Make some cycling holidays and discover Europe's most classic bike tour along the Danube River between Germany and Austria. The Danube Bicycle Path offers carefree cycle trips and an ideal way to discover the region. It's downstream all the way, passing through picturesque towns and villages and across lush farmland. It's paved and almost traffic-free. You are following an old horse path, where teams of horses once pulled tow-barges upstream. Along the majestic river, you pass romantic castles, cozy villages and sprawling vineyards. To shorten a day's riding, you can often board a train or ship along the way. Many trains have cars specifically for bicycles, and ships carry them with no problem as well. The unforgettable end of the tour is the capital of Austria, Vienna, with its countless sights. You start in a deep valley with craggy outcroppings topped by the ruins of ancient castles. Soon, the hills turn to the rolling vineyards of the Wachau region, dotted with medieval towns. As the river widens, flat pastures spread to the horizons and you meander through farms and villages. From time to time you cross the river, over dams, locks and bridges and sometimes in small ferries that hold barely a dozen cyclists. You finish in Vienna, where you have the chance to see the city by bicycle.
Day 1: Arrival in Passau
Arrive in Passau, the City of Three Rivers, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. If you'd like, take a sightseeing tour around the city and the cathedral, where you might hear a concert on the world's largest church organ.
Day 2: Passau - Schlögen, ~40km/25 miles
After you leave your luggage in the lobby, you head the short distance to the river, where you board a riverboat for a scenic tour down the Danube. Strengthen yourselves for the ride ahead with lunch on-board (included). You get off the ship at the charming town of Engelhartszell with its unique Trappist monastery and breathtakingly beautiful rococo church. Here your bike ride actually starts. After riding through granite massifs, you enter an opulent green landscape and soon come to Schlögen, where the Danube rounds a nearly 270-degree bend.
Day 3: Schlögen - Linz, ~54 km/34 miles
Continue your ride along the Danube under the gaze of old castles that look from the hilltops. Ride through the narrow and winding Danube valley to Ottensheim, a medieval market town with historic parish church and castle. Stop in Aschach for lunch, with plenty of swimming lakes to choose from along the way, and board the riverboat in the afternoon. You'll soon come to Linz, Austria's third-largest city, with an historic market square surrounded by baroque buildings. The majestic fifteenth-century Linz Citadel stands watch over the Danube. If you'd like, 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. The view to the river is superb.
Day 4: Linz - Grein/Ardagger, ~63 km/39 miles
Start your morning, if you'd like, with a visit to the Linz Zoo. You continue past two medieval castles to the Enns River and head a few miles upstream to Enns, the oldest city in Austria. Enns is postcard-perfect with its medieval tower and fortifications and its Renaissance and Baroque façades. In Enns, you can also try an alpine slide or open air “adventure” swimming park.
Day 5: Grein/Ardagger - Maria Taferl/Marbach, ~49 km/30 miles
In Wallsee, you can visit the 14th-century Wallsee Castle, still in the possession of the Habsburgs. Past the tiny village of Adragger, you ride under the mighty Fortress Clam. You explore the fertile farmland of the Danube Valley, with rural towns and picturesque farms. A Danube highlight soon comes into view: the baroque village of Grein with its imposing castle. 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 still shows off in elaborate houses built around the town square.
Day 6: Maria Taferl - Krems (cat. A) or Traismauer (cat. B), ~47 or 54 km/29 or 31 miles
After Grein, the Danube starts getting narrower. The valley is tighter and craggy where ruins of ancient castles seem to appear at every bend in the river. You can stop at the Persenbeug Castle, which still watches over the Danube from a stark rock outcropping. It dates from the 9th century, although its current form is “only” 400 years old. You 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. Much of the historic town wall is still intact. In Ybbs, you enjoy lunch and board the riverboat and 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 neighboring hills. The Benedictine Abbey, a magnificent baroque structure built between 1702 and 1736, surrounds seven courtyards and stretches 1,065 from end to end. Take a tour of the abbey and the adjacent English landscape garden.
Day 7: Krems or Traismauer - Vienna, ~57 or 73 km/36 or 46 miles
Through the fields of the "Thuner Feld" you will come to Greifenstein, the first outlying district of Vienna. Customers in Category A leave their rental bikes here and take the suburban train to arrive in the center of Vienna, while customers in category B cycle on with their bicycle passing via Klosterneuburg to down town Vienna.
Day 8: End of the tour
Transfer back to Passau by minivan included.
7 nights in 4**** hotels (1x 3***) in category A
7 nights in 4**** and 3*** hotels in category B
Danube card with lots of reductions
luggage transfer incl. 700,00 € insurance/person
transfer from Vienna to Passau per bus
maps and information
GPS tracks on request
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every day
season I (515 €/person in double, cat. A and 439 €/person in double, cat. B)
season II (+107 €/person in cat. A and 105 €/person in cat. B)
season III (+131 €/person in cat. A and 125 €/person in cat. B)
route (1): ~320 km
always flat and mostly along the river
how to get there
by car: motorway to Passau
by train: station Passau
by plane: airport Vienne
free on unguarded parking near the hotel in Passau
from April to October back to Passau by van included (transport of customers bikes for 24 €), reservation obligatory
can be booked in Passau and Vienna in both categories in double and single on request
deposit your credi card dates for an e-bike
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