Gravel.Tirol – this is the new alliance of four tourist regions in the Tyrolean Ausserfern – specifically from Lechtal, Reutte Nature Park region, Tannheimer Tal and the Tyrolean Zugspitz Arena. The newly launched XL gravel biking region can rightly call itself “the largest gravel region in Tyrol”: With a total of 18 varied tours with more than 22,000 vertical meters and a total length of 1,000 km, gravel is the hype in the region.
From the lowlands to the mountains
The cross-country ski tours take us along the German-Bavarian border from the Zugspitze to Lech, Füssen and Oberjoch. Here, the wild alpine landscape is discovered from the terrain rather than from the road. The imposing nature is the greatest asset of the Tyrolean Ausserferns – and that is exactly what should be explored far from the asphalt and the usual routes. The Tyrolean Ausserfern is extraordinarily versatile: kitschy beauty on numerous lakes and alpine meadow tours, spicy on the six-hour valley tour and adrenaline rush when crossing passes in the Tannheimer Tal.
4 regions – 4 character heads
Each of the four regions has its own character under the bike helmet: from the alpine Tyrolean Lechtal far away from the crowds with both wide gravel roads and singletracks in the vast forest areas between the Lechtal and the Allgäu Alps to the Reutte Nature Park region, where you’ll discover Tyrol’s second largest lake – the Plansee. And, of course, the Lech, one of Europe’s last wild rivers. The region is the hub for tours in the surrounding regions of Gravel.Tirol, such as the original Tannheimer Tal – known as the “most beautiful high valley in Europe” between the Allgäu Alps and the Tannheim Group, which opens up in three directions. Last but not least, the wildly romantic and athletically demanding Tyrolean Zugspitz, where the views and goals always point upward to the imposing Zugspitze.
Once you cycle the Gravel.Tirol roads you are forever a gravel rider
From challenging to promising, Tyrol’s largest gravel bike region currently serves 18 different gravel bike routes. Thus, there is something for everyone. To make it a little easier to be spoiled for choice on your next gravel biking vacation, we’ve taken a look at four of the tours that make our calves burn. Our summary: There’s almost no more fun way to get to know the alpine regions of the Tyrolean Ausserfern in one go.
So: get off the road and on to a Gravel.Tirol adventure! But beware the addiction is not far away!
4 x Gravel.Tirol highlight tours
Gravel tour 1.2 through the Lechtal and Ammergau Alps
Length: 85 km | 3,200 meters altitude
Ambitious gravel bikers brave 3,200 altitude meters on this demanding route. The first part goes comfortably along the Lech and over the 400 m long suspension bridge highline179. It continues through the mystical Klausenwald in Reutte to the highest point of the tour at the Rotlech reservoir. In the Tyrolean Zugspitz Arena, glowing muscles are rewarded with impressive Alpine panoramas. A little further on, we can take a deep breath at the Dürrenberg Alm. If you are looking for some cooling down after all this violence, the Urisee at the end of the route, is the perfect place at the right time to recuperate and recover, before the circle of the route closes again after 85 km in the valley.
2. Gravel bike tour 2.1 Lechzopf tour
Length: 65.6 km | 711 meters altitude.
This gravel ride lets everyone discover the joy of gravel.
We start comfortably at the architecturally unique nature park house Elmen and head out of the valley to Vorderhornbach, where we gather a few more altitude meters to Hinterhornbach. Down in the valley a suspension bridge in Forchach awaits us, where we have to dismount and push the bike. Above the valley floor, it is on the other side of the Lech to Stanzach and further up along the Namlostal to the largest mountain village in Tyrol – the Fallerscheinalpe.
3. Count Cycling Tour 3.2 Vilstal Circuit
Length: 34.2 km | 575 meters altitude
Gravel biking in the Tannheimer Tal sometimes crosses national borders: the Vilstal circuit covers almost 35 km on asphalt and gravel paths into Bavaria. The gravel bike trail leads along the Vils through the Vilsstal valley, on the north side of the Vilsschlucht over the Kappler Berg and through the Engetal amidst fantastic fauna and flora back to the starting point in Grän.
4. Gravel bike tour 4.5 around the Zugspitze
Length: 80 km | 1,388 m altitude
On the circular tour around the Zugspitze you cycle from the valley station of the Ehrwalder Almbahn with your gravel bike over the Ehrwalder Alm, Igelsee and through the Gaistal steadily uphill. After Elmau comes the steep descent with a pleasant wind in your face – a great test of your descent skills! Via the Olympic ski station in Garmisch-Patenkirchen, it’s on to Eibsee and via the Höhenrain Panoramaweg and Griesen back to Ehrwald.
For more info: Gravel.Tirol
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Fotos: © Dominik Somweber