1) Choosing the Route
The most important thing for a family bike ride is advance planning. The Ziller Valley boasts a network of cycle paths of more than 800km so use our interactive map to help you find the right route for your family. The map displays the distance, altitude, rest stops and weather forecast for every tour.
Here is our checklist for choosing the perfect family cycle route:
- Family bike rides should have a minimal amount of incline or descent.
- The path should have a good surface, e.g. tarmac or gravel.
- Family cycle paths should not include sections on roads.
- The cycle routes shouldn’t include any dangerous sections.
- There should be plenty of rest stops along the way
A perfect example of one such route is Tyrol’s most popular family bike ride– the Ziller Valley cycle path. This family-friendly, 31km long path runs along the sunny valley from Strass to Mayrhofen. The signposted, wide path has a surface of either gravel or tarmac and runs next to the river Ziller with only minimal incline.
Top Tip: Take it easy! Take your time exploring the 30km route and enjoying the beautiful countryside with your family.
When you are out and about with children flexibility is especially important. A great tip for planning your route is to check out possible transport connections such as buses or trains in advance, which could help skip a few kilometres if little legs get tired. This is another reason why the Ziller Valley cycle path is so ideal. The route takes you past several train stations from which you can catch the Zillertalbahn to your destination. A trip on the steam train is an experience in itself for children.
Top Tip: bikes are allowed on the trains at no extra charge. There’s also the opportunity to hire children’s bikes, seats and helmets at every train station.
3) Rest Stops
Regular stops on a family bike ride are important to keep energy levels and the fun factor high. Playgrounds, restaurants and visitor attractions give kids a break from the bike and are somewhere they can run off steam. This makes for a good experience for everyone.
The Ziller Valley cycle trail offers the following attractions:
- Playground & leisure centre ʼFreizeitspark Zellʻ in Zell am Ziller
- Climbing hall in Aschau
- Adventure and fun park in Kaltenbach
- Wood museum ʼHolzErlebnisWeltʻ in Fügen
- Swimming lakes and outdoor swimming pools.
You can also enjoy delicious food and refuel at the many restaurants and cafés along the 31km route.
Top Tip: Try a local Tyrolean speciality to give you the energy to pedal further.
4) Hire & Kit
The right equipment is also a must for any family bike ride. Depending on the age and ability of your child, you can choose from child seats, trailers, family bikes or children’s bikes. The most important thing is that children are safely strapped into either their seat or trailer. The cycle path along the river Ziller is good for trailers as it is wide and has a good surface.
Important kit considerations for family bike rides include:
- Helmet (for adults and children)
- Weather protection (rain clothes, sun cream)
- Seatbelt (children must be safely strapped in)
- Enough to eat and drink (regular snacks motivate young and old)
When choosing a child’s bike, look out for the following:
- Lights at the front and back.
- Gears which are easy to operate.
- 2 good hand brakes.
- Good suspension.
- Smooth tyre surfaces for better breaking and turning.
TOP TIP: If you’re looking for the right equipment for your Tyrolean bike tour, ask in any of the many bike shops at your start destination or along the way. They offer bike services, bike hire, children’s seats and much more.
Zillergrund Tour – for sporty families
A good alternative family bike tour in the Ziller Valley is to cycle along the Zillergrund. This route is perfect for an active and sporty family. It is of medium difficulty and covers a distance of 18km from Mayrhofen to the Bärenbad restaurant.
My Tip: Definitely make sure you have lights on your bikes as the route takes you through two long and low lit tunnels. As a reward for your efforts the Bärenbad restuarant serves up homemade ʻZillertaler Krapfenʼ which can be enjoyed while relaxing on the sunny terrace. Just a few kilometres further is the Zillergrund reservoir with its 150m tall dam – an impressive sight for children and adults alike.
Top Tip: Tailor your bike ride to suit your family. A bus runs every hour from Mayrhofen to the Zillergrund which can save you a few kilometres. Just get off where you want. Alternatively, take the bus the whole way to the Bärenbad and enjoy cruising downhill back to Mayrhofen!