I love being in the midst of nature, without cars racing past me. I want to hear the birds tweeting in the forest. And so, I have now become a road racing enthusiast. I don’t even care about the uncomfortable saddle! I have never experienced this region as intensely as when I am on my road bike. In this blog, I want to introduce you to the Ziller Valley – a true biker’s paradise. Just why is it so amazing? For many, many reasons. But today I am going to tell you about just two road biking routes, which, combined, offer over 100 kilometres of pure pedalling pleasure.
The Ziller Valley High Alpine Road – A panoramic tour with maximum effort required
The Ziller Valley High Alpine Road is one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the Alps. It starts with a steep climb from Ried im Zillertal to an altitude of 1,500 – 2,000 metres and offers amazing views over the Ziller Valley as well as the glaciers of the surrounding mountains. If you’re struggling to enjoy the views through a fog of sweat, don’t forget to stop for a rest every now and again! Road bikers have to work hard to enjoy this panorama: there are 1,200 altitude metres to climb just in the first 11 kilometres of this 55 kilometre route. That’s a gradient of between 10 and 16 percent.
To begin with, the single lane road leads mostly through the forest, but later it meanders through beautiful alpine meadows in full bloom. After the Kaltenbacher Skihütte, you can enjoy the first long descent before you arrive at the beautiful Hirschbichlalm. Although, not before you pedal up another steep incline. After a smaller descent, pedal onwards to the best viewpoint and highest point of the road: the Melchboden. Then, wrap up warm for the descent into the valley at Hippach near Mayrhofen and head straight to the nearest guesthouse for some delicious and well-earned Zillertaler Zerrgl.
The alpine road to the Schlegeis Reservoir – Lord of the Rings on two wheels.
The 15 kilometre long alpine road to the Schlegeis reservoir doesn’t just offer an exciting challenge with a certain mountain mystique, it is also an opportunity to marvel at an incredible building feat from the 1960s. From Mayrhofen, take the traffic-free road through the wild Zemm gorge – the first stage of this almost 50 kilometre road bike tour. Follow the Zemm river past grazing cows and small farms until you reach the village of Ginzling. From here, the alpine toll road leads up through the Zemm Valley to the Schlegeis Reservoir. Eight hairpin bends and four tunnels later, exhausted bikers are rewarded with some incredible views. At the far end, a fast-flowing glacial river flows into the reservoir and behind it is a truly majestic mountain landscape. Enjoy this incredible Lord of the Rings landscape, before you head back into the valley.
That’s it? Noooooo….
There are many more road biking routes to discover in the mountains around Mayrhofen. From shorter, easier routes for novices and amateurs to kilometre-long challenges for professionals and those who like to push their limits.