Styrian Wine Country Cycle Trail
On this round cycling tour, a little over 400 km in length, cyclists can discover Styria’s Wine Country in eight stages: its three vineyard regions as well as its culinary specialities and cultural charms.
It’s not just the experience of cycling through the vineyards and wine roads of south and east Styria that delights people on this cycling tour. The eight leisurely stages and three variants of the trail ‒ East Styria, South Styria-Schilcherland and Schilcherland-Lipizzanerheimat ‒ also invite you to explore the diverse landscapes, cultural treasures and culinary delicacies to be found on and off the route. Depending on interest, in addition to exploring Styria’s winegrowing areas, we will also peek into the largest apple-growing region on the Apple Road or dip into the world of pumpkin seed oil at many oil mills along the round tour. To relax, there are seven spas to re-energise weary legs. Those interested in culture can visit museums and exhibitions or amble through the small historic towns.
Important note: The round trip runs along existing cycle paths i.e. routes and is signposted throughout with the additional symbols of the Weinland Steiermark Radtour.
Detailed information about getting to the car park at the Städtisches Erlebnisbad Leibnitz can be found here.
The daily stages described below are merely suggestions, as a journey through Styria’s Wine Country cannot be planned down to the last minute. Every couple of kilometres you will come across an establishment ‒ whether a Gasthaus or a Buschenschank (wine tavern) ‒ offering culinary specialities and giving you the chance to get to know these hosts for what they are: ambassadors for Styria. There are several places where you can begin your round trip, but Leibnitz is recommended as a starting point, as it has some very good transport connections. In addition, parking is available at the outdoor pool directly on the cycle route.
The stage from Leibnitz to Deutschlandsberg initially starts on Sulm Valley Cycle Trail R1, crossing through the tranquil Sulm Valley. It passes lakes such as the Sulmsee opposite the Silberberg Winegrowing Academy, and oil mills such as Ölmühle Hartlieb, Ölmühle Kremsner (which has a pumpkin seed oil museum) and Kernölmühle Lorenz. Energetic cyclists can take a detour to Kitzeck, Europe’s highest vineyard area. In the small town of Unterbergla, we pick up the St. Peter Cycle Trail R22, which takes us to the town of Bad Schwanberg ‒ beautifully situated between vineyards and the foothills of the Koralm. In Bad Schwanberg, well-known for its spa hotel the Heilmoorbad, we switch onto the Schilcher Cycle Trail R4, which now winds through the home of Schilcher wine to Deutschlandsberg with its majestic castle set high above the city.
On the stage from Deutschlandberg to Lieboch on the Schilcher Cycle Trail R4, wine lovers will be spoiled for choice on the Schilcher Wine Road. There’s no shortage of outstanding sights to be visited on our route either: Stainz Castle, for example, is a distinctive feature of the local landscape with its baroque abbey church, surrounded by the orchards and vineyards that characterise the region. It houses two museums belonging to the Universalmuseum Joanneum: the Hunting Museum and the Agriculture Museum. In addition, special picnic days offer a romantic view of the castle and a guided tour of the exhibitions. From Stainz, our bike trip now continues northward on the Arch Duke Johann Cycle Trail R9 through idyllic villages to Dobl bei Graz, where we once again switch cycle trails. The Kainach Valley Cycle Trail R14 covers the last few kilometres of this stage via Lannach, and on to the Lieboch Valley Cycle Trail R56. We now pick up the latter in order to reach the nearby towns of Lieboch / Söding.
The stage Lieboch ‒ Graz runs west of Graz via the Lieboch Valley. West of Austria’s second-largest city, we start to climb steadily but comfortably uphill, passing through a very rural region that is also reflected in the local culture. Just after Hitzendorf, we begin to climb to the highest point in our tour, an upfold near Stiwoll. Then it’s a swift descent to the river Mur and Gratwein, where we pick up the famous River Mur Cycle Trail R2. Following the River Mur Cycle Trail south, we come to the old town of Graz, enjoying views of the striking Schlossberg, a UNESCO World Heritage site along with Eggenberg Castle.
The stage Graz ‒ St. Ruprecht an der Raab links Graz, Austria’s Capital of Culinary Enjoyment, with East Styria. In between, the Laßnitzhöhe is a very challenging climb, but is rewarded with splendid views and time spent in the historic spa town. To get to the spa town, we must switch from the River Mur Cycle Trail in the south of Graz city to the Mostwärt Cycle Trail R49. From the town of Laßnitzhöhe, there’s a relaxing downhill ride to Gleisdorf, a small town with a wonderful main square. Here we pick up the Raab Valley Cycle Trail R11 in order to cycle through the tranquil towns of Albersdorf-Prebuch and Wollsdorf for a leisurely arrival in St. Ruprecht an der Raab. This historic town is famous for the scarlet runner bean. Enjoy a wide variety of dishes served at the numerous gastronomy outlets: ranging from the classic runner bean salad to the “Käferbohnenweckerl” pastry and runner bean ice cream ‒ probably unheard of anywhere else in the world! If you want to learn more about the scarlet runner bean, visit the Kernothek seedery and oil mill run by Steirerkraft, Europe’s biggest runner bean producer. Here’s another tip: In St. Ruprecht an der Raab you can take a wonderfully refreshing dip in Styria’s oldest river-fed swimming pool.
Note: If you’d like to avoid climbing the Laßnitzhöhe, you can take the fast train that runs parallel to the cycle route. It is possible to embark at Raaba on the outskirts of Graz, for example. From here, it’s just a few minutes (two stops) on the fast train line S3 on the Laßnitzhöhe, from where you can continue your cycling tour with a leisurely descent to Gleisdorf.
The stage from St. Ruprecht an der Raab to Hartberg leads directly through East Styria, with its wonderful garden landscapes and Austria’s largest apple-growing area. From St. Ruprecht an der Raab, continue along the Raab Valley Cycle Trail R11 towards Weiz to Regerstätten, a suburb of Weiz. Here we fork right on the Apple Tour Cycle Trail WZ16 to explore Apple Country via the town of Etzersdorf. Aside from wine taverns, there are plenty of fruit farmers here, who are more than happy to invite you to sample their regional specialities in small farm shops. Next stop: the Stubenbergklamm. We take the Feistritz Valley Cycle Trail R8 through this gorge, which we have picked up just before entering. The gorge is one of Austria’s most stunning cycle trail sections and ends at Lake Stubenberg ‒ just perfect for a rest. From Herberstein Zoo and its beautiful neighbouring castle, situated above Lake Stubenberg, we carry on along the Saifen Valley Cycle Trail HB 18 via the Pöllau Valley Nature Park to Hartberg.
On our way through the Thermen- und Vulkanland region from Hartberg to Loipersdorf and from Loipersdorf to Bad Radkersburg, we will come across six spas, including the elaborate Therme Rogner Bad Blumau, designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, all appealing places to enjoy a rest in soothing thermal waters. On Spa Cycle Trail R12, we now head south via the thermal spa towns of the region, past innumerable vineyards and hills. Small towns such as Fürstenfeld and Fehring invite us to make a cultural pit-stop with museums such as Pfeilburg castle. Just like many other excursion destinations and culinary manufactories, the Gesamtsteirische Vinothek situated on the village square of St. Anna am Aigen, and the Vinothek with its adjoining winegrowing museum in Klöch are an absolute must ‒ the latter is situated a little way off the route in the vineyard region of the same name.
In Bad Radkersburg, we can expect a wonderful old town pulsing with Mediterranean flair and a relaxing park spa. From here, we continue on the stage from Bad Radkersburg to Leibnitz on the River Mur Cycle Trail R2, through the UNESCO Murauen Biosphere Park and through the east of the winegrowing region of South Styria, back to our starting point, the city of Leibnitz. Another worthwhile suggestion for somewhere to refuel on this section is the Genussregal Südsteiermark in Vogau/Ehrenhausen at the start of the South Styrian Wine Route. It’s a great place to sample and learn about regional wines, food and gourmet indulgence.
The East Styria Variant from Bad Loipersdorf to Gleisdorf offers a 2-3-day round trip through East Styria taking in the East Styrian Roman Wine Route. Combining the South Styria-Schilcherland Variant and the Leibnitz - Deutschlandsberg stage creates a beautiful 106 km round trip in the south of Styria, which links the South Styria Nature Park and the Schilcherland region between Ehrenhausen and Schwanberg. At Stainz you have the chance to take a detour to the home of the Lipizzan horses. The 72 km Lipizzanerheimat Variant rejoins the main route at Lieboch.
Styria’s comprehensive high-speed railway network and the Austrian Federal Railways network link numerous towns and cities in the Styrian Wine Country Cycle Tour. This gives short-term holidaymakers the opportunity to divide their cycling tour into several holidays.
In the Thermen- und Vulkanland region of Styria, East Styria, and South and West Styria, the GenussCard opens the door to over 200 excursion destinations when staying at one of the 160 or so GenussCard partner establishments. Many of these GenussCard destinations, ranging from culinary manufactories to bathing lakes and museums, are located directly on the Styrian Wine Country Cycle Trail!
Accessible by train and bus.
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 – on Google Play and in the App Store
Tel. +43 316 4003
If you would like to hire a tour operator, simply book with Steiermark Touristik, the official travel agency of Steiermark Tourismus:
Tel. +43 316 4003 450
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.