The Murradweg, otherwise known as the River Mur Cycle Trail, is one of the best loved biking routes in Austria. Miles and miles of paths with no traffic and just Austria’s wonderful scenery for company.
The cycle route starts at the source of the river Mur and runs right through to the Slovenian border at Bad Radkersburg, but we started in St Martin on a one-way trip, heading south. If you decide to do this, don’t forget to arrange your collection before you leave!
The first day we cycled 52km, mostly downhill from St Martin along a very pretty stretch of the river. We passed Schloss Moosham, rode through the outskirts of Tamsweg, crossed the river several times and had lunch at Stadl an der Mur, about 3 hours’ ride from St Martin. We carried on through St Ruprecht ob Murau and St Georgen ob Murau to finally reach our destination, the Hotel zum Brauhaus in Murau. After a welcome drink, we explored the pretty town and market square, before calling it a day.
The second day we cycled 49km, the route being more uphill and strenuous. We cycled through Saurau, Frojach to Scheifling where we managed to find somewhere open for lunch. We then did the afternoon stretch (which was steep!) to arrive at the Hotel zum Sternengucker in Judenburg, which was actually in the same building as a youth hostel. We couldn’t explore the town as our arrival coincided with a massive thunderstorm, but the Stadtturm is meant to have magnificent views of the town.
The third day we cycled 75km on a route which was not so demanding as day 2. We passed through flatter, more open countryside, skirting around Knittelfeld, through St Margarethen and St Lorenzen, St Stefan ob Leoben and St Michael in der Obersteiermark to Leoben for lunch. After we’d eaten we cycled through Leoben to arrive late afternoon at Bruck an der Mur, which has a lovely big town square with interesting buildings and facades. We then travelled on a few kilometres to our Gasthaus Ebner outside Bruck an der Mur.
The fourth day we cycled 65km to Graz. We passed through Pernegg and Frohnleiten to have a very pleasant lunch at Deutschfeistritz. Frohnleiten was a particularly pretty town. After lunch we started our ride to Graz, which we reached at rush hour and had a rather unpleasant ride along very busy roads to reach Meyers Gasthof, about 6km the other side of Graz. We then spent the next day sight-seeing in Graz: the Kunsthaus, Uhrturm am Schlossberg, Murinsel, Landeszeughaus etc. Very enjoyable.
The sixth day we cycled 60km to Mureck. The countryside was quite different now, much flatter and open. We cycled through Wildon and Leibnitz and had a lovely lunch at Spielfeld. Very close to the Slovenian border we cycled on to Mureck, where we had another downpour overnight. We decided not to go far in the rain, so went to see the Schiffsmühle just behind our Gästehaus, Bettina.
On the last morning we cycled about 25km to arrive at Bad Radkersburg for an early lunch. The town has a lot of history, as witnessed by some of the old buildings and writings on the monuments. Here we met up with our coach to transport us and our bikes back on the 3-hour journey to St Martin.
The cycle ride was very enjoyable, following the course of a river from its early beginnings in the mountains to the flatter plains around Bad Radkersburg. The mountain scenery was fantastic, we criss-crossed the Mur on innumerable wooden bridges and cycled through many different historical villages and towns. The cycle path itself was very well maintained following quiet rural roads. It only got a bit hairy going through Graz. The accommodation was varied, but on the whole comfortable. Definitely a trip worth doing, if you’re up for the challenge!
[Image credit: Wikipedia]