- Starting your trip in Passau, the City of Three Rivers
- Cycling through the charming town of Engelhartszell with its unique Trappist monastery
- Overnighting in Enns, the oldest city in Austria
- Winding your way to Grein with its imposing castle
- Seeing the Persenbeug Castle, watching over the Danube
- Visiting the Melk Abbey; a magnificent baroque structure
We just LOVED the whole thing – route, weather, food, scenery, being outside – it was probably one of the best holidays we have had. Getting exercise every day and being able to eat Austrian cakes without guilt was a win-win.
Today you arrive in Passau, the City of Three Rivers, situated at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Depending on flight times, you may have the chance to stretch your legs with a sightseeing wander around the city and maybe visit the impressive cathedral or museum of modern art.
You local representative will meet you at your hotel to fit you to your hire bikes (if hiring) and to provide you with daily route information, including maps and notes. They will discuss your route and answer any questions you might have.
- Meals: Breakfast
Today you’ll be passing through the charming town of Engelhartszell with its unique Trappist monastery and breathtakingly beautiful rococo church. The monastery also makes its own brandies! After cycling through granite massifs, the route opens up into an opulent green landscape before following the river around a 270 degree bend near Schlögen. From here you’ll ride on to tonight’s accommodation in Aschach.
- Meals: Breakfast
Today you’ll pass under the watchful gaze of old castles which look down from the surrounding hilltops. Early in the day you’ll pass through Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, with a historic market square surrounded by Baroque buildings. The majestic fifteenth-century Linz Citadel stands watch over the Danube. You might want to board Europe’s steepest mountain railway to climb the Pöstlingberg, a hill overlooking the city. The train, which still operates with its original 19th-Century cars, covers nearly 2 miles and about 825 vertical feet / 251 metres in 16 minutes and offers a fantastic view out over the river.
An extension of about 10 miles / 16Kms takes you to St. Florian, a small town dominated by its Augustine Abbey, recognised as one of the finest baroque buildings in Europe. Beyond its architectural splendour, St. Florian also contains the so-called “Bruckner Organ” with 7,386 pipes. Organist and composer Anton Bruckner played the organ and is buried in a crypt beneath it. Behind Bruckner’s tomb, more than 6,000 skeletons are stacked in neat rows. Monks have served in the abbey since 1071.
You’ll continue past two medieval castles to the Enns River and head a few miles upstream to Enns, the oldest city in Austria. Enns is picture-perfect with its medieval tower, fortifications and Renaissance and Baroque façades.
- Meals: Breakfast
Just out of Enns, a winding road overlooking the Danube ends starkly at the concentration camp in Mauthausen. This is an optional side trip which offers a stark insight into a tragic period in the area’s history; the memory of its terror stands in tragic counterpoint to the landscape below.
Past the tiny village of Ardagger, you’ll ride under the mighty Fortress Clam, exploring the fertile farmland of the Danube Valley, with rural towns and picturesque farms. Grein with its imposing castle soon comes into view which for many is one of the highlights of the trip.
After Grein, the Danube starts getting narrower, the valley is tighter and increasingly more craggy, making it all the more impressive when you round a sharp bend to find the ruins of an ancient castle. You can stop at the Persenbeug Castle, which still watches over the Danube from a stark rock outcropping. You’ll then cross the river to Ybbs, with its recently restored old town with winding lanes, quiet courtyards and homes from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The day’s ride ends in Maria Taferl, which is located on a small hill and so, to rest those weary legs, you will get a transfer for the last few miles.
- Meals: Breakfast
You’ll begin the day by following the Danube around a tight curve and after a short ride you’ll arrive at another tour highlight: the Melk Abbey. The Benedictine Abbey, a magnificent Baroque structure surrounds seven courtyards. You can take a tour of the abbey and the adjacent English landscape garden if you fancy a break from the saddle.
Melk marks the official start of the Wachau, Austria’s most famous wine-growing region. Vineyards stretch up the sides of the valley and wine villages lie along the river as well as in the neighbouring hills.
From Spitz, in the heart of the Wachau, you can take a short hike to the ruins of the Hinterhaus castle and look across to the Tausendeimerberg – the Mountain of a Thousand Buckets so named because of the abundance of grapes that grow there – where vineyards are carved into hillside terraces. The hike takes about an hour. You can lock up your bikes in Spitz and you’ll be provided with maps for the hike in your info pack.
Back on the bikes and you’ll soon reach Krems, which you’ll enter through its impressive Stone Gate. The 1000-year-old town is surrounded by vineyards and filled with historic buildings.
- Meals: Breakfast
You’ll ride past dams and lochs and along trails, as the valley broadens and flattens. Here the river flows off into oxbows and meanders, the setting often feels more like remote wetlands (with ample wildlife) than one of the world’s mightiest rivers.
In Tulln, known as the “Flower City,” you can enjoy a ride along the medieval town walls and look for relics from Roman times.
- Meals: Breakfast
Unfortunately today is your final day’s cycling but you still need to pass Klosterneuburg with its imposing monastery before reaching Vienna for your final night. If you still have the energy Vienna is a fantastic city which is well worth investigating. You’ll spend tonight in a centrally located hotel.
Although the distances are fairly long on some days, the terrain is very flat, along an easy to follow and well-signed established cycle route on quiet roads and cycle paths. For this tour we recommend a hybrid bike, however road bikes can be used if preferred, (with slick or semi slick tyres) please contact our office for more details. There is the option of catching a ferry up and down the river with your bike if the distances are too far on some days.
Leisure Cycling Grade
Distances generally between 15-30 miles / 24-48 kms per day
For those looking for an easy-going route
Mainly on the flat
Some undulations and the odd cheeky challenge
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
Maybe you have recently got into cycling and would like to do more over consecutive days, or maybe you‘re looking for a more energetic alternative to your usual holiday? If you‘re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these holidays might be for you. You’ll come across some gently undulating terrain and the odd cheeky challenge, so we’d generally expect those on a Grade 2 holiday to ride their bikes relatively frequently at home, perhaps commuting to work or heading out for some leisurely rides at the weekend.
The smooth organisation that we experienced before and during the holiday helped to make it all very easy. Loved cycling past vineyards and pretty villages!
Dates & Prices
2021 and 2022 Daily departures available from 27 Mar to 09 Oct.
If you’d like to upgrade your rooms/hotels, please select the ‘Hotel/Room Upgrade’ supplement below when booking online.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in good quality 3 and 4 star hotels
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)
D) Detailed route notes and maps
E) Luggage transfers
F) Day 4 – Short transfer to Maria Taferl
What's not Included
A) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
B) Personal clothing and equipment
D) Travel insurance
E) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.
F) Bike hire (available if required)
G) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions
H) Travel arrangements to the first night’s hotel
I) Travel arrangements to departure airport or return to Passau
J) Tourist tax (to be paid locally to the hotels where applicable)
Customer Story: Danube Cyclepath
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Inese, Selkirk, UKOne of the best holidays we have had...
We just LOVED the whole thing – route, weather, food, scenery, being outside – it was probably one of the best holidays we have had. Getting exercise every day and being able to eat Austrian cakes without guilt was a win-win. Cycling into Vienna and using their cycle paths in the middle of the city was a thrill.
Our favourite day was when we started off in Passau and spent the night at the MOST amazing hotel in Aschach which was a Schloss dating from the 1600s. The signage along the way was excellent for the Danube cycling route and, given that we didn’t know what to expect from our first cycling holiday, it gave us lots of confidence and also delight in the wonderful scenery on that first day. Loved the fact that to get across the Danube at certain points you just had to ring a bell and the bike ferry would come over from the opposite bank to take us across.
Sarah, London, UKA very special holiday...
The best day for views was the day cycling through the Wachau with the vineyards, pretty villages and the opportunities to taste the wine!
This was a very special holiday with our adult children which we all enjoyed and will never forget. The smooth organisation that we experienced before and during the holiday helped to make it all very easy.
Mike, ScarboroughExcellent holiday...
Hard to pick a favorite every day was different but superb. We both enjoyed every minute of our holiday. If we were pushed the first day setting of from Passau with lovely weather not knowing what to expect what a start to a holiday and then to cycle into Vienna on my 65th birthday – WOW beat that if you can!
Our bikes were brand new and great comfy bikes to ride. Both my wife and I felt sad to leave them on the last day as it was a pleasure to ride the bikes even on the one day when it rained very heavy.
Dennis, SurreyGreat views!
Favourite Day : The day cycling from Enns to Maria Taferl. Great day of cycling with good weather. Travelled on the South Bank of the Danube where the route takes you away from the river and through some great countryside. Great views in Maria Taferl and very good hotel (hotel Rose) on top of the hill.
Nicky, CheshireOur favourite day...
Cycling through Wachau wine lands with the Blue Danube sparkling in the spring sunshine, stopping and enjoying the odd drop of the local grape juice!!