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Germany and Austria

The Danube Cyclepath

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

10 days

Prices from

$1,285 P.P.
Germany and Austria

The Danube Cyclepath

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

10 days

Prices from

$1,285 P.P.
BOOK NOW
This self-guided cycling vacation along the Danube will take you through both Austria and Germany and is a cycling classic. An ideal way to see this beautiful region and it’s downstream all the way!
Starting in a deep valley with craggy outcroppings topped with the ruins of ancient castles, you’ll soon see the hills turn to the rolling vineyards of the Wachau region, dotted with characteristic medieval towns. As the river widens the landscape alters.
Flat pastures spread to the horizons, and you’ll meander your way through farms and villages. It’s a scenic cycling route, paved and mostly traffic-free, following an old tow path where teams of horses once pulled barges up this majestic river.
You'll end your cycling tour in the renowned Austrian capital, Vienna and with all the major sights accessible by bike it couldn’t be easier. There is also the chance to shorten some of the day’s riding, by boarding one of the trains or boats catering for bicycles.
If pushed for time you can also do this trip over 8 days with longer days in the saddle. 
Or, if you're travelling with little ones, we have a slightly shorter, family version available from Linz to Vienna. 
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Highlights

  • 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

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Passau

Today you’ll arrive in Passau, the City of Three Rivers, 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.

Your local representative will meet you at your hotel to fit you to your bikes (if hiring) and to hand out information on the route including detailed maps and notes. They will discuss your program and route and answer any questions you might have.

Day 2
Passau to Schlögen (or surrounding area)
25 Miles / 40 Kms
  • 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 into an opulent green landscape before following the river around a 270 degree bend near Schlögen. You’ll spend the night either in Schlögen or nearby.

Day 3
Schlögen (or surrounding area) to Linz
31 Miles / 50 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast you’ll continue through the narrow and winding Danube valley to Ottensheim, a medieval market town with an historic parish church and castle. Once you’ve seen the sights you’ll continue riding alongside the Danube under the gaze of old castles that peer down from the hilltops. You’ll soon come to 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 in 16 minutes and offers a fantastic view out over the river.

Day 4
Linz to Enns (or surrounding area)
19 Miles / 30 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

You can start today with an optional ride to St. Florian (10 miles/16Kms), a small town dominated by an Augustine Abbey which is recognised as one of the finest Baroque buildings in Europe. Beyond its architectural splendour, St. Florian also contains the so-called “Bruckner Organ” with its 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 but ghoulish rows, tended by monks which 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 its Renaissance and Baroque façades.

Day 5
Enns (or surrounding area) to Grein/Ardagger
25 Miles / 40 Kms
  • 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.

In Wallsee, you might want to take the time to visit the 14th-Century Wallsee Castle, still in the possession of the Hapsburgs. Past the tiny village of Ardagger, you’ll ride under the mighty Fortress Clam. You’ll explore the fertile farmland of the Danube Valley, through 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. With only 2,800 residents, Grein is one of Austria’s smallest towns. Due to its strategic location above rapids on the Danube, the city became quite rich during the 16th and 17th centuries, and the wealth is still evident in the elaborate houses built around the town square.

Day 6
Grein/Ardagger to Melk
31 Miles / 50 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

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 Persenbeug Castle looming over you.

You’ll cross the river to Ybbs, with its recently restored old town with winding lanes, quiet courtyards and patrician homes from the 15th and 16th centuries. Astoundingly, much of the historic town wall is still intact. You’ll follow the Danube around a tight curve and travel a short distance to another tour highlight: the Melk Abbey. 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. The Benedictine Abbey, a magnificent Baroque structure built between 1702 and 1736, 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.

Day 7
Melk to Krems
25 Miles / 40 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

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 – including churches, monasteries and fortifications. Krems also offers a nice selection of cafes, shops, bars and bistros.

Day 8
Krems to Tulln
28 Miles / 45 Kms
  • 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 feels more like remote wetlands 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.

Day 9
Tulln to Vienna
28 Miles / 40 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Unfortunately today is your final day cycling but you still need to pass Klosterneuburg with its imposing monastery before you reach Vienna for your final night. If you still have the energy Vienna is a fantastic city which is well worth exploring! You’ll spend your evening in a centrally located hotel.

Day 10
Departure from Vienna
  • Meals: Breakfast

The time has come to head home, but not before some last minute sightseeing and a chance to get those souvenirs you promised everyone back home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

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.

Day 3, it’s one of the longest distances and you will need to cycle in the city centre of Linz. However please note it’s not a big city, and is still a pleasant cycle.

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.

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 1-2 : Easy/Gentle

Aspects of both our grade 1 and 2 trips

Suitable for those looking for a relaxed ride

Occasional ups and downs

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?

Trips that are graded as a 1-2, will have aspects of both our grade 1 and grade 2 trips. These tours are still suitable for those looking for an accessible cycling holiday with manageable daily distances, along predominately flat terrain, however there will be some days / sections where we’d expect you to be up for a slightly cheeky challenge. It might be that the distances are a little longer on some days or that the terrain is slightly more undulating, but the rides are still relaxed and manageable for someone whose generally fit and healthy.

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Dates & Prices

2021 Daily departures available from 27 Mar to 09 Oct.

We have an upgrade option available on this trip. If you’d like to opt for this please select the ‘Hotel/Room Upgrade’ supplement below when booking online.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
10 days
Price
$1,285.00

Whats Included Tick

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

What's not Included Cross

A) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

B) Personal clothing and equipment

C) Lunch

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)

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour we ask that you make your own way to your hotel in Passau on arrival and onwards from Vienna at the end of the trip.

You can fly into either Munich (MUC) or Vienna (VIE).

Most flights from North America to either airport require overnight travel, and a stop over in an intermediary airport, with Norwegian combining with another airline being a common combination for this trip.

Please note that flying from North America may involve multiple travel days.

There are frequent direct trains from the airport to Passau. For the return journey there is a train from Vienna to Munich airport via Passau.

You can also fly to Vienna, with the airport connected to the city by frequent trains from where it is possible to catch a connecting train to Passau.

Accommodation

Accommodation for this trip will be in shared twin or double en suite rooms in good quality 3 and 4 star hotels.

We generally use the best hotels on the route, but if you’d like to upgrade your rooms (available in various locations) and to a 5* hotel in Vienna, we have this option available.

Please note that a twin bedded room may be a typical Austrian Twin, which comprises two mattresses and two sets of bedding in the same large bed frame; it may not be possible to separate the mattresses.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have a choice of bikes available to rent. Our standard bikes are hybrids (red in the photo above) with semi slick tyres and a relaxed riding position. These bikes are typically unisex frames, although men’s frames are often available on request. You also have the choice of premium hybrid bikes (black in the photo above) which are lighter than our standard bikes and offer a more dynamic riding position.

We also have e-bikes available to rent. (We only have a small number however and so these are always on request). Please note, e-bikes will have pedal brakes as well as hand brakes. Bikes come equipped with a saddle and handlebar bag, a tool kit, a puncture repair kit, a cycle computer, a pump and a combination lock. You will need to bring along your own helmets.

It is possible to bring along your own saddle and / or pedals, but we ask that you bring along your own tools as you will need to fit them yourselves. If you bring your own saddle, we also recommend you bring an adapter, due to differing saddle diameters.

(Please note: water bottles and water bottle cages are not provided.)

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News, Reviews & Stories

Customer Story: Danube Cyclepath

Check out our latest competition entry - a journey from Germany to Austria!

Customer Story: The Blue Danube…

Holiday Highlight: Discover the Danube

Reviews

1

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