Between Vienna and Bad Radkersburg, for example, EuroVelo 9 runs exclusively along existing cycle trails, following the route of the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail. It is probably one of the most awe-inspiring cycling trails in Austria. From the small city of Blansko north of Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, we ride through the South Moravian Region and the Weinviertel in Lower Austria until we come to Vienna ‒ this section, incidentally, is called the Vienna-Breclav Cycle Route. Then it’s on through the Vienna Woods and the Viennese Alps towards Styria, which we reach in Mönichwald in the Wechsel mountain area.
On this section, we follow the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail, as we do in Styria until Bad Radkersburg. Passing the border between Lower Austria and Styria, we continue through East Styria over a few small ridges and hills, past famous spa towns such as Bad Waltersdorf, Bad Blumau and Loipersdorf, and through the Thermen- und Vulkanland (“Thermal Spa and Volcano Region”) until we come to the river Mur at Bad Radkersburg. Tired calves are soon soothed at the Parktherme health spa! From here, we continue for a while on the River Mur Cycle Trail until arriving in Spielfeld/Sentilj, where we turn south towards Slovenia and cover the final leg to Maribor, voted European Capital of Culture in 2013.
In addition to the numerous cultural attractions that we will encounter along the way, this cycle trail is a real journey through gastronomic paradise: wine specialities at traditional inns and wine taverns, the famous pumpkin seed oil, Sturm (fermented grape juice) and chestnuts in autumn and much more are all waiting to be sampled. And to rest our weary legs, we can look forward to the restorative waters of the local spas and their hot springs.
From Vienna, take the Nordautobahn A5 and the E461 across the border in Drasenhofen, to Brno.
It is just a few more kilometres to the small town of Blansko.
The way the stages are divided below is just one of many possible options ‒ we simply begin cycling, and let ourselves be guided by the various tempting scenic or culinary delights as we head south. If the desire arises, you should simply hit the brakes and spend a night in the idyllic towns and historic towns dotted along this stretch. Every couple of kilometres you will come across an establishment offering delicious culinary specialities, giving us the opportunity to explore the land and its people.
Starting in the small town of Blansko, we begin our journey through the South Moravian Karst region with its remarkable Macocha Gorge, through beautiful valley landscapes and little towns scattered along the river Svitava to Brno. The second-largest city in the Czech Republic is a popular stop to see the imposing castle and the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Architecture lovers can also visit Villa Tugendhart, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. South of Brno, we continue on the Greenway EuroVelo 9 past fields on a newly developed cycle trail, passing Židlochovice, until we come to the Nové Mlýny dam at Pasohlávky, a popular destination for bathing, fishing and water sports, as well as an important bird reserve. A beautiful view opens out here of the Palava mountains. Further on, we pass through the towns of Brod and Novosedly, taking in streets lined with wine cellars, towards Nový Přerov. Covering just under 100 km, the recently renovated “Kollonenweg” (a former border patrol path) with rest stops leads us through the winegrowing region to Mikulov. This medieval town with its imposing baroque castle and burial tomb of the Dietrichstein family is situated at the foot of the Palava mountains and was once the second-largest Jewish community in Bohemia after Prague.
From Mikulov, we set off on the former Kollonenwegen (border patrol paths), travelling parallel to the Iron Curtain Cycle Trail/EuroVelo 13 on national route no. 41. We enter the park grounds of Lednice Castle and Valtice Castle, both classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, via the small town of Sedlec. Following the so-called Liechtenstein Route, we can explore the entire area with its numerous fish ponds and monuments to be found in the castle grounds in Lednice. Then it’s on to Břeclav through floodplain forests. Today, the town is not only an important railway junction in Europe’s transport network; it is also famed for its castle, originally built in the 16th century and turned into a neo-Gothic artificial ruin in the 19th century. The next few kilometres of the cycling tour lead us along the Břeclav - Vienna Cycle Route past archaeological excavations and the hunting lodge in Pohansko, until we come to the Czech-Austrian border at Reintal. From here, we continue on quiet back roads straight through the Wine District. Our stage today takes us past romantic streets lined with wine cellars, which is a familiar sight in the Wine District. We then continue via Altlichtenwarth and Neusiedl an der Zaya to our town for this stage, Mistelbach, with its lovely town centre. Liechtenstein Castle in Wilfersdorf and the Crude Oil Museum in Neusiedl an der Zaya invite us to make a quick pit-stop.
Today’s stage takes us further along the Břeclav - Vienna Cycle Route through the southern part of the Wine District to Wolkersdorf just outside Vienna. On the way, lanes brimming with wine cellars offer wine tastings and regional delicacies that often prove hard to resist. Entertainment is also to be found at the moated Wolkersdorf Castle and the Kulturlandschaft Paasdorf, a modern sculpture park in the middle of extensive farmland. A cycling trip on the Erlebnis-Nostalgie-Radweg „Dampfross und Drahtesel” ("Iron Horse and Bicycle" Adventure and Nostalgia Cycle Trail) between Pillichsdorf and Stammersdorf is also a charming diversion. A number of information panels relate the story of the railway; railway relics and works of art serve to mark your way.
The next day, we should allow for a stop in Vienna, right!? St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Vienna State Opera, the Karlskirche... the list of sights is practically endless. But we are here to cycle, so we will leave Vienna soon enough with its comprehensive network of cycle paths. From the city border, the EuroVelo 9, as the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail, runs past the renowned winegrowing areas of Guntramsdorf, Gumpoldskirchen, Baden and Bad Vöslau in the Vienna Woods. After our stage through Vienna, Guntramsdorf is our next destination: here we can say good night to our bikes and each other. Prior to this, shortly after Laxenburg, the cycle trail meets the Wiener Neustadt Canal. In the 19th century, timber, coal and bricks were shipped along this artificial waterway. Of the 50 locks that once existed, many steps still remain, which keep cyclists “entertained” on the way with amusing water games.
The next stage leads us south to Gumpoldskirchen. From here, there are wonderful views of the hilly foothills of the Vienna Woods with its picturesque vineyards. We cycle along the historical industrial canal until reaching the spa town of Baden. An ample sojourn in Baden is not to be missed on a tour along the EuroVelo 9. It is also well worth making a stop in Kottingbrunn, before arriving at our stage destination of Wiener Neustadt. Its beautiful ensemble of old town buildings makes Wiener Neustadt an inviting place to learn more about this historic town.
From Wiener Neustadt, the tour leads to Bad Erlach. At this point, the trail takes a pleasant route through the “Panorama of Paradise”, as the Viennese Alps region is known. Crossing the Pitten Valley, we continue through the Bucklige Welt region, feasting our eyes on the many splendid views of the mighty Viennese Alps, Rax and Schneeberg mountains. Before ascending to Mönichkirchen, it is sensible to stop for another rest before climbing the highest point of the entire EuroVelo 9 route. Alternatively, we can use the transfer service offered by Taxi- und Reisedienst Andreas Graf in Mönichkirchen, which transports us from Aspang to Mönichkirchen: tel. +43 2649 319 or mobile +43 664 155 38 88.
From the idyllic town of Mönichkirchen, we pedal through the heart of East Styria, affectionately nicknamed the Garden of Austria: lush forests, fresh air, gorgeous views and Styrian hospitality accompany us on the journey from the Hochwechsel mountain range via Pinggau, Friedberg and Dechantskirchen to the romantic old town of Hartberg; don’t miss stopping here! From Hartberg, there’s a short detour to the Pöllau Valley Nature Park, which is waiting to indulge you with culinary delights such as the Hirschbirne pear and products from the Fandler Oil Mill. Returning from the kingdom of the Hirschbirne, the Pöllau Valley Nature Park, we pick up the EuroVelo 9 again (here, it also called the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail like in Lower Austria) and continue our journey via St. Johann in der Haide to the first thermal spas in Styria ‒ also our destination for today. They are already visible from quite a distance: the H²0 Therme in Sebersdorf, which is particularly popular with families, and the Heiltherme Bad Waltersdorf, considered one of the best in Europe ‒ as its many awards attest. We also keep meeting the East Styrian Roman Wine Route here. And where there are wine roads in Styria, wine taverns (Buschenschanken) are not far away ‒ and these are simply not to be missed!
Having relaxed at the Heiltherme Bad Waltersdorf, today’s stage runs along the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail, carrying us through the Thermen- und Vulkanland Steiermark past Burgau Castle to the place dubbed “the world’s largest habitable work of art”, the Rogner Bad Blumau spa hotel. Designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, it is without doubt one of the most architecturally fascinating structures in Austria. But it’s not just the spa itself that is so intriguing: it is the only spa in Austria to have two of its own healing springs located on site, supplying the Rogner Bad Blumau with energy, warmth and vigour. Our route continues past the 1,000-year-old oak tree, heading south to more hot springs and wine roads such as the Thermenland Weinstraße and the Klöcher Weinstraße. We make a brief excursion into Burgenland, crossing the Lafnitz, the river that forms the border between Styria and Burgenland. We return to Styria via Deutsch-Kaltenbrunn and arrive in the spa capital of Fürstenfeld, which greets us with the Pfeilburg (castle), an impressive museum, and the largest outdoor pool in Europe, as well as an excellent gastronomy scene and great shopping facilities in the town centre. Beyond the Bad Loipersdorf golf course outside Fürstenfeld, the next spa ‒ probably the “liveliest” of them all ‒ Therme Loipersdorf awaits.
At the start our next stage, we head into the Raab Valley from Therme Loipersdorf, across a ridge. Raab Valley is where the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail and the well-known and popular family cycling trail Raab Valley Cycle Trail meet in the Raab floodplains. We, however, continue cycling along the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail through shady forests and past sweeping fields and graceful vineyard slopes along the Burgenland-Styria border to St. Anna/Aigen, where the finest wines in Styria wait to be sampled at the Gesamtsteirischen Vinothek. The view here of the entire spa/wine region over to Slovenia and the Hungarian lowlands is simply breathtaking. From St. Anna, the route travels down to Kutschenica, the gentle little stream marking the border between Styria and Slovenia. Once again, the Thermal Spa Cycle Trail crosses a ridge at Deutsch-Haseldorf in the wine region of Klöch, before heading downhill towards the Mediterranean-style town of Bad Radkersburg, the destination for this stage. The historic old town, the hot springs of the Parktherme, the river landscape of the Murauen, and the town’s proximity to its Slovenian neighbour makes it the perfect place to linger and enjoy some “borderless cycling”.
The final stage is characterised by all manner of watery gems: the thermal baths in Bad Radkersburg for relaxing, the river Mur that acts as our guideline, Lake Röck for bathing. Today we do indeed swim against the current, the River Mur Cycle Trail, cycling upstream to Spielfeld. Pleasantly, however, the climb is hardly perceptible, as the entire region is very flat and the River Mur Cycle Trail is so wide in this southern Austrian section that oncoming traffic presents no problem at all. Rather, in the cycling region of Bad Radkersburg, it is simply part of enjoyable everyday life. The River Mur Cycle Trail, incidentally, is considered among connoisseurs to be one of the most beautiful riverside cycle trails in the Alps. It originates in the Hohe Tauern National Park and accompanies the Mur to its estuary in Croatia. But back to the EuroVelo 9: from Bad Radkersburg, we now head west and come to Mureck, a charming little old town whose main attraction is the Schiffsmühle Mureck, which is still used for milling today and also houses an excellent restaurant. The journey continues to Spielfeld, where we turn south and cross the Austrian/Slovenian border on the Bernstein Cycle Trail No. 11, arriving in Maribor, Capital of Culture 2013, after just a few kilometres.
By ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways) from Vienna to Brno. Detailed timetable information is available at www.oebb.at.
Note: The new RailJet between Graz - Vienna - Brno - Prague operates with bike storage compartments, making your return journey even easier and more comfortable!
With Verbundlinie's BusBahnBim route planner app, planning your journey has never been easier: simply enter towns and/or addresses, stop names or points of interest to check all bus, train and tram connections in Austria. The app is available free of charge for smartphones (Android, iOS) – on Google Play and in the App Store.
More information about parking in Brno and Blansko can be obtained from the Brno Tourist Information Centre.
The EuoVelo 9 in the Czech Republic:
Tourismuszentrale SüdmährenRadnická 2, 60200 BrnoTel. +420 542 211123www.cyklo-jizni-morava.cz
The EuroVelo9 in Austria:
Niederösterreich WerbungNiederösterreichring 2, Haus C, 3100 St. PöltenTel. +43 2742 9000 9000www.lower-austria.infowww.weinviertel.at, www.wienerwald.info, www.wieneralpen.at
Steiermark TourismusSt.-Peter-Hauptstraße 243, 8042 GrazTel. +43 316 4003www.steiermark.comwww.oststeiermark.com, www.thermenland.at
The Eurovelo 9 in Slovenia:
TIC MariborPartizanska cest 6a, 2000 Maribor Tel. +386 22 346611www.maribor-pohorje.si
Returning from Maribor via Graz and Vienna to Blansko/Brno: By ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways); more information is available at www.oebb.at
The Steiermark Touren app, available free of charge on Google Play and the App Store (Android, iOS), offers detailed first-hand information: brief facts (length, duration, difficulty, ascent and descent/elevation gain, ratings), map, route descriptions, altimeter, compass, peak finder, navigation along the tour. You can also create your own personal lists of favourite tours and sites, store tours and destinations offline, use social media channels, and much more.