This stage takes us mainly alongside the Gail, on the southern side of the Villacher Alpe, and in parts also through Dobratsch Nature Park. Pedaling through small villages, we gradually approach the Italian border, which we cross at Thörl-Maglern. Following an abandoned railway line, just a few kilometers beyond the border and we come to Tarvisio, our northern starting point for the Val Canale .
Sabine Zölß, Alpstein Österreich
Best time of year
Villach (488 m)
46.616401 N 13.841816 E
33T 411320 5163189
At the red Friedensbrücke bridge in Villach, we leave the Drau bike route and turn right onto the Karnischer Radwanderweg (R3). We ride a few hundred meters along the Technologiepark road and come to the Gail, following the river’s course as we ride along the Gaildamm. Always next to the river, we pass by wetland areas on our way to Müllnern, where the Gail makes a 90° turn. Continuing to Unterfederaun, we cross the B 83, ride briefly under the autobahn bridge, then turn off immediately onto the very peaceful Karnischer Radwanderweg. At Gasthaus Gailstüberl, a popular stop for cyclists, we leave the R3 and make a left across a bridge over the Gail, now joining the R3C, the Tarvisio Bike Path. We reach the village of Erlendorf, cross the railway line, then make an immediate right at the first street, which brings us to Neuhaus. As we leave Neuhaus, our route takes us to the right, heading south along the tracks to Pöckau. Leaving Pöckau, we continue south down the railway line until we reach the station in Arnoldstein, then take the Anton-Reisinger Strasse as far as the main road (B83). The bike route follows the road as far as the roundabout, where we cross a bridge over the Gailitz, then make a quick right under the highway, at which point we find ourselves on the right side of the B 83 once more. The bike path is divided from the road, which we follow to Thörl-Maglern, reaching the border between Austria and Italy.
At the border crossing, we go between the buildings on the right-hand side and make our way up a small mountainside,, where blue signs for our bike route – marked here as the “Ciclovia Alpe Adria” – point us in the right direction. Our journey continues gently up- and downhill between rocky cliffs, through Coccau, coming to the old railway line. About 7 km after crossing the border, we reach the town center of Tarvisio.