|The Tauern Cycle Path takes its name from the impressive Hohen Tauern mountain range. But don`t worry, the route takes you through the flat valley of the Salzach River, where you only occasionally have to overcome gradients. On the 320 Kilometre route from the spectacular Krimml Waterfall, through the Salzburger Land and out into the alpine foreland, you will descend a total of 750 Metres. While the landscape at the start of the tour is dominated by tall, snow covered mountains, by the time you reach the lower reaches of the Salzach and Inn rivers, the extensive riparian forests come to dominate. The cultural highlight is naturally the city of Salzburg, but almost every town along the Tauern Cycle Path has its own particular charm.
The length of the main route between Krimml and Passau totals 320 Kilometres. The Saalach valley route between Salzburg and Zell am See is 94 Kilometres in length.
The ADFC, the German cycling federation, has begun to classify cycling routes under the"ADFC-Qualitätsradroute" system. These routes have been ridden by ADFC inspectors and evaluated according to route quality, safety and signage, as well as further categories such as accommodation, gastronomy and accessibility with public transport. Based on these criteria the route receives a rating between one star (low) and five stars (high), which applies for three years.
The Tauern Cycle Path was given a rating of 4 stars in March of 2012.
Surface quality and traffic
Along the first section between Krimml and Zell am See/Bruck a. d. Glocknerstraße the route mostly takes you along quiet, paved secondary roads. You rarely encounter unpaved sections or traffic.
The second section between Zell am See/Bruck a. d. Glocknerstraße and Bischofshofen is of equal quality, with the exception that there is one major incline to overcome just before Schwarzach im Pongau.
The third section between Bischofshofen and Salzburg still includes a section from Werfen to the Lueg pass which takes you along a busy main road, otherwise you ride along quiet secondary roads and mostly unpaved bicycle paths of good quality.
The last two sections take you mostly along good quality, unpaved bicycle paths along the the river.
The quality of the Tauern Loop through the Saalach valley is of high quality, especially in Austria. The bicycle paths have recently been upgraded, with 90% paved surfaces. The remainder of the route changes between paved and good quality, unpaved minor roads and streets.
The Tauern Cycle Path is adequately signposted throughout. From the start in Krimml to Oberndorf, north of Salzburg, you will find a green Tauernradweg sign with white lettering at almost every turn. Sometimes you will also find signage for local alternative routes.
You pass the state border between the state of Salzburg and Upper Austria (Oberösterreich) as you ride from Oberndorf to Tittmoning, where the design of the signage also changes. The name of the route eventually changes as you reach Braunau am Inn, from where it is marked as the Innradweg (= R3 in Upper Austria), as it now comes to follow the Inn river.