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Road Bike recommended route

Road cycling tour: Sölden - Ötztal Glacier Road up to Rettenbach Glacier

Road Bike · Sölden
Logo Ötztal
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Ötztal Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Photo: Dominic Kuen, Ötztal
The undisputed road cycling highlight during your vacation in Sölden: Rettenbach Glacier! This mighty glacier is the highest spot in the Alps easily accessible on asphalt roads (2830 m).
Distance 29.6 km
3:29 h
1,457 m
1,457 m
2,798 m
1,347 m
At the southern edge of Sölden the road branches off to the right, towards the two glacier ski areas of Rettenbach Glacier (popular Alpine Ski World Cup Season Opening) and Tiefenbach Glacier, and to Hochsölden. With an average gradient of 10.5 %, the Ötztal Glacier Road is not an easy task. The challenging route along the road built in 1972 leads from Sölden through the spectacular Rettenbachtal valley up to the glacier ski areas in Ötztal. The wildly romantic beauty of the high Alpine terrain is just as breathtaking as the increasingly thin mountain air. The panoramic road to the event stadium of Rettenbach Glacier surely requires the last reserves of energy. But you have made it only as soon as you reach the parking area above Rettenbach Glacier, next to the steel sculpture.

The cycle tour up to the Ötztal Glacier Ski Area also includes an unrivaled superlative: "highest point in the Alps that can be reached by road bicycle". For record hunters this may be enough incentive to conquer the Glacier Road covered with a wonderfully smooth asphalt surface in 2004, but also for all those who are mainly interested in scenic natural beauty, an excursion on two wheels into the eternal ice is worthwhile.

In 2005 and 2007 the Glacier Road was conquered by the cyclists of the Deutschland Tour. From 2015 to 2017, Rettenbach Glacier was the queen's stage finish of the renowned Tour de Suisse.

PS: "The red-white-red highlight at 2830 meters altitude: Jan Ulrich described the climb as 'cruelty to animals' and Jens Voigt wanted to call the mountain rescue team for an avalanche warning. Any questions?"

Hard-nosed cyclists then continue to Tiefenbach Glacier on a further 3.4 kilometer long stretch with 210 altitude meters. (Bicycle lighting is advisable for the tunnel leading to Tiefenbach Glacier).

Author’s recommendation

The excellent road conditions probably tempt you to speed down quickly. But you should never underestimate the fairly steep hairpin bends.
Profile picture of Dominic Kuen
Dominic Kuen
Update: February 28, 2024
Highest point
2,798 m
Lowest point
1,347 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 85.05%Path 0.77%Road 13.96%Unknown 0.20%
25.2 km
0.2 km
4.1 km
0.1 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Gletschertisch Bedienungsrestaurant mit Cafè-Lounge

Safety information

National road traffic regulations apply. Generally valid and common rules of conduct.

Please note that there is an increased risk of accidents and injuries in road cycling sports. Despite accurate tour planning, there is always a basic risk. Appropriate tour preparation including endurance sports, suitable training programs and further education as well as personal circumspection considerably reduce accidents and risks.

Tips and suggestions

More details about biking & cycling in Ötztal: https://www.oetztal.com/biken 


Freizeit Arena Sölden
46.969463, 11.010087
46°58'10.1"N 11°00'36.3"E
32T 652903 5203731


Freizeit Arena Sölden

Turn-by-turn directions

Start at Freizeit Arena leisure center in Sölden, follow B 186 federal road towards the south. After a short roll through the center of Sölden, you reach the strenuous climb towards the glacier ski area. From Sölden, at the edge of the village, you take the right turn towards Rettenbach Glacier and Hochsölden. Keep left at the large parking area just before the hamlet of Innerwald. At about 1700 meters above sea level, there is the last possibility to choose the "gentle" variant by taking the turn-off to Hochsölden, a hotel village at an altitude of 2090 meters above sea level. Keep left towards the glacier at the crossroads and continue on the Glacier Road. Turns and hairpin bends take you on a long ascent to the base station of the mountain gondola at Rettenbach Glacier - then turn right to the "highest point in the Alps that can be reached by road bicycle ". The glorious view of the surrounding glacier world make you forget all efforts. The sunny terrace of the Glacier Restaurant invites you to take a relaxing break. A speedy downhill adventure along the same route takes you back to Sölden - pure pleasure brimming with adrenalin.

If you still don't have enough after the climb to Rettenbach Glacier, turn left towards Tiefenbach Glacier and tackle another 3.4 kilometers and 210 altitude meters. (Bicycle lighting is advisable for the tunnel leading to Tiefenbach Glacier). 

Public transport

Enjoy a both comfortable and relaxing train ride to the train station in Ötztal Bahnhof. You get off the train in ÖTZTAL Bahnhof where you change to a public bus or local taxi. The current bus schedule can be found at: http://fahrplan.vvt.at


Sölden is located in the western part of Austria in the state TYROL, in a southern side valley of the Inn valley - the ÖTZTAL. For your arrival by car, you can plan the best route from your home town with the route planner online at https://www.google.at/maps


The following parking facilities are available in Sölden:
  • Parking lot Postplatz
  • parking lot Stiegele
  • stair parking
  • Giggijochbahn + underground garage
  • Gaislachkoglbahn + underground garage
  • Parking Hochsölden
  • parking garage Hochsölden 1. parking lot

All parking is free during the day.


Parking for several days (eg hike tour):

  • Postplatz, Parkticket available at the information Sölden
  • Parkgarage Gaislachkoglbahn, Parkticket either online or directly at the cash desk of the Gaislachkoglbahn


46.969463, 11.010087
46°58'10.1"N 11°00'36.3"E
32T 652903 5203731
Get there by train, car, bike, or on foot!


The personal cycling equipment must be safe, ready for use and correspond to the respective technical standard. Additionally, road cyclists are strongly recommended to find out more about the planned tours in specialist literature or on site. Complete road cycling equipment is recommended even for very experienced cyclists!

Special tip: Bicycle lighting is advisable for the partially sparsely illuminated tunnels.

Similar routes nearby

  • Rennradtour - Innerötztaler Trainingsrunde
  • Rennradtour - Sölden - Timmelsjoch
  • Rennradtour ins ewige Eis Sölden - Rettenbach Gletscher
  • Rennradtour - Sölden - Obergurgl
  • Rennradtour Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstraße - Sölden - Pfelders
 These suggestions were generated by our system
29.6 km
3:29 h
1,457 m
1,457 m
Highest point
2,798 m
Lowest point
1,347 m
Out and back Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights


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