It sometimes isn’t easy to find sporting activities suitable for the whole family. Cycling is the perfect solution: it can be enjoyed by all ages.
With trails next to rivers, mountains and lakes, the Ziller Valley offers a huge variety of cycle routes.
Gentle paths take you past visitor attractions, playgrounds and restaurants. Read on for the most important tips for planning a successful family cycle tour in the Ziller Valley.
1 Choosing the route
The most important thing for a family bike ride is advance planning. The Ziller Valley boasts a network of cycle paths of more than 800km so use the interactive map to help you find the right route for your family.
The map displays the distance, altitude, rest stops and weather forecast for every tour.
Here is a checklist for choosing the perfect family cycle route:
- Family bike rides should have a minimal amount of incline or descent.
- The path should have a good surface, eg, paved or gravel.
- Family cycle paths should not include sections on roads.
- The cycle routes should not include any dangerous sections.
- There should be plenty of rest stops along the way.
A perfect example such a route is Tyrol’s most popular family bike ride – the Ziller Valley cycle path. This family-friendly, 31km long path runs along the sunny valley from Strass to Mayrhofen. The signposted, wide path is either gravel or paved and runs next to the river Ziller with only minimal incline.
Top tip: take it easy! Take your time exploring the 30km route and enjoying the beautiful countryside with your family.
When you are out and about with children, flexibility is especially important. A great tip for planning your route is to check out possible transport connections such as buses or trains in advance, which could help skip a few kilometres if little legs get tired.
This is another reason why the Ziller Valley cycle path is so ideal. The route takes you past several train stations from which you can catch the Zillertalbahn to your destination. A trip on the steam train is an experience in itself for children.
Top tip: bikes are allowed on the trains at no extra charge. There’s also the opportunity to hire children’s bikes, seats and helmets at every train station.
3 Rest stops
Regular stops on a family bike ride are important to keep energy levels and the fun factor high. Playgrounds, restaurants and visitor attractions give kids a break from the bike and are somewhere they can let off steam.
This makes for a good experience for everyone. The Ziller Valley cycle trail offers the following attractions:
- A playground and leisure centre, Freizeitpark Zell in Zell am Ziller
- Climbing hall in Aschau
- Adventure and fun park in Kaltenbach
- A wood museum, HolzErlebnisWelt, in Fügen
- Swimming lakes and outdoor swimming pools.
You can also enjoy delicious food and refuel at the many restaurants and cafés along the 31km route.
Top tip: try a local Tyrolean speciality to give you the energy to pedal further.
4 Hire and kit
The right equipment is also a must for any family bike ride. Depending on the age and ability of your child, you can choose from child seats, trailers, family bikes or children’s bikes.
The most important thing is that children are safely strapped into either their seat or trailer. The cycle path along the river Ziller is good for trailers as it is wide and has a good surface.
Important kit considerations for family bike rides include:
- Helmet (for adults and children)
- Weather protection (rain clothes, sun cream)
- Seatbelt (children must be safely strapped in)
- Enough to eat and drink (regular snacks motivate young and old)
When choosing a child’s bike, look out for the following:
- Lights at the front and back.
- Gears which are easy to operate.
- Two good hand brakes.
- Good suspension.
- Smooth tyre surfaces for better braking and turning.
If you’re looking for the right equipment for your Tyrolean bike tour, ask in any of the many bike shops at your start destination or along the way. They offer bike services, bike hire, children’s seats and much more.