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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Basically yes, but there are several reasons against cycling from south to north. The most important reason is that in some longer sections the elevation profile from north to south is more advantageous. Also the direction from which the winds blow most often argues for cycling from Germany to Italy and not vice versa. Therefore, the cycle route is only advertised in one direction, the information material presents the route, the cycle shuttle over the passes sometimes only go from north to south and the cycle shuttle from Italy to Germany is also only offered in one direction. The Via Claudia Augusta is not very often taken from south to north and for that you could not find any guest feedback and also the signposting is not so good. In some sections, there are even only signposts to the south and not to the north.

The Via Claudia Augusta is just as difficult as river bike routes, because of the optional bike shuttle over the passes. Therefore, we expect daily distances of 40 - 60 km for touring cyclists who are not highly trained but who cycle from time to time. This means for an average cyclist, 3 - 6 hours in the saddle. A tip: Do not put yourself under unnecessary pressure and stress. Plan your daily distances with safety padding, reduce the daily kilometer on the days with the passes and book your accommodation at short notice if you know how far you can get without stress. All you have to do is call the hosts of the Via Claudia Augusta in the middle of the day for the following night. The only exception is the time during Ferragosto (= Ascension Day, 15 August), in the areas where many Italians spend their holidays, e.g. South Tyrol, Venice, the Lake Garda area and Verona.

Cyclists who are not highly trained, but who are continually cycling, we expect to travel 40 - 60 km per day. This means that for the complete 700 km from the Danube to the Adriatic Sea or from the Danube to the Po you need 10 - 14 days. But some cyclists manage the whole tour in 7 days. Some of them take more than 2 weeks and at the end of the tour they even stay  a few more days on their final destination. With the bike shuttles over the passes you can reduce the distance and the altitude meters. Some people split the whole route into several holidays. With 40 - 60 km per day you can easily get from the Danube to Bolzano in 6 - 10 days or from Landeck to the Adriatic Sea or the Po in 6 - 11 days.

It is not necessary to reserve the accommodations in advance.  If you are looking for an accommodation for the evening you can easily call them in the afternoon. Only at Ferragosto some places are sometimes fully booked.However, you can usually find an accommodation in a neighboring village. 

A tip: in bigger places usually also business travelers are spending the nights there. This will get less during the main holiday time, so you can get definitely a place to sleep there. 

The Via Claudia Augusta, with its optional bike shuttles over the passes, is no more difficult than a river cycle path and therefore ideal for the average cyclist who cycles from time to time.

The youngest cyclists were 6 years old. The oldest one was 89 and it is as with all cycle routes, very important not to cycle too many km per day and to put some safety pads on your saddle in case you are unsure.

There is no clear answer to this question. The Via Claudia Augusta cycle route is easy to travel by trekking bike. In the few gravel passages, a wider tire of a city or mountain bike is of course an advantage.

However, this means more rolling resistance for most of the route, which is paved. 

There are a few gravel passages along the Via Claudia Augusta which are not recommended for racing bikes. But you can avoid these passages on the Via Claudia Augusta (most beautiful roads for cars, campers, buses).

On the relatively tight and busy Fernpass road we recommend taking the bike shuttle.

The cycle route over the Fernpass consists of good forest roads and paths, which have not been asphalted because the asphalt would be destroying the fascinating nature of the Fernpass mountainside. 

If you are afraid of going downhill on loose ground, it is better to take the bike shuttle over the pass. When you decide to cross the pass on your own you should plan enough time to avoid pressure and stress. It is also no shame - like at the Romans - to descend once and move the bike for a bit. 

The Reschenpass with his 1450 m height is also called the roof of the tour. If someone wants to master the Via Claudia Augusta on his own, first he drives from Pfunds on the Engadiner Straße into Switzerland and in the Swiss Martina over the pass road of the Norbertshöhe in several hairpin bends up to Nauders for 400 m. The route is very steep and has a lot of curves. If you want to avoid the ascent and the road, take the bike shuttle from Pfunds-Stuben.

If you want to visit the Finstermünz customs station, which was founded in the Middle Ages, you can also get on at Hochfinstermünz. Attention, the road from Hochfinstermünz to Nauders with its tunnels is dangerous for cyclists and not recommended. For that who visit Altfinstermünz and don't want to take the bike shuttle, has to return a little afterwards and continue their trip on the Engadiner Straße towards Switzerland.

News Via Claudia Augusta

Sponsors & partners

  • Interreg Italia-Österreich - European Union
  • Gal Prealpi e Dolomiti
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  • VIA Claudia Augusta
  • Tirol - Unser Land