October 2022

A view from Nebria

I have already mentioned several times Villach’s convenient location, which allows quick trips abroad. The nearest border town, Tarvisio in Italy, is about half an hour by car from Villach, and of course you can take a train or a bike. Every now and then we go there for a shopping because a.) the stores are open on Sundays, b.) there is a different (in my opinion better) choice of food / groceries c.) it is cheaper there. A good example is a fresh piece of tuna that costs about 20€/kg in Tarvisio, while in Villach it costs 50€(!). Both at Spar. Fuel, though, is more expensive in Italy

So, combining the pleasant with the useful, we decided to go to the mountains, and on the way back to do some shopping. The route was supposed to be relatively easy and short as there was a 7-year-old and an 11-year-old in the team.

I poked around at alpenvereinaktiv.com, a website I often use when planning hikes, as it has fairly good route descriptions and navigates the trip reasonably well. This time, however I need to improve my reading skills, as the route I chose had „leicht” in the description, but it referred to technique, not fitness….

Ahead was easy, to the right challenging

So, when driving from Villach, turn off after Tarvisio for Valbruna via the Via Saisera road and the approach begins just after the La Baita dei Sapori inn.

Valbrunna down there

The route starts nice and mild, only to switch into a turbo uphill climb after a couple of turns. About 500m up in 2.5km. You can feel it in your calves. The weather that day was rather favorable for such approaches; it was about 10 degrees and a bit cloudy. We walked ambitiously, also the guys managed. There were not too many views to admire, because the surrounding peaks were smeared with clouds and only rarely something blew away.

One of Nebria peaks

Nebria consists of 3 peaks, located at an altitude of just over 1200m, with very picturesque and spectacular views. The route we went iwas quite demanding in terms of fitness, however, if someone would like it easier, there is also such a way, just at the very beginning, at the entrance to the forest go straight instead of right at the crossroads. I also recommend that choice for the sake of the return, which is super steepy and not a knee-friendly track.


After taking a little rest and photos on each of Nebria’s three peaks, we headed down. I suspect that on a sunny day the views must be fantastic, but today the clouds barely allowed us to see anything

View to the south

The road down is steep, long, and actually very steep. I really rarely have it so that I can’t wait for the end because it hurts, but this time it did.

Steep and bumpy

Turn after turn and so on ad infinitum, zero flattening along the way, until you reach the Alpe Adria bike path itself. There, after crossing the river, finally a relief for the legs.

Fiume Fella

We returned to the parking lot by walking along the famous bike route, quite empty at this time of year and weather-wise. In Ugovizza, as in many places along this route, there are bars or restaurants in former railroad station buildings (the bike routegoes in the footprint of the former narrow-gauge railroad). Surprisingly, not only that the restaurant was working – it was full and no vacant tables! Hm. So we walked further to the parking lot, where we decided to eat at La Baita tavern. Would I recommend it? Not so much: the ratio of price to quality and to the size of the portions rather moderate, although the place is undoubtedly charming and visited in large numbers.

Overall, the trip was very pleasant, but I do not think I would want to repeat the same steep route.

Picture taken from alpenvereinaktiv.com