Touring - Munich to Venice
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07-20-11, 06:51 AM
I'm thinking about doing a tour from Munich to Venice in a couple of weeks, looking for some advice on possible routes, etc.
I was planning on taking the Via Claudia Augusta cycle path from Bolzano , but not sure what the paths (if any) are like before that (going through Innsbruck), any ideas? I'll be on a hybrid so it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth. Are the minor roads fairly quiet and good for cycling on?
Am hoping the trip could be done in 6 days, hopefully that's not too optimistic...
Also, can anyone recommend some decent campsites? And what's it like for wild camping around there?
07-21-11, 11:44 PM
Hi Pete, I recently came back from a tour that overlapped your itinerary between Innsbruck and Munich. You can see a map here: http://trackmytour.com/5600. The via Claudia Augusta map I have doesn't put the route through Innsbruck; rather, it goes from Fussen to Reschenpass via Landeck. Either way, the path I did ride was very well suited for cycling. Have fun!
07-27-11, 09:19 AM
Hi Pete - a few years ago I rode the via Claudia Augusta from Augsburg to Bolzano, in just under four days if I recall correctly. One of many European credit-card tours I've made since 1997 for which I kept journals but which I've not yet written up to inform later travellers such as yourself. I used the Esterbauer guidebook - do you know those? They're excellent, even if you don't read German. Very clear mapping and extensive details of overnight accommodation, noteworthy sights etc. There were two fairly big passes on the way - the Reschenpass is one, as chrisch says - but I didn't find either of them too taxing (I'm over 50 and not especially fit). The ride was a delight from start to finish.
From memory, I stayed the first night near Fuessen, the second in Landeck and the third in Vezzano. I remember that had to get to Bolzano by late afternoon on day 4 to catch a train to Verona for my return flight to the UK that evening. After lingering too long over a very pleasant lunch in Merano, that necessitated an anxious but exhilarating three-hour dash along the bike path beside the River Adige to Bolzano.
One of the highlights was chancing upon a music festival the night I was in Landeck - top of the bill was Randy Crawford, who was just finishing her pre-gig supper as I arrived at my hotel. One of the lowlights was having to lose height so quickly and tortuously after crossing the border from Austria into Italy - no chance at all of some dreamy 40+ mph descents, because the route winds through some really lovely Italian alpine villages. Unfortunately I didn't have time to explore them as I knew when the kitchen closed at the hotel I was heading for...
07-27-11, 09:35 AM
Pete, you might also check out the King Ludwig Way from Starnberg to Schwangau, near Fuessen, especially if you're interested in Bavarian history and the sad tale of so-called "Mad" King Ludwig II of Bavaria. [Not "mad" at all imho - just gay and the State couldn't handle that! OK, he was profligate too, but in the bigger picture the tourist revenues which Bavaria has accrued over the past 130 years from visitors to his castles greatly exceed the debts he incurred while building them].
I've not ridden this trail but will one day. There are minor variations between the cycle route and the walkers' route, but I expect both will be well signposted. I have two English-language guidebooks about the route - probably out of print but you may get lucky via Amazon Marketplace. If I were you I wouldn't feel too bad about taking the train to Starnberg and starting my tour there, if time is short. It's an easy run on the S-Bahn from Munich. And probably the town in Europe I'd most like to live in, given its proximity to a great cultural city, the Alps and Italy just a couple of hours away...
04-16-13, 08:20 AM
Did you do this trip? I am wondering whether I could do the Via Claudia with my kids (aged 11 and 9) and whether there are any camping opportunities along the way.
all the best
04-16-13, 10:35 AM
Pick up the Danube shore bike paths at Passau? you can use that popular route, thru Vienna..
Being Popular, there are a lot of camp sites, commerce, along the way..
If you don't want to ride out and back, there are Ferrys to take for the Return, upstream.
04-19-13, 04:45 AM
Thanks a lot for your reply - that does look great for another trip but on this trip we want to end up in Italy - I am thinking about Augsburg to Verona, but am finding it difficult to work out whether we'll be able to camp/by food along the way if we only do 30-50 km per day.
Any advice much appreciated!
04-22-13, 04:03 AM
Hi Madeleine, the Via Claudia Augusta is a great ride, with only two major climbs iirc. To answer your question about campsites, I'll see if I can find the Esterbauer guide to the route which I used - it lists all accommodation options including campsites. More news tomorrow if I remember to check at home tonight!
04-22-13, 06:28 AM
If you haven't done so already, go to Youtube and type in "Via Claudia Augusta". There are several videos of people cycle touring the route. I'd love to do it someday!
04-22-13, 03:24 PM
I'd completely forgotten about this thread, but yep I did do it. Don't think I took the Via Claudia in the end though.
From Munich I headed South along the Isar towards Bad Tolz, decent cycle path along a lovely river. I think there was a campsite in Bad Tolz but I continued along the river up to Sylvesteinsee and then Achensee, staying in a campsite right on the shore of Achensee for my first night. Lovely spot to camp (aside from an all-night thunderstorm) but it was quite expensive I recall.
Then went down into the valley and across to Innsbruck - I remember looking up a campsite in Natters near Innsbruck, but decided to go on and climb the Brenner pass before setting up camp on a patch of grass by the path just across the border into Italy.
From there I pretty much followed the cycle path by the Adige all the way to Verona through Brixen, Bolzano and Trento, camping one night in a vineyard on the way (not recommended with the kids!). Had planned on making a detour via Lake Garda (probably a few campsites around there) but sadly missed the turning before it was too late.
Let me know if you want any more details on the route, I can probably dig out the GPS log somewhere.
04-23-13, 12:34 PM
Hi Madeline - I'm afraid I couldn't find my Esterbauer guide to the Via Claudia Augusta, but I'd strongly advise you to get it. Don't be put off if you don't speak German as it's the maps that you really need, not the text. See http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Home/Product-Detail/Via-Claudia-Augusta-Cycle-Route-from-the-Danube-to-the-Adriatic-800km_9783850004343.htm. I've used Esterbauer guides for about 10 tours in Europe - they're really excellent.
By the way, as well as campsites they do of course list hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs etc, many of which will be very cheap but very nice in such a remote area far from big towns - and they also show where you can do your shopping. Have a great ride!
04-29-13, 04:26 AM
Thank you all for the tips - I will check out the Esterbauer guide and You Tube clips - our mileage is a lot less than most cycle tourers (prob max 40 km per day) so just need to work out if there are camp/water/food opportunities close enough together, though happy to do a bit of wild camping! Also I saw something on the Via Claudia site about getting a bus with bike trailer over the two big passes which sounds great for us, although it sounded as though we'd have to book in advance - not so great as really like not to have deadlines!
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