53 Kilometers | Vertical Gain: 400 Meters | Difficulty: Intermediate

Right at the beginning of this ride, between Biberwier and Fern Pass, the most exhausting section of the Via Claudia Augusta Cycle Path is waiting for you. Pedal hard or hop on the Via Claudia Augusta shuttle transfer that enables the crossing of demanding Fern Pass and allows amazing views of the area’s magnificent lakes.

You will need a good level of fitness and a mountain bike to master the demanding trail which climbs from Biberwier atop Fern Pass to an elevation of 1,210 meters. Fern Pass is a huge post-glacial rockslide area featuring giant rock faces embedded in scree fields and wonderful pine forests. Today countless basins and small hidden glacier-carved valleys are filled with water, forming picture-book mountain lakes, such as Blindsee. At the height of Fernstein Castle you are strongly recommended to indulge in splendid vistas of the sky-blue waters of Fernsteinsee Lake located opposite - a paradise for diving fans. From Nassereith, the Via Claudia Augusta takes in some of the most beautiful Tirolean landscapes imaginable. Across ultimately scenic Gurgltal Valley and past old hay barns you will head towards the small town of Imst with its splendid town houses. Follow the Gurgltal Cycle Route south until it joins the Inn Cycle Path that heads upstream to the small town of Landeck.

Day 3: Landeck – Reschen Pass
Distance: 56 Kilometers | Vertical Gain: 800 Meters | Difficulty: Intermediate

From Landeck, the journey heads upstream alongside the icy waters of the River Inn. The route traverses the sunny slopes of Fliess at the eastern side of Inntal Valley, an area of awesome natural beauty and rich in wildlife and fauna, including some 1000 different species of butterflies.

The cycleway continues on the valley bottom to the small village of Prutz. A quiet but steeply winding road takes you up to Nauders at an elevation of 1,394 meters, surrounded by wonderful landscapes. From Nauders the cycling path continues to ascend gently to the final high point of the Reschen Pass where you will cross the Austro-Italian border and at the same time the Tri-Border Area of Austria, Switzerland and Italy at an elevation of 2,179 meters. Mighty Naudersberg Castle, dating back to the 13th century, is a must-see in Nauders. Crossing the border into Italy via the Reschen Pass, the Via Claudia Augusta passes Reschen Dam, which is famous for the church tower sticking out of the water, commemorating the remains and history of the sunken town Altgrauns. From there, the panoramic views open up as you roll gently down into Vinschgau Valley and South Tyrol.

Places along the route

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Your destination address: Füssen

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