Austrian Alps & the Danube

Our Family-Friendly Cycle Trip in Austria’s “Sound of Music” Country

On this page, you will find...

For generalities concerning our “Family-Friendly” trips, please see our “Family-Friendly” introductory page.

As a cultural reference, Julie Andrews and the “Sound of You-Know-What” are fading from view.  And the gingerbread houses, flowerboxes, alpine pastures, perfect churches..., were only a film set, anyway, right?

Well, no, actually:  they live here, in the Salzburg hinterland, romantically known as the Salzkammergut (it’s more idyllic than the vernacular makes it sound).  And the film’s success must have had at least as much to do with its setting as with its story.  At least, that’s our theory....

So come and test it!  Bike through emerald meadows sprinkled with flowers, and along the shores of lakes which admirably reflect their surrounding snow-capped peaks.  Glide over inland seas as smooth as glass, in electric boats as silent as the swans that swim alongside.

Fresh trout, mountain-grown black current juice, world-class coffee and the most beautiful pastries are your daily fare.   Even the French, no slouches in the pastry department, use “viennoiserie” as their generic word for pastry.  And these culinary delights are all served on terraces which look upon scenes so romantic that it is hard to take them seriously.

Everywhere the glory and opulance of Baroque and Rococo architecture, legacies of the Austro-Hungarian empire at its mightiest.  From the sophistication of Salzburg to the royal (now haut-bourgois) elegance of Bad Ischl, to the back-country magnificance of the Ausseerland, this is without a doubt one of our most beautiful rides.


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Day-by-Day Itinerary:  “Sound of Music” Country
Day of the Week
Typical distances, in km
Sunday & Monday
If you’re arriving from Italy, things work again.  If from Germany, the prices go down by 20%.  If from another continent, you won’t have all that baggage (the airline probably lost it), and the charm will delight.  For help arriving, see our “Access Package.”   Or, follow this link for specific hints on reaching Salzburg.

Our trip assembles on Sunday, and the earlier you arrive, the more time you have for the city (we can book you an additional — Saturday — night if you wish).  Strudel at the Glockenspiel cafe, evening Mozart.  Claim your bike, and adjust to its quirks on Salzburg's delightful bike path network.

On Monday, pretty loops can take you to a water castle, a salt mine, an eagle’s nest — the ambitious can ride all the way to beautiful Berchtesgaden, regrettably (in)famous as Hitler’s mountain retreat — and still get you back into Salzburg in time for more Mozart.   Or more strudel.   Spend a festive evening in a tree-shaded beer garden while the kids play a giant chess game in the town square.  Or introduce them to opera at a castle concert (that should keep them in line for the rest of the trip...).

45 k
Tuesday & Wednesday
A Tuesday morning train gets us out of town.  Then it’s off to a pair of beautiful lakes, the Irrsee and the Mondsee.  Follow waterside roads through fairy-tale landscapes.  The onion-domed church in Mondsee town is where the marriage took place in “Sound of Guess What.”  You'll have to go on the trip if you want to know about the trickery.... Take in the scene at the dueling konditorei that face each other across the town’s main square.  Wander down to the lake to rent a sailboat, to go for a swim, or to eat a trout that just did.

On to the Wolfgangsee (lake collectors can detour via the Attersee).  Though not named for Mozart, his mother was born on her shores (in Sankt Gilgen), his sister long lived there, and he is, ahem, amply commemorated.  Stage a tacky souvenir contest in Sankt Wolfgang.  Warning:  the competition is fierce!

We are surrounded by mountains, so on Wednesday evening, we go up one.  Tonight’s hotel is on top of a local Alp!  Don’t panic, we use a 100-year-old cog railway to get up there.

30 - 50 k
each day
Down the mountain in the morning, and then from St. Wolfgang to Bad Ischl for Austria's most famous pastry shop.  You'll quickly see why. 

Kaiser Franz Joseph kept his country villa here:  a visit allows you to admire the gardens, and also his single-minded persecution of the local deer population.   “Bad” in this context is not a qualitative comment, incidentally, but rather the German word for “bath,” or spa.  Unless you are a deer.

Up the valley to the Hallstättersee, and to Austria's prettiest village.  A day of superlatives.  Rent an electric boat to glide out onto the glass lake, or have a cherry strudle on the shore and watch the trout in the waters at your feet.

Two nights on this, possibly Austria’s most idyllic lake.  The competition is fierce for that title, too!
50 k
A day in the enchanting Ausseerland

Gaze up at the Loser (an Alp, not a person).  Sip the local white wine or its founding grape juice as you gaze at the Grundlesee.  Or leave behind the already limited hustle and bustle for a hike to the Tauplitzsee, one of Austria's most isolated lakes... perhaps a picnic on its shores. 

Charming Bad Aussee is a regional center of the type shopping malls have destroyed.  Back to the still-as-glass Hallstättersee for our last night in this enchanting land.
Variable k
One more day in the Salzkammergut. 

Visit Hallstätt, perhaps go through her salt mine if you have successfully dodged the experience until now.  Go for a cable-car ride to the top of the Dachstein.  There is an Eishöhle (pronounce carefully) — an ice cave — up here, too. 

At the end of the afternoon, join a train for the trip out of the mountains, to Vienna, Munich, or further afield by overnight “Hotel Train.”
30 k

Lively, Singing Hills — Facts & Figures
2018 Dates
Baggage Services
Difficulty of the Ride

August 5 - 11

$2,250 US
$2,750 C
1,650 €

Easy rides, with lots of other stuff to do and see.   But those who “came to bike” will find plenty of long route options to spice up their days and strenthen their legs.

* Prices in $ and € do not include precisely the same things.  Click here for details.

Prices of Optional Extras (links lead to explanations)
$ prices include the bike.
See here for information on bringing your own.

Family Pricing / Child Discounts
Age of Child
Desired Lodging
Under 2
2 - 5
6 - 11
12 - 19
Sharing Parents’ Room**
Price* =
$398 US / $498 C / 330€
Price* =
$650 US / $790 C / 520€
40% discount on the trip price
20% discount on the trip price
Not in Parents’ Room
40% reduction on trip price***
20% reduction on trip price***

* Prices for children 0 - 5 do not include rental bike equipment. 
Child seats, trailers, and tagalong bikes are available at additional cost, or you may supply your own.

** With separate bed (crib or “pack-and-play” for children 2 and under).

***The trip’s Private Single Room charge will apply if a child requires a single room, but single rooms for children are discounted by 25% (they may be small rooms, or independent rooms in a suite with the parent’s room).
Children 5 and under occupying their own room are garanteed to be in a suite with their parents, or in an adjacent room, ideally with a communicating door.
Children 6 - 11 are garanteed to be in a room on the same floor of the hotel as the parents’ room, and every effort is made to keep the two rooms in close proximity.


  • Triple rooms used by 3 children may be twin rooms with an extra bed.

  • Quad parent-and-child “family” rooms cannot be guaranteed, as not all hotels have them, and certainly not in sufficient quantity for multiple families.  When available, they will typically be rooms with one double bed and two single beds.  If you are two parents travelling with two children over 2 years old, you may request such a room when you sign up for the trip.  But you must be willing to accept the alternate (and less discounted) solution of two separate-but-proximate rooms.  If a quad can be assigned at some stops and not others, the additional discount will be pro-rated.  Available quads will be assigned in order of trip sign-up.

  • Child discounts are not cumulable with any other commercial discount, such as “student” or “group” discounts, or discounts accorded to the Founders of Guest-Initiated Trips.  In all cases, the larger discount will be used.

Reaching & Leaving Your Trip:  General Information on Access Packages
Specific information on reaching your trip’s start in... Salzburg
Specific information on departing from your trip’s end... Obertraun