Via Claudia Augusta

On Roman routes from Augsburg to Bozen

About 2000 years ago the Roman general Drusus, adopted by imperator Augustus, started to realize through his military career the significance of well maintained and quickly passable transport routes from the northern Roman provinces to the Mediterranean. For that reason it was more than necessary to build a pass road to link the northern and southern parts of the empire divided by the Alps. The Via Claudia Augusta, completed within 60 years, is an exemplary sample of Roman construction and a masterpiece of antique engineering. With this road, the Romans had developed the first true mountain road across the Fern- and Reschen passes.

Nowadays the Via Claudia Augusta enables cyclists to experience a unique and stunning crossing of the Alps (by request use of the Via Claudia shuttle bus possible). At the same time however, it is a great opportunity to explore and get acquainted with the prettiness of the former Roman provinces. The countryside varieties along the entire route are almost unsurpassable in its inherent natural beauty: South from Augsburg you pedal along the flat Lechfeld towards the massive Alpine range. You cross impressive Tyrolean mountain passes and follow the flow of the Etsch river to South Tyrol’s capital Bozen – the portal to the Mediterranean.
Let’s cross the Alps together and follow the traces of the Romans!

Route features

Mostly paved cycling paths and countryside roads as well as less traveled back roads and village alley ways; use of the Via Claudia Augusta shuttle transfer to conveniently manage the two challenging mountain passes; also for children from the age of 12 (high amount of cycling enthusiasm required).

Bookable as individual single tour, 8 days / 7 nights, approximately 365 kilometers. Dates for guided group tours
on request.

Arrival

Every Saturday from May 19th to September 15th, 2013
Extra dates are available if group size exceeds 6 people

Program

Day 1: Individual Arrival at Augsburg

Visit of the Roman provincial capital “Augusta Vindelicorum”.

Day 2: Augsburg – Schongau (about 65 kilometers)

The place name Augsburg derives from the Roman name of the town “Augusta Vindelicorum”, which was founded in 15 BC under the rule of Emperor Augustus. Augsburg’s appealing popularity however, was established with its role as a Fugger town. Therefore, it is an almost compulsory agenda to visit the Fuggerei, which is the world’s oldest project for social housing still in use. Later on Schongau will surprise with a picturesque old town and the almost entirely preserved city walls.

Day 3: Schongau – Reutte: Experience the fairy tale castle (about 55 kilometers)

After having left the beautiful old town of Schongau the cycling path along the Lech will take you into Tyrol. Before heading over the border from Germany to Austria the beautiful fairy tale castle Neuschwanstein awaits you.

Day 4: Reutte – Landeck: From the Lech river to the green Inn river (about 66 kilometers)

Shortly after Reutte the “Ehrenberger Klause”, a fortress well worth seeing built in times of the Thirty Years’ War, will be visited. From Leermoos or rather Biberwier the VCA-Huckepack shuttle transfer enables the crossing of the demanding Fernpass. From the castle Fernstein you will pass Nassereith and cycle through the scenic Gurgltal. A “beery” adventure awaits you at the microbrewery on castle Starkenberg. From the town of Imst you will pedal along the Inn cycling path to Landeck.

Day 5: Landeck – Mals: Across the European Alpine divide (about 60 kilometers)

Start up your day with a short stop at the Zammer Lochputz, which is the most mystical Tyrolean gorge, and experience the fascinating narrowness evoked by the interplay of water and rocks. Afterwards you start your ride from Landeck to Nauders or hop on the VCA Huckepack shuttle at a bus stop near Pfunds that takes you up the main climb.
From Nauders the cycling path continues to ascend gently to the final high point of the Reschenpass where you will cross the Austro-Italian border and at the same time the European Alpine divide. Passing by the Reschen dam, which is famous for the church tower sticking out of the water, commemorating the remains and history of the sunken town Altgrauns. You will reach the impressive scree slope Malser Haide and continue a long and fast downhill to the Italian town Mals. Take in the first evening on South Tyrolean soil and enjoy strolling through the old alleyways of the town.

Day 6: Mals – Meran0: Pedal through the valley of apples to the old spa town (about 60 kilometers)

The agenda of day number 6 is the traverse of the entire Vinschgau where you will mostly follow the flow of the river Etsch. The Vinschgau is a valley full of controversies: Apple orchards in the dale floor, the shady sides of the valley covered by thick forests and topped with 3000 meter peaks and the unique vegetation of the sun flooded arid slopes to the north. Arriving at the valley’s bottleneck near Töll you will finally leave the Vinschgau and eventually enter the truly majestic town Meran. Enjoy the evening walk through town along the “Passer” promenade in the middle of a subtropical flora.

Day 7: Meran – Bolzano (about 40 kilometers)

The final stage takes you from Merano to Bolzano through the Adige valley from Meran to Bozen. There are a number of amazing sites along the way: Niederlana’s famous Schnatterbeckaltar, the largest Gothic wing altar in the Alpine area, the highest church tower of South Tyrol in Terlan, and a great number of fortresses and ruins on both valley slopes. Besides its cultural richness, the region offers all sorts of uncountable delicacies: fresh asparagus in Terlan, tasty chestnuts in Nals and excellent regional wines. Arriving at Bozen you can fully enjoy the wonderful southern flair in the pedestrian zone to the full.

Day 8: Individual Return Journey or extension

Included service

  • 7 overnight stays including large breakfast buffet
  • Luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • Huckepack-Transfer crossing the Fernpass and Reschenpass
  • Tirol West Card
  • Extensive tour information and travel papers
  • Daily TouroPhone between 9 am and 6 pm

Price per Person

3 star hotels (Landeck 4 star hotel)

Accommodation in double rooms € 710,00
Additional fee for single room € 150,00
Additional fee for half board € 158,00

Extras

Bike rental (incl.14 litre saddlebag & toolkit) € 78,00
Electric Bike € 165,00
Extra Night in Augsburg/Bolzano € 59,00 – 69,00
Single room surcharge in Augsburg/Bolzano € 22,00 – 32,00
Transfer Bolzano – Augsburg € 128,00
Vehicle Transfer Augsburg-Bolzano On Request