Danube – Passau to Vienna Leisurely Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishPassau / Vienna
Distance214 miles/345 kms
Similar to our classic Passau to Vienna tour but spread over 9 nights instead or 7, this more leisurely option allows you to cycle the whole route between Passau and Vienna without the help of boat or train rides along the way. On this relaxed itinerary you’ll do about 27 miles (43 kms) per day and see the most beautiful stretches of the Danube River
There’s plenty to see on this easy Danube cycling holiday that offers a pleasant mix of historic cities, charming medieval villages and sublime natural beauty. The daily routes are quite short allowing ample time to soak up the local atmosphere and visit places of interest along the way. You’ll be following a dedicated cycle path beside the river on mostly level terrain making this an ideal holiday for families and first-timers.
The video above was shot in July 2018 and depicts the sights and scenes along the route.
You can opt to cycle on either side of the river along this route and your guide book will describe both options as well as giving the pros and cons of each. Of course there are bridges at various intervals as well as charming little bike ferries that will allow you to cross to the other bank.
Highlights include the panoramic beauty of the Danube Loop, the picture-perfect villages and vineyards of the Wachau Valley and the historic cities of Passau, Linz and Vienna. Of course, the other highlight is the simple pleasure of freewheeling along, enjoying the scenery and wondering what is around the next bend. There’s no rush so stop where you like to explore, enjoy a drink or just a well earned rest.
Easy cycling that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Itinerary & Map
Almost anyone can enjoy this tour as it follows level cycle paths alongside the river for virtually the whole journey. The daily rides leave plenty of time for breaks and exploring the towns and villages along the route.
Day 1: Arrive Passau
Check in to your hotel and then take a stroll through the “City of Three Rivers”, so named because this is also the point at which the the Inn and Ilz rivers flow into the Danube. The narrow cobbled streets and pretty squares of the old town are a delight to explore and we also recommend a climb to Veste Oberhaus, a medieval fortress and museum that offers a fantastic, panoramic view of the town and rivers.
Day 2: Passau – Wesenufer/Schlögen (Danube Loop), 26 miles/41 kms
Your first ride leads you downstream along the Danube Cycle Path. The going is easy and the path passes through pine forests and small hamlets. After a few kilometers you reach the village of Engelhartszell. Here you can visit Austria’s only Trappist monastery – not just interesting for its architecture, it’s also well known for its fine liqueurs and Trappist ale. We recommend crossing the river here using the small bike ferry (approximately €3 including bike) and continuing on the north bank as it’s quieter and more scenic. After a few more kilometres of very pleasant cycling you’ll spend the night either in the little village of Wesenufer or slightly further on in the village of Schlögen.
Day 3: Wesenhufer/Schlögen (Danube Loop) – Linz, 34 miles/55 kms
If you didn’t have the energy yesterday we recommend an early morning hike up through the forest to the Schlögener lookout point where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the loop and surrounding countryside. For the first few kilometers of today’s ride you follow a lovely cycle path alongside the meandering river as it makes it way past forest-clad hillsides and verdant meadows. Eventually you reach the small town of Aschach with its wealth of riverside cafés and restaurants. This is a good choice for a lunch stop before tackling the second half of the ride to the Upper Austrian capital of Linz. After checking in to your hotel why not wander through the old town or enjoy something nice to eat at one of the many open-air cafés and restaurants on the impressive main square.
Day 4: Linz – Enns/Mauthausen, 23 to 29 miles/37 to 46 kms
Leave Linz behind and continue your Danube cycling adventure. After a few kilometers you reach the town of St. Florian where you can visit the magnificent baroque monastery (entrance fee included). After an enjoyable ride through open countryside you reach the medieval towns of Enns and Mauthausen (on the opposite bank). You will spend the night in one of these pleasant little places.
Day 5: Enns/Mauthausen – Ybbs/Persenbeug 35 to 40 miles/56 to 65 kms
Before heading off on your ride today you may decide to visit the the former Concentration Camp and Memorial close to Mauthausen – a thought-provoking place that is worthy of a visit. You then follow the cycle path downstream through pleasant undulating farmland. Why not stop for a break at the open-air museum near Mitterkirchen before pedaling on through the beautiful wooded valley to the pretty town of Grein. The town enjoys an idyllic setting with its impressive castle standing guard over the brightly painted medieval houses. We recommend crossing the river here either using the bike ferry (approximiately €3 including bike) or riding back to the bridge some 2 km back upstream. You then ride through the Studengau, a very serene and scenic stretch of the river to your overnight stop which will be either in the small town of Ybbs or across the river in Persenbeug.
Day 6: Ybbs/Persenbeug – Melk, 16 to 19 miles/26 to 30 kms
Quite a short day in the saddle today as you make your way along this wide section of the Danube valley to Melk. A few kilometers into the ride high on the hill to your left, behind Marbach, you will see the church of Maria Taferl looking out across the valley. Athletic riders like to ascend to this point to enjoy the wonderful views but from personal experience the author can tell you the climb is long and very steep!
Long before you arrive in Melk you will already see the impressive baroque abbey that dominates the skyline. The abbey still accommodates about 30 Benedictine Monks and guided tours of this fascinating site are offered daily. You’ll also enjoy wandering the ancient streets of this beautiful old town.
Day 7: Melk – Wachau – Krems/Furth bei Göttweig, 25 to 29 miles/40 to 47 kms
Make sure the camera is charged and ready today as the scenery really is sublime. The route leads you through the Wachau Valley to Krems. Along the way you’ll see romantic castles and palaces perched on strategic bluffs overlooking terraced vineyards and orchards that cascade down to charming wine villages such as Spitz, Weißenkirchen and Dürnstein. Beautiful old taverns and inns invite you to stop and enjoy some hearty Wachau hospitality along the way. Today’s ride will end in the city of Krems or in the nearby town of Furth bei Göttweig just across the river.
Day 8: Krems/Furth bei Göttweig – Tulln, 24 to 27 miles/39 to 44 kms
Today’s pleasant ride leads you along a peaceful cycle path with forests and lakes to your right and the river to your left. Your legs know the drill by now so the kilometers slip by with little effort. If you like, you can make a short detour to visit the Roman town of Traismauer a little to the south. The town of Zwentendorf, a little further along the route is a good place to stop for lunch before tackling the last few kilometers to the bustling riverside town of Tulln where you will spend the night.
Day 9: Tulln – Vienna, 19 to 24 miles/31 to 38 kms
The final ride of this Danube cycling adventure leads you past Greifenstein Castle and the impressive spires of the monastery at Klosterneuburg into the outskirts of Vienna itself.
If you prefer not to cycle in the city, you can drop your bike off in the suburb of Nussdorf and use the city’s excellent public transportation network and get the tram to your hotel.
*Important note: E-bikes can only be returned at the drop-off point in Nussdorf on the outskirts of Vienna. It is not possible to return e-bikes in Tulln or at your hotel in Vienna.
After checking in, get out and enjoy the many highlights of this fascinating city. The Schönbrunn Palace, former summer residence of the Habsburgs is very impressive as is St Stephen’s Cathedral the most important Gothic structure in Austria. The giant ferris wheel, erected in 1897 has featured in a number of Hollywood films and is a great way to see the city from above.
Day 10: Departure
After breakfast it’s time to checkout and head for home or your next adventure
Dates & Prices
|2020 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals daily from 10 April to 04 October|
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|Deposit per person||£190|
9 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer (1 x 20kg piece pp + 1 x 10kg piece pp)
Maps & route information
Ferry ride Enns - Mauthausen
Danube-Coupon booklet worth €110 (vouchers for coffee & cake, wine tasting etc)
Parking space in Passau
GPS route data
Train ticket Tulln - Vienna
Bike hire (see supplements)
Tourist tax (approximately €3 pppn, payable locally)
E-bike: €180 credit card deposit on arrival, payable locally
Extra night Passau double/twin, superior (£41)
Extra night Passau single, superior (£61)
Extra night Vienna double/twin July/August, superior (£51)
Extra night Vienna single, July/August, superior (£85)
Extra night Vienna double/twin other dates, superior (£65)
Extra night Vienna single, other dates, superior (£99)
Train ticket Munich airport to Passau (£41)
Train ticket Vienna airport to Passau (£42)
Regular bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£65)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£144)
50% for one child 6 - 11 yrs sharing with two adults
25% for one child 12 - 15 yrs sharing with two adults
Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21-24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier and lock.
Electric bikes are also available. Important: A security credit card deposit of €180 will be requested on arrival as a ‘guarantee’ only. This will be returned when you return the bike in good condition.
Children’s bikes, trailers, tag-a-longs and child seats are also available.
Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.
Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.
Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.
Passau: Hotel Dormero
Wesenufer/Schloegen: Hotel Seminarkultur/Hotel Donauschlinge
Enns: Goldenes Schiff
Ybbs/Persenbeug: Hotel Babenbergerhof & Donaulodge
Krems: Arte Hotel
Tulln: Diamond City Hotel
Vienna: NH Danube City
Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.
- Date - 22/08/2018
- Name - Gary Woolley
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Pre-booking advice and help was excellent. Adjustments were made to a standard tour to meet our specific requirements.
When our flight was cancelled on the day we were due to fly Flexitreks contacted bicycle hire, hotels etc in Austria to enable some of our party to start the cycle tour a day late from a different start point. The help, advice and support we received from Flexitreks was excellent - in stark contrast to that of Lufthansa!
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - This was out first ever cycling holiday and served as a great introduction for a family of occasional weekend cyclists. Bicycle hire, luggage transfer, hotels and other logistics are worked smoothly enabling us to enjoy the holiday.
The cycling distances were easy and the route was predominantly flat and on cycle paths or quiet lanes. Hotels were of a good standard, mostly with restaurants, some with pool, some with positions right on the river.
We cycled during August when temperatures were rose towards 35 degrees. This was hot for cycling and few of the hotels had air conditioning.
We will definitely look to go on a cycling holiday again - and Flexitreks will be our first point of contact.
- Flexitreks response - Service rating : Thanks Gary - we're glad the cancelled flight didn't upset the holiday.
Product : Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough and helpful review Gary. Hopefully you are now all firm converts to leisure cycling holidays!
- Date - 23/07/2016
- Name - Doone
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Staff (particularly Ally) have been very helpful in organising a customised/modified tour for us on two separate occasions, both of which have worked out very well and suited our needs perfectly.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Although we are both quite fit, we chose this 'easy' tour so that we would have plenty of time for sight seeing along the way and that worked out very well. Our excursions off the main track were some of the highlights for us.
- Flexitreks response - Nothing wrong with picking an easy tour Doone, I do it all the time and it's supposed to be a holiday after all! I really appreciate the personal mention under service and look forward to discussing your next cycling adventure with you soon.