17-08-2021 | Herman Nekkers

Cycling destination Innsbruck: profoundly different

Are you tired of corona and do you want to get away for a nice week of cycling in the Alps at the end of this summer? And are you looking for a destination that is not every day? Then consider Innsbruck.

When you think of the capital of Tyrol, you might think of winter sports rather than cycling. Completely undeserved, because the region offers cycling possibilities for a trip of several weeks. Innsbruck has in recent years become a very popular cycling destination. Whether you come with a road bike, gravel bike or mtb, you will find enough challenge.


Beautiful and challenging climbs

Innsbruck is a five-star destination for cyclists. The area is an alternation of lovely flat routes, beautiful quiet climbs and extreme challenges. I myself stayed here a few weeks with my family and had not seen all. 

The best routes and climbs can be found here:

I will discuss the most beautiful ones and give you a few extra tips.

WC course

In 2018 the UCI World Cup took place in Innsbruck; the course was the toughest ever. The Goldbichl is 7.3 kilometers long with an average rate of 5.8%. With some peaks up to 10%. This climb was done both by the men 7 times and by the women 3 times. It is an alternative to the better known Brenner Pass. The course is of course also known from Zwift, but in real life it is of course much nicer.

In the men the ride ended with the Höttinger Höll. This extreme challenge has a maximum gradient of 28%. Even the pros staggered up here. This is a must do for every cyclist.

Kühtai rodeo

The climb to Kühtai is the highest pass in the area at 2020 meters. It is best known as the first ascent of the Ötztaler Radmarathon. The Kühtai can be reached from three sides: Oetz, Kematen and Haiming. Haiming is the most difficult and there is no easy side. The descent towards Kematen is also one of the fastest in Europe. Be careful!

The Kühtai climbing three sides in one day is Kühtai rodeo called. Secret tip: from Kühtai you can go to the Finstertal Speicher, the dam. The steep, but well paved road takes you to 2335 meters. The reward is a beautiful view of the reservoir.


Ötztaler Radmarathon

Riding the route of this summit gran fondo is an extreme challenge. In one day you can, but you can also do it over two days. Read here all the info.

Halltal

This one we don't want to keep from you. The Höttingel Höll is steep, but it can be even crazier. Head for the Halltal if you like to ride a 32% path.

Tips

Here are my personal tips in terms of climbs and routes:

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MTB

The Bikepark Innsbruck & Mutters welcomes mountain bikers with four trails and a bike center with practice area. Crankworx, the famous mountain bike gravity event from Canada, and the Downhill Cup take place here annually. The best mountain bikers from Austria and the world make the Bikepark Innsbruck their playground in slopestyle, downhill and dual slalom. The Nordkette singletrail is one of the steepest and most difficult in Europe. The popular Arzler Alm trail, many suggestions for mountain bike tours and the Innsbruck skate hall complete the options for mountain bikers and slopestylers.


Would you like guided mtb'ing? At Bike School Innsbruck you'll find everything you need. Experienced guides will show you the best spots in the area and help you develop your skills.

The Bike City Card is the key to Innsbruck's cycling paradise: all trail areas around Innsbruck with just one card. The Bike City Card is already valid from the first day for the Bikepark Innsbruck, the Elferlift in the Stubaital. With the Bike City Card the use of all elevators and cable cars of the trail areas is included. For as much bike fun as possible throughout the validity of your card.

Events

Gravel Innsbruck is held annually on the second Sunday in September. It is a wonderful event for the gravel enthusiast. The highlight is the ascent of the Olympic bobsled run. Read the report.

Enduro One Innsbruck is a major enduro event. Enduro races are held in tough mountainous terrain with timekeeping in the descents.

The Bergkaiser is a short, relatively easy gran fondo for road cyclists. The route goes from Innsbruck to the Kühtai. Because this event always takes place in late July or early August, it's nice to combine with a summer vacation in the area.


Lively city, beautiful surroundings

With 130,000 inhabitants, Innsbruck is a lovely city with a cozy center. You will find stores, restaurants, museums, theaters and a vibrant nightlife.

The memories of the 1976 Olympics are actively kept alive. Also in the summer. For example, visit the Bergisel ski jump and you might be lucky enough to see jumping. On the Olympia Bobsleigh and luge track of Igls you can do a self-bob ride. From experience I can say that this is a blistering experience.

The contrast with the surrounding villages could hardly be greater. The area around town is an oasis of calm; perfect for biking and hiking. Most of the cable cars are open all year round, and in the various Alms you enjoy fine food or a cup of coffee.


Recommended accommodations

Region of Innsbruck offers plenty of lodging options. Our tips for cyclists:

More info

All about cycling in Innsbruck can be found at the official website.

Or visit our Innsbruck page with information specifically for cyclists.

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